We’ve all heard rumors and blanketed statements that the golden ticket to ranking well in Google’s search results is based upon link building. This likely holds solid elements of truth. But, the art of SEO is inherently more complex than simply SEO backlinksIn this blog post, we will take a deep dive into anchor text in order to gain a thorough understanding link building and the implications on SEO.

What is anchor text?

The anchor text definition is the clickable links that are visibly apparent on websites that direct viewers to an external site.

Similarly, anchor tags are links to an internal section of a single website, much like bookmarks in Microsoft Word. (For example, quickly jump forward to Anchor Text Best Practices.)

Conversely, backlinks are links included on external sites that provide a web reference to your own site.

Different types of anchors:

Exact match anchors are textual links which precisely spell out a targeted keyword phrase.

“Read on for more about anchor text WordPress tricks and tips”.

Partial match or phrase match is an anchor which includes the keyword phrase for which the author aims to rank.

“This post will provide examples and explanations for anchor text”.

Branded anchors correspond with particular brand names or company names.

“A high authority anchor SEO source is the Ahref blog”.

Naked URL’s (also called HTML anchors) are anchors that are raw. They read just like the reference URL.

“For further reading on anchor text SEO check out: https://www.gotchseo.com/anchor-text/.”

Generic anchors are frequently calls-to-action links like “submit” and “view article” in the original image included below.

Generic Anchor Text Examples

Multiple generic anchor text links are seen on this webpage.

Image links can also be anchors. The alt text of the original image above reads “Generic Anchor Text Examples”.

What are the current anchor text best practices?

Prior to Google’s Penguin 1.0 release in 2012, anchor text SEO practices relied heavily on backlink building, or including links on your site that directly referenced external pages that held relevant backlinks. But, after the first Penguin launch, website backlinks that were deemed to be unauthentic or spammy were not given the same treatment or held in the same regard as quality backlinks.