Anchor text links is a descriptive and clickable highlighted text in a blog post which has a link embedded in it.
It shows the user where the link will take them to if they clicked on the highlighted text
Anchor texts are to be descriptive enough for both site users and Google bots to have an idea where the link is leading them
In today’s blog post, we will be learning more about anchor texts in SEO and how you should be using them correctly in your blog posts.
It is always better to be on the good side of Google than to be penalized by them.
Continue reading to find out more about anchor text links.
Does Anchor text matter?
Anchor text matters because it helps Google to do a good job of understanding links that are relevant and links that are not trust worthy.
In SEO, using anchor texts as a way of linking to other sites or your own blog posts, is one little part of the more than the 200 ranking factors used by Google to rank pages and posts.
When you are linking to a particular post or page, you need to make the text in which you are embedding the link, to be comprehensible and not oblique.
Not only does it serve as a way of making users understand where links will take them to; it also helps the Google bots to understand the links in a post or a website.
Just as you want to know where a link is leading you to, that’s how the Google crawlers also want to figure out what a link is about.
What is Anchor text link example?
An example of an anchor text is below.
Basic SEO tips for beginners. The text highlighted in red is what is called anchor text
The link is descriptive enough for you to understand where it will take you to, should you click on the link.
Creating Anchor Text Links
- Highlight the text you want to use as your anchor text
- Select the link icon in the toolbar
- Insert the link you want to embed in the anchor text
- Click on the black arrow to insert the link
Types of Anchor Texts
There are 8 different types of Anchor text links which you can use in your blog posts or for a backlink exchange.
#1 Generic Anchor texts
Generic Anchor texts are links that are non descriptive and have no keyword or brand term in it .
These are terms such as click here, learn more, etc. These links are generic and have no meaning.
It is generally not advisable to use these kinds of texts either as internal or external links.
However, you can use generic texts in a strategic way which can be understood by both users and Google bots.
To use generic Anchor texts, you can use it as an occurrence anchor text.
What is the occurrence Anchor text?
Occurrence anchor text is done by closely following a keyword term with a generic anchor text.
Study the example below where I use the occurrence Anchor text link strategy to link to a generic term.
“Learn the types of keywords here“
In the example above, I linked to my post about keywords by using a generic anchor text.
But, the generic text came after the search term I want to rank for.
This way, you as the user understands what the link is about when you read it as well as the Google bot when it scans the text.
In the same way when you are linking to an external link, you can use the occurrence linking technique to link to other sites when you don’t want to give them too much link juice.
Another example of occurrence anchor text can be seen below
Here is a list of the best free seo tools you need to plan content for your site.
From the above example, I linked to the post using the generic term ‘best’ which is closely followed by the search term I want to rank for, which is free seo tools.
#2 Branded Anchor Texts
Branded anchor text is a way of linking another site using their brand name as the text for the link.
For instance when you use just Amazon as the text to link to the company, you have used a branded anchor text to link to the site.
You will want to use branded texts as a source of backlink for your site as well as linking to other sites.
Using branded anchor texts as the source of external backlink to your site is a good way to establish authority in your niche.
#3 Exact-match Anchor text
An exact match anchor text is the text link that contains the exact keyword you want a post page to rank for.
For instance, I’m targeting to rank for the search term free keywords research tools.
Because I want to rank for that keyword, I have linked to it in this post which is somehow related to this post, using the exact keyword.
Using an exact keyword match to link to other posts on your blog is a great way to boost page seo. But, it shouldn’t be overused.
Exact match keywords can be used for Backlinks albeit wisely.
It is highly advisable to use exact match keyword links when you get the opportunity to write for high authority sites such as buzz feed, huff post, CNN etc.
Where you don’t ever want to use exact match keyword is in
- Blog rolls
- Business listings
- Comment sections
These sources of backlinks have been formally abused highly in the past which Google got a hint of; and rolled out an update that penalized sites which engaged in such back linking schemes.
