Anchor text is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink. It is the text that links one page to another page and is usually highlighted in a different color than the rest of the text. Search engines use anchor text to determine the relevance and context of the linked page. For example, if a link in a page contains the words “dog supplies”, search engines will be more likely to consider that page relevant to the search query “dog supplies”. Anchor text can also be used to help build internal links within websites, which can be beneficial for SEO.
And with anchor texts, several varieties can be used in different situations. Each type has its own characteristics and benefits. Here’s a look at the seven types of anchor texts you should know about in 2023:
Exact Match Anchor Text
Exact match anchor texts are the most direct anchor texts, as their anchor phrases mirror the targeted keyword. For example, if you were targeting “candy shop,” the anchor text would be “candy shop.”
Exact match anchor texts typically have higher click-through rates than other anchor texts because they are more clearly related to the main target keyword.
5 Pros and Cons When Using Exact Match Anchor Text
One of the most important anchor text types, exact match anchor text (EMAT), is an anchor that precisely matches a keyword phrase in your content. When used strategically, this anchor can be beneficial for improving your website’s SEO.
Here are some pros and cons of using EMAT:
5 Pros of Using Exact Match Anchor Text:
- Using EMAT anchor text provides a strong signal to search engines that the content is relevant to the anchor phrase, which can help increase your rankings for those target keywords.
- When readers are presented with exact match anchor text, they immediately know the anchor phrase, making it easier to decide if they want to click on your link.
- If you have a specific branded keyword that you’re targeting, using exact match anchor text can help increase your website’s visibility for those keywords.
- EMAT anchor text gives you more control and specificity over your anchor phrases; tracking performance and adjusting anchor words as needed can be easier.
- Using EMAT anchor text ensures that your anchor phrases stay on topic without accidentally misleading users.
5 Cons of Using Exact Match Anchor Text:
- Excessive use of EMAT anchor text can result in penalties from search engines like Google, so it’s important to use this anchor type sparingly and strategically.
- Too much exact match anchor text can look unnatural and spammy to users, which could lead them to ignore your links altogether.
- If you’re not careful when crafting EMAT anchor text, it could end up misleading readers if the anchor is irrelevant to the content it points to.
- Crafting anchor text that matches a keyword phrase can be time-consuming, as it requires extra attention to ensure the anchor text is accurate and relevant.
- If your anchor phrases are too specific, it could give competitors insight into your target keywords, allowing them to steal some of your traffic.
When used properly, exact match anchor text can boost your website’s visibility and rankings in search engines. However, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of using EMAT anchor text before incorporating it into your content strategy. Knowing the risks associated with this anchor type can help determine if the exact match anchor text is right for your website.
Phrase Match Anchor Text
Phrase match anchor texts are similar to exact match anchor texts, but they include additional words in the anchor text that are related to the main target keyword. For example, if you were targeting “candy shop,” a phrase matching anchor text might be “local candy shop.”
Phrase-match anchor texts are great for making anchor texts more descriptive while still maintaining relevance and providing search engine optimization (SEO) benefits.
5 Pros of Using Phrase Match Anchor Text:
- It helps to establish relevance between the anchor text and the target page. By using a phrase, you can more accurately describe the target page and why people should click on it.
- Using phrase-match anchor text can help improve your SEO and visibility in search engine results.
- Phrase anchor text makes it easier to differentiate anchor texts from one another, which is especially important when using multiple anchor links on the same page.
- It allows you to target particular keywords and phrases that might not be as easily contained within exact or partial match anchor texts.
- It can help you to create anchor text that is more creative and memorable for your readers.
5 Cons of Using Phrase Match Anchor Text:
- You may not be able to target as specific a keyword or phrase as with exact anchor text because it relies on natural language instead of exact keywords or phrases.
- Your anchor text may be perceived as being more generic, which can lead to decreased click-through rates.
- Using too many similar anchor texts could result in anchor text dilution and a drop in your rankings on search engines.
- Using anchor text to describe complex phrases and topics accurately isn’t easy.
- If the anchor text is too long, it may be difficult for readers to process and understand the link. Additionally, it can appear cluttered if multiple anchor texts are on a page.
