Anchor Text

The anchor text, also called reference text, anchor text or link text, is the part of a text that links to another website or a document on the same domain. It is therefore considered to be a clickable part of a hyperlink in a hypertext document.

The anchor text is integrated via the anchor tag. This clickable part can differ in color from the rest of the text or be underlined and is intended to encourage the user to visit another subpage of your website or an external website by clicking on the anchor text. To set a link in the context of a text, you need the anchor text that matches the text. This is integrated and linked in the text.

A general distinction is made between hard and soft, as well as internal links and external links. As a result, there are also anchor texts that are specific to each type of link.

Anchor texts for internal and external links

In general, links are of great value to Google. The search engine includes all types of links in its evaluation. However, a link is not the same as a link, and therefore one divides into internal and external links ( backlinks ).

An internal link refers to a reference to a document on the same domain, while an external link points to a document on a foreign domain. What exactly is in the anchor text should always be decided depending on the context. In search engine optimization, however, a meaningful anchor text is often used to motivate users to click.

In addition to the general provisions for optimal anchor text, there are different best practices for internal and external references. With internal links, hard links can be used, while with external links, soft links are recommended.

Hard and soft links

One speaks of the soft linking if the anchor text appears natural and does not indicate a targeted optimization/goal setting. Instead, the anchor text should refer to the context of the text and convey a note about the content of the stored page. Conversely, one speaks of hard links if the anchor text has been specifically optimized. Usually, this means inserting keywords.

If you set hard links as an external reference to a website, Google may result in a ranking penalty. The Google Penguin Update states that websites that do “keyword stuffing” can be punished with a penalty. Keyword stuffing refers to the excessive use of keywords.

Definitions: Anchor Text

For anchor texts, it is also important to note that you should only link to one page with a keyword. For example, if you have the keyword “spaghetti,” this keyword should refer to the same page whenever possible.

Anchor text – differences

Anchor texts differ not only in the type of link (internal, external) and the length of the text (hard, soft) but also in the wording. One differentiates between 4 different anchor texts:


The brand anchor text contains the exact URL of the target domain, eg,, or consists of a brand name.


A link text of this type consists of a keyword that has a high search volume. The word or the two-word combination of the money anchor text usually involves high competition and a high CPC.


Anchor Texts consist of a combination of Brand Keyword and Money Keyword.


additional anchor texts consist of the keyword “here” or similar. They have nothing to do with the content of the page.

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