How to optimize Anchor text (anchor text)

Published: June 19, 2022

Last Modified: April 19, 2023

How to optimize Anchor text (anchor text)

Anchor text is used to promote a resource and optimize it for search engines. This is getting the most out of every link you create. In this context, anchor text is the most important element as it plays a key role in unlocking link-building potential effectively.

You also need to be aware of the impact of search algorithm updates and anchor text best practices. This is important because over-optimizing your anchor text can end up having a negative impact on your site’s rankings. On the other hand, using the right tactics can give you great results, both in terms of site authority and SERPs.

What is anchor text?

An anchor text is a visible, clickable word or phrase that links one web page to another. For example, anchor text in HTML looks like this:

 Anchor text This is the link text, and visitors will see it on the website.

Anchor Text Optimization for

The phrase “anchor text optimization” here refers to  and is the anchor text in this case. Anchoring a link to text on a page is easy, as CMS platforms offer out-of-the-box functionality for this.

Now that the meaning of anchor text is clear, it’s important to understand its impact on search engine rankings. Anchor text allows search engines to determine a web page and whether it is relevant to the selected keywords.

Anchor text in the age of Google Penguin

Google’s ranking algorithm has gone through numerous changes over the years, but the Penguin update in 2012 was arguably the most important to date. The idea behind the update was to target sites that were ignoring quality guidelines and using spam to get rankings.

As mentioned earlier, prior to the update, it was easy to play optimization with only accurate website anchor links and it was easy to rank for any keyword. But the advent of Google Penguin has changed everything, as sites that over-optimize anchor text are now subject to severe penalties and can lose traffic as well as organic rankings.

Practices such as unnatural link building and exact match text links are now completely banned as they can irreparably damage SEO efforts. This article’s 7 concepts of link relevancy and Google rankings will help optimize link sorting.

Updates such as Panda, Hummingbird, and Penguin 4.0, which replaced Penguin, reinforced this trend and further emphasized the importance of anchor text optimization. These updates, on the one hand, gave an improvement in the quality of search results, and on the other hand, they also created problems for marketers who had no idea how to deal with the new algorithm.

The backlink verification process used in the updated Google algorithm includes the following steps: 

  • You added a backlink
  • Google indexes the specified backlink.
  • Your link profile has been updated by Google with this new back link.
  • The process continues indefinitely as Google uses the information to determine your site’s ranking.

Throughout the process, the algorithm carefully analyzes your link profile and compares it to keyword optimization. This uses a specific set of parameters to determine whether your anchoring methods merit rewards or punishments. Ignorance of these parameters can lead to a downgrade.

Types of Anchor Text

With the changes brought by the Penguin update, it becomes important to understand the different types of anchor text so that you can use the correct text in the right place.

Anchor text can be seen as a variety of niches that can be used to build backlinks. Each of these types has a specific purpose and should be used optimally to avoid penalties.

Title tag

The title tag, as the name suggests, refers to the title of the page. For example, if the link leads to an About Us or News page, you can simply use the meta title or main H1 tag as the anchor. Similarly, when linking to a blog post, the title of the post will be the anchor.

Exact match

An exact match keyword is the exact keyword you want to rank the page for. For example, if you’re trying to rate “Optimize Anchor Text“, you’ll have to copy and paste that exact anchor phrase. 

Also Read : 5 SEO Tips to Increase Website Latency – New!

Word plus key phrase

This type of anchor text combines the exact keywords you want to rank with other words or phrases. For example, if you want to claim the title of “fashion midi dress store,” the corresponding keyword would be “view midi dress store.”

The best thing about this type of anchor is their versatility, as they can fit naturally into the content. However, you need to make sure that each of the keyword plus word anchors is unique.

only part of the keyword.

As the name suggests, these anchors only have part of the keyword you are looking for, not the whole phrase. A good example here would be to use “buy trendy midi dresses” as in the previous example. Again, these anchor texts should be unique and not repeated.

