Anchor text refers to the text which is used in the hyperlinks.
Wherein, Hyperlinks refers to those links that redirect a user to another page within the website or to some other website. I know that! Gimme a Definition?
Anchor text refers to the text which is used in the hyperlinks that redirect a user to another page within the website or to some other website, relevant to the text (Anchor text) used in the hyperlink.
Example – “Also check out my content on 19 Off-Page SEO Techniques 2018“.
Here “19 Off-Page SEO Techniques 2018” is the Anchor text and It’s a hyperlink pointing to that blog post. This is how you create an Anchor Text.
• The Anchor Text HTML Syntax – Format
<a href="http://www.example.com">Example Anchor Text</a>
• The Anchor Text HTML Syntax – Example
<a href="https://www.softscotch.com/off-page-seo-techniques/">19 Off-Page SEO Techniques 2018</a>
There are millions of articles published each day. Some of them are relevant to the topic, the niche & the targeted audience. Whereas, others are created just for spammy activity, passing link juice, collecting user data or as a click bait. This is a hurdle for Google as it intends to show the best on its search results.
Hence, Google uses the Anchor texts used in the content as one of the key factors to check the overall relevancy of the content. It helps Google get an overview of the content and determine if the content is created with a purpose to deliver value and if it’s being delivered to the right audience.
If Google finds a fashion trend article pointing towards a guide to prepare chicken curry then Google is sure to know what’s cooking. This is why you need to make proper use of Anchor text in proper proportion.
Anchor text optimization also helps Google to rank your content for the relevant keywords. It also plays an important role in backlinking activity as it helps both Google & the User to know what they are clicking on.
Let’s quickly list down the uses of Anchor texts in SEO
I have listed down 9 different types of Anchor text in SEO. Each of these Anchor text has a different purpose & it can vary from brand promotion to content relevancy improvement. Each of them needs to be used at a different proportion in correlation with volume of the content.
Let’s first look at some of the different types of Anchor text in SEO.
This is the most popular and controversial type of Anchor text. Wherein, the target keyword or the focus keyword is used as the Anchor text. But, after the Penguin update ( Google released this update to stop Blackhat SEO practices ), the overuse of target keyword as the Anchor text is considered to be a trick to manipulate Google algorithm and so, it leads to devaluation, low ranking or sometimes getting penalized.
Example – Target keyword is “Link building” and your Anchor text is also “Link building”.
Under this type, the Anchor text will not be relevant to the content of the page or to the page it is pointing to. These type of Anchor texts are created with an intention to pass link juice or to increase traffic. This is considered a spammy activity by Google. So, Google will lower the ranking of the webpage that is being pointed from the spammy anchor text. This can also affect Google AdWords as it would be against their policy & your ads will be disapproved for malicious links or activity until its removed.
Google can also penalize the website on an extreme scenario.
Example – You have a content about an Android phone and within the content, you use a Hyperlink with the Anchor text “Modern men hairstyles” pointing to a Men hairstyling website.
So, unrelated things are considered as spam by Google.
It refers to the backlink with an Anchor text pointing to your website from another website. This type of Anchor text is created to direct users to more informative or valuable articles or resources. Google determines the most relevant keyword for a web page based on the content of the page and the anchor text used on the various backlinks pointing to that web page.
Example – If you have an in-depth article on On-page & Off-page activities, then someone answering a question on Quora on What is SEO? can point a link to your article.
Under this type, the Anchor text will partially contain the target keyword and the Anchor text will be comparatively long. These type of Anchor text are used with 2 or more phrases along with the target keyword to make it a readable link. This type of Anchor texts can be used for articles or web pages trying to rank for multiple keywords.
Example – If your target keyword is “WordPress Plugins” then the Anchor text can be used with more phrases to make it less competent like “Must have WordPress Plugins for 2018”.
Here the URL is used without an Anchor text. This type of Anchor text does not have much SEO value. It is rarely used by Webmasters but if you find such link pointing to your site, you can contact the webmaster to have it updated with an Anchor text.
Example – “Check out his website – www.softscotch.com”.
This type of Anchor text consists of call-to-action or words that provoke action. Most of the backlinks that you get from other websites are from Generic Anchor text but it is recommended to use such Anchor texts wisely as it leaves users guessing what the link is pointing to.
Example – Click here, Read this Article, Visit URL, Check out this Article, Visit this link.
In the case of images, the Alt tag is considered as the Anchor text. You can add relevant keywords along with the brand name to the alt tags. This helps the search engine crawlers to index the images more accurately & rank it for the right terms on Google.
<img src="Link to Image" alt="Phrases with Keyword describing the Images">
Here the Brand name is used as the Anchor text. This is the most recommended & safest type of Anchor text to be used. This will help you build brand recognition & also help you grow organic search volume by making returning visitor find you using the brand name.
Example – Moz.com has most of its backlinks with Anchor text as “Moz”.
LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing. It helps Google identify related keywords and synonyms to increase the accuracy of search engine results. You can find the LSI keywords easily by using related searches or Google’s drop-down showing recommended searches.
The penguin update in 2012 had changed the link building game forever.
Google used the Anchor texts to determine if a certain link was relevant or spammy. It targeted every website that used spammy link building strategies to manipulate Google search engines for higher ranking. These websites were reduced to lower ranks & some were even penalized.
The whole idea behind the update was to keep it Natural, Random & not Planned.
Different types of Anchor text need to be used in different proportions. If it exceeds the proportion, it might be considered as spammy activity by Google & other platforms.
Please use the Anchor text in these proportions.
Building a strong internal linking structure is very important in blogs but without proper use of Anchor text the internal linking will be of no use and you will not be able to derive any SEO value from it.
Most bloggers make the mistake of making use of Generic anchor text for internal linking. Doing this will not only confuse Google on what it’s linking to but also it will add no SEO value to the page it is linking to. The same will apply to Guest posting.
Always make use of exact match anchor text or partial match anchor text for Internal linking and Guest posting.
Keyword dilution happens when you try to rank multiple pages for the same or closely related keywords. This will make Google choose the page that is more relevant to the keyword & rank that particular page for that keyword. The other page will lose it’s ranking as Google will list it under spammy activity.
Always have different pages targeting different keywords. Always use variations in your Title for different pages so that the other webmasters don’t use same Anchor texts pointing to different web pages of your website.
Anchor text clearly influences your ranking in the search results and without proper use of anchor texts, you can get devalued or penalized.
Whereas, Anchor texts used by other Webmasters pointing to your website helps in defining the content and topic of your website. So, keeping a track on them could also be pretty handy and you can use Webmaster or Search console for this purpose.
If you have any questions, please do comment it down below. I would be pleased to hear from you.
He’s a 23yr old pursuing a career in Digital Marketing, WordPress Development, and Graphic Designing. Trying to create a mark for himself in a Dynamic World. Frustrated by blood-sucking guru’s & specialists, he’s on a quest to educate beginners by creating small communities. He likes to spend his free time creating a purpose to make things more productive, playing games, reading articles & stuff that you wouldn’t care to know.