Anchor links in SEO

You see them everywhere: on your site and on every page you visit. Despite this, anchor links are often misunderstood and misused. Yet, they are essential to your SEO strategy and can greatly improve your visitors' experience.
Anchor Links SEO

March 18, 2021


What is a anchor link?

A link allows you to go from one page to another. It is a destination address, a URL, offering visitors the possibility of continuing their navigation to new pages. These links can be internal, redirecting to other pages of the same site, or external, redirecting to third-party sites.

The anchor is the “visible” part of the link: it is generally a word or a series of words, often highlighted by a sub-line, a font or a particular font color. Thus, the purpose of an anchor is to attract the attention of website visitors to invite them to click and continue browsing.

What is the purpose of an anchor link?

To summarize in a very simple way, anchors allow you to direct your site’s traffic in a specific direction.

First of all, a good use of anchors should solidly reinforce the overall performance of your site. Indeed, links and their anchors will allow your visitors to navigate your site in a clear and fluid way. A well-structured internal mesh will considerably increase the time spent on your site and the number of page views, while decreasing your bounce rate. In the end, your SEO performance will also be improved.

Then, these links also have the role to guide the robots of search engines. This will lead to a better indexation, a better understanding and therefore a better referencing of your site. Finally, when it comes to external links, anchors will allow you to send your traffic to sites whose reputation and visibility you want to increase, while also improving yours. Or simply to increase the effectiveness of an affiliation strategy…

The different types of link anchors ?

There are generally 4 main families :

Generic anchors : These are a set of words inviting you to click, without any direct relation with the destination page or its keywords. These anchors are highly directive and are particularly effective when it comes to redirecting your traffic. On the other hand, their SEO impact will be negligible. A few examples of those that you encounter most often: “Learn more”, “Click here” or “More…”.


Branded anchors : As their name indicates, these anchors are associated with a brand. They therefore redirect to the site of the company concerned. Imagine reading an article on a blog specialized in digital marketing and finding a paragraph describing our SEO solution, combined with a link to Nopowlink.

Exact anchors : These anchors contain the precise keywords of the page they link to. This practice will immediately boost the SEO performance of your page, but it will also attract the attention of Google Pinguin. Moreover, they are often more difficult to integrate naturally into a text.

Extended anchors : Here again, we play on the keywords present on the direction page, but with more subtlety. We integrate them into a sentence, we use semantics, etc.. This allows your readers as well as the robots to find their way around, without seeing it as an attempt to over-optimize.

Recommendations and mistakes to avoid

Be careful not to break the rules! When a tool allows you to improve your referencing, you are quickly tempted to abuse it or to misuse it. However, Google ensures that its guidelines are respected, including a whole section dedicated to link anchors. Thus, many Blackhats have been severely punished for trying to cheat… This is the role of Penguin, Google’s algorithm that aims to identify and penalize all sites that try to play with the rules. We will prepare an article on this subject next week.

The important thing to remember is that it is very important to vary the type of anchor used while avoiding abuse of exact anchors, often considered as over-optimized. Opt for as few words as possible, in order to be clear and limit the risks of confusion, and never redirect your traffic to dubious sites.