This article contains detailed information on the subject of anchors, their types and significance in terms of website promotion, and instructions on how to make up an anchor list.
What are anchors and what are they for?
Let’s talk theory! 🙂
The Internet is full of billions of links. It’s like a city that consists of streets. When you have a destination point, you walk down pathways or streets until you reach the right place.
It is completely the same here. Only instead of streets, you have links. And instead of street names anchors.
If you look at the code, you’ll see that each link consists of two parts: the link address itself and the text.
The word wikipedia stands between the <a>…</a> tags. That’s the anchor.
Anchor is the text we click on to follow a link.
Through anchors, we add links to the text without sacrificing context. Both the reader and the web crawler know what they will find when they click on the link.
Anchors play a major role in building a link profile of the website. This is when other websites refer to pages of our website. Keyword stuffing in anchors can lead to penalties from search engines.
The Google Penguin algorithm responds to two things:
- on links that were obviously paid for, and which appear at virtually the same time on low-quality web resources;
- on links with similar or identical keywords in the anchors.
It’s simple logic: if different people naturally refer to you on various websites, the anchors will also be different. That is why the link profile of your website should be as diversified as possible: you need to use different types of anchors.
Types of anchors
Anchors are differentiated by the type of text used in them.
Anchors with direct keyword occurrence
The main keyword is used as an anchor, which promotes the page being referred to.
Such anchors are most often used in internal linking. In link promotion, you should use them with caution so as not to attract penalties from search engines (later we will talk about the percentage of such anchors that should be in your anchor list).
Anchors with inaccurate keyword occurrence
This anchor also uses a keyword but it may be slightly modified (the singular number may be changed into plural, or words in it may be rearranged). This is done to ensure that the link blends seamlessly into the text. It is an uncommon keywords that are often declined.
These can also include anchors containing synonyms or declined words.
Sometimes you can find links that have no fake text. The link text is the link itself. Such links are called non-anchor ones.
These are considered the most natural ones because if a person decides to share a link to the website with someone else, he/she is likely to leave it as it is.
These are the main types of anchors. You may come across the following types as well:
- Common. These are such anchors as here, there, learn more. They can also be classified as non-anchor links.
- Branded ones – when the anchor text checker is the name of the company or the name of its CEO or founder. The link usually leads to the home page.
- Title – when the link leads to an article, and its name serves as the anchor. Such links can not only lead to an article but also, for example, to a blog, a book, a file for downloading or viewing.
- Image. You can also attach a link to the image, but then the text of the ALT attribute of the image will be the actual anchor.
The right proportion of anchor and non-anchor links
There are some major distinctions in the use of anchors for internal and external interlinking.
The basic idea of using anchors here is to make the link look natural so that the user can clearly understand what he/she will find if he/she clicks on it. Thus, anchors here are the keywords that are relevant to the acceptor page, a short description, or the title. Common anchors, non-anchor links, or branded anchors cannot be used here.
View the internal link as more of an additional element of website navigation. Your express task is to help the visitor understand whether to click on it or not.
It’s much more complicated when it comes to external links since are tracked by search engines. And as I mentioned before, getting penalties is extremely easy if you buy links on an industrial scale with keyword anchors. Search engines consider this a clear indication that you’re trying to boost positions.
Your website’s link profile should be diverse. Many experts provide various examples of the right correlation of anchors. There is no universal formula: much depends on the website age, niche, and whether the business is local or global.
You, however, may come across a universal formula for the anchor list:
- 20% of anchor links (direct/indirect occurrence, branded, etc.)
- 80% of non-anchor links.
Serpstat, for instance, suggests adhering to the following proportions:
- Branded anchors: 50%
- Bare links: 20%
- Common anchors (here, there): 5%
- Anchors with indirect occurrence: 1-5%
- Anchors with exact key entry: 1-2%
Whom should we believe? Your basic principle is do no harm. Keyword anchors are easier but more dangerous to use. So you need to reduce their number to a minimum. Pay attention to non-anchor and branded links: they look natural. But you also need to mix them with other types. Be careful to use keyword anchors on trust venues – those that weigh a lot and are popular. On less promoted resources use other types of anchors.
To learn the ideal proportion of anchors in your niche, analyze your competitors and make your list of anchors based on this.
How to draw up an anchor list?
An anchor list is a list of all anchors of links that lead to a particular page. Its main purpose is to make the link profile look as natural as possible. If you put links randomly, you will hardly succeed in adhering to any proportions.
But if you compile an anchor list, you’ll know the number and type of links to place on each specific page.
The best place to start is with an analysis of your competitors.
- So, we look at our competitors. Enter the keyword and choose 5-10 top websites that are the same age as our site.
- Then we download their links from all possible sources: Ahrefs, Semrush, Majestic, Serpstat, etc. If your budget is limited, you can download from a particular crawler of your choice, but then the data will be incomplete.
- Next, upload all the uploads to Linkbox and check the links for relevance.Go to the anchor list module and look at the anchors of competitors; it will help you understand how to build your anchor list. Learn the proportion of anchor and non-anchor links they use, and the exact keywords they put in the anchors.
- You can thoroughly analyze the page anchor list for more precise correlations by simply filtering by the acceptor page.
- Add branded anchors to your anchor list. It is a common mistake to include only the name of the company or the main product. You can also enter the name of the company founder/owner, mix it with the name, city, use the website name, or/and add the word company.
- Enter the anchors in our table. Attach the anchor and put the value next to it (number of links with this anchor to be purchased), and note the anchor type in another column.
Good luck with your promotion!