One of the biggest questions I see being asked a lot by people trying to rank their site is, "What should be my anchor text density?" and the crazy part is there is no definitive guide. Well, now there is! I am going to breakdown the anchor text formula that has worked wonders for me and helped me rank hundreds of websites in some of the most competitive niches and continues to do so till this day. I know a lot of you know how to balance out your anchor texts but the majority of people don't. And even if you do I am sure you will pick up a thing or two from this thread. When I create any sort of guides I make its suitable for everyone from beginners to the best of the best so yes I will cover the basic stuff alongside the much-advanced stuff. So let's get started... What is an Anchor Text? An anchor text is a visible and clickable piece of text in any link. An anchor text serves as a vote by telling Google what the link is about and that it should be ranked higher for that text/keyword. When you are just getting started and are trying to rank your new site for a certain keyword, it might seem very tempting to build all your backlinks for the keyword you are trying to rank. I mean if an anchor text serves as a vote from the sites you are getting links from, technically the more of the keyword as anchors you have the faster you will rank no? NO, not at all. When Google rolled out the penguin update years ago, hundreds of thousands of websites got penalized for this very reason. To get a better understanding of anchor text density, first, you need to know all the different types of anchor texts. Types of Anchor Texts That Really Matter 1. Branded Anchor Texts - Branded anchor texts represent the Company name or Website name. For Example, BHW's branded anchor would be "BlackHatWorld". 2. Naked URL - When a link is pointing to your site's raw URL it's considered a naked URL anchor. 3. Generic Anchor - These would be anchors such as "click here", "website", "link", "source" and so on. 3. Image/No Anchors - When you get links from images and the Alt text of the image is considered the anchor and if there is no Alt text you get a link with no anchor. 4. Brand + Keyword Anchor - These would be anchors that surround a keyword with your money keyword. So. let's say if your keyword is SEO and the site is BlackhatWorld the anchor would be "Blackhatworld SEO" 5. LSI Anchor - Anchors with a variation of your keyword is considered an LSI anchor. Since we are using SEO as an example, your anchor would be "How to do SEO?" and similar variations of the keyword. 6. Exact Match Anchor - This is pretty straight forward when the exact keyword you are using to rank is the anchor it's considered an Exact Match Anchor. Fail-Proof Anchor Text Formula How you should diversify your anchors in your link building efforts comes down to how old your site is. There are two very different approaches you should take based on your site's age and your previous SEO campaigns. If your site is old and already has a good link profile you have a lot of wriggle room and you can get away with a lot of things even when it comes to anchoring but if your site is new even a small mistake can cost you big time. The reason this happens is because of your Anchor Text Density. You need a wide array of links with all the above anchor types mentioned. Anchor text density ratio breakdown - 1. 75% of your links should have Branded Anchors 2. 15% should be naked URLs 3. 5% should be generic Anchors 4. 4% should be LSI Anchors 5. <1% should be Exact Match Anchors You should apply this to every single page you are trying to rank. If you keep your anchor text density in this ratio you will not only see amazing results but you should be safe from any sort of anchor related Google penalties. Remember, your Exact Match Anchors should be your last resort. How to check your Anchor ratio? Just pull up Ahrefs and put the Exact URL in there and click on Anchors on the left. Biggest Anchor Text Myth Busted The reason I used the above link as an example is because I am about to bust one of the biggest Anchor Text myths the "Pros" suggest. You will hear this a lot, "Just put the top guys ranking for the keyword you are trying to rank for in Ahrefs and use the keyword density they have". This is the last thing you wanna do. You see the site above ranks #5 for keto diet and they have that keyword density for keto diet at 6%. Why are they ranking then? The reason is simple they have a Domain Authority of 85 and secondly their overall anchor text density for the site balances out as per my breakdown above. You should balance out your anchor density based on your overall links, site authority and so on. Conclusion Anchor text is one of the biggest SEO factors that really play a big role in Google rankings. Get this wrong and you will get a Big ol' penalty from big brother Google. Hope you enjoyed this guide and if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask below. After the hugely positive feedback from everyone on my last thread, I have decided to go on a major sharing spree again so stayed, got some killer threads in the works!