What is term “Anchor Text” in link building? Full Guide

What is an anchor text?

The anchor text sometimes referred to as anchor text, link label, or link text (misleading) as link title, refers to the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink of an HTML document. The good thing about Rankerx link-building review is, you can control your overall anchor text profile very easily. The words contained in the anchor text can influence the ranking that receives the linked page from search engines. Since 1998, some web browsers have added the ability to display a hyperlink tool before it is clicked.

Not all links have anchor text as it may be obvious where the link is going, also based on the context in which it is used. Anchor texts are usually less than 60 characters. Different browsers display anchor texts differently. Usually, web search engines analyze the anchor text of hyperlinks on web pages. Other services also apply the basic principles of anchor text parsing. For example, academic search engines can use citation context to classify academic articles.

Anchor Text Explained by Matt Diggity

Anchor texts in search engine optimization

Anchor texts are heavily weighted (ranked) in search engine algorithms since the linked text is usually relevant for the target page. The goal of search engines is to provide the most relevant search results possible – this is where the anchor text helps, as there is a tendency to link words that are relevant to the target page frequently. Anchor texts can also direct the user to internal pages on a website, which can also lead to a better ranking in the search results.

Web admins can use anchor texts in a targeted manner to achieve better results on search results pages. Tools like Google’s Webmaster Tools facilitate this optimization by showing website owners the most frequently used words in anchor text links pointing to their website.

In the past, the so-called “Google bombing” was possible through anchor text manipulation. In January 2007, however, Google announced that it had updated the algorithm to minimize the impact of this approach. “Google Bombing” is a kind of prank in which trolls try to rank another person’s website for an obscure or pointless query.

In April 2012, in connection with its March update “Penguin,” Google announced that it would change how anchor texts are handled, which means that anchor text is no longer as important for their ranking metrics. In the future, Google would pay more attention to a diversified link profile that contains a mixture of anchor text and other types of links.

However, a 2016 study examining the impact of anchor text on 16,000 keywords showed that the presence of exact match and partial match anchor links continued to be strongly correlated with Google rankings. Furthermore, another study by Moz conducted in August 2016 found that Exact and Partial Match domains can be affected by over-optimization penalties, as Google regards domain brands and bare URL links as Exact Match.

Anchor text manipulation

As a search engine signal for relevance, optimizing the anchor text of your links is possible.

Targeted Anchor Text: Link builders, or SEOs who specialize in building links to a website, often control the anchor text from the links they create from other websites. These anchor texts are targeted – the keywords in the anchor text match the targeted keyword of the page on which an SEO is trying to take place.

Backlink Anchor Text: A backlink is a link from another website. The backlink anchor text is the anchor text used by other websites linking to your website. The anchor text of these backlinks helps search engines determine the most relevant keywords for which a website should rank.

One-way anchor text backlinks: If website A links to website B with an anchor text backlink and website B doesn’t link to website A, you have a one-way anchor text backlink. One-way Anchor Text backlinks are sought after by SEOs because PageRank link juice flows from one domain to another. It is believed that the more one-sided anchor text backlinks a webpage has from high PageRank websites, the better they will rank in search engines.

Excessive anchor text: Just like keyword spamming, you can have too much anchor text on a given page. When there are too many keywords on a page pointing to too many other pages on a website, or all of them on the same page but with different anchor text, you have a case of excessive anchor text. Excessive use of link text within your website can lead to Google penalties for being a spammy, unfriendly practice.

Anchor Text Distribution: Since Link Builders are actively creating links to their website with targeted anchor text, certain keywords have a higher share of the overall anchor text distribution on a page.

Natural anchor text vs. unnatural anchor text: When web surfers link to your website, you will inevitably get poor anchor text that doesn’t help identify the theme of your website. However, like naked URLs, these are natural occurrences and are not frowned upon by search engines. On the other hand, the lack of bare URLs, excessive use of anchor text, and high numbers of targeted one-way anchor text backlinks are signs of an unnatural distribution of anchor texts. Search engines like Google can penalize websites that focus on manipulating link text if the usability is compromised.

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