Anchor text is a critical aspect for better search engine ranking of your website. This clickable and visible text that points to another URL was one of the ways used by Google for website ranking before the penguin update of Google in 2012. So it was quite easy for the websites to rank higher with exact match anchor text for all the backlinks.
However, the ranking game changed completely as Google started penalizing that website who used anchor text in wrong way known as anchor text over-optimization.
Hence it is essential to use anchor text optimization best practices to avoid such penalty. If you are a new bee in the world of blogging or internet marketing, here is a complete guide to help you understand anchor text optimization.
What is Anchor Text Optimization?
Anchor text refers to the visible and clickable text in the hyperlink pointing to another URL within the same or different website. Anchor text optimization is the process of solidifying high SEO rankings while preventing the site from being penalized by Google using best anchor text practices.
Here are the types of anchor text.
- Exact-match: includes exactly the same keyword on the target page
- Partial-match: nearly similar to the exact-match anchor text
- Branded anchors: brand name as the link text
- Naked link: hyperlink is used as the anchor text
- Generic: text links that influence people to click
Best Practices For Anchor Text Optimization
Keep your anchor text relevant to your content
Google focuses on improving the search experience for its user, so it tries its best to offer relevant content to the users. If you place an internal link that is completely irrelevant to your website, this will hamper your search engine ranking.
Google does not appreciate anchors with a non-relevant link that lead users to irrelevant content. The more relevant your anchor text is, the easier it becomes for your page to get high Google rankings.
What if an SEO related website is liked to a page that is attempting to sell the handbags. The readers will get confused and wouldn’t ever want to click on any link on the page as the content will be seen as manipulative.
Do not use overly-rich anchor text
Google does not appreciate Over-optimization. In fact, the keyword-based or spammy anchor text can be a big red flag for Google and indicate backlinks manipulation that can lead your way to penalties.
So, it is better to keep the anchor text natural by dispersing it in the right proportions in the inbound links. The links associated with the anchor text must provide real value to users.
With the algorithms of Google getting smarter every year, it is better to avoid using several repetitive and keyword-based anchors in your site.
Avoid creating spammy backlinks
Remember, Google also pays close attention to links used in your website. Linking to other site is crucial for scheming your site’s SERP placement.
However, carefully analyze the outbound links that your site is going to link. Ensure that you are not linking with low-quality sites. A link to a toxic site is enough to ruin the authority and rank of the website.
Ensure to maintain the right proportions
Instead of stuffing your anchor text with keywords distribute it in the right proportion to get high Google rankings. Using a lot of similar anchor texts and too many exact match keywords can throw your site out of the search results.
So, if you want to rank higher, have the right amount of distribution of anchor text. Here are the percentages of anchor text that you can use while creating links.
- Branded anchor text-50%
- Naked URLs: 10-20%
- Generic anchors: 1-5%
- Partial and exact match anchor text: 1-5%
Repetitively including an exact match can make Google’s spam filter to go off and you’ll get a hit by the penalty. The similar impact can be seen for the site always linking to brand names.
Focus anchors on deep-level pages
As a beginner, you may focus on the anchors on top-level pages. You may find it beneficial to place the link to the homepage of your website, landing pages, or concrete product pages.
However, this is one of the common mistakes that you must avoid. This is because the anchor text purely created around these pages may not seem natural to search engines. So, it is better to create natural, versatile anchor texts and focus them on related, deep-level pages.
To sum up
Although anchor texts are not something new, it is very crucial for the search engine ranking of your website. However getting it wrong can make your site prone to Google penalties.
As long as you are on the right side of Google with contextually relevant anchors, it will offer positive result for your website ranking. The above tips by the SEO pros can help you solidify your anchor text strategy to boost your SEO result.