This search engine optimization (SEO) guide explains the different types of anchor text in SEO.
Below, you’ll find a list of all the anchor text types with their terminology and definitions so you can understand how they apply to SEO.
There’s also a section with additional resources that explain more about the fundamentals of anchor text to help you create a better search engine optimization strategy.
Types Of Anchor Text In SEO
1. Exact Match Anchor Text
The first type of anchor text in SEO is exact match anchors. This refers to link anchor text that exactly matches the target keyword phrase you’re trying to rank for in search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
Exact match anchor text is the most powerful form of anchor for SEO because it gives the ranking algorithms the strongest signal for the queries the target page should rank for in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
However, it’s important to not overuse exact match anchor text in a link building campaign because it could result in a manual or algorithmic penalty if the ranking systems detect that you’re manipulating anchor text for higher search engine rankings.
Example: “Best SEO books” is a perfect exact match anchor text for a page that’s targeting that specific keyword phrase.
2. Phrase Match Anchor Text
Another kind of anchor text is phrase match anchors. This type includes the exact match phrase as well as additional words before or after the text to make the anchor link seem more natural.
Example: “The best SEO books list” is a phrase match anchor text because it contains the exact keyword phrase “best SEO books” as well as the additional words, “The” and “list”.
3. Partial Match Anchor Text
A partial match keyword is an example of anchor text in search engine optimization with only a portion of the target keyword phrase used in the link.
This link anchor text is useful for adding some variation to your website’s link profile, as it can increase the diversity of links pointing to a specific web page so your backlinks and internal links don’t look too “spammy” with only exact match and phrase match links.
Example: “SEO books” is a partial match anchor text for a page that’s targeting “best SEO books” because it only contains a portion of the original keyword phrase.
4. Title Anchor Text
The next anchor text type is a hyperlink that includes the written title of the target page. This link provides the most context for users because it gives them the most details about what to expect from the clickable words.
Additionally, having a mix of title anchor texts in your website’s backlink profile is good for off-page optimization during a link building campaign. A good SEO strategy is to include your target keywords in your page titles, so getting backlinks with the title as the anchor text looks more natural while also being well-optimized for search engines.
Example: “What Are Contextual Backlinks? (Definition, Examples & Tips)”. This title anchor text link tells users exactly what they’ll find when they click on it and lets search engines know that the linked page is relevant to the keyword phrase “what are contextual backlinks”.
5. Branded Anchor Text
Brand names are also a common anchor text example in SEO and are used to reference a particular company or organization. This form of anchor text link is typically used to direct readers to a specific website or product page related to the brand.
Branded anchor text can be either in the form of an exact match name, such as “Google”, or as part of a phrase, such as “the Google search engine”.
Example: “Dave’s Surf Shop” can be a branded anchor with clickable text that directs readers to the company’s homepage in the following sentence: “Daves Surf Shop is proud to offer the best surfboards on the Internet.”
6. Natural Anchor Text
As the name suggests, these types of anchor text include natural words and generic phrases that are not branded or optimized for SEO. Natural or generic anchor text helps readers understand there’s a clickable link to get further information on a topic, but doesn’t necessarily inform users as to the exact topic of the destination page.
While natural and generic anchors may not provide any direct SEO boost for a target keyword from off-page SEO, they’re still essential for balancing out specifically targeted keyword anchor texts during a link building campaign. That’s because these kinds of link names provide good anchor text variations for the backlink profile to reduce link manipulation signals.
Examples: “Click here”, “this website”, and “read more,” are common forms of natural anchor text. But it can also be longer generic link text such as “find out more about on this page here.”
7. URL Anchor Text
This kind of anchor text in search engine optimization includes the URL string as the visible text for the hyperlink. It’s often used naturally when a website is referencing a fact, statistic, or quote from a third-party site and wants to include the hyperlink URL to give credit to the source without optimizing the clickable text.
As for SEO campaigns, naked URLs can also be used to reduce over-optimization of anchor text for off-site link building by diluting the percentage of keyword-rich anchor texts pointing to a specific web page.
Example: “https://domain.com/seo-tips-for-beginners/” is a URL anchor text that refers users to a specific URL on the website to get more information.
Note: If the naked URL anchor includes descriptive keywords in the URL string, like the example above (seo-tips-for-beginners), it still gives the reader good context for the destination page. This strategy can help encourage more clicks while also benefiting your off-page anchor text SEO strategy.
Learn More About Anchor Text
The links below explain more about anchor text and how to use it correctly for better search engine optimization. Use these resources to expand your knowledge on the subject.
- Why Is Anchor Text Important for SEO?
- How Does Anchor Text Work for SEO?
- How to Optimize Anchor Text for SEO
- Best Anchor Text Distribution Checker Tools for SEO
- Anchor Text In SEO (Complete Guide)
Anchor Text Types for SEO Summary
I hope you enjoyed this guide explaining the types of anchor text in SEO.
As you discovered, there are many different anchor text types in the field of search engine optimization. That’s why it’s important to understand specific terminology and definitions of each kind of anchor text so you know how they can be applied best to your SEO strategy.