What Role Does Anchor Text Play in Internal Linking, and How Can I Optimize Anchor Text to Improve Keyword Relevance and Rankings?


Anchor text, the clickable words that hyperlink to another webpage or document, significantly influences keyword relevance and search engine rankings. Optimizing anchor text within internal linking strategies boosts SEO performance by providing search engines with context about the linked content. Well-optimized anchor text is relevant, concise, and incorporates keywords strategically but naturally.

Role of Anchor Text in Internal Linking

Anchor text offers cues to the content of a linked page or document, informing both users and search engine bots about the relevance of the internally linked content. Search engines scrutinize anchor text to comprehend the relatedness of the linked material and its relevance in the context of the broader website content. In essence, smart anchor text optimization can enhance a website's SEO performance [Moz, 2021].

How to Optimize Anchor Text

Use Descriptive Anchor Text

Anchor text should accurately describe the linked content. Descriptive, meaningful phrases that give an indication of what the linked content is about are preferred over generic phrases like "click here", which provide little context to users or search engines [Ahrefs, 2021].

Use Relevant Keywords

When possible, incorporate relevant keywords into your anchor text. Doing so aids search engines in understanding the content of the linked page, and can help improve rankings for those keywords [Search Engine Journal, 2022]. But, avoid keyword stuffing as it can result in penalties from search engines.

Vary Your Anchor Text

Overusing the same anchor text can be seen as manipulative link building by search engines. For best results, use varied but still relevant anchor text for different links pointing to the same page [SEMrush, 2021].

Keep Anchor Text Concise

Short, concise anchor texts are generally more effective and user-friendly. Lengthy anchor texts can be confusing and may dilute the influence of your keywords.

Ensure a Natural Flow in the Text

The use of anchor text should feel natural within the context of your content. Forced or awkward uses of anchor text can negatively impact user experience and may be penalized by search engines.


Anchor text plays a critical role within an SEO strategy by assisting search engines in contextualizing and indexing website content. Optimizing anchor text can deliver improved keyword relevance and overall ranking, but should be implemented strategically to avoid search engine penalties.


  • [Moz, 2021] Cyrus Shepherd. (2021). "All About Anchor Text." Moz.
  • [Ahrefs, 2021] Joshua Hardwick. (2021). "Anchor Text: A Data-Driven Guide (182k Web Pages Studied)." Ahrefs.
  • [Search Engine Journal, 2022] Matt Southern. (2022). "Google: Best Practices For Anchor Text Optimization." Search Engine Journal.
  • [SEMrush, 2021] Julia McCoy. (2021). "Link Building Best Practices for 2021." SEMrush.