The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for SEO Anchor Text Distribution

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by on December 27, 2016

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for SEO Anchor Text Distribution

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for SEO Anchor Text Distribution

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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: https://hookagency.com, hookagency.com, https://hookagency.com
  • 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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1 Comment on "The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for SEO Anchor Text Distribution"

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Madalin Tudose
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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 bestwashingmachines.com 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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