Anchor Text and Its Effects on Search Engine Rankings

May 22, 2017 Web Design

Goddess Search Engines are darn difficult to please. If you are into Search Engine Optimization, you would know the pain. Relevant keywords, meta tags, header tags, backlinks and after making many such offerings we manage to reach the top rankings on SERPs. And amongst these, there lies another offering called ‘anchor text’.

What is Anchor Text?

click-through-rate

The highlighted text with a hyperlink is called anchor text. When you click on this anchor text, you get directed to the hyperlinked page. It generally appears blue in color, but the color can be changed on your website through your HTML or CSS.

In the above screenshot from our blog ‘Facts You Never Knew About Content Marketing’, you see the highlighted text ‘read for your content’ which is the anchor text. You will also observe that the color of the highlighted text isn’t blue but has been changed to match the website colors.

Types of Anchor Text :

Understand the different types of anchor text to build links with a variety of organic anchor text. Knowing the various types will help you in using anchor text to their optimum.

  • Exact Match

Exact match is when the anchor “text” precisely matches with the page it is hyperlinked to. For example, if the linked page is about a web development company then the anchor text reads ‘web development company’. While this anchor text can potentially improve your ranking, overuse of this type may be seen as a black-hat SEO tactic and Search engines might penalize you for the same.

  • Partial Match

Anchor text is a partial match when a part of the anchor text includes keywords that exactly match with the hyperlinked page. For example, a partial match anchor text linked back to a web development company page will read as ‘the best web development company in India’.

  • Generic

General text which does not describe the hyperlinked page at all is called generic anchor text. Like here – ‘click here’, ‘go to this page’, ‘read more’, ‘check this out’, etc.

  • Naked Link

When the URL of the backlinked page such as ‘http://www.infinistaconcepts.com/graphic-design/’ is used as anchor text, it is called as naked link anchor text.

  • Brand

When the brand name is used to hyperlink a page of the website, it is called brand anchor text. For example, if the highlighted text reads ‘BMW’ and it directs you to an article on BMW’s website then that text is a brand anchor text.

  • Image

If you use an image to link to a different page then search engines will consider the image’s alt attribute as the anchor text. Alt attribute is the alternative information provided to the users in case they aren’t able to see the image due to any reason.

According to Moz, brand hyperlinks are used the most:

Anchor-text-distribution

How anchor text helps improve your SEO rankings?

An optimized anchor text should be short, relevant to the backlinked page, should not be generic and should have low keyword density. If you use anchor texts that possess these four characteristics then they will help you raise your SEO rankings.

  • Think how precisely the backlinked page can be described. Your text should be such that the readers should potentially click on it and visit the hyperlinked page. More the traffic gets redirected to your page, the higher you will climb the search engine rankings.
  • Always remember to maintain relevancy during link building. Search engines regard only those backlinks that are relevant for determining the rankings. The relevancy of the backlink is decided by how the linked page is related to the source page and if the content of the anchor text is suitable to the linked page.
    Note – You do not have any control over how others use anchor text while backlinking to one of your website pages. So apply these practices during internal linking.
  • Anchor texts started getting more scrutinized by Google with the introduction of the Penguin update. The search engine examined the density of keywords in anchor texts, the websites that had too many inbound links with same anchor text were penalized since the backlinks did not appear to be earned organically. Taking a cue, do not use anchor text that rides high on keywords. Keep the language of the anchor text natural and make it closely descriptive of the backlinked page.

Make the optimum use of anchor text rightly and you will see a growth in your ranking on SERPs. Remember to follow the norms of using the anchor text and you will have a well-performing website at your hands.

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