Anchor texts guide to use more effective anchors for link building.

Anchor Texts: 5 Common Types You Should Know

Anchor texts guide to use more effective anchors for link building.
Zemfira Meloyan Zemfira Meloyan
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The often-overlooked yet an essential element known as “anchor text” plays an important role in the way we understand information on the internet.

They can improve your page’s visibility and help you rank higher in search results.

In fact, according to research, anchor text is still one of the most important ranking factors for SEO, and 50% of search engine algorithms take into account the anchor text of a link when ranking websites.

In this article, we cover the types of anchor texts and guidelines on how to find the right one.

What is Anchor Text?

Anchor texts refer to the clickable, visible text in a hyperlink.

It serves as a descriptive label that provides users and search engines with information about the content of the linked page.

When a user clicks on anchor text, it directs them to the target webpage associated with the hyperlink.

Search engines use it to understand the context and relevance of the linked content.

Effective use of anchor text involves choosing descriptive and relevant words or phrases that accurately represent the content of the linked page. In return, it contributes to better user experience and improved search engine rankings.

Now that we covered the anchors meaning in SEO, let’s look at the anchor types.

Common Types of Anchor Text in SEO

Let’s say someone decided to link to a company that provides marketing services.

The target keyword for that is “marketing services.”

There are some anchor text variations they might use, and we’ll look at them in a bit.

We have gathered below the most common types of anchor texts or anchor styles in SEO that you can use on your site.

Now, back to anchor types.

Exact Match Anchor Text

Exact match anchor text involves using the exact keyword or phrase that represents the linked page’s content.

This means that the anchor text is an exact replica of the specific terms a person might use to search for information related to that link.

The anchor text “marketing services” precisely matches the target keyword or phrase “marketing services,” creating a direct association between the clickable text and the content of the linked page.

Remember to use exact match anchors thoughtfully and in context to maintain a natural and user-friendly linking strategy.

Overusing exact match anchors, especially in a manipulative manner, can be seen as an attempt to artificially boost search engine rankings and may be a red flag.

Below is an example of how unnatural keyword stuffing in one paragraph can look like:

Document where it shows what it looks like to do keyword stuffing when choosing anchor texts.

As part of a balanced SEO strategy, it’s often recommended to incorporate a variety of anchor text types for a more natural and diverse link profile (more about this later).

Partial Match Anchor Text

Partial match anchors refer to anchor text that includes a variation or partial match of the target keyword or phrase rather than using the exact keyword.

This approach provides a more diverse and natural-looking link profile while still signaling to search engines the relevance of the linked content.

An example of partial match anchor text would be “SEO content marketing services,” which will link to a page about content marketing.

In this instance, “SEO content marketing services” is a partial match that includes the variation of the target keyword “marketing services.”

This helps strike a balance between optimization and a more natural, diverse link profile.

By incorporating related terms and variations, partial match anchors contribute to a more organic and user-friendly link building strategy.

This helps to avoid the potential pitfalls associated with over-optimization that can occur when using exact match anchors excessively.

Branded Anchor Text

A branded anchor text is a type of anchor text that includes the name of a specific brand or company within the clickable text of a hyperlink.

This type of anchor text aims to promote brand recognition and association with the linked content. Branded anchor texts often feature the brand name, slogan, or a related brand-specific term.

For example, if you’re writing about companies providing email marketing services and you have a section about Mailchimp, the branded anchor text there could be “email marketing services from Mailchimp.” It includes the brand name “Mailchimp,” and then mentions the services it provides.

The use of these branded anchor texts helps strengthen the connection between the brand and the content of the linked page, contributing to brand visibility, trust, and overall branding efforts.

Moreover, including them in anchor texts can increase the chances of users clicking on links that feature a recognizable brand, as it signals reliability and familiarity. It can provide them clear navigation.

So, when users see a link with the brand name, they can anticipate the content and have a better understanding of what to expect when clicking on the link.

Naked URLs

Naked URLs, also known as bare URLs or raw URLs, refer to the inclusion of a web address in its simplest form, without any additional anchor text or descriptive language.

Instead of including specific words or phrases to create a clickable link, a naked URL displays the full web address itself.

