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This 63 message thread spans 3 pages: 63 ( [1] 2 3 > >     
The importance of inbound anchor text
I had never noticed this before.
rfgdxm1




msg:154950
 10:06 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

I just looked at the SERP for a critical single keyword that I am trying to do well on. On this SERP I am #6. The #3 listed page on this SERP has NO indexable content at all. This is a keyword which appears on 42,200 pages. This keyword appears only in the title and meta description of this page, and also the domain name. The cache states "These terms only appear in links pointing to this page:". It so happens that this keyword is part of the company name, and thus frequently appears in the anchor text of sites linking to it. This page has a PR of 5, the same as mine. That they are able to do so well with zero indexable content on a reasonably competitive search term shows how important incoming anchor text links can be.

 

jbauder




msg:154951
 10:09 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

rfg ... that is a good find, a few weeks back I read an article talking about splitting the whole PR thing into 2 pieces page optimization and then PR ... they were huge on having the keyword in anchor text and I think your example supports it totally

Shak




msg:154952
 10:10 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

totally agree, but I dont think this little bay going to be round for much longer.

Shak

netguy




msg:154953
 10:10 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

interesting! is the keyword domain single name, or hyphenated?

Philosopher




msg:154954
 10:14 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yep. This has long been important to G. I've seen many sites trump sites with higher PR simply because they have better optimized inbound anchor text.

Powdork




msg:154955
 10:15 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

rfgdxm,
How is your title in relation to his and the keyword. (i.e. location kw appears in title, etc.) Link text to the same title is oft hard to beat

heini




msg:154956
 10:15 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Nothing new here, though. It's been observed many times. In fact it does not neccessarily mean the site does not deserve to be top. Assuming widgetywidgets.com has a great wonderful widgetywidget pic on front, and nothing else, and is the super respected site on widgetywidgets, than it's a great thing it can appear on top.

rfgdxm1




msg:154957
 10:26 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

>interesting! is the keyword domain single name, or hyphenated?

Check your stickymail

>How is your title in relation to his and the keyword. (i.e. location kw appears in title, etc.) Link text to the same title is oft hard to beat

My site is VERY well optimized for this term. I've done everything by the book to do well for this term. In fact, it is THE most critical search term I target.

>Assuming widgetywidgets.com has a great wonderful widgetywidget pic on front, and nothing else, and is the super respected site on widgetywidgets, than it's a great thing it can appear on top.

This is exactly the case here. The company name is "Widgetywidget Productions".

netguy




msg:154958
 10:35 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

rfgdxm1... very good case study. The domain is obviously a big factor here, and I've also known the order of the title makes a difference (first word of title). I have tried going after multiple search phrases (of 2 to 3 max), and notice the priority always shifts to the first keyword/phrase.

digitalghost




msg:154959
 10:42 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>The domain is obviously a big factor here

NO, it isn't. The big factor is the anchor text. It's been mentioned before thousands of times. The domain name could be FruitBalls and if the anchors pointing to the site all contain the words "cement bricks" the site can rank well for Cement Bricks.

The only reason the domain name is a factor at all is because people are putting the keywords in the anchor text that happens to reflect the keywords in the domain name.

teeceo




msg:154960
 10:43 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

The domain name, title, first sentents, and incoming links saying "wiget" are the "whole" ball game. Buy another domain and playball(hell, you been in the game long enought to know what time it is) and if this KW is the #1 term your tring to do good at(with under 50K results) then you really are "not" doing everything you can to win and the plane truth is(if your in this to make money)you need to be able to finish #1 & 2 for those kind of search terms. Just me 2 cents.

teeceo.

coconutz




msg:154961
 10:44 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Nothing new here, though. It's been observed many times.

I thought so too. Try a search for welcome and look at the cached pages.

Now try a search for allinanchor:welcome

Pretty much the same. Off page factors are more important than on page.

netguy




msg:154962
 10:46 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Digitalghost, it's difficult for it NOT to be the factor in this case, since it is also the primary keyword and used often in the inbound links.

Chicago




msg:154963
 10:48 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

rfgdxm1,

Like Netguy, IMHO I think with the same PR that title is the issue in this case.

DMX appears early (first) their title - it appears later in yours. From my experiece the earlier a keyword is in the title, the more importance it is given.

Your title appears to be too long. Choose two of your top keyword phrases at the most per page title.

You can always use a keyword rich URL- www.yourdomain.com/dmx etc.

I think these changes alone will help you position relative to your competition in question.

vitaplease




msg:154964
 10:50 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Site and title name have always helped [webmasterworld.com], and as Heini says some of those deserve to be high in the serps.

I would say Google knows how many anchor texts on average equal a site/url or title name and how many are descriptive. They could neutralise any beneficiary effects over sites having simple brand-names if they really wanted to.

digitalghost




msg:154965
 10:51 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>primary keyword and used often in the inbound links

That is the extent of the importance of keywords in the domain name though. Look at the title of the thread. The importance of inbound anchor text

Note that it is about the importance of anchor text, not the domain name. What is so confusing about that? It's about the ANCHOR TEXT, not the domain name. If the people linking to it used different ANCHOR TEXT it wouldn't rank nearly as well and the DOMAIN NAME isn't going to help. Period.

Chicago




msg:154966
 11:01 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

It is both- URL which is weighted and Anchor text. Both are important and best when they work in combination with eachother.

You ever have another company just place your link on a site? Many times for me, and you don't get to choose the anchor so a keyword rich URL is very very helpful.

rfgdxm1




msg:154967
 11:01 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Buy another domain and playball(hell, you been in the game long enought to know what time it is) and if this KW is the #1 term your tring to do good at(with under 50K results) then you really are "not" doing everything you can to win and the plane truth is(if your in this to make money)you need to be able to finish #1 & 2 for those kind of search terms. Just me 2 cents.

