How Should Websites Approach the Placement and Anchor Text of Dofollow Links to Maximize SEO Benefits Without Appearing Manipulative to Search Engines?


To maximize SEO benefits through the strategic placement and use of dofollow links, websites should focus on creating high-quality, relevant content and using diverse anchor texts. This approach ensures that their site appears legitimate and valuable to search engines, while avoiding manipulative tactics.

Relevance and Context

Ensure that all dofollow links are placed within relevant and contextually appropriate content. The linked pages should add value to the user experience and be relevant to the topic discussed. Search engines prioritize user relevance, and appropriate link placement can significantly enhance SEO.[Moz, Beginner's Guide to SEO, 2023]

Don't place all external links at the bottom of a page or in a sidebar the majority of the time. Instead, incorporate them naturally within the body of your content. This practice mimics natural linking patterns and avoids patterns that search engines might interpret as manipulative.[Backlinko, Link Building Hub, 2023]

Best Practices for Anchor Text

Variety in Anchor Text

Use a mix of different types of anchor texts, including exact match, partial match, branded, and generic anchor texts. This diversity helps to avoid patterns that could be flagged as manipulative linking practices. Examples of different anchor texts are:

  • Exact Match: Using the exact keyword phrase you want to rank for (e.g., "SEO best practices").
  • Partial Match: Incorporating part of your keyword phrase (e.g., "effective SEO techniques").
  • Branded: Using your brand name as the anchor text (e.g., "Moz").
  • Generic: Using generic terms like "click here" or "this article" (e.g., "read more here").

[Ahrefs, Anchor Text, 2023]

Natural Language

Write your anchor text in natural, readable language rather than forcing keywords into the text. The link should fit seamlessly within the content, providing a smooth reading experience for users.[Search Engine Journal, Anchor Text Guide, 2023]

Avoiding Manipulative Practices

Quality Over Quantity

Focus on the quality of your links rather than the quantity. A single, high-quality dofollow link from a reputable site can provide more SEO value than multiple links from low-quality sites.[Neil Patel, Link Building Best Practices, 2023]

Avoid practices such as link exchanges, buying links, or large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns with keyword-rich anchor texts. These tactics can result in penalties from search engines.[Google Search Central, Link Schemes, 2023]

Regular Audits

Conduct regular audits of your backlinks to ensure they remain relevant and free from any potentially harmful links that could affect your site's SEO. Use tools such as Ahrefs or Moz to track and analyze your backlink profile.[Moz, Link Explorer, 2023]

Update Older Content

Regularly update older content to include new and relevant links. This practice keeps your information current and provides continual SEO benefits. Be sure to check that all previously added links are still valid and relevant.[Backlinko, SEO Tutorial, 2023]


Consider the following practical examples:

  • Natural Anchor Text: "For more information about improving search engine rankings, refer to Moz's Beginner's Guide to SEO."
  • Diverse Placement: "To learn about the best practices in keyword research, visit this comprehensive guide on Backlinko."


By focusing on the strategic placement of dofollow links and using diverse, natural anchor text, websites can maximize their SEO benefits while maintaining a genuine, authoritative presence. Regular audits and updating older content are essential practices to sustain SEO effectiveness over time.