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    In previous articles we have discussed the most important information regarding external linking and internal linking. Both processes are extremely important in building a website’s visibility so it is worth taking care of all their elements. One of them is the proper selection of anchor texts. What are anchors and why are they important?


    What is anchor text?

    Anchor text is a piece of text that provides a link to another URL within or outside the site.  Technically, it is the text found in HTML code in the <a></a> tag, which is used to create hyperlinks on web pages. 

    An example anchor in the code looks like this:

    <a href=””>SEO Agency</a>, 

    only the content placed between the tags (in the example mentioned above it would be ‘SEO Agency’) is displayed directly in the text. 

    More often than not, anchors are distinguished from the rest of the text by their color or font thickness, in order to attract the audience’s attention and make it easier for them to navigate the site. 

    Types of anchors

    There are several types of anchors that are used in both internal linking and external linking. 

    Is choosing the right anchor important?

    Before the Penguin algorithm was introduced, it didn’t matter that much. Google’s Algorithms and its updates are designed to verify that a website is valuable and its content is responsive to users’ intentions 

    The Penguin algorithm, introduced in 2012, evaluates the quality and profile of links that lead to a site. Its main goal is to eliminate links of poor quality or those that could be considered spam. It also affected anchors that contained an unnatural number of keywords. Penguin, in addition to evaluating links, also takes into account the fit of anchors and their diversity within a site. 

    What are the types of anchors?

    Branded anchors

    Branded anchors occur when the content in the link contains the name of the brand, company or domain to which the link is directed. The most important task of brand anchors is to build brand recognition of a particular brand.


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    Anchor Exact Match (EMA) 

    Exact Match is a typical sales anchor that contains an exact match keyword phrase to the link destination, unaltered. It is an anchor that has a positive impact on conversions, but should not be used too often. The keywords searched for by users do not often appear in this form, in naturally written content. Exact Match is worth using interchangeably with other anchors to diversify the ways to place links in content. 


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    Anchor Partial Match (PMA)

    This is the most natural use of keyword phrases in the linking process. Partial Match is, like EMA, sales keywords, but in a modified form or augmented with additional content.

    Using such phrases for link placement is much safer and does not arouse suspicion of scanning robots. It is also much more natural from the point of view of the recipients of the text. 


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    Anchor Zero Match (ZMA)

    Zero Match is an anchor that does not include a key phrase and its content does not directly point to the content of the linked page. It usually takes the form of ‘here’ or ‘learn more’, encouraging users to move on to the next page. It has no significant impact on the site’s SEO. Its main role is to provide a greater opportunity to diversify the anchors used, so that their occurrence in the content is natural and well received by search engine robots.


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    Anchor URL

    Anchor commonly referred to as ‘naked’ simply contains the URL itself. Despite the fact that there are plenty of them on the web, it is used less and less by SEO specialists. More profitable from an SEO point of view are anchors that contain key phrases within them, pointing directly or indirectly to the content of the linked page. 


    Graphic Anchor

    Graphics and their optimization for SEO are of great importance in the positioning of a website. We can also use them to sublink another page. If the graphic is well optimized and has all the attributes completed, the anchor automatically becomes the alternative text (ALT attribute). 

    What is the best anchor?

    Of course, there is no definite answer to this question. 

    The most important rule we should follow when choosing anchors is to diversify them. 

    It is worth using any type to make linking as natural as possible. There is no perfect solution here, but it is worth betting on anchors containing keywords to further strengthen the positioning of the site on the given phrases.

    There is also no set ratio that speaks of the ideal distribution of anchors. It all depends on the linking strategy adopted and the goal you want to achieve. 

    If we want to promote the brand, we should bet on brand anchors for a while. If we want to increase conversions – use sales anchors, such as Exact Match or Partial Match. 

    The textual environment of anchors should also not be overlooked. The context in which links appear on a page is of great importance. In an era of emphasis on valuable content, search engine robots scanning a page pay attention to the content and thematic fit of anchors to the overall text. This is also better received by users who, when reading about a particular topic, can click through to a product page or a page that elaborates on the issue.

    An equally important element is the length of the anchor. Whether you choose an Exact Match or Partial Match anchor, remember that the length should not exceed about 60 characters. It is easier for robots to determine the subject matter of a given link and evaluate the context of the anchor placement when the ‘anchor’ text is of the appropriate length. 

    Do anchors influence SEO?

    Anchors are used in the link building process, which is one of the main pillars of website SEO. By implementing internal linking, among other things, we place hyperlinks to other pages, which build a network of connections within the site and facilitate navigation. Matching the right anchors further influences Google’s evaluation of the site. 

    Keeping in mind the aspects discussed above and determining the purpose of our actions, we can select the right anchors, which will contribute to building brand recognition and visibility for key phrases that are important to us. 

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    Karolina Jastrzebska
    Karolina Jastrzebska

    The author of the post is Karolina Jastrzebska. She started her adventure with SEO in 2021. She currently works as an SEO Specialist at Up More.