How to optimize Anchor text

Learn how to analyse, define and optimise Anchor Texts for the Spider.

What is Anchor Text?

Anchor text is clickable text within a hyperlink. It is normally stylistically diversified to make it clear to the visitor that it is a link.

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This attribute essentially performs two functions:

  1. helps the experience on the visitor’s pages;
  2. allows the Google Spider and other Search Engines to understand the topic of the linked page.

At the SEO level, it is very underestimated and overlooked, but it plays a decidedly impactful role in proper Spider navigation and immediate identification of the “Search Intent” of the linked page.

Let’s look together at two examples:

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In this scenario the Anchor Text is “Here” and as you can tell it does not describe the content of the linked page at all.

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In this case, the Anchor “best smartphones 2024” best represents the content of the linked page.

So as you can imagine the best choice is the second one despite the fact that Google also considers the text supporting the link by being able to understand the Intent of the link.

Popular Anchor Text

There are different types of Anchor Text, below we look at some of the most commonly used ones:

Brand

When we talk about brand anchor text, we refer to the clickable text within a hyperlink that contains the name or brand name of the company or product. This type of anchor text is used to promote brand identity and increase online brand recognition.

Brand + Query

“Brand+keyword” anchor text is when combining a company’s name or brand with a keyword related to its industry or products/services. This type of anchor text is used to improve search engine rankings by associating the brand with relevant keywords to increase online visibility.

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Exact match

It corresponds exactly to the keyword for which you want to optimize search engine rankings. This type of anchor text can be used to increase the relevance of a web page for a particular keyword, but it is important to use it with caution to avoid penalties from search engines(Overstuffing).

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Related Queries

Anchor Text contains words or phrases closely associated with the main keyword or “Search Intent” of the linked page. These related queries are used to provide additional contextualization and improve link relevance for certain topics or search keywords.

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In this case through the keywords “Analysis of Internal Links” we try to strengthen a collateral element during the processing of SEO Audits.

Long Tail Query

When we talk about anchor text with long-tail queries, we are referring to a longer, more specific phrase or string of words, often used as a detailed search query. These queries make it possible to broaden the semanticity of the “Main Keyword,” contextualize it and “rank” on lower competitive index queries.

Over time, investing in this type of Anchor Text can prove quite fruitful for page Authorship in the eyes of Google.

Naked links

Naked links are hyperlinks that directly use the full URL as clickable text, without any additional keywords or descriptions.

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Generic Anchor Text

Generic anchor texts are clickable text within a hyperlink that does not provide a specific description of the target page. These anchor texts generally consist of words such as “click here,” “read more,” “web page,” “here,” etc.

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Anchor Text Pictures

So far we have always talked about textual Anchor text but very often the links are embedded on images, banners or other. In this context, the same function is replaced by“Alt Text.” Remember that Google has been fighting for years against websites that do not ensure proper accessibility so that alt text (read by screen readers for the visually impaired and blind) is an essential element for ranking and for not being penalized.

SEO and Anchor Text

Anchor Text as you well understood plays a primary role in Seo Onpage and must be optimized but should follow rules so as not to generate the reverse reaction of the Search Engine and bring penalties:

  • It should not be a list of Keywords, so care must be taken with exact-match anchor text;
  • must be relevant and semantic to the linked page and if possible unique;
  • Must be concise and explanatory.

Always remember that context defines “semanticity,” so your link must be relevant and receive strength from the content that precedes and/or follows it.

Screaming Frog and Anchor text

Understanding the various characteristics of this attribute, let’s see how our SEO Spider Screaming Frog can help us in identification and analysis.

  • Link analysis: for a better understanding of our internal links and, consequently, anchor text, we can consult the “Inlinks” tab at the bottom of the Seo Spider after scanning the project and selecting at the top the links to be analyzed below. In the first column you will be able to find the type of link (JS, Image, hyperlink etc.), in the next columns “Anchor Text” where you can check the anchor of the link used, if any.

In case you find non-descriptive links or, even worse, links without an “anchor,” you can export them and later optimize them. You can also help yourself with the “Link Position” and “Link Path” column to find out the link position and give more detailed directions to the developer if you were not dealing with it directly.

  • Anchor text customization: through the Seo Spider you can custom define all generic queries that might have been used in the Anchor Text of your site for granular control and optimization. To take advantage of this option you will just need to go to the“Config > Spider > Preferences” menu and add the queries in the space called“Non-descriptive Anchor text.” From the next scan you will find links with these features in the “URL” tab of Seo Spider.

Google and Anchor text

Let’s look at some special cases.

How does Google behave if the anchor is not present?

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The “educational” response is that Google will follow the link but without fully understanding the “search intent” of the linked page.

The field answer is that Google will use the title tag if the element comes up empty.

What happens if anchor text is inserted via JS?

Theoretically there are no Problems but the advice is a check with Screaming Frog’s JS rendering to make sure it is present on the Rendered HTML.

Can I put multiple links in one sentence?

If contextualized, there are no problems but they must be integrated semantically and NOT side by side. As with everything in the SEO world, don’t abuse it!

How to manage the Anchor text of Backlinks?

The use of Anchor text internally is very simple and just use a mix of “exact match,” “Brand” etc. and have proper link mapping (each page must receive at least 1 link to not be considered an “Orphan Page”). But how can we manage backlinks?

If they are natural you will have no control but you can manage them through “Disavow” if they are irrelevant or spammy. If they are paid Google recommends having “sponsored” included so as not to incur penalties. Actually, it will suffice to manage them in the same way as for interiors with a mix between the different types of anchors.

Seo Spider Tab