There are many types of anchor text. When spotting "unnatural" anchors (and trying to avoid them), always strive for diversity. Put another way; you don't want a backlink profile with anchor text that all says "Acme Technologies" in every link because it isn't organic (natural). Instead, we want a fully organic and natural backlink profile.
For example, when cleaning up cheap SEO problems, one of the first things we tackle is the backlink profile. Most low-cost search engine optimization firms use a "spray and pray" technique that harnesses automation to create terrible backlink profiles that pass little to no link equity from one site to another. Google and other search engines see these profiles and know they are fake.
What is an anchor text?
The anchor text is the actual text used as the link to a website. It is also one of the most important parts of the link because it is what people search for on search engines. When people do a Google search, they are rarely interested in the actual destination page, as long as they can get there. Instead, they are interested in what will come up in the search result description, and that content is generated by the anchor text.
We refer to two categories of anchor in this document:
- Mention: Mention-based anchors use the brand name in the anchor.
- Non-mention: Non-mention do not.
List of different anchor text types - with examples
- Branded Anchor text (Mention) – This is an exact match anchor for one of your key phrases. If the target is the Acme Technologies Crunchbase profile, and the name of the company is Acme Technologies, then the exact match anchor text would be "Acme Technologies".
- Brand Anchor + Keyword (Mention) – this anchor includes the company brand name plus a key phrase. For example, "Acme Technologies shopping cart" includes the brand name Acme Technologies plus the search phrase "shopping cart."
- Page Title (Mention) – this anchor text is usually a blog post title or the actual SEO title as the anchor text. For a link to Crunchbase, it might be "Acme Technologies | Crunchbase. If you look at the aforementioned Crunchbase profiles' web page Title, you will note it says Acme Technologies | Crunchbase. It's an anchor that duplicates the title of the page to which it points.
- Keyword Plus (Mention) – this anchor includes one of your main key phrases plus other non-keyword phrases combined with it. For example "the Acme Technologies CB profile here" includes the name of the brand plus other non-key phrase text as well.
- LSI keyword (Non-mention) – A non-branded anchor that uses a similar term that refers to the company. LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing. It is a method to identify relationships between the concepts contained within a web page or an entire website. LSI locates the relationships between words in order to improve understanding of a web page. See the "omelet" explanation below. Example: "cloud technology company" doesn't mention the brand name in the anchor text, but it does explain what the company does.
- Partial Keyword (Mention) – this anchor contains just a part of your key phrase (ie "Acme"). Instead of using the whole brand name, you are using only a part of it.
- Natural anchor (Non-mention) – this anchor has no reference to any keywords or brand. It's as non-branded and non-specific as you can get. Example: "this technology firm". It is somewhat similar to an LSI keyword but more on the generic side because it doesn't say much about the company other than it uses technology.
- Naked Links with the Full URL (Non-mention) – this anchor is the full URL of the page being linked to as the anchor. For example, a sentence may say: Go to the URL https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/acme-technologies to learn more.
- Naked Links w/ WebsiteName.com (Non-mention) – this anchor is your URL written in this format: "com".
- Naked Links w/ URL with www's or without (Non-mention) – this anchor is the URL written without http:// (ie com/organization/acme-technologies).
- No Text (Non-mention) – this anchor is associated with image links that have no alt text. For example, the logo goes to the Crunchbase profile but contains no anchor text. A visitor would not click on any text to access the link; they click on an image.
What is a Branded Anchor text?
Branded anchor text is when your brand name is used as the words attached to a web link. For example, if Acme is your company, and the word Acme links to your website.
What is a Brand Anchor + Keyword?
This anchor includes the company brand name plus a key phrase. Example - When the words Acme makes widgets is the name of a link that points to your company site. It includes the company name plus the search phrase.
What is a Page Title?
This anchor text is usually a blog post title or the actual SEO title as the anchor text.
What is a Keyword Plus anchor?
This anchor includes one of your main key phrases plus other non-keyword phrases combined with it.
What is an LSI keyword?
A non-branded anchor that uses a similar term that refers to the company. LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing. It is a method to identify relationships between the concepts contained within a web page or an entire website.