Anchor Text in SEO

If you want your website and page to rank highly on various search engines, it is important to know the different factors that search engines such as Google consider when ranking. With this information, you can then work on your SEO strategy in order to come up with something that will help you rank higher and increase your traffic. One of the integral factors in SEO is anchor text.

What is Anchor Text?

Anchor text is the clickable text in a link. It is often in blue and underlines but this can be changed through HTML. The clickable part of the hyperlink leads you to the linked website or page. There are various types of anchor texts that are considered in SEO by search engines.

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Types of Anchor Texts

These include:

  • Naked Text:

This is an anchor text that contains the exact URL of the site and page you are linking to. For example, the anchor text would be ‘www.cheapshoes.com’ if that was the name of the site you are linking to.

  • Branded Text:

A branded anchor text is one which is the name of a brand. For those who have branded domains such as moz.com, the anchor text would be ‘Moz’ as it is a brand. This type of anchor text holds more weight than its counterparts

  • Generic:

The generic anchor text, as the name suggests, is general. It is usually a call to action and uses phrases such as ‘click here’, ‘read more’ and ‘go here’. Using generic anchor texts is safe because you reduce the chances of over-optimizing your page or website.

  • Exact Match:

Exact match anchor texts contain the keyword that you are optimizing for the page. These should be used carefully because it is very easy to over-optimize your page and get penalized for the same. They should be used only when it is absolutely necessary.

  • Partial Match

Partial match anchor texts, on the other hand, contain LSI keywords and other versions or forms of the keyword. They are not as volatile as the exact match keywords but should also be used sparingly.

Anchor Text Density

Now that you know what anchor text is and the different types of anchor texts that you can use in your site, you must consider how to use each of the texts. With Google’s Penguin algorithm, you can easily be penalized for over-optimizing your page as it appears spammy on the program. You need to balance out the types of anchor texts that you use. The best way to do this is not to randomly place these anchor texts but to have an anchor text strategy sheet. It can be as simple as an excel workbook. This way, you can include more of generic and brand anchor texts, capitalize on the partial match anchor texts and only use exact match anchor texts when necessary and for weighty links such as from authority sites.

At the end of the day, keeping track of the anchor text density will be beneficial for on-page ranking as well as site-wide ranking. It will help you avoid penalization.