SEO was in its early days like the Wild West.
Blackhat SEO professionals did everything possible to rank their websites on Google. They even created spammy backlinks.
It worked for a while.
Google's SERP Algorithm has lowered content quality and older SEO tricks have long since fallen to dust. Details such as anchor text are important.
Why? We're using a more sophisticated, intelligent algorithm. There are more than 200 Google ranking factors today.
Core Web Vitals updated, which stated that websites should be fast-loading and stable, as well as secure, has had a significant impact on more than one million websites. Sites must improve their on-site experience if they wish to rank alongside publishing and writing content.
The Penguin algorithm, also known as the “webspam algorithms”, has undergone some changes in the past few years. Anchor text is now more important than ever in both your internal and backlinks.
Too much noise can cause problems for the algorithm. Too much noise will cause problems for the algorithm.
It is a delicate balance.
It's important to pay attention, however, when SEO is considered a top priority by most marketers in 2022.
This guide will show you how to optimize your anchor text to improve your SEO and to avoid a Google penalty which reduces your audience size.
Before we get started, let's first make sure you know what anchor text is. It can have an impact on SEO.
What is Anchor Text?
Anchor texts are something you probably use every day, even if you don't realize it. Anchor text is what you see when you click on a hyperlink.
Anchor texts can be thought of as signs for exits if the internet is a highway.
They are used to send signals to your website's visitors and search engines. They can be used to connect you to another “lane”, allowing you access credible information from another site if they are done correctly.
They are also helpful in navigating your site.
You will see this line in your site's code:
This is what Google sees on your website.
This section tells your browser and search engines which links to follow.
This is how it translates into what you see on your page.
Clicking on the link will take the user to the page.
It's easy to think that creating a link is all there is to it. But, brands have a deeper reason to be focused on this simple element.
What is the importance of anchor text for SEO?
As I mentioned previously, Google released the Penguin algorithm in 2012 to revolutionize the SEO industry. It was then updated recently.
This change made anchor text the most effective way to find out how reliable a website was.
Google started to use backlinks and its Anchor Texts to determine if a website was over-optimized.
Google penalizes overoptimization in these cases, so the importance of anchor text was magnified. It's not difficult to assume that Google will make more updates to the Penguin algorithm in the future.
This is something you should be aware of if your goal is to maximize ROI on content marketing. Many brands experience huge traffic drops when algorithms change.
Would you like that for yourself?
Remember that traffic drops can also lead to a drop in revenue. If you are too close to too many hits, your brand may be in serious trouble. It is crucial to find the right balance between anchor texts and keywords in your SEO efforts.
Updated in 2018, 3.1 percent of websites were found to have been overoptimizing anchor text. This was only from the more well-known websites, so imagine how many others suffered.
It is clear, at the minimum, that backlink anchor text will be a signal to search engines for the future.
The theory behind anchor text is equally applicable to internal links and backlinks.
Although Google has now changed the algorithm to only penalize one page, this could have a significant impact on your traffic and revenue over the long-term.
Different Types of Anchor Texts
SEO professionals love to make sure that search engines are optimized for their users.
Anchor texts have been around for more than a decade. We've had to sort through every bit of information. You won't be surprised to learn that there are many methods of creating anchor texts that are both helpful and ineffective.
1. Exact match Anchor Text
A exact match anchor text refers to when anchor text wording is used as targeted keywords on your entire page. You could use “free SEO tool” to link to Ubersuggest's SEO tool.
In the early days SEO, exact matches were used multiple times on one page. This almost guaranteed that your post would be successful. However, they were so overused that Google punished excessive use.
However, it is a good idea to use exact match anchor text. You can mix it with other anchor texts.
2. Anchor Text for Partial Match
Partial match anchor text include your keyword and other words. You could use “try my SEO Tool” as an anchor text to link to Ubersuggest. These are the ones I use most often on my site, as you will see from this article.
This is a great method to use for anchor text, as I can still include my keyword effectively without appearing spammy.
Google can still follow me and get a better understanding of my content without suspecting that I have tried to manipulate its algorithm.
This is not a manipulative linking technique and it's highly recommended to increase the authority of your site. You shouldn't use them too often, as with other strategies.
Avoid sentence-long anchor text. They can dilute keywords and confuse users as they don't know what sentence the link is referring to.
3. Branded Anchor Text
You can also create branded anchor text that relies on the brand's name for authority. Ahrefs offers an example:
This is a great way to get an outbound backlink.
