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General SEO

What is Anchor Text and Why is it Important for SEO?

Michael Kuzmin
13.11.2021

In the perspective of Google, link building is one of the innumerable crucial aspects for enhancing your search engine rankings. As important as getting quality nofollow and dofollow links, so are your anchor texts (the words you choose to attach links to). 

On this page, you’ll learn about anchor text in SEO and why Google places much importance on them.

What is anchor text?

SEO is a complicated topic with thousands of minor elements. One of the many aspects is anchor text. So what is anchor text? An anchor is a piece of text that you click to travel from one online place to another; it essentially connects two different web pages.

In HTML, what are the characteristics of anchor text? The URL is the first portion of the code, whereas the anchor text is what describes the link. 

The anchor text in HTML looks something like this: 

Anchor text

In the above example, the word “Search engine optimization” is the anchor text.

The anchor text informs both search engines and visitors about the page to which you're linking. An internal link on your site can point to other pages on your site, whereas an external link points to pages on other websites. In both circumstances, supplying a meaningful anchor text aids search engine crawlers and users in determining the purpose of the target page.

Why anchor text is important for SEO

The keywords you use in the anchor text, in particular, can have an impact on keyword ranks. The keyword is used in the anchor text to tell Google which web page should rank for that search.

For example, if the anchor keyword is "purchase blue trousers in Paris," and the second is "trousers," then Google understands that this page is about blue pants that are available in Paris and can be found here.

Previously, many webmasters exploited this by stuffing their sites full of direct anchor text to boost their search engine rankings for related terms.

The same holds true for links pointing to your website. You may spread authority from one website or page to the other while impacting keyword rankings by employing clever anchor texts, which include keywords.

Before your readers click the link, it tells them what to expect. Because anchor words represent a promise of what's on the other end of the link, they need to be extremely relevant.

It informs Google's algorithms about the nature of your content. Google's algorithms look at your anchor options to make sure you're not spamming them and to figure out what you're linking to in your material.

Types of anchor text

Of course, "easy" isn't a word that comes to mind when discussing Google algorithms and search engine optimization. There are at least ten different types of anchor text, according to Google. Below are a few of the common anchor texts:

Generic Anchor Words

There is no text addressing a keyword in a generic anchor. Instead, the viewer must depend on the context cues in the surrounding copy to figure out what's on the other end of the link.

Although generic anchor text may appear spammy, it is actually quite effective. Why? It frequently contains actionable language, a clear call to action, or draws immediate attention to the hyperlink. Below are a few examples of generic anchor texts:

  • This page
  • This blog
  • Read more
  • Over here
  • More info
  • Download this
  • Click here
  • About the author

Branded Anchors

Branded anchors feature your company's name and are excellent for increasing brand identification. They're also a safe bet for not being tagged as spam.

If your company has public individuals affiliated with it, such as a CEO, influencer, journalist, or well-known author, Google may classify any links, including their name, as branded anchors.

But be careful not to over-optimize to the point of keyword cramming. It's a tight line to walk, but concentrating on the brand name and avoiding extra keywords, cities, and so on is fair enough.

Exact match keyword

The exact keyword that the page you're connecting to is targeting is included in an exact match anchor text. You’d receive a perfect match link text if someone linked to your blog post and used the focus keyword. E.g. if you wrote a post on “baseballs" and someone uses the same word as the hyperlink, it’d be an exact match text because that's the keyword you're after.

It's important not to keyword stuff or over-optimize, as this can lead to a poor user experience.

Related anchor text

A page with a version of the target term is linked to by related anchor words. Related anchors are similar to partial match keywords, except they don't include the exact keyword phrase.

To assist Google's crawlers in better understanding what your links are about, you'll want to create some related anchors. Furthermore, they diversify your link profile, making Google less likely to penalize you for link spam.

Naked anchor text

Naked anchor text is simply a URL put from the browser bar into the content — yet, it is clickable! If someone adds a reference at the bottom of their piece and lists your link as a source, you might notice links like this.

Naked anchors aren't beautiful, but Google likes them since they're less likely to signal that someone is attempting to rank for a keyword by using spamming tactics.

Image anchors

Perhaps, you've heard that including alt text in your image caption is crucial? Your alt text for photos, on the other hand, is what Google interprets as the image's anchor.

Image anchors are beneficial to your anchor text profile since they diversify it. They can also help you enhance your Google image SEO. For the image link, you'll need to put some descriptive alt text.

Perhaps, most significantly, alt text serves as an image description for folks who use screen readers, so ensure your alt text is succinct and appropriately explains the image.

How can you find out the anchors of the site

All anchors on a webpage can be seen and easily collected with the aid of certain special services. For example, people leverage tools like majestic.com and ahrefs.com to spot available backlinks and anchors.

Not everyone can go searching a page’s HTML just to find its anchors. Thankfully, the show anchors add-on for Chrome is one of the easiest ways to find a site's anchor. Use the show anchors extension if you need to collect anchors on any specific page.

Conclusion

Anchor texts should not be employed as a stand-alone experiment but rather as part of a bigger SEO plan. Always remember that there is no fast and simple way to reach the top of the SERP, so anchor text won’t help you rank when used independently of other key SEO practices.

Michael Kuzmin
Co-Founder 10х Agency. 10 years in Sales&Marketing. The last 4 years specializing in link-building processes and outreach development.