What is Anchor Text?

Adam Steele
Sep 29
Quick navigation

Most digital marketers are aware of how important backlinking is for search engine optimization rankings.

While getting a link pointing back to your website is important, what is also important is the words used to direct the reader.

You’ll notice that most times, when a writer includes a link in an article, the words containing the link will be a different color from the rest of the text. These words are the anchor text of a backlink, and Google’s and other search engine’s algorithms pay close attention to the anchor text pointing back to your site.

In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • What is anchor text
  • Why anchor text is important for your SEO rankings
  • And we’ll answer some of the most commonly asked questions regarding anchor text

What is anchor text?

Anchor text, also known as link label or link text, is what you click on when you want to go to a different website or web page. It is the visible, clickable words of an HTML hyperlink.

When displayed on a webpage, anchor text links look like this:

As you can see, the anchor text in the above example is the blue, underlined writing “copywriters and digital marketers can create content.”

When we look at the HTML code of the example, we can see the blue highlighting:

<a href=”https://loganix.com/seo-for-copywriters-guide/” title=” copywriters and digital marketers can create content”?.

The first part of the code is the URL of the linked page, and the second part is the anchor text.

As this example shows, anchor text should be relevant to the target page (the page the anchor text is pointing to).

Why is Anchor Text Important?

Understanding anchor text is important for search engine rankings, digital marketing, and optimizing user experience.

Using anchor text, webpages don’t display naked URLs, which are often long and confusing to many website users.

Instead, external links are signified by clickable text. As such, anchor text helps websites look cleaner, but they also serve more technical roles.

Google uses a website’s anchor text profile to better understand the content on that website and for understanding link relevance.

Thus, using a diverse array of natural anchor text to point back to different content on your website makes your website look legitimate. Relevancy is essential here because spammy, generic anchor text can seem false to Google’s algorithm, and it will punish such sites by dropping their SEO rankings.

As such, different types of anchor text are essential for your link profile. You can use long-tail keyword-rich anchors and natural language in your link-building strategies, but make sure that your anchor text flows with the surrounding text. Otherwise, it will appear unnatural.

Anchor Text FAQ

Anchor text example

All internet users will be familiar with anchor text. When you click on “sign-in” or “register,”web page containing you are clicking on anchor text.

Even when you select a friend’s profile on social media accounts, you’re clicking on anchor text. All anchor text is, are words that prevent a webmaster from using a naked link.

Importantly, naked links aren’t just confined to text. Webmasters can also use image anchors to conceal a URL to a different website.

For example, this is anchor text:

 

The highlighted three words “keyword research tool” are.’  the anchor text pointing back to a webpage that contains a list of keyword research tools.

Now, if you hover your mouse over the image, you’ll also notice that you can click on it. That’s because we’ve used the image as an ‘image anchor’.

Making sure your anchor text is relevant to the target site, as we have done in the above example, is an often overlooked component of link-building metrics – so make sure you don’t make the same mistake!

What is anchor text strategy?

Anchor text strategy is a way of making your link profile look relevant, diverse, and natural in the eyes of Google and other search engine algorithms.

In the past, websites could purchase bulk amounts of backlinks from black-hat SEO providers, who would go through different websites and insert exact match anchor text. This resulted in these websites all having the exact anchor text pointing back to them – which Google learned was a signal showing black-hat SEO tactics.

Thus,, it’s important to avoid generic anchor text and use anchor text that flows naturally with the surrounding text.

You should also avoid over-optimization of your anchor text by not using excessively branded anchor text, as this can also appear forced and unnatural to the Google algorithm.

You can also use anchor text strategy to formulate a hierarchy and a sequential internal link structure.

How do I create an anchor text?

Creating an anchor text is simple.

All you do, is while writing your content, highlight the text you want to link from, right-click, and select “link”:Does anchor text hurt SEO?

Like most aspects of SEO, anchor text is nuanced. Understanding it comes with understanding link equity.

If you use it incorrectly, it will hurt your SEO rankings. This occurs when the same anchor text is repeated continuously across multiple websites and appears unnatural to the Google crawlers responsible for indexing your website and its backlinks.

On the other hand, if you over-optimizing natural, relevant, and diverse anchor text, it will be beneficial to your website’s SEO rankings. This is because anchor text helps crawlers learn more about the content of your web pages.

How do you optimize anchor text?

The best way to optimize anchor text is to:

  • Keep it short, ideally 2-3 words
  • Keep it relevant to the target site
  • Ensure it flows naturally with the surrounding text
  • Avoid using the exact anchor text continuously across different websites

What is naked anchor?

A naked anchor is simply an entire link that uses its own URL as the anchor text.

It would look like this:

https://loganix.com/what-is-a-long-tail-keyword/

However, ideally, to link to this page about long-tail keywords, we would write a sentence that includes natural language for the anchor text, like this:

“Understanding what long-tail keywords are can help you broaden your SEO strategy”.

What anchor means?

In SEO, anchor simply means the text or image that contains a hyperlink to a different website or web page.

Is anchor text ignored by Google?

No. Anchor text is not ignored by Google. On the contrary, anchor text is an integral part of the Google algorithm’s indexing strategy, and you should use anchor text to make the most of your SEO efforts.

Summary

Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of anchor text.

Getting backlinks pointing back to your website is an essential component of SEO. The words in which these links are contained are also important.

Ensure you have a diverse, relevant and natural anchor text profile to optimize your SEO rankings. Learn more about our SEO services here.

Written by Adam Steele on September 29, 2021

COO and Product Director at Loganix. Recovering SEO, now focused on the understanding how Loganix can make the work-lives of SEO and agency folks more enjoyable, and profitable. Writing from beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia.