Mastering Anchor Text for SEO: Boost Your Link Building Strategy

Mastering Anchor Text for SEO: Boost Your Link Building Strategy

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding Anchor Texts 2.1 Definition of anchor text 2.2 Importance of anchor text 2.3 Types of anchor texts
  3. Types of Anchor Texts 3.1 Exact match anchor text 3.2 Partial match anchor text 3.3 Branded anchor text 3.4 Naked URL anchor text 3.5 Generic anchor text 3.6 Image anchor text 3.7 Title anchor text
  4. Google's Perspective on Anchor Texts 4.1 Historical perspective 4.2 The BERT update 4.3 Contextual relevance importance
  5. Best Practices for Anchor Text Distribution 5.1 Creating a natural anchor text profile 5.2 Anchor text ratio 5.3 On-site optimization techniques 5.4 Co-occurrence keywords
  6. Other Important Ranking Factors 6.1 Content quality and relevance 6.2 Backlink quality and authority
  7. Conclusion
  8. Resources

Understanding the Importance of Anchor Texts

Anchor text plays a crucial role in the world of SEO. It is the visible and clickable text in a hyperlink that provides contextual information about the target website or page. In this article, we will delve into the different types of anchor texts, Google's perspective on them, best practices for anchor text distribution, and other important ranking factors to consider.

Types of Anchor Texts

  1. Exact match anchor text: This type of anchor text precisely matches the search term you want to rank for. It can be risky to rely solely on exact match anchor text due to its potential for being unnatural and leading to Google penalties.

  2. Partial match anchor text: This anchor text includes the target search term along with additional text. For example, "link building strategies" is a partial match anchor text for a page about link building.

  3. Branded anchor text: Branded anchor text includes the name of a brand or company as the anchor. It helps establish brand recognition and can contribute to a natural link profile.

  4. Naked URL anchor text: In this type of anchor text, the URL itself is used as the anchor. For example, "" would be a naked URL anchor text.

  5. Generic anchor text: Generic anchor text uses common words or phrases such as "click here," "visit this page," or "read more." While these may not provide much keyword relevance, they can still be useful for natural linking.

  6. Image anchor text: When an image is linked, Google uses the text contained in the image's alt attribute as the anchor text. Alt tags play a crucial role in optimizing images for SEO.

  7. Title anchor text: Title anchor text uses the title of the page being linked to as the anchor text. For example, "What are backlinks and how to get them" can be used as title anchor text.

Google's Perspective on Anchor Texts

In the past, exact match anchor texts were heavily relied upon to manipulate search rankings. However, with the introduction of the BERT update in 2019, Google now focuses more on context and natural language processing. Exact match anchor texts are no longer as prominent in SEO and can even be considered risky due to their potential for being unnatural.

Best Practices for Anchor Text Distribution

To create a natural anchor text profile and mitigate the risk of Google penalties, it is important to follow these best practices:

  1. Use an anchor text ratio: Distribute different types of anchor text according to a ratio that emphasizes branded and generic anchor texts while limiting exact match anchor texts to a small percentage.

  2. Implement on-site optimization: Optimize your website by incorporating exact match keywords naturally into the content, URL structure, navigation menus, and internal linking strategy.

  3. Leverage co-occurrence keywords: Place relevant keywords near anchor text links without making them part of the actual anchor text. This provides keyword signals without overusing specific anchor texts.

Other Important Ranking Factors

While anchor text distribution is essential, it is crucial not to overlook other significant ranking factors, such as:

  1. Content quality and relevance: Google values high-quality content that provides value to users. Focus on creating informative, engaging, and well-optimized content that aligns with user intent.

  2. Backlink quality and authority: The quality and authority of the websites linking to your page are crucial. Aim for acquiring backlinks from reputable sources in your industry.


Anchor text remains a vital element in SEO, but its importance has shifted towards context and natural language processing. By following best practices for anchor text distribution, optimizing on-site content and considering other ranking factors, you can improve your website's visibility and search engine rankings.


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