What is a bare url

Anchor text

What is an anchor text?

Anchor text is the clickable text in one Hyperlink. Best SEO practices dictate that anchor text is relevant to the page you are linking to and not general text. The blue, underlined anchor text is the most common web standard, although it is possible to change the color and underline using HTML code. The keywords in the link text are one of the many signals search engines use to determine the subject of a web page.

The anchor text is also known as a link label or link title. The words contained in the anchor text determine the ranking that the page receives from search engines such as Google or Yahoo and Bing. Links without anchor text are common on the web and are referred to as bare URLs or URL anchor texts. Different browsers display anchor text differently, and correct use of anchor text can help the page associated with the rank for these keywords in search engines.


Anchor text variations

When websites aggressively create exact matching anchor texts, a Google spam filter is triggered. It is unnatural that web pages that link to your website all have exactly the same anchor text. A little bit of anchor text variation is natural, just like a large chunk of the links on the internet are bare URLs.


Anchor text manipulation
As a search engine signal for relevance, it is possible to optimize the anchor text of your links.

  1. Targeted anchor text: Link builders, or SEOs who specialize in building links to one website, often control the anchor text on the links they create from other websites. These anchor texts are targeted - the keywords in the anchor text match the targeted keyword of the page on which an SEO is trying to take a place.
  2. Backlink anchor text: A backlink is a link from another website. The backlink anchor text is the anchor text used by other websites linking to your website. The anchor text of these backlinks helps search engines determine the most relevant keywords for which a website should rank.
  3. One-way anchor text backlinks: If site A links to site B with an anchor text backlink and site B does not link to site A, then you have a one-way anchor text backlink. One-way Anchor Texe backlinks are sought after by SEOs because PageRank juice flows from one domain to another. It is believed that the more one-sided anchor text backlinks a webpage has from high PageRank websites, the better they will rank in search engines.
  4. Excessive anchor text: Just like keyword spamming, you can have too much anchor text on a given page. When there are too many keywords on a page pointing to too many other pages on a website, or all of them on the same page but with different anchor text, you have a case of excessive anchor text. Excessive use of link text within your website can lead to Google penalties for being a spammy, unfriendly practice.
  5. Anchor text distribution: Since link builders are actively creating links to their website with targeted anchor text, certain keywords have a higher share of the overall anchor text distribution on a page.
  6. Natural anchor text vs. unnatural anchor text: When web surfers link to your website, it is inevitable that you will receive bad anchor text that does not help identify the theme of your website. However, like naked URLs, these are natural occurrences and are not frowned upon by search engines. On the other hand, the lack of bare URLs, the excessive use of anchor text, and a high number of targeted one-way anchor text backlinks are signs of an unnatural distribution of anchor texts. Search engines like Google can penalize websites that focus on manipulating link text if the user experience is compromised.

To get natural anchor text links to your website, create good content and the links and anchor text should be natural.

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