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Best Practices for Anchor Text Optimization

Anchor text is a hyperlinked, clickable word within an article.

Anchor text optimization is the use of the most appropriate anchors in your internal and external content to help you rank better in search engines.

History of Anchor Text:

In 2011 and before, businesses ranked by using keyword-rich links as anchor text.

In 2012, Google released the Penguin update in 2012.

Businesses using exact-match keywords suffered significant declines in Google rankings.Businesses are starting to think about anchor text optimization strategies to get back on their feet.

Here is an infographic about anchor text types and their effectiveness

Types of Anchor Text and Their Validity


Non-content related phrases such as click here, go here and check this site.

Does not add SEO value to your content.

Best for sites that require zero anchors, such as paid and traditional directories, press releases, profile links, and donation sites.

<a href=" ">Click here</a> to buy shoes.

URL link, such as

Easily stand out and interrupt users.

Not optimal.


anchors like com

Shorter and more reader-friendly than bare links.

Not optimal.

Exact match/aggressive/money anchor

Use the anchor for the exact match keyword you're trying to rank for.

Popular and effective, but risky.

As in Google Ads, use them sparingly when guest posting on high domain sites or linking to high value exact match resources.

<a href=" ">buy shoes</a>

Partial match

Variations of exact match keywords.

Can look more natural than an exact match anchor.

Surround them with primary keywords for Google to crawl

<a href=" ">buy shoes online</a>

Diversification/LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing)

Keywords that are semantically related to the topic. People may search for terms related to the keyword.

For example, a keyword like shoes can contain LSI keywords like stilettos, boots, and high heels.

Very effective in creating authoritative content through natural language processing.

<a href=" ">buy women's high heels</a>

long tail words

A three- to four-word phrase that's perfect for your product offering

For example, where to buy the best shoes online

Very effective in targeting specific consumers, but low reach.

<a href=" ">where to buy the best shoes</a>


use brand name


<a href=" ">Company Name</a>

Keyword + brand name

Combine keywords and brand names.

Most can make them potentially risky with money keywords.

Use with caution.

<a href=” ”>company name stilettos</a>

No text

Image without alt text

Doesn't help your SEO because Google can't read it.

However, if linking to your website, help build a diverse backlink profile

Blog post title

Use the exact blog post title of the article you want to link to.


<a href=” ”>Ten Tips for Choosing Comfortable High Heels</a>

  1. Suggested search options

Use Google suggested search options for a keyword.

Very effective because search options can contain valuable LSI keywords.

Optimization best practices for better SEO results

1. Check your current link profile with a tool like Ahrefs Backlink Checker.

2. Monitor the SEO value of anchor text using the anchor text distribution tool reported by Search Engines.

3. Remove toxic links and fix your over-optimized anchor text.

4. Change your anchor text

5. Use anchor text in a natural way that adds value and doesn’t distract the reader.

6. Link to quality sites and avoid toxic sites.

7. Write high-quality guest articles on authoritative blogs.

8. Only follow the anchor text strategy of competitors with similar domain and page authority to yours.

9. Avoid imitating anchor text tactics from extremely authoritative domain sites, as they build trust over time and may escape many exact match keywords.

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