Anchor Text

Joran Hofman
March 1, 2021

What is Anchor Text in SEO?

Anchor text, link title, or link label (as it is called by others), is the text that displays a hyperlink, and once clicked it takes us to another web page.

What are Different Types of Anchor Text?

Exact Match

An exact match anchor text uses the same keywords that are highlighted as the target keywords of a specific web page. If this web-page was targeting the keywords “coffee-shop”, the anchor text used would be “coffee-shop”.

Phrase Match

It is when the anchor text contains the keyword groups in the anchor text. This can include groups of keywords that are related to the main keyword in different variations. For example, let’s say you were targeting the keywords “lawn mowing”. Some phrase match examples include:

  • lawn mowing service near me
  • hire company to mow lawn
  • landscaping service to cut grass

Partial Match / Broad Match

Partial or broad match is when the anchor text involves different uses of the keyword in the anchor text but not all of them are related to the main keyword. For example let’s assume  your web page was targeting the keywords “weight-loss”. A broad match example could include: 

  • Different weight loss diets
  • Weight loss diets for men
  • Weight loss pictures

Naked URL

It is when the anchor text is not formatted.

Random

It is when the anchor text is generic and does not include the main target keyword.

Image links

It is when the anchor text is the alt text of the image in Google.

Anchor text and its influence on search engine ranking

The anchor text is used by Google to help visitors know what the web page is about and it is also used to classify the pages. It does so in order to optimize the search, the information it contains and determines the proximity of the information. 

When a page has multiple anchor texts, Google increases the trust of the page and will eventually rank it under the main anchor text that is used.

Best practice For Using Anchor Text

In order to ensure you are properly specifying your anchor text, there are some recommended best practices to follow. As you build more content on your website you will begin to get a better feel of the appropriate anchor text to use. 

Below are some common practices to consider when specifying your anchor text.


Use a Brief Anchor Text

While there isn't a specific length limit for anchor text, it’s recommended to keep your link text as brief and descriptive as possible. The words chosen to include in the anchor text should be carefully considered for their relevance. 

Target page relevance

To increase the possibility that 2 web pages are classified to be directed to each other by a specific topic, it is important that the topics are related to each other and are relevant.

Search engines carefully monitor anchor text changes used to link to original articles and use them as additional indicators of what that article is about in order to determine what searches it should be relevant to. 

To guarantee that the links on a web page send strong signals, it is advisable to keep the text anchor as descriptive as possible.

Anchor text keyword density

Recently, Google has made many improvements to their ranking algorithm and has put a heavier focus on the use of anchor keywords and how they are used throughout the content of a website. Making sure your website has a healthy anchor text density can help ensure it gets accurately picked up by Google’s indexing engines. 

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