Just Natural Anchors

An anchor that does not have any of the keyphrases is called the Just Natural Anchor. This is a simple piece of text that explains where users are redirected to. For example, “Here”, “On the Blog”, and “This Site” are examples of just natural anchors.

brand anchor 

Clearly, a brand anchor refers to the name of your business or brand. For example, use AVANZET as a brand anchor.

“Brand and keyword together

The next anchor type is Brand and Keyword Together, which is a combination of a brand anchor with either the exact keyword or just part of the keyword. For example, “comprehensive internet marketing from the agency AVANZET” is an example of such an anchor text.

Naked URL 

A bare URL refers to an anchor that does not contain anchor text but is itself a link. For example, is just a URL.

This can be an empty URL anchor that links to the site’s home page or an internal page using the site’s URL as the anchor. For example, the phrase “Read the information in our blog at” leads to a link to the blog page on the site.

homepage url

This type of anchor text is similar to anchors, but the only difference is that they use the full home page URL. URL without the protocol: This is a bare URL that only uses www and skips the https:// part.

There is no text anchor.

This clever strategy involves creating a link without words in the anchor text. The easiest way to do this is through images or by forgetting (intentionally or unintentionally) to include it in the article, leaving the link tag with no text.

7 Rules of Anchor Text to Increase the Ranking of the Site in Search Engines

Now that the different types of anchor text have been clearly explained, you should also be aware of the best practices to follow when using them to achieve high search rankings. Let’s list them for you. 

1. Make them adaptable and organic.

Search engines prioritize websites that provide users with real value. In this context, link placement should feel natural when users expect that they will get some valuable information from those links.

As algorithms get smarter than ever, reusing keyword-based anchors will most likely cause your site to rank lower. Therefore, the best approach is to provide high-quality content with relevant links from high-authority sites.

2. Check that the anchors are relevant to the content.

Linking anchors to content is another best practice that you should follow. Algorithm improvements, in addition to the use of advanced artificial intelligence technologies, make it possible to understand the meaning of the content of a web page.

Thus, relevance is of great importance, and inappropriate anchor texts and links should not be placed. Currently, Google is fully focused on delivering an unrivaled user experience, so it won’t compromise on relevancy at any cost.

3. Avoid excessive optimization

Using too many spammy keyword-based anchor texts is another red flag for Google. Therefore, you should avoid over-optimizing the anchor text and keep it as natural as possible.

It is best to distribute them among incoming links in optimal proportions. For example, you can try to bind text variants that are similar in meaning to keywords but different in

4. Place your anchors correctly.

Another best practice related to anchor text positioning is placing them where they are most likely to grab the attention of users.

The first few paragraphs are the best place to use them, as are headings, subheadings, and images. The idea is to get them to a point where they are able to generate high click-through rates and engagement rates.

5. Emphasize deep linking

One strategy that SEO professionals commonly get wrong is focusing anchors on top-level pages (such as the home page, landing page, or product pages) and ignoring lower-level pages.

This practice is no longer relevant because top-level pages are often shallow in terms of content value compared to deeper-level pages such as blogs. These are the ones that are really valuable to users. 

6. Contribute to guest blogs

Guest blogging is a key element of a successful digital strategy overall. When it comes to using anchor text, you need to participate in guest posting to get the best results.

Pay attention to authority as well as the relevance of the website you’re participating in for getting authoritative links. According to recent updates, Google also includes the sites you link to when determining your ranking. Check your outbound links to make sure you’re avoiding spam and low-quality sites.

7. Aim for Optimal Anchor Text Distribution

Optimal distribution of anchor text is the foundation of a successful search engine ranking strategy. The reason is that if you use the same types of anchor text or no more than two types, this can lead to a downgrade.

Therefore, you should target anchor text diversity as part of your link building strategy. The website profile will be best influenced by the following anchor text optimization:

  • 50% branded anchor text
  • Naked links-10%-20%
  • Page/Blog Title – 15%
  • Anchor partial matches—1-5%
  • 5% for general anchors
  • Anchor text exact match 5%

In addition, you can mix and match other types of anchor text as needed. Also, you should avoid low-quality links as they can cause problems for you. A thorough analysis of the niche and competitors will give you a clear idea of the anchor text distribution that will give you optimal results.

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