The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for SEO Anchor Text Distribution


by on December 27, 2016

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for SEO Anchor Text Distribution

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for SEO Anchor Text Distribution


Quick Overview

  1. The anchor text used to link to your site through backlinking / guest posting etc. matters. There are no perfect answers to what the ratio for types of text you should use – but a good rule of thumb is use alot of branded links, variations of your keyword phrase, and random common link anchors.
  2. When in doubt go with 20-30% branded, 10-20% naked URL, 10-15% Brand + Long Tail,10-15% General variations of keyword focused anchor text, 10-15% random like ‘click here’, ‘more’, ‘this site’, ‘read more’, etc. 10-15% of no text or image link, and 1% should be the exact match keyword you’re trying to rank for.
  3. Lastly, make sure the sites that you use your 1% of exact match keywords on are high DA (Domain authority) and PA (Page authority) sites and pages. If you’re not familiar with this, can use a tool like Mozbar to find this out.

A recent 2016 study of anchor text influence across 16,000 keywords found that presence of exact and partial match anchor links continues to have a strong correlation with Google rankings.

Why to pay attention to your link ratios

If you do any link building at all, whether by super white-hat tactics like guest posting or if you strike a deal to get your link featured on another website – you could be shooting yourself in the foot if you don’t go to some length to make sure that your link ratios are natural. It’s a hard lesson to learn if you don’t have a little coaching along the way – so I try to to make it as simple as I possibly can with this run-down.

How do you know that these are good ratios?

Before Google’s algorithm update in 2012 to ‘Penguin’, you could literally use a ton of exact match keyword anchor text all over the internet and rank. Going for a natural profile of high-quality links is the only way to rank – and by looking at common distribution on high ranking pages – we get this list of to-do’s for modern SEO specialists.

What are the preferred percentages with definitions for each kind of anchor link type?

  • 20%-30% – Branded Anchors – Anchor text that is your brand or variations on it.
  • 10% – 20% – Naked URLs – All this is is the URL itself as anchor text and variations of that, for instance:,,
  • 10-15% – Generic Anchors – These are used very often in the wild and thus make sense to make up a lot of your links to appear natural.
  • 10 – 15% – Images – Use an images, or noText – or use no text!
  • 10-15% – General variations of keyword focused anchor text (often referred to as LSI Anchors) – general variations of the actual thing you want to rank for – for this post it might be, “Best anchor text distribution ”, “Anchor text ideal” etc.
  • 10-15% Longtail keyword anchors – Longtail anchors would be longer variations of your keyword, such as “What is the best anchor text distribution ”, “What are ideal anchor text ratios 2017?”
  • 1% Exact Match Anchors – The reason you don’t make them all this is because you don’t want to be penalized – but these are still super important – so make sure to use your 1% of exact match anchors on the best link locations that you get – such as guest posts on high DA sites.

recent 2016 study of anchor text influence

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Madalin Tudose

I agree that going with branded anchors is the right thing to do nowadays. Google is making such a big case to brand ourselves and not selling us low anymore. Ex: stop building websites on domain names like and create a brand instead.

I would want to add a disclaimer and say that the article might target SEOholics!

Happy new year!

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