Anchor text is the visible characters and words that hyperlinks display when linked to another document or location on the Web. It usually appears as blue underlined text, but you change your site’s link colors and styles via your HTML or CSS. For example, if we check the Anchors report in Ahrefs’ site explorer for our backlink checker, we can see many of the anchor text types mentioned above. This led to some amusing examples of “Google Bombing,” where SEOs showed how easy it is to play Google by directing anchor text links to non-relevant pages and ranking them.

Example of recommended exact anchor text% from another SEO blog. Let me explain this with a rough example. For example, if the keyword was “SEO tool,” then “best SEO tool” or “my favorite SEO tool” would both be phrase match anchors. Let’s see how they stack up.

For example, if the keyword was “SEO tool,” then “best tool for SEO” or “my favorite SEO trick is to use this tool from Ahrefs” would both be phrase match anchors. I think this is the best example of why it’s a bad idea to look at averages. For example, if you were to discuss a “recipe for fudge brownies” and link it to a fudge brownie recipe in that anchor text, that would be an exact match. To check if you have a potentially dangerous anchor text, you can find it by opening your backlink audit campaign and going to the Audit tab.

It’s your job as a marketer to be careful about your types of anchor text, what words you choose, and even the surrounding words. As you learn more about how to write anchor text, you’ll notice that there are numerous types of anchor text that you can use. By using anchor text, Google was also able to identify the topic of media formats where typical on-page signals could not be used. When you look at your website (or a specific webpage) in the Domain Overview tool, you’ll first notice that anchors are being used.

Google uses a range of techniques to improve search quality, including page rank, anchor text, and proximity information. Link builders or SEOs that specialize in creating links to a website often control anchor text from the links they create from other websites. So the link focus keyphrase check scores the links on a page and their anchor text, and notifies you when you have competing links. Since anchor text is an important element in evaluating content relevance, some SEOs attempt to abuse link building by presenting targeted anchor text on a commercial scale and acquiring links with the same anchors.

The words contained in the anchor text can determine the ranking that the page receives from search engines. The keywords in anchor text are one of the many signals that search engines use to determine the topic of a web page. With this in mind, you may also want to avoid using the same anchor words in an entire body of text, even if you link to different websites each time. When web surfers link to your site, it’s inevitable that you’ll get bad anchor text that won’t help identify the topic of your website.