Partial Match Anchor Text
Partial match anchor texts are anchor texts that include multiple words but don’t necessarily include the exact target keyword. For example, if you were targeting “candy shop,” a partial match anchor text might be “treats from our neighborhood candy store.”
Partial match anchor texts are great for making anchor texts more descriptive and providing additional context for readers.
5 Pros of Partial Match Anchor Text:
- Partial match anchor text allows you to use keyword variations and convey the same message as exact match anchor text. This helps to avoid becoming too repetitive when optimizing for keywords in your anchor text, which can be a red flag for search engines.
- It gives you the flexibility to add relevant information or context when creating anchor text, making it seem more natural and reducing suspicion from search engines.
- Using partial match anchor text can help you rank for keywords that may be difficult to target with exact match anchor text.
- It allows you to write anchor text more creatively and engagingly, which can be beneficial when attracting potential customers.
- It is seen as a less aggressive anchor text solution than exact match anchor text, which may help you avoid penalties from search engines for over-optimizing anchor texts.
5 Cons of Partial Match Anchor Text:
- Because it does not use exact match anchor text, you may have difficulty achieving high rankings for the specific keywords or phrases you are targeting.
- It can be difficult to determine which anchor text variations will lead to better-ranking results as it is not an exact science.
- The anchor text does not always appear in a consistent format, making it more difficult to track anchor text performance.
- It can be time-consuming to develop anchor text variations that convey the same message as exact match anchor text while appearing natural and not excessive.
- Using too many anchor text variations may look suspicious to search engines and result in penalties or reduced rankings.
Branded Anchor Text
A branded anchor text is an anchor text that includes a company’s name or product name. For example, if you were targeting “Candy Shop,” the anchor text could be “Shop at Joe’s Candy Shop.” This anchor text is great for boosting brand awareness and recognition.
5 Pros of Branded Anchor Text:
- It is a great way to build brand awareness and recognition if done correctly. People will become more familiar with your product or service as they click on anchor text links with your brand name.
- It can also help to boost search engine rankings as the anchor text contains keywords relevant to your brand.
- It increases the chance of higher click-through rates as people are more likely to trust anchor text with a branded keyword.
- Having anchor text with your brand name will help reinforce that you’re an established and credible source for content online.
- Branded anchor texts are also more likely to be shared by other websites as it reinforces their own message.
5 Cons of Branded Anchor Text:
- Overusing anchor text with the same brand name can look spammy and decrease trust in your website.
- It can reduce diversity in anchor texts, which is a key factor for SEO.
- It can be difficult to use anchor text with a branded keyword if you are targeting multiple brands or topics.
- It’s important that anchor text using your brand name is used in the right context; otherwise, it could backfire and cause potential customers not to trust your product or service.
- If anchor text contains a branded keyword, it may not be as effective on social media platforms, where people are more likely to click links that look more natural.
Naked URL Anchor Text
Naked URL anchor texts are anchor texts, or naked link anchors, that include a website’s URL without any keywords or phrases. For example, if you were targeting “candy shop,” the anchor text might be “https://www.candyshop.com/.”
A naked URL anchor text can help draw attention to a website’s URL and make it easier for readers to locate the page.
5 Pros of Using Naked URL anchor text:
- Naked URLs can send users to the specific page they are looking for within the website rather than just the homepage. This is especially advantageous when used in a blog post or article, as it allows readers to navigate and find relevant information quickly and easily.
- Unlike other anchor text types, Naked URLs are not interpreted by search engines as anchor text but instead are seen as direct links to the specific page they are referring to. As a result, it can be used without worrying about keyword stuffing or spamming.
- It is easy for users to identify where the link will take them when using naked URL anchor text, which can reduce user bounce rate and increase engagement with content.
- Naked anchor text effectively links internal pages within a website, making it easier for search engine bots to crawl and index the content.
- When used as part of promotional material or ads, naked anchor texts can be easily tracked so that data can be collected and analyzed to measure success.
5 Cons of Using Naked URL anchor text:
- Naked anchor texts are not keyword optimized, meaning they don’t provide as much value in terms of SEO as other anchor text types, such as exact match or phrase match anchor text.
- The longer the URL, the more difficult it can be to copy and paste, which can result in users being unable to access the intended page.
- Because they are not keyword rich, they do not provide any additional information to a user about what kind of content is on the other side of the link.