While naked URLs are straightforward, they may lack context and descriptive information compared to other anchor types in SEO.

Despite this, they are commonly used in various contexts, such as in emails, social media posts, or when concision is needed.

For example, “visit our marketing services at”

In this example, the full web address “” is presented without any additional anchor text.

Moreover, is a naked URL, while is not because it contains the “www” subdomain.

So, naked URLs are concise but may lack the descriptive context that other anchor styles in SEO provide.

Generic Anchor Text

Generic anchor texts are simple, non-specific terms used as the clickable text in a hyperlink.

These terms are often broad and do not provide much context about the content of the linked page.

Generic anchor texts are straightforward and easy to implement, but they may not contribute much to SEO efforts or user understanding of the linked content.

These anchor texts are the type of backlinks that include words like “info,” “website,” or phrases like “click to show more,” “click here,” and “visit this page.”

Generic anchors usually don’t provide information about the page you’re linking to. This type of anchor also doesn’t have keywords or any relevance to the topic whatsoever.

For example, as shown in the picture below, there’s “Click here to check out the full version.”
In this example, “Click here” is a generic anchor text.

HubSpot blog section that shows generic anchor text in a blog.


It is a common phrase used to encourage users to click on the link without providing specific information about the content they will find on the linked page.

Generic anchor texts like this are straightforward but lack the specificity that other anchor types in SEO may offer.

How Anchor Text Influences Keyword Rankings

Search engines use advanced algorithms to analyze anchor text, considering it a valuable sign to determine the relevance of the linked content.

When a search engine encounters a hyperlink with descriptive and relevant anchor text, it gains insights into the content topic and can accordingly adjust the ranking of the linked page in search results.

Optimizing anchor texts involves striking a good balance between relevance and diversity.

The anchor text should be reflective of the linked page’s content, providing users with a clear expectation of what they are likely to find.

At the same time, incorporating a variety of anchor text helps to signal to search engines that the website’s link profile is organic and not manipulated for the sole purpose of SEO.

According to The HOTH, 35% – 45% of your links that are in blogs, landing pages, etc. should contain branded, URL, or natural anchors. Additionally, 50% – 60% should contain partial match anchors, and no more than 10% should include exact match anchors.

It’s worth mentioning again that you should be cautious to avoid over-optimization or keyword stuffing in anchor texts, as this can lead to penalties from search engines.

The emphasis should be on delivering a user-friendly experience, with anchor text serving as a natural and informative guide rather than a mechanism for fooling search algorithms.

How to Effectively Use Anchor Texts for SEO

Let’s sum up some points you need to consider in order to use anchor texts the right way.

Firstly, ensure that the anchor text is directly relevant to the content it is linking to. The text should provide a clear indication of what users can expect when they click on the link.

Avoid overusing exact-match anchor texts.

Instead, diversify your anchor texts by incorporating a mix of branded, generic, and long-tail variations to maintain a natural and organic link profile and also differentiate yourself from competitors.

Integrate anchor texts naturally within the surrounding content. They should flow seamlessly and not disrupt the reading experience.

Awkwardly placed or forced anchor texts may be perceived negatively by both users and search engines.

Finally, while it’s important to include relevant keywords in anchor texts, avoid keyword stuffing as much as you can.

By following these small steps, you can optimize your use of anchor texts.


Understanding the nuances of anchor texts is an important aspect of optimizing content for search engines.

This quick guide gave you an understanding of how to define anchors in SEO. We also explored the definition and various anchor types in SEO, from exact match to branded and generic variations.
The careful selection and strategic use of anchor texts can significantly impact your website’s search engine rankings, making it important for content creators and digital marketers to incorporate these practices into their optimization strategies.

By listening to the guidelines outlined in this article, you can establish a strong foundation for improving your content’s visibility.

Good luck!

FAQ about anchor text

Can anchor text affect user experience?

Absolutely. Well-chosen anchor text helps users understand where the link leads to even before clicking.

Can I change the anchor text after it’s live without affecting SEO?

Yes, but frequent changes may confuse search engines and impact your rankings.

Can an anchor text be in an image?

No, not in an image but it can be linked via an image.

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