This is a safe and effective way of building a stronger anchor profile. It signals to Google that your pointing towards other high-quality tools or services.
You should also look for other brands that can help you in your link-building endeavors.
Do not hesitate to link with another brand, especially if you have a keyword attached. Google considers this a healthy practice, provided you don't over-link to the brand.
4. Naked Anchor Text
This anchor text is simple to use, but not the most efficient. This type of anchor text is often used to link to sources such as images or quotes. It's simply the URL that is pasted into a blog post in all of its naked glory.
For example, I might say “according to www.thisisareliablesource.com, 45 percent of marketers think adding anchor text helps their website ranking.”
This is why it's a bad idea.
It can be quite disruptive for readers to suddenly be distracted by a reference.
This could also make your visitor believe that you are not as technical, which can eventually lead to them believing that you are your authority.
Avoid this type of anchor text whenever possible.
5. Anchor text generic
These are common because they allow you to create content that flows well and prompts action.
This anchor text is used to draw the attention of your audience to a reliable source or useful tool. However, it should not be too long.
It can be boring to use the same “this page” or “read this here” link practice, which doesn't tell Google much about the content that you are linking to.
Instead, highlight the sentences to indicate what users can expect to see when they click.
6. Keywords for the Latent Semantic Index (LSI).
Although this option might sound complex, it is actually the way search engines predict what users will type in the search bar.
Google's search bar displays a number of popular options when I search for “what is an anchor”.
Using LSI keywords in anchor text creates search-friendly elements on your site that Google can immediately recognize as being relevant to a specific search.
Although there is some debate about the validity of this approach, John Muller from Google says that Google does not have a concept of LSI keywords. To help readers understand the context of the link, this approach is not bad.
Naturally, you will want to ensure that these keywords are natural in your content.
It might be hard to understand “What is anchor baby” and “What is Anchor App” in a coherent way, so make sure you are aware when adding these links.
7. Image Anchor
Image anchors make images clickable. These anchors can be used to help visitors navigate around your site, but they can also make it less accessible.
When your audience wants to zoom in on an image or resize it, they can click the links to take them to another site.
This approach is most often used with a clickable call to action button, similar to an ad.
Google will use the alt tag from your image to determine the anchor text.
Google will interpret your alt tag as an “NoText” anchor if it isn't optimized. This is something you should avoid.
This is a great method to change your anchor text methods and offer a non-traditional approach.
You can include it in your blog or website as long as the user is aware that they can click on it.
Anchor Text SEO The Best Practices for Using Anchor Text In Your SEO Strategy
After you have learned about the different types of anchor text, you can now dive into best-practice SEO tips.
These are simple guides that will help you to develop a more complex strategy over time.
Tip #1 – Stay on Topic
Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about anchor text.
Relevancy is a key factor in Google's ranking of your website when it comes SEO.
They don't want to be a negative reputation for providing irrelevant answers to users' queries.
This means that your anchor text should be composed of words and phrases closely related to the topic of your embedded hyperlink.
Imagine, for instance, that you own a content marketing company that provides services to small businesses.
You will need to link to a blog post that you wrote about the importance content.
You must choose a phrase or word related to the content of your blog as your anchor text. Google may penalize your website if you use a hyperlink that is manipulative.
Here's an example to show you how that might look in your content.
I used the anchor text “how structure your URLs in this image”
This introduces the concept I want my reader understand, and shows them how they should be able find relevant information about that topic.
This is what you'd see if that link was followed:
The other side shows a blog post which is exactly the same topic as mine.
Imagine what it would look like if I instead of writing a blog post that is helpful, I linked directly to a page selling sunglasses.
You'd be confused and likely wouldn't want me to direct you to another link. Because it is manipulative, you won't return to my blog.
Google isn’t the only one searching for relevance in this area. The reader is also looking.
Trust is built when your visitors trust you.
Research also shows that having at least one keyword link signals relevancy increases your content's chances of ranking higher.
Google still values keyword-relevant anchor texts that provide a good idea of the topic of your content.
Google will be able to categorize your content more easily if you keep at least some of the anchor texts relevant.
Tip #2 – Always Incorporate Variation
You can take a hit if you want to search for exact matches on Google.
If you only link to brands, it will likely have the same effect.
It is important to have your own unique approach when creating a strategy to optimize anchor texts for SEO.
