Understanding Anchor text and how to use it effectively

anchor text

Definition

Defining Anchor text is lot easier than understanding the anchor text and its implications deeply. Putting it very simple Anchor text is the text that is clickable appears on different websites content incorporated with the link that directs user to another page (internal or external), website, and location if clicked. It usually appears in colored (normally blue) and underlined text, the word here is anchor text. These links when placed within site are internal links and outside website on other web pages are external links, Read more about benefits and importance of internal linking.

The code
The HTML code for anchor text comprises the following characters
anchor text example

Example

anchor text code sample

You don’t need to be a coder to place the anchor text in the content you desire; you just need to replace the site URL and keyword in existing code. The above URL if placed with in the content will appear like this: my anchor text

Anchor text variations and types

Exact match anchor text

By the title it explains what it is, moreover this type of anchor text exactly matches the keyword for which you want to rank higher in Google. For instance, if you have an online clothing store and you want to rank higher for your selected keyword “buy online clothes” and you place this anchor text as it is on posts and forums then it becomes your exact match anchor text.

Partial match anchor text
The partial match anchor text could be something like “Buy online” “online clothes” “trendy clothes online” or “online clothing store”. It matches one, two or few words of your desired keyword.

Zero match or generic anchor text
It doesn’t contain any of the words from your desired keyword. Words like; click here, visit, go to and find here are the examples of this type.

Branded anchor-text
This keyword contains the brand name if you have website www.researchsnipers.com then branded keyword is “researchsnipers” this form of keyword Google allow to use most of the time.

How to use anchor text properly
Google penguin is a spam filter that keeps close surveillance over the links behavior. This Google sniper has no mercy for webmasters that seek black hat SEO techniques and go through shortcuts. Google penguin enforces natural link building process which becomes harder for spammers and shortcut seekers.
What penguin actually does?
• Check for the backlinks
• Analyze the site content and links
• Check for the keywords and anchor text
• Penalizes the site for black-hat activities

How anchor text and ranking works

If a website page is getting many Links from different domains for the keyword that is used in anchor-text then there are higher chances of getting good ranking in Google when that keyword is searched in search engine. Google analyzes the anchor text which is pointing towards the specific page and checks its relevance to that page; finally it ranks the pages that have good anchor-texts and quality links pointing towards that page. But too many links with the same keyword my put it under surveillance and may penalize the site. So being a moderate in keywords and using variations in keywords with backlinks from good quality websites is the key to success.

Keywords variations and strategy

It is always recommended that keywords or anchor-texts should always be used in variations but what that variations should be and what percentage of the keywords should one keep, is the real question here. Learn more about best current seo strategy

Branded keyword/anchor-text
This is the form of keyword that Google relies on without any doubt; hence the allowance percentage for this keyword is higher around 40 to 50%
Naked URL’s
You should always consider posting naked links, naked links are more reliable than any other keywords after branded keywords. You can post 20 to 35% of your links as naked links.
Partial match anchor-text and keyword variations
All those anchor-texts that contain partial match keywords and keyword variations should be used around 10 to 15% more than that would put your web pages in jeopardy.
Exact match anchor-texts/keywords
Here comes the real challenge, few years back people were using exact match keywords all over the web and were using this technique to get higher ranks for those keywords. After Google panda and penguin update this technique has nothing to offer except risk and penalty. Exact match keyword can only be used between 4 to 6%. Remember that Google is more conscious about exact-match keywords than any other anchor-text format.
Keep the Calculation in mind
Now with all your links you have to keep the percentage branded anchor texts 45%, Naked URL’s 35%, Partial match anchor texts 15% and exact match anchor texts 5%. This means if you have to build 100 quality backlinks to your site you cannot go over 5 links with exact match. And if you wish to have 10 links with exact match you will have to build 200 links altogether. This way you will be in safe hands and protected from Google penguin and panda.

Links placement-choose wisely

Now you have to decide where you are going to put your backlinks and what variations are you going to use. This is very important step; I believe spending more time in creating fewer quality backlinks is much worthier than creating average or low quality outnumbered backlinks. Although it has become inevitable to get average and sometimes low quality backlinks due to the difficulties in getting backlinks from high PR websites. But backlinks from average PR websites is easy and takes less time to improve ranking in search engines. So it is advised that keeping average or low PR links as s short term strategy and getting high quality links from high PR pages as a long-term strategy. Initially build fewer links using different anchor text from average PR sites and then instantly shift your focus towards high quality links from high PR sites.

Image credit: shutter stock licensed 

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