- Naked anchor texts can also be more difficult to remember than anchor texts with keywords.
- Since no anchor text is associated with the link, it can sometimes be overlooked by users and not clicked on.
Random Anchor Text
Random anchor texts are anchor texts that don’t use specific words or phrases but instead use random characters. For example, if you were targeting “candy shop,” the anchor text might be “A&*8C.” This anchor text can help reduce the risk of anchor text manipulation and make anchor texts less noticeable.
5 Pros of using Random Anchor Text:
- Gives website owners the freedom to be creative with anchor text and allows them to add more personality to their content.
- They can also attract attention to certain pieces of content more than generic anchor text would.
- Random anchor text can help increase a website’s visibility in search engine rankings, as it is less likely to be considered keyword stuffing by search engines.
- Random anchor text can make a website seem more interesting and engaging for readers, which may encourage them to click the link.
- It can help reduce the time spent searching for anchor keywords relevant to a given topic.
5 Cons of using Random Anchor Text:
- Search engines may not recognize the anchor text as relevant to the website, and therefore pages with random anchor text may not appear in search engine results.
- It can be difficult to remember which anchor text was used, especially if the anchor text is very long or complex.
- Random anchor text can be difficult to track, as it is not easy to tell what keywords are being used.
- It often does not indicate the type of information found on the website, which could discourage potential readers from clicking through to the site.
- Random anchor text can make it difficult for readers to know what they should expect when they click on the link, which could lead to disappointment or confusion.
Using random anchor text can give website owners the freedom to be creative and add more personality to their content. However, the random anchor text may not be as effective in terms of SEO as other anchor text types and can make it more difficult to track the anchor keywords used.
Additionally, random anchor texts may not provide enough information for potential readers, which could lead to them not clicking through to the website. Website owners must consider the pros and cons when deciding whether or not to use random anchor text.
Image Link Anchor Text
An image link anchor text is an anchor text that uses an image’s URL as the anchor text. For example, if you were targeting “candy shop,” the anchor text could be “https://www.candyshop.com/images/candy.jpg.”
Image link anchor texts are great for providing additional context and helping to draw attention to an image.
5 Pros of Image Link Anchor Text:
- Image anchor text provides a better visual experience for readers and helps make content more engaging.
- It can make the anchor text stand out against other textual elements on web pages.
- Images can give context to anchor texts, making them easier to understand for users who might not necessarily understand the anchor text itself.
- It can help boost your website’s SEO, as search engine crawlers can index and rank images and anchor texts associated with them.
- It is a great way to showcase your brand or product with an eye-catching logo or image.
5 Cons of Image Link Anchor Text:
- Images anchor texts can be time-consuming and expensive to create, requiring more work from designers.
- Not all browsers and devices support images, so readers may not see the anchor text if their browser does not load it properly.
- Image anchor text is often less descriptive than non-image anchor text, making it more difficult for search engine crawlers to classify and rank content accurately.
- It can be difficult to track click-throughs for images anchor texts, as many users may not even realize that they are clicking on a link when they see an image anchor text.
- Web filters can often block image anchor texts, making it difficult for users to access the linked content.
Overall, image link anchor text can be a great way to add visual appeal and context to anchor texts. However, some downsides to using this type of anchor text should be considered before using it in your content.
It is important to weigh the pros and cons of using image anchor text before deciding if this type of anchor text is right for you. With careful consideration, image link anchor texts can be a great way to engage readers and boost your website’s SEO.
In conclusion, anchor text is an important element of your SEO strategy and can significantly impact website rankings. Different anchor text types offer different advantages and drawbacks, so it is important to consider the pros and cons of each type before deciding which anchor text is most appropriate for your website.
Exact match anchor texts provide precise information about the website’s content, while phrase match anchor text offers more flexibility. Partial match anchor text is a great way to target a wider range of keywords without sacrificing readability. Branded anchor texts, on the other hand, can help promote your brand.
Naked URLs anchor texts are simple and effective for tracking click-throughs. Meanwhile, random anchor texts can give content a personal touch. And lastly, image link anchor texts can add visual appeal and context to anchor text.
By understanding the different types of anchor text, website owners can implement effective anchor text strategies to improve their website’s rankings using internal links. Don’t forget to add external anchor text, as it’s also helpful for SEO.