What is Anchor Text? Why Is It So Important?

In the recent years, SEO has changed drastically. Especially after the Penguin and the Panda update. Back in the day, it was all about having backlinks that have anchor texts with your target keyword. But now it is something very different. Now you have to be very strategic about your anchor texts. This includes using LSI anchor texts because Google loves that.

But you might be asking, “That sounds good. But what the heck is Anchor text?”

If you don’t know what anchor text is, how would you create backlinks without getting your website penalized?

And that is what we will be covering in this blog post. I will also be covering about different types of anchor texts and what looks natural and unnatural.

So, without any further ado, let’s get started.


What is Anchor Text?

Anchor text is a clickable text that can take you to a different page on the same website, or it can also take you to another website, aka, a hyperlink. Usually, these anchor texts should be something related to the topic of your website.

If you are a regular visitor to Website Rescue, you know that I frequently link back to my old content using anchor text.

So what about the links that have no anchor text? They just have the clickable URL of the website.

That is called a naked URL, or URL anchor text. These types of anchor texts happen commonly on the internet.

So How Does Anchor Text Helps Your Website Rank Higher in Search Engines?

The basic idea is that anchor text is one of the things that helps search engines determine what a particular is about.

And if you’ve been doing some SEO research, you already know that keyword research is incredibly important. And so is on-page optimization. They both go hand in hand.

So when you are trying to rank for a particular keyword, you want to write blog posts that would include that keyword in it.

One of the biggest mistakes that I see a ton of bloggers make, is that they simply use anchor texts like “read here” or “click here,” etc. These types of anchor texts do not give a lot of information about what people are going to see on the other side of that link. A better way to link your content would be to use relevant anchor text that includes words that would at least give an overall idea of what your audience is going to see when they click on it.

The same thing applies to inbound links from other websites. If you are writing a guest post, or even creating a backlink from a social profile, you want to make sure that those links contain anchor texts.

But you have to be careful about using an anchor text too much. If the Google algorithm sees that you are using the same anchor text on a ton of websites, that’s when the Penguin update kicks in. Because you will essentially be over-optimizing your website for that particular keyword.

A better strategy is to have a good ratio of anchor texts containing your target keywords and the anchor texts that are either synonyms or brand related.

So for example, if my target keyword is “law firm SEO” and my brand name is “Website Rescue,” SEO experts would suggest that I use the keyword “law firm SEO” a lot more and in different forms to start ranking higher for that keyword.

And that would lead to my website getting penalized.

A better strategy is to mix your anchor text with your brand name and the keywords that you are targeting.

Here’s how I’m creating the inbound links.

I use keywords + my brand name like “Website Rescue Law firm SEO”, “law firm SEO”, “SEO services for law firms by Website Rescue”, “Website Rescue”, etc. Do note that I’m using these anchor texts to create links to the homepage of my website. Not only will this increase the domain authority of my homepage, it will also make it easier for my internal pages rank for their target keywords.

And if the internal pages face a lot of competition, they would take significantly fewer links to rank them because the homepage had a high domain authority and page authority. And that authority passes on to the internal links.


How Can I Check My Anchor Text Profile?

Great question.

There are several tools that you can use to find that out. Some of the most famous tools are Ahrefs, SEMRush, and Majestic. I personally use Majestic and Ahrefs.

Ahrefs is probably the best tool because it gives you everything you need to know in detail.

And the best part, all these tools also help you examine your competitor’s websites and see what they are doing. What they are doing to rank on page 1.

The best strategy here would be to try getting similar links as them. Because at the end of the day, it is the backlinks that power up a website and help it rank higher. So if you can have the same links as your competitors are having, then you can start adding more links to your website so that your website is stronger than theirs and eventually rank higher than them.

Anchor Text Variation

In order to make sure that your website is not getting penalised, it is better to know all the different ways anchor texts are built. This will help you build only the right types of anchor texts and not make the same mistakes that the other 90% of the people do.


Backlink From Another Website

As the name suggests, this is the backlink that you’ll be receiving from another website that you do not own. These are the backlinks that I was mentioning above. The anchor texts that these websites are using to link to your website helps Google determine what keywords that a page should rank for, and also other relevant keywords.


One-Way Backlinks with Anchor Text

In my opinion, these are the best type of links.

Here’s an example of this link:

Website A links to website B. And website B does not link back to website A. Then this becomes a one-way backlink with an anchor text.

The more backlinks of this type that you get, the higher your chances will be for ranking on page 1 for your target keywords.


Excessive Anchor Texts/Outbound links

This is very similar to keyword stuffing, but in this case, the website is linking out to other websites or even to the other pages of the same website. If the website is interlinking to a ton of pages with different anchor texts, this can lead to a Google penalty. And the same thing goes if it was linking out to other websites as well.

The reason why it triggers a Google penalty is that it’s considered a spammy practice and very user-unfriendly.


Spammy Anchor Text

A spammy anchor text is an anchor text that has nothing to do with the page that it is linking out to.

Let’s say that website A is an e-cigarette website and website B is an SEO services website. And the website A is linking out to website B with “best e-cigs” as the anchor text which is completely unrelated to what website B is about. This is what’s considered as a spammy anchor text.

In general, you want to avoid that because it is an obvious mistake. But you also want to make sure that your competitors aren’t doing this to your website. Because this can negatively affect your SEO.


The Difference Between Natural and Unnatural Anchor Text

When other websites are linking out to your website, it is inevitable that they will not be using the anchor texts that would benefit the SEO of your website. They could just use naked URLs or just random anchor texts. And that is completely natural. In fact, it is a good sign that you are getting those types of links. It helps your website have a natural looking backlink profile.

On the other hand, if your website only uses an excessive amount of anchor texts with similar keywords and does not have any backlinks that have naked URLs and other “natural looking anchor texts” that I just mentioned above, that could possibly lead to a penalty. Because that will look like you are manipulating the anchor text that other websites are using and that their user experience might get compromised because of that.

The best way to create great backlinks that help your website is to write amazing content and have an easy to read website. The backlinks will naturally start coming.

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