Using The Right Anchor Text

Today we’re going to talk about choosing the perfect anchor text for your off-site SEO (link building) strategy.

Using The Right Anchor Text

In the past, anchor text distribution wasn’t as important, but now with Penguin, it has become very VERY important to keep your anchor text looking natural.

When we talk about anchor text, we’re talking about the actual text of the link that links to your site.

There are multiple ways you can link to your site:

  • Exact Anchor Text – The exact keyword you want to rank for
  • Partial Match – A variation of the keyword you want to rank for or a long tail
  • Brand – The name of your brand (like “The HOTH”) that doesn’t have commercial intent
  • Naked / URL – Just the naked URL like
  • Benign – Anchors that don’t mean anything like “here” or “website”
  • No Text / Image – Just linking an image with no text

You can use all of these, but to have a natural anchor text profile and avoid over-optimization, you’ll want to use lots of natural anchors like brand, naked, image, or benign.

More Issues With Link Building

The problem is that people are STILL getting too caught up in exactly what anchor text they should use, and they still blow it, even if they know they should be building natural links.

The real deal is that you should build TONS AND TONS of natural links. I’m talking so many that when you build 1 exact match anchor, it’s a very very small percentage of the overall links.

If you look at any big website (like Facebook, or Walmart, or anything), MOST of their links are straight URL links or brand links. 99% to 1%.

Checking the Stats of Current Backlinks

An easy way to check how your website is doing is by using Type your site in, then go to Inbound Links>Anchors.


You should now have a good list of to work with. Take a look at your anchor %’s… Do you have a lot of exact match anchors? A healthy amount of natural anchors?

Make sure you proceed with caution by targeting lots of different anchors/keywords as you build links.

If you do this, you’ll be good to go!


Anchor text has become more important over the years and is very important now. We recommend you build lots and lots of natural anchor text links to avoid over-optimization.