This is contrary to the advice that you might see, which focuses on the anchor texts you should use according to specific ratios.
You might use 5 percent exact matches, 20 percent phrase matches, and 10 percent key words for a home page.
Recommendations can vary depending on the person giving them and what industry they are from.
You can usually follow the advice given and try to create a baseline strategy for anchor text practices. Once you have established a baseline, it is time to evaluate your SEO and organic ranking.
If you're struggling, you can always look at what your competitors are doing!
This recommendation is based upon a study showing the effects of Penguin 4.0 on a range of brands in different niches.
The update resulted in the first brand reducing its exact match keywords and redistributing its anchor text strategy.
After the changes were made, it was able to return to its pre-Penguin status on Google.
Compare the graph below to this one.
The main difference between and is that they are both different . However, both are ranking well in each case. What does this mean for ration prescriptions or other similar anchor text optimization schemes like e-commerce?
Take them with a pinch of salt.
It might work for one brand but it's not guaranteed to work for you. It can be tedious to match a brand's strategy exactly.
Instead, focus on creating a natural distribution of your anchor text scheme.
These variations all rely on natural language and communicate a clear intent to search engines as well as your user.
You'll see better long-term results if you focus on experimentation, natural language, and anchor texts.
Tip #3 – Test and Track Your Anchor Words
It will be a lot of work to track how anchor texts are used on your site, but it is the only way you can test their impact on your SEO over time.
The Anchor Text Categorizer tool by Linkio is a great way to track the number of anchor texts that you use.
You will be asked to enter various information about your content including URL, page title and brand name.
As you can see, you should also enter the exact anchor text you used in the content.
I have used a few of the information from a blog post I wrote to help me in this instance.
A percentage calculator is also available to the right side of your screen.
This is the place where you can create a baseline for anchor text.
You can either try to implement a scheme from another brand or create your own. You're following the right approach as long as there are many anchor texts that support your SEO.
Semrush is another great tool to monitor the anchor texts linking to your site. This information can be found by navigating to the Semrush dashboard's Backlinks tab.
Click on “Anchors” to go to the next page.
You can now see what terms other brands use when they link to you.
Google uses anchor text a lot to determine content relevancy and authority. These anchor texts are crucial for your SEO.
My name and marketing-related keywords are the most common anchors to my website.
It's because my name is my brand and I help businesses grow digitally.
These anchor texts were difficult to create, but they are a result of my content and the relationships that I have built. They help my SEO and, in many cases, my articles rank on Google's first page.
You can create this kind of backlink anchor base for yourself and your brand with enough time and the right approach.
Anchor Text Strategy to SEO Frequently Asked Questions
What is an anchor text?
The clickable text you see in online content is called anchor text. It takes you to a new webpage. It is usually underlined or colored in blue. As such.
Why is anchor text important?
Google uses anchor text in order to determine whether a link is valuable and relevant. Although it is not the most important ranking factor, it can have an impact on SEO. Anchor text is also used by readers to decide if they will click on a link.
What are the various types of anchor text?
These are the types of anchor text:
- Exact Match: Use the exact keywords you used to create your page.
- Partial match: Add the keyword to other keywords.
- Branded Anchor text: Add the link to the brand name.
- Naked Anchor text: Uses all URLs as the link.
- Generic Anchor text: Phrases such as “click here” and “this page”.
- Latent semantic index: Also known as LSI (Keywords Predicted to Search for) these keywords are keywords search engines anticipate users will search when they search for a specific word or phrase.
What are some ways to optimize anchor text?
Anchor text SEO best practices include staying on topic, using a consistent structure and incorporating variation. You can also track and test your anchor text. Use keywords when possible. But don't go overboard.
Anchor text SEO Conclusion
Anchor texts are crucial. Anchor texts are important. They can also impact reader trust.
Google has been tightening the grip on backlinks and anchor text, so it is a smart idea to make sure you are using the best SEO approach.
You can also implement a unique backlink variant strategy based on your research results.
Anchor Text Categorizer or Semrush can help you make sure that your anchor text SEO efforts are not overlooked.
These tips will help you create an anchor text strategy that is strong enough to increase your SEO and weather any future changes.
What strategies did you use to improve your anchor text?
By: Neil Patel
Title: How to Optimize Your Anchor Text Strategy For SEO
Sourced From: neilpatel.com/blog/anchor-text/
Published Date: Wed, 11 May 2022 16:08:56 +0000