What is Anchor Text in SEO: A Complete Guide
The anchor text that surrounds the link and the link itself is the...
Link building is one of the most effective strategies for increasing organic rankings, according to all SEOs.
The reason for this is that search engines prefer to rank websites with high-quality links because they are the most important trust signal.
Building backlinks, on the other hand, can be time-consuming and exhausting.
But don't worry, if you have a perfect link-building partner who can do 100% White Hat Link building, you can relax. You've come to the right place if you're looking for such a partner.
The anchor text that surrounds the link and the link itself is the most important components of a backlink.
Many times, websites create backlinks without giving much thought to the anchor texts.
As a result, they end up ranking for irrelevant keywords or keywords that do not satisfy the user's true intent.
If there is one element of SEO that has been grossly abused, it is anchor text.
Exact match anchor text was sprayed across irrelevant websites multiple times in the early days of Google and SEO to fool Google's Algorithm.
Anchor text stuffing and target keyword stuffing, on the other hand, have entered the black-hat world as a result of the Penguin Update and recent Google Algorithm Updates.
This essentially means that the big search engine dog, Google, will give websites that build irrelevant and spammy backlinks a one-way ticket to hell.
This could mean that the website that engages in such practices will be de-indexed, making recovery difficult.
The text surrounding the link, known as anchor text, is critical for search engines to understand the context and relevance of the website it refers to.
This means that Google is constantly monitoring the links you are building to your website, as well as the type of target keywords you are using as anchor text and the frequency with which you are using them.
Choosing the anchor text and naturally placing it within the content will make or break your organic rankings.
In this blog, we will help you hone your ability to build backlinks using best practices in anchor text selection.
What is SEO Anchor Text?
As you may be aware, Google and other search engines rank websites using algorithms. According to Google, before ranking a page on SERP, its algorithm considers more than 200 signals.
Even though Google hasn't revealed all of the signals, it's clear from years of analysis that Anchor text is one of Google's 200-odd ranking factors.
Anchor text is an important component of hyperlinking because it informs users and search engines about the context of the page to which it is linking.
Anchor text is also known as bridging text because it connects two different pages contextually on the internet.
An anchor text can be used to link the following:
- Internal Links are links between pages on the same website.
- Pages on two different websites are frequently referred to as external links or backlinks.
- You can also use anchor text to connect various assets, such as a PDF or a DOC file.
Because we're talking about backlink building, the anchor text is usually a search term that a website wants to rank for.
There are Eight Different Types of Anchor Text
1. Identical Match
Exact-match anchor text contains a keyword that exactly matches the page to which it is linked.
Exact-match anchor text can either help or hurt your site's ranking.
For example, the anchor text "content marketing" links to a content marketing article.
2. Partially Matched
Anchor text with a partial match matches a portion of the keyword to the page being linked to.
For example, the anchor text "content marketing strategies" or "content marketing guide" leads to a content marketing article.
Branded anchor text is the text that links to a brand name. For instance, Hocalwire may include a link to an article on the Hocalwire Blog.
4. Naked Link
A naked link anchor text is a complete URL used as a hyperlink, such as www.hocalwire.com.
As an anchor text, a generic word or phrase, such as "Click here" or "Know more," is used. CTAs frequently use this type of anchor text.
When you link an image, Google will use the alt attribute as the anchor text.
7. Variations on Keywords
Keyword variations contribute to the diversification of your anchor text profile and increase the topical relevance of your web page.
For example, if your target keyword is "SEO," some keyword variations include:
- What exactly is SEO?
- How to optimize your website for search engines
- Advantages of SEO
8. Keyword+Brand Anchor
To diversify your anchor text, use your brand name with a keyword anchor. "Blogger outreach services Hocalwire," for example.
Anchor Text's Importance in SEO
Google's PageRank algorithm is incomplete without Anchor text, which has a significant impact on SEO.
Anchors are frequently more accurate at describing web pages than the pages themselves.
Image, program, and database anchors may exist for documents that cannot be indexed by a text-based search engine.
During the early days, Google couldn't crawl or index documents, Java, or PDFs. But now that Google can do it all, you can use the Anchor text to link to any of these types of resources.
Avoid Linking to and Receiving Links from Toxic Websites
When it comes to backlinks, the relevance and quality of the website are critical.
Even if you use highly targeted target keywords as anchor text to link to your website, this can backfire if the domain linking to you is toxic.
Google despises spammy websites. Sites with lower Domain Authority and higher spam scores are highly toxic, and obtaining links from such sites may cause more harm than good.
If Google discovers that the majority of your Anchor text is on spammy websites, it may penalize you or lower your organic rankings.
