What is anchor text?
Any text in the form of a hyperlink that directs to link when clicked is known as anchor text.
Anchor text can be included by HTML in the given manner-
<a href=” https://websitename.com” > my website </a>
With this code, the text “my website” will direct to https://websitename.com. Anchor texts are important as long as the concept of backlinks exists. Before the Google Penguin 2012 update, anchor texts were used extensively throughout a website. One would use a huge number of exact match anchor texts and the website would still rank.
After the first Penguin update came in 2012, the websites that were adopting unfair means of link building were targetted. The link profile of the websites was analyzed to find out unfair link building. This could easily be done by the anchor texts. If you want to rank your website for the keyword “online marketing company” and 100% of your backlinks have the anchor text “online marketing company” it is obvious that you are trying to do spamming.
How Penguin works-
- You create a backlink
- Google will index it
- Google will place all these links in its database for your website, what is known as a “link profile”
- Now the Google algorithms analyze this link profile
The link profile is then compared to the on-site keyword optimization of your website. You have full chances of getting a penalty if the website is optimized for “online marketing company” and the maximum number of backlinks are with the same anchor text.
Types of anchor texts
1. Branded anchors
Any anchor text that has the business or brand name as the anchor text is branded.
For example- Web Design Plus SEO is the best SEO company in Miami.
2. Generic anchors
Such anchors are used in CTAs or call-to-action texts like “click here”, “go here” or “our website”.
3. Naked link anchors
When an url is used as anchor text, it is a naked link url. For example-
4. Image anchors
You can add a link on the images on your website where the alt tag will be considered as the anchor text.
5. Brand + Keyword anchors
It is a safe way to build a natural link profile. For example, let us take webdeisgnplusseo as brand and link building as a focus keyword. The variations of anchor text will be-
- Webdesignplusseo Ahrefs
- Anchor text by webdesignplusseo
- Webdesignplusseo link building services
6. LSI anchors
LSI is the abbreviation for “Latent Semantic Indexing”. It means the variations for your keywords. So if the focus keyword is SEO, the LSI keywords can be-
- What is SEO
- How to do SEO
- Benefits of SEO
There are many free tools available online, such as the LSIgraph, where you can generate your LSI keywords.
7. Partial- Match anchors
These are quite similar to LSIs. the difference is that LSI is generated with tools partial-match can be created manually. Some examples can be-
- Seo guide
- Best seo article
- Read this seo blog
8. Exact Match Anchors
As it is evident from the name, these anchor texts are exactly the keyword for your website. These have the potential to rank your website but also can increase the penalties if used too much.
The correct usage percentage of anchor texts
Now that you know the different types of anchor texts, it is equally important to know how much should they be used. Follow the figure below and make sure that you use the right amount of anchor texts in your website to escape any penalty.
Anchor Text Cycling
The process works in 4 simple steps-
- Target your page with an exact match keyword.
- Then target your website with exact match keywords that are not optimized.
- Keep a track on website ranks.
- If necessary, target your website with another exact match keyword.
If these steps are followed correctly and you have good content on your website, not many exact match anchors will be needed.
Anchor text placements
To ensure the guarantee of your link building strategies, it is important to understand where to place your links. Many SEO professionals stop using a platform for link building once it is devalued by Google. This is wrong.
Platforms such as article directories, web directories, and press releases have been devalued because people started using commercial anchor texts to rank their website. But these sources are still a great way to send authority to your website until you use the right anchor text. We will now discuss the different types of backlinks with the anchor text that should be used.
- Editorial links
This backlink is achieved by placing your link on content in a natural manner on a good authority relevant website. These links may take efforts and investments to acquire. Thus invest only in good sites where you can get a natural anchor text.
- Guest posting
Good guest blogging websites allow you to place your link on their website. Make sure you choose a niche appropriate guest posting website. Make sure that the anchor text you use is not overly optimized.
- PBNs (Private Blogging Network)
If you use PBNs to get backlinks for your website, make sure you use exact and partial match anchors. Try to get maximum benefits from the expired domain.
- Foundational Links
It helps to improve your site trust by making your anchor text profile thinner. The anchor texts that you should use here are naked, branded, and generic anchor text. You can use the given platforms to create foundational backlinks-
- Profile Links
- Business Directories
- Social Bookmarking
- Blog Commenting
- Forum submissions, and more.
How to recover from a penalty
There are some good backlink strategies that can help you recover from any penalty.
- Remove links from spammy sources
If by mistake you have created links on some poor quality and low authority sites with a keyword as anchor text, delete them immediately. If you can not delete them, disavow them.
- Anchor text dilution
Create natural backlinks for your website that are not optimized. Use branded, generic and naked urls here. The trick is to not use a keyword rich anchor text. The platforms that have been mentioned in the “foundational links” section above can be used for this.
This should be the last option when nothing else works. It is used when a site has been hit with a huge negative SEO or some backlinks are impossible to remove.