Anchor Text

Drop the anchor! ⚓🏴‍☠️

Anchor text is the term used for the words that can be clicked on to navigate from one webpage to another. It is a clickable hyperlink typically displayed as visually different from the surrounding text. For example, the most common way anchor text is formatted is with blue text, sometimes underlined. Blue, underlined text is a common default when adding a hyperlink or anchor text; however, with formatting, you can change it to any other color, make it bold print, or both.

Relevance to SEO

Contextual relevance

Inserting anchor text has a significant impact on SEO. Anchor text adds contextual relevance, serving as a primary way search engines understand the content of the page you are linking to. Likewise, anchor text should tell your readers what kind of page they will be directed to if they click the link.

Keyword ranking for destination page

Anchor text helps improve search engine results ranking for the linked page. Pages that receive links from several authoritative websites have an increased chance of ranking high in search engine results pages (SERPs).


Quality links build trust. When anchor text is misleading or unrelated to the linked page’s content, user experience is negatively affected, and search engines may flag the link as low quality impacting page ranking.

Overuse of anchor text

Too much anchor text on one page can have a negative impact on a page, just like keyword stuffing. Excessive links to multiple pages of the same website or all to the same page on a website, even with different anchor text keywords, result in excessive anchor text use. Excessive use of anchor text may result in Google penalties.

Backlink building and anchor texts

Backlinks are links (anchor text) from other websites pointing to your website. Anchor text helps search engines determine relevant keywords for a webpage. Acquiring backlinks is a vital SEO practice because the text used in backlinks to your site helps search engines determine the content of your page and which keywords for which your page should rank in SERPs.

Spam anchor text

When anchor text has no relationship to either the page it links to or the page it is on, it is considered spam. Spammy anchor text tactics are often used when applying black hat SEO practices. Applying black hat SEO tactics is meant to produce fast, temporary high ranking in SERPs through competitive keywords, even when they are irrelevant to the page or content.

Naked anchor text

When the link’s URL is the anchor text, it is considered a “naked link” or naked anchor text. Using keywords as anchor text is often preferred because naked links look messy to readers.

Content strategy and anchor text

Optimizing content for SEO using anchor text is an effective strategy to help improve ranking in search engines. SEO-optimized anchor text is brief and relevant to the link destination page. Ensuring anchor words are relevant is essential because it helps Google understand your site content and improves user experience.

A little more on anchor text

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