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What is anchor text in SEO link-building

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Anchor Text Definition

The text that can be clicked on in a hyperlink is known as anchor text. Anchor text should be relevant to the website to which you are linking, not generic content, according to SEO best practices. The most common anchor text is blue, underlined, as it is the web standard, although the color and underline can be changed using HTML code. Keywords in anchor text are one of the signals used by search engines to establish a web page’s topic.

For instance, if you had a website about the fundamentals of SEO,

Good anchor text examples: Click here for more information on SEO basics, what SEO is, and how to learn SEO.

Exact Match Anchor Text

A few more names for the anchor text are link title and link label. Search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing look at the anchor text to figure out how to rank the website. Naked URLs, also known as URL anchor texts, are a prevalent kind of web link. Properly using anchor text can help the linked page rank for certain keywords in search engines, although different browsers display it differently.

The highlighted keywords in an exact match anchor text are identical to those in the targeted keyword of the web page.

Anchor Text Variation

A Google spam filter is activated when websites construct exact-match anchor text links aggressively. When every link pointing to your site uses exact match anchor text, it looks artificial. Like how most links on the internet are merely naked URLs, a little variance in anchor text is normal.

Anchor Text Manipulation

It is conceivable to go overboard optimizing the anchor text of your links since it is a signal for relevance that search engines use.

  • Targeted Anchor Text: The anchor text of the links that link builders, who are search engine optimization specialists that focus on link building, create from other websites is frequently under their control. The keywords used in these anchor texts will correspond to the targeted keywords of the page that an SEO is aiming to rank for.
  • Backlink Anchor Text: Each time another website links to yours, it is called a backlink. When other websites connect to yours, the text that appears in the link is known as the backlink anchor text. For search engines to rank a website for relevant keywords, the anchor text of these hyperlinks is crucial.
  • One-Way Anchor Text Backlinks: A one-way anchor text backlink occurs when one website uses it to connect to another, but neither website reciprocates the link. Search engine optimizers actively seek out one-way anchor text backlinks because of the power of PageRank juice flowing across domains. It is commonly assumed that search engine rankings are affected by the number of one-way anchor text backlinks to a web page from high-PageRank domains.
  • Excessive Anchor Text: Similar to keyword stuffing, an overabundance of anchor text on a specific page might be detrimental. Excessive anchor text occurs when a page has an overabundance of keywords that link to other pages on the same website or to multiple sites on the same website with different anchor texts. Google can penalize your site for using too much anchor text since it is seen as spammy and undesirable to users.
  • Anchor Text Distribution: Certain keywords will make up a larger portion of a page’s total anchor text distribution because link builders are actively constructing links to their websites with tailored anchor text.
  • Spammy Anchor Text: When the anchor text of a link has no relevance to either the page it is on or the page it is pointing to, we say that the link is spammy. Black hat SEO techniques like spammy anchor texts can help you rank temporarily for competitive phrases like “buy Viagra” or “payday loans,” but they can also hurt your competitor’s site or person through negative SEO and Google bombing.

Natural Anchor Text vs Unnatural Anchor Text

Bad anchor text that fails to convey your page’s subject is an unavoidable consequence of having your website linked to by unscrupulous web visitors. Similar to bare URLs, these also arise naturally and are not penalized by search engines. In contrast, indicators of unnatural anchor text distribution include an abundance of focused one-way anchor text backlinks, an absence of naked URLs, and an overabundance of anchor text. Websites that invest heavily in modifying anchor text may face penalties from search engines such as Google if their focus compromises user experience.

Making high-quality content is the surest way to attract organic inbound connections to your site.


Anchor text plays a crucial role in SEO link-building by providing context and relevance to the linked content. Well-optimized anchor text helps search engines understand the content of the linked page, contributing to improved rankings. Strategic use of anchor text can enhance the user experience, guiding visitors to valuable information seamlessly. However, it is essential to maintain a natural and diverse anchor text profile to avoid potential penalties from search engines. Overall, understanding and implementing effective anchor text strategies are integral components of a successful SEO link-building campaign.


What is anchor text in SEO link building?

In hyperlinks, the text that can be clicked is called anchor text. In SEO link building, it is a crucial element as it provides context to search engines about the content of the linked page. Effective anchor text can improve the relevance and ranking of a webpage.

How does anchor text impact SEO performance?

The anchor text plays a significant role in SEO by helping search engines understand the content of the linked page. Properly optimized anchor text can contribute to higher search engine rankings, improved organic traffic, and a more seamless user experience.

What are the types of anchor text used in link building?

There are several types of anchor text, including exact match (using the exact target keyword), partial match (using a variation of the keyword), branded (using the brand name), and generic (using generic terms like “click here”). A diverse and natural mix of these types is generally recommended for a well-rounded link profile.

What criteria should I use to select link anchor text?

The choice of anchor text should be based on relevance to the linked content and user experience. It’s essential to select words or phrases that accurately describe the linked page while avoiding over-optimization. A natural and diverse anchor text strategy is key to a successful SEO link-building campaign.

What are some best practices for optimizing anchor text in link building?

To optimize anchor text effectively, consider using a mix of different types, keep it relevant to the linked content, and maintain a natural appearance. Avoid excessive use of exact match anchor text, vary the wording, and prioritize the user experience. Regularly assess and adjust your anchor text strategy to align with search engine algorithms and industry trends.


Written by Ronak Ansley

As a seasoned digital marketing and SEO expert, I bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the table. With a passion for driving online growth and visibility, I have dedicated myself to staying at the forefront of industry trends and strategies. My journey in the digital realm spans several years, during which I have helped numerous businesses achieve their online objectives.

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