Anchor texts are hyperlinked, clickable words in the content. Working on anchor text optimization for both internal and external content can help your site get a better ranking on search engines.

The History of Anchor Texts

In 2011 and earlier, companies gained good rankings by using keyword-rich links as anchor texts. In 2012, Google released the Penguin update, which caused businesses that had exact matching keywords to suffer major slides in Google rankings. Businesses started considering the use of anchor text optimization strategies to recover the lost ground.

Types of Anchor Texts And Their Usability


  • Phrases which are not related to content such as click here, go here, and check this site.
  • Has no SEO related value to your content
  • Ideal for use in websites that need zero anchors, press releases, profiles, and websites related to donations.

<a href=””> click here</a> to buy shoes.


  • URL links such as
  • These anchor texts are easily visible and bother users.
  • They are not optimal.


  • Anchors such as com
  • These anchor texts are shorter and more reader-friendly than naked links
  • Not optimal

Exact match/aggressive/money anchors

  • Anchors which use exact match words for which you want to get a ranking
  • Well-known and useful, but risky
  • Use them occasionally in Google Ads when guest posting in high domain sites,

<a href=””>buy shoes</a>

Partial Match

  • Variations of exact match keywords
  • May seem more natural as compared to exact match anchors
  • Surround these anchor tests with primary keywords for hassle-free Google crawling

<a href=””>buy shoes online</a>

Diversified/LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing)

  • Keywords which are semantically connected to a topic. Words which people are likely to search for in relation to a keyword
  • For instance, a keyword such as shoes has LSI keywords like boots and high heels
  • These anchor texts are instrumental in creating content which passes natural language processing

<a href=””>buy stilettos for women</a>


  • Three to four-word phrases which are highly specific to your product offering
  • For instance, SEO services in Delhi
  • These are very useful in targeting specific users but have a lower reach

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


  • Utilize brand names
  • Very useful

<a href=””>Company Name</a>

Keyword+brand name

  • Merge brand name and keyword
  • Most of these can pass for money keywords, making them risky
  • Use occasionally

<a href=””>Stilettos by Company Name</a>

No text

  • Images that have no alt text
  • Isn’t useful for SEO as Google cannot read it
  • But if these anchor texts are linked to your site, can help to create a diversified backlinks profile

Blog post title

  • Utilize the specific blog post title of the article you want to link
  • Useful

<a href=””>Ten Tips to Choose Comfortable Stilettos</a>

Suggested search options

  • Utilize Google’s suggested search options for a particular keyword
  • Very useful since search options can include useful LSI keywords

Recommended Practices for Optimization For Better SEO Results

  • Check your existing link profile with the help of a tool like Ahrefs backlink checker
  • Verify the SEO value of anchor texts by using anchor text distribution tool by Search Engine Reports
  • Remove toxic links and resolve over-optimized anchor texts
  • Vary the anchor texts you have
  • Utilize anchor text naturally which adds value and doesn’t confuse the reader
  • Link with high-quality sites and stay away from toxic websites
  • Write quality guest posts on sites with high authority blogs
  • Follow anchor text strategies of competitors who have the same domain and page authority as you do
  • Avoid copying anchor text strategies from very high authority domain sites since they have gained trust over the years and can get away with numerous keywords which are exactly matching.

This PageTraffic infographic shares some useful tips related to anchor text optimization practices which you can use to improve your ranking.