Over the years, SEO has evolved constantly with the changing digital dynamics. However, there’s something that has remained constant — the importance of distribution of anchor text in link building. 

This comprehensive guide does a deep exploration into anchor text distribution, exploring its impact on SEO, the pitfalls of unnatural practices, and the art of achieving a healthy balance. We'll also share practical strategies to optimize your anchor text game.

Understanding the Power of Anchor Text

Basics first. Before we move any further let us first understand what anchor text is. The clickable text embedded within a hyperlink is called anchor text. It has dual purpose:

  1.  User Experience:

    It tells the users what kind of content to expect on clicking the link. Thus, it provides clarity as well as context to the users.

  2. Search Engine Signal:

    Search engines such as Google examine the embedded anchor text in order to understand the content and how the linked webpage is relevant.

To understand it better, let’s think of anchor text as a banner outside a digital store. It informs both customers (searchers)and search engines (authorities) about the products (information) that are available in the store.

The Art of Natural Anchor Text Distribution

Initially, people used to stuff exact-match keywords in the links. But with time, search engines have evolved and if you unnaturally stuff keywords in the link, search engines can penalize you, affecting your website ranking.

Now you must be thinking, enough with what-not-to-dos! Well, here’s what you should do — natural distribution. The best way to approach this is to assume that you’re writing for humans and not some bot (search engine). When you’re writing for real people, you’re more likely to use a diverse mix of terms to explain the topic. Let us understand some terms to get the hang of diverse anchor text better:

  • Exact-Match Keywords:

    As the name suggests, the “exact-match keywords” match the target keyword exactly. For example, the phrases such as best running shoes, most affordable mobile phones, etc. can be termed as exact-match keywords. These keywords are very important but if you overuse them, you might get into trouble.

  • Partial-Match Keywords:

    As you can probably understand from the name itself, any kind of variations of target keywords such as comfortable running shoes for kids or affordable mobile phones under 30K are called partial-match keywords. A combination of exact and partial match keywords is the best strategy to adopt.

  • Branded Anchors:

    Don’t forget to mention your brand name for example, Puma or Samsung in the anchor. This helps to establish brand recognition in the backlink profile.

  • LSI Keywords:

    It’s a little tricky. You need to understand what all a consumer must be searching relating to the topic. For example, marathon running tips for beginners or latest features in the mobile phones. Such semantically related words and phrases create a natural flow apart from signaling topical relevance.

  • Naked Anchors:

    These are URLs that are also used as anchor texts. For example, https://www.puma.com/us or https://www.samsung.com/careers. Use naked anchors carefully to avoid falling in the pit of monotony.

reciprocal links

Learning from the Big Brands

Let us now look at the experts and how they use anchor text distribution for victory over SEO:

  • HubSpot:

    In their blogs, you can spot a natural distribution of exact-match anchors in high-authority publications and branded anchors within their internal linking structure.

  • Moz: Moz uses LSI keyword-rich anchors like "SEO best practices" and "link building strategies" in order to attract backlinks.
  • Wikipedia:

    This mega giant of information has a variety of anchor texts because of its massive scope of content. Read any Wikipedia page and you would be able to notice the organic distribution of keywords. It further fortifies its authority.

Optimizing Your Anchor Text Distribution

So now that we have already dived into the depth of the significance of an organic mix of anchor text distribution, it’s time to look at some of the actionable strategies:

  • On-Page SEO:

    Throughout website content, it’s imperative to use pertinent anchor text within internal links and outbound links to authoritative sources. Always remember to keep a natural flow for the best user experience.

  • Internal Linking:

    Devise your linking structure in such a way that it uses diverse anchor texts. This will allow distribution of link equity across the website and enhance search engine crawling.

  • Guest Blogging and Outreach:

    Whenever you’re partnering with other websites, it’s best to use natural anchor text variations. It would allow you to organically establish a strong backlink profile.

Bonus Tips (Because who doesn’t like getting a little extra):

  • Monitor and Analyze:

    Tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush are a digital boon that help you keep a track of your anchor text distribution and detect unnatural patterns (if any).

  • Stay Updated:

    You must have heard of the saying “Change is the only constant in the universe”. Well, search engine algorithms are no exception. They are continuously evolving. If you want to be the master of anchor text optimization, get your glasses on because you need to regularly keep yourself informed of the changes.

The Future of Anchor Text

With the way SEO is evolving, it is possible that exact-match keywords might become less significant. But there’s no denying the fact that anchor text will always hold its place as far as SEO is concerned. Though there is high probability that the emphasis will move towards contextually relevant anchors and the overall quality of backlinks.


Anchor text distribution is one of the most important features of a robust SEO foundation. Now that we’ve come to the end of this comprehensive guide on anchor text distribution, here’s the formula that you should always keep in mind in order to prepare for you long-term SEO success

Adopt a natural and diverse approach

Prioritize user intent + Create high-quality content that deserves natural links + Use relevant anchor text ↓

To attract valuable backlinks + To improve user experience + To rank better on search engines.

Hope you had a great dive into the information pool of anchor text distribution. See you in another information pool soon. Until then, keep diving!