#4 LSI Anchor Texts
LSI anchor text is a keyword text that is similar to the Search term you are targeting to rank.
Instead of using the same keyword to link to a particular post, consider using other keywords that are similar to your target keyword.
This way, you can rank for other search terms that are similar to your target keyword
You can use LSI anchor texts as your internal linking texts as well as backlink anchor texts.
For instance, if your target keyword is easy keto recipes; you can use easy to prepare keto recipes, Keto recipes for beginners, etc as your anchor texts.
#5 Partial Match
A partial match anchor text is a text link which does not contain the exact keyword you want a post to rank for.
Instead of linking to my post about tips for seo with the same keyword I want to rank for, I will rather link using seo or seo for beginners.
This makes it a partial match anchor text because it contains an instance of the keyword I want to rank. That is SEO
#6 Brand+Keyword Anchor text
This type of anchor text link contains your brand name plus the keyword you want to rank.
An example of a brand plus keyword is Nike running shoes. Nike is a brand name and the running shoes is the keyword.
Brand+keyword is the best kind of anchor text link you can get as a source of backlink to your site or blog post.
#7 Naked Link Text
The naked link text as a type of Anchor text displays the exact url of a link without embedding it in any text.
This type of anchor text can be used as it shows the exact nature of the link.
Naked Link texts can be quite unattractive in blog posts. But you can use it without attracting any penalty.
#8 Title Anchor Text
The title anchor text is a type of Anchor text that links to the exact title of a blog post.
An example of this type of anchor text is my post about 15 myths about SEO that are totally Lame. This is the exact title of that post
You can use this type of anchor text as both in internal and external links.
#9 Image Anchor texts
Image anchor text is the Alt text of an image. Alt texts for images describe the image to search engines as well as blind people.
If it’s possible, include your keywords in the alt text for your image.
Keyworded Alt texts marvelously work for fashion blog images.
People searching for fashion stuff are likely to click on images that are related to what they are looking for as opposed to clicking on a blog post link.
So if you are in this niche take alt texts really seriously. Trust me I know what I’m talking about here.
Again, blind people rely on the alt text of images.
They use screen recorders to read to them. If you don’t give images on your blog alt texts, in simple terms you are being mean to the visually impaired.
Do make it a habit of ģiving your images anchor texts.
Alright, these are the ways you can use to link to blog posts either as a way of internal linking or building backlinks.
You should however note that, over optimizing with anchor texts, especially with exact match keywords, could attract a penalty to your site. Either internally or externally
But is Anchor text all that important for ranking.
Ahrefs analyzed in 2019 over 300,000 websites that ranked in the first 20 search results for search terms to find out if anchor texts backlinks or internal links influenced their rankings.
The results showed that anchor text links had little relation for the sites ranking for certain keywords.
Whether it’s an exact match, partial, brand, etc anchor text it did not really matter.
What matters now is providing quality content that matches user intent.
However, it’s possibility shouldn’t be downplayed; as no one knows the exact measures that influence page rankings.
That said, there are some best practices for anchor text links which Google recommends for you to follow.
Anchor Texts Best Practices
Basically what they want you to do when it comes to anchor texts is to
- Make it descriptive:
Avoid using random words such as ‘here’
- Links should be obvious:
it should be a different color from your regular text or underlined
These are the two major best practices for using anchor texts in your blog posts.
Best types of Anchor texts links to use
With the exception of generic anchor text links, the rest of the types of anchor text links listed above can be used both for internal and back links.
Using a variety of anchor text types keeps you on the safer side of SEO.
Anchor text links help give the site user a good experience as well as web crawlers.
Over using keyword rich texts as links however, can land you in SEO trouble.
As the saying goes ” Too much of everything is bad”
Always remember to be on the safer side rather than the bad side of Google.
Follow recommended practices by Google and you will be good to go.
I hope this post has helped you understand what anchor texts are and how you should use them.
What other things about anchor text do you know? Share with me in the comments section.
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