Make certain that you are dealing with legitimate sites with high authority.
The best way to find such a site is to either choose the best link-building agency as your trusted partner or to ensure that the sites have a low spam score and at least 5k organic traffic with an upward trend.
When linking to other sites whose credibility is unclear to you, always use relevant anchor text and, if possible, include a no-follow attribute.
The no-follow attribute signals to Google bots that you do not explicitly endorse the websites. As a result, no link juice is transmitted.
There may be times when you need to link to a less credible reference site; in such cases, use the no-follow attribute.
Make Sure the Anchor Text is Completely Relevant
Google has one of the most sophisticated algorithms, which allows it to determine the relevance between the anchor text used and the site to which it is linked.
Here's a simple example to demonstrate the significance of relevance:
If your target URL is about on-page SEO, the anchor text you must use should be "on-page SEO technique" and not about "link building" or "local SEO".
Building links with irrelevant anchor text may harm your rankings because Google uses the anchor text to better understand the content on the page to which the link is pointing.
If there is a significant difference between the anchor text and the page, Google bots may become confused and fail to rank you for the appropriate keywords.
Aside from Google, your readers will find such links useless and will have a negative user experience.
Avoid Using Exact Match Anchor Text Too Frequently
Using exact match anchor text for all of your links may give Google Algorithms a negative impression of your website.
Furthermore, most of the time, forcing the exact match anchors into the content will make it look unimpressive.
Make sure the anchor text is long-tail and contains the gist of the page to which you are linking.
To make the link flow appear natural, it's best to have a list of related, brand, LSI, and long-tailed anchor text.
Examine the Context Around the Anchor Text
Google bots understand sentence context and even the relationship of each word to the next. Because of its sophisticated language processing algorithms.
So, when inserting the anchor text into the content, make sure it is in a positive context.
If the content shares a negative experience and the anchor text is placed within that context, Google may interpret it as a negative sentiment towards your site.
You may come across articles written in a negative context that contains your link and anchor text. Simply avoid such content because it can harm your rankings.
An Image's Anchor Text
Images can be used to create internal and external links. With images, however, you simply do not have the option of creating a textual anchor.
However, this is possible using alt text.
The "alt" attribute will be used as the anchor text by Google and other search engines. This is why it's critical to use appropriate alt text for the images to which you're linking.
When the alt text is missing, the naked link takes over as the anchor of your image.
How Anchor Text Works in Link Building
The anchor text is typically the target keyword or variations of the keywords you want to rank for on Google for a particular page.
When the anchor text, along with the link to your website, is contextually placed within the content (usually a blog post) published on another website, a backlink is created.
When Google discovers multiple high-quality websites linking back to your page using different variations of the search term, you can boost the rankings of the target keywords.
However, how can readers and Google determine the legitimacy of the backlink?
By hovering your mouse over the link that surrounds any anchor text, you can check its legitimacy as a user.
If the website link is completely unrelated to the anchor text, this could be an indication of a spammy link.
This is the same method that Google Algorithms use to determine the quality of a backlink and its anchor text.
When it crawls the pages that are linked from one site to the next:
- It examines the link's relevance.
- It examines the link's context.
- It searches for other websites that use the same anchor text when linking back.
- It examines the authority of the sites that link back to the page.
This is why you need to create high-quality backlinks. Also, don't create too many backlinks with exact match anchors because Google Algorithms may detect unnatural activity.
When building backlinks, look for different variations of the anchor text (target keyword).
This will assist Google in understanding the topical relevance of the page, allowing you to rank for more LSI keywords.
What Exactly is the Anchor Text Ratio?
Backlink building strategy is closely related to anchor text ratio. It denotes the strength of a website's backlink profile based on the types of anchors used to link.
There are various types of Anchor Texts that websites use to obtain links. More information can be found here.
The most common are exact matches, partial matches, and naked links.
A naturally constructed backlink profile will contain a variety of anchors.
However, if links are built without considering the anchor text ratio and link profile, your linking profile may contain an abnormally high number of similar types of anchor text.
Google and other search engines consider websites with such linking profiles to be spammy and may penalize them.
Because Google has become more adept at detecting links that are unnaturally constructed, you must keep a close eye on the anchor text ratio.
Furthermore, the right mix of different types of anchors can help you rank higher on SERPs.
We hope you have a plethora of ideas for optimizing the anchor text.
To keep up with the Google Update cycle for its search engine, Hocalwire CMS features a carefully curated collection of settings that are automatically updated. We provide mobile SEO implementation as part of our standard packages as a service to our clients. To learn how Hocalwire may assist in transforming your current codebase into a beautiful mobile experience, Schedule a Demo right away.