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Best practices for anchor text optimization in 2019

Major anchor text categories

Before providing specific tips on anchor text optimization, let’s recap the major categories of anchor text:

  • Branded — your brand name with a link placed on it (e.g. Online Media Direct)
  • Naked URL — your site’s URL with the link it is pointing to (e.g.
  • Website Name — your site’s URL with the anchor text written as “” (e.g.
  • Page/Blog Post Title — a page’s title anchor text with a link on it (e.g. How to future-proof your SEO for 2018)
  • Exact-match Keywords — a targeted keyword with a link on it (e.g. Tips for entrepreneurs)
  • Partial-match Keywords — a targeted keyword plus some other text with a link on it (e.g. Beginner tips for entrepreneurs, tips for entrepreneurs guide)
  • LSI Keywords — a keyword anchor text that is related to a targeted keyword (e.g. entrepreneurship tips, business tips for entrepreneurs, startup business success stories)
  • No Text — an image with a link on it
  • Generic (e.g. Click this link, Read more, Check this out)

Distribute anchors in the right proportions

While the “right proportions” part is always up for debate, it is pretty much indisputable that you should:

  • Avoid stuffing your anchor text cloud with exact-match and partial-match keywords by all means
  • Rely on branded and website name anchor texts (as they are allowed by Google and other search engines)
  • Sparsely use Page Title/Blog Post Title anchor texts

So, what are the right proportions?

While the safe answer is, “It depends,” — some recommendations do exist. According to at least a couple of anchor text case studies, the golden formula is:

  • 50% — Branded anchor texts
  • 15% —
  • 10-20% — Naked URL
  • 10-15% — Page Title/Blog Post Title
  • 1-5% — Generic anchor texts
  • 1-5% — Exact- and partial match keywords
  • Other

But, once again, make sure that you do a thorough analysis of your niche and competitors. Your first priority is to reverse-engineer the anchor text cloud of websites ranked at the top, and only then can you start adjusting your website’s anchor text cloud.

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