Planning the Anchor Texts

Similar to the selection of link targets, the planning of anchor texts is also an important point in a clean link marketing strategy, because here too there is a lot of potential for success, but also a lot of room for error. The key is to effectively optimize your website for the desired keywords by carefully selecting anchor texts. However, it’s important to avoid creating a “fingerprint” that could raise red flags for Google and potentially lead to a penalty.

In this article, we will talk about the following topics:

  • Types of anchor texts
  • Competition analysis
  • Planning your own anchor texts

Types of anchor texts

Brand Keywords

A brand anchor text is when you use a brand name, variations of it or URL as an anchor for a link. This type of anchor text is often used for the homepage and has a very natural effect. Additionally, it signals to Google that there is buzz surrounding your brand, adding to its credibility and importance.

The disadvantage, however, is that a “brand anchor text” is not optimized for specific keywords.

Exakt Match or Money Keywords

An “exact match anchor text” refers to the use of the exact keyword as anchor text. These are keywords with a high search volume that everyone wants to rank for.


  • Cell phone
  • Loan
  • Car

But also variations:

  • Buying a cell phone
  • Taking out a loan
  • Leasing a car

We are talking here about the most important keywords of a single landing page in their purest form.

As these are the keywords that every website operator wants to rank for, many tend to use these keywords too frequently as anchor texts. On the one hand, this optimizes your own landing page, but on the other hand, you run the risk of getting on Google’s radar and receiving a penalty. Therefore, these keywords should be used carefully as anchor texts.

Compound Keywords

These are made up of different keywords combining both brand and exact match components.


  • Buy a cheap cell phone from Samsung
  • Take out a loan directly online
  • Lease a car at the best price

Compound keywords have a more precise focus and accurately represent the user’s intention. They can also be information-related and are therefore not always transactional.

Other Keywords

All keywords that do not fit into one of the previous groups fall into this category.


  • Here
  • For further information
  • On this page

Competition Analysis

When it comes to active link building, the top priority is to avoid drawing attention from Google. However, since the safe threshold for using exact match anchor texts is unknown, we suggest conducting a competition analysis before initiating any link marketing efforts.

Let’s take a closer look at the process of such an analysis:

  1. Selection of competitors
    The first step is to select the competitors for further analysis. Ideally, you should select 3-5 competitors from the top 10 search results that operate under the same business model as yours.

    Simply put:
    If you want to optimize the anchor text distribution for your landing page with the main keyword “cell phone”, then see which competitors rank in the top 10 for this keyword. Out of those, choose pages that have a similar business model to yours. Newspapers or Wikipedia should not be selected, as these sites have a completely different anchor text profile than a commercially oriented site, such as a store or comparison portal.

  1. Querying the anchor texts
    Now use a tool such as “ahrefs” to query the anchor texts of the competitor landing pages and group the anchor texts according to the previously defined anchor text types.
  2. Creation of intervals
    Now that you know how the anchor texts of your competitors are distributed and you also know that your competitors have achieved a ranking on page one of Google with this distribution, you should set comparable intervals for your own anchor text distribution.

When using the determined competitor intervals, you must of course consider whether the number of links is significant. If a competitor only has 3 links, such a competition analysis makes no sense. It only works if a sufficient number of links point to the landing page. In addition, “outliers” (data points or results that significantly deviate from the overall pattern) must be filtered out beforehand, as these would distort the interval.

It’s important to keep in mind that large websites are evaluated differently than a freshly launched website. Don’t compare your new project with a large portal that has been on the market for a long time. Older sites with high authority tend to have more leniency from Google when it comes to link and anchor text profiles. If in doubt, optimize carefully and use less exact match anchor texts.

Planning your own anchors

The most important rule in active link building is to always remain as inconspicuous as possible as to not create a fingerprint. Therefore, even if it is very tempting, you should not only work with exactly matched anchor texts.

The most effective and secure approach is to use a combination of all types of anchor text. Traditionally, the following distributions are commonly utilized.

  • Homepage:
    As a rule, this is where most links are created with brand anchor texts.
  • Categories, hub pages:
    Brand (15%), exact match (10%), compound + other (75%)

Naturally, this is simply a general guideline that may differ depending on the specific project. Nonetheless, it highlights the importance of avoiding being overly offensive.