What Is Anchor Text? | Lesson 14/31 | SEMrush Academy

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0:05 What is anchor text?
0:28 Exact match anchor
0:49 Brand anchor text
1:00 Generic anchor text
1:15 Naked URLs

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Anchor text is the actual link text that humans see on a page – the clickable text that’s typically underlined and in a different color. Looking at the HTML code for a link, it’s the live text inside the link markup, highlighted here in red.

There are 4 different kinds of anchor text: exact match, brand, generic, and naked URL. Exact match anchor text is exactly what it sounds like – the clickable text is an exact match of the keyword that you’re targeting on the page the link points to. For example, if you’re optimizing for a pizza joint in Dallas, Texas, you might have a link from a local blogger that says your restaurant has the “best pizza in Dallas”.

Brand anchor text is simply your business name – if that pizza place you’re optimizing is called “Giff’s Delicious Pizza Pies”, then that’s what the anchor text would be.

Generic anchor text includes phrases like “click here” or “read more” or “view website” – the generic text has nothing to do with the content on either the page the link is on or the page the link points to.

Naked URLs are the final kind of anchor text – this happens when the link displays the actual URL of the page that the link points to.

Contrary to what you might read on many blog posts, there is no optimal percentage breakdown of which types of anchor text should make up your link profile. Exact match anchor text, while more powerful for building relevancy, is probably the most dangerous as well – if too many of your links include the same exact match phrase, that doesn’t look natural.

Remember, we said way back in the first section of lessons that Google is really just super advanced pattern detection. If the algorithm sees that all of your links, or the vast majority of them, are the same exact anchor text, that doesn’t look natural. Any site will organically receive links with generic anchor text, brand terms, or naked URLs – so really, you should see a mix of the anchor text types in your link profile.

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