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Ranking Factors: Diversity of Link Anchor Text

Link anchor text

Creating good content for your website is about more than choosing the right topic and adhering to SEO writing. Focusing on and understanding what goes on behind the writing- like the importance of diverse link anchor text and Google rankings- can help with creating good, relevant and shareable content for your site.

What is anchor text?

Anchor text is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink. It is the visible characters and words that hyperlinks display when linking to another document or location on the web. It is characteristically blue and underlined, however this can be changed through HTML or CSS.

The optimal format for SEO-friendly anchor text is brief and relevant to the target page- where it’s linking to. It should not be overly keyword heavy or generic. You should be asking yourself, what is the most accurate and concise way to describe the linked-to page, and what word or phrase will encourage viewers to click to that page. Anchor text provides both search engines and users the relevant contextual information about the content of the link’s destination.

Why is it important?

Search engines use external anchor text (text other pages use to link to your site) as a reflection of what your page is about and how other people view your page. While you can’t control how other sites link to your website, you can make sure that the anchor text you use is necessary, relevant and descriptive. This means that if many sites think that the page is relevant to a set of terms, the page can rank well even if the terms don’t actually appear in the text itself.

Link relevancy is important as it measures how relevant your page is to the one it’s linked to. A highly relevant link can improve the rankings for queries related to the topic. If many sites think that a particular page is relevant for a given set of terms, that page can manage to rank well even if the terms don’t appear in the text itself.

Types of anchor text

1). Exact match
This means that it includes a keyword that reflects the page that it’s being linked to.

2). Partial-match
This refers to anchor text that includes a variation of the keyword on the linked-to page.

3). Branded
A brand name is used as an anchor text.

4). Naked link
A general URL that is used as an anchor- no description or other information included.

5). Generic
A generic phrase or word is used as a text anchor. Popular anchors include ‘’Click here’’ and ‘’Read more’’.

6). Images
When an image is linked, Google will use the text that is listed in the image’s alt attribute as the anchor text.

There is no right ratio of different kinds of anchor text in your link profile, however it’s best to rely on the link profiles of your top ranking competitors to see what works best.

You want your links to be coming from pages where the topic is similar to that of the page you’re optimizing. In order for this to happen, Google has to identify relevance, which it does through backlink’s anchor text. The title of the backlink page also identify what the page is about, however this is not as notable as with anchor text.
In order to justify relevance, a link has to include some diversity to actually stand out. While most backlinks will revolve around the topic of your page, some creativity needs to be incorporated.


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