This is a non-commercial site. It just so happens the current domain is keyword2.ws, where keyword2 is the other single keyword that I am shooting for. And, I'm #1 on the SERPs at Google for keyword2 at the moment. Had I known back then what I know now, I'd probably have chosen the domain name keyword1-keyword2.org. However, at this point too late to change anything. So long as I can do reasonably well on page 1 for this keyword is adequate. At this point probably the only thing I can do more SEO-wise is try to get more, and preferably higher PR, inbound links, but this isn't easy to do. At least honestly. I am going to tweak my title to hopefully do better though.

netguy




msg:154968
 11:05 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

digitalghost... Obviously you have a strong opinion based on people who "mentioned before thousands of times." I've practiced it both ways, and despite the anchor text advantage of using keywords/phrases in the domain, I believe there is also 'some' advantage to a keyword (not phrase) in the raw domain for Google's algo. If you have absolute knowledge from Google that it is not the case, then I stand corrected.

Chicago




msg:154969
 11:06 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

thanks, rfgdxm1. good luck and thanks for sharing the info.

it is always easy to find fault in another...very hard to put yourself on the line and be vulnerable... i wish there were more of you out there, so instead of learning at your expense, we all learn together.

vitaplease




msg:154970
 11:11 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

rfgdxm1,

I agree and have we been there before? [webmasterworld.com]

digitalghost




msg:154971
 11:23 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

>If you have absolute knowledge from Google that it is not the case

There are very few absolutes. Google Bombing however is a perfect example of why domain names aren't nearly as important as people think they are. Add to that that you can find sites ranked well on Google in which the keywords don't appear on the page at all and the keywords aren't in the domain name. Google uses the inbound anchor text to determine the importance of the page for those keywords used in anchors.

I've optimized many sites that don't have keywords in the domain and I have never run into any problems getting them to rank well. I much prefer brandable domain names to hyphenated keyword domains.

The only benefit I see is that it is easier to get people to use your keywords in anchor text if the keywords are in the domain name. That's it. Then people fail to separate where the benefit in ranking is coming from and assume it is because they have keywords in their domain name.

From there we can move onto the density argument. People fret and worry about getting the perfect keyword density and I know for a fact that density doesn't mean squat. I took some pages that ranked well and stripped the body text from them and replaced it with greeking. Guess what? The ranking didn't slip. Entire pages devoted to lorum ipsem where the keywords were only in the title, header and in anchors pointing to the page. Body density dropped from 7% to 0. No changes in position. Proximity however, from title, to header to anchor remained constant.

If there is any weight given to the domain name it is minimal. The impact comes from people linking to the page using the keywords in the domain.

I'm finished now, after having broken my promise to myself never to debate this issue again as all previous attempt by me and many others have had no impact at all on those people wishing to believe that a keyword domain is the holy grail.

Philosopher




msg:154972
 11:24 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Editing...digitalghost replied while I was typing. :)

rfgdxm1




msg:154973
 11:40 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

>The only benefit I see is that it is easier to get people to use your keywords in anchor text if the keywords are in the domain name. That's it. Then people fail to separate where the benefit in ranking is coming from and assume it is because they have keywords in their domain name.

The problem here is that if you own keyword.com then invariably a number of sites WILL LINK TO YOU WITH THAT KEYWORD IN THE ANCHOR TEXT. Your logic about keyword in the domain name not being important is relevant ONLY if by some miracle you can get other sites that link to you use whatever anchor text that you want them to. That doesn't describe the real world for most webmasters.

digitalghost




msg:154974
 11:54 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>ONLY if by some miracle you can get other sites that link to you use whatever anchor text that you want them to.

Well then miracles are occurring every day and all over the web. It's a big world out there and I see links all over the place that are actually descriptive of the page content and ya know what? Those links are MORE effective in terms of conversions that some keyword anchor.

You know what else? A brandable domain name practically forces webmasters to add keywords to the link to ensure that people know what they are linking to.

Please don't make it sound as if it is impossible to get people to link to sites using good anchor text. It happens all the time and certainly isn't a miracle and you are doing people a disservice by making it sound as if they MUST have some horrid keyword-keyword domain name in order to rank well.

rfgdxm1




msg:154975
 12:04 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Actually, the real world tends to look like the reverse to me. Clearly sites with keywords in the domain name are coming up very high on the SERPs. Also, I seriously question whether Google doesn't give a big boost based on the domain name. Then why do I have a non-commercial site with the trademark of a well known pharmaceutical in the domain name #1, over the #2 spot held by that trademark holder who foolishly didn't use a hyphen when they should have? They've gotta have more inbound links with that trademark as the anchor text then the small handful this site of mine does. All I know is this trick worked for me going against a multi-million dollar drug company. ;)

tennismaster




msg:154976
 12:07 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

My experience is that keywords in domain can have a big effect.
It is not the holy grail, but it definately helps.

In one of my keywords, the top 50 sites all have the keyword in the domain, despite some being poor sites with
little content and few links.
This is for a very competitive term, and some well SEO
sites without keyword in the domain, are unable to break
into the top 50.

TM

Chicago




msg:154977
 12:17 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

"horrid keyword-keyword domain name"

I don't know what you guys think, but any one size fits all prescription for the Web is a losing proposition.

Brand v. Keyword-Keyword URL is not about right or wrong. It is about what makes sense for the unique business or site.

If you have a pre-existing brand, or you wish to develop and cultivate customer retention, in the long-run, brand is more important. If your business is driven by new users and new customer aqusition via the search engines- a keyword rich URL is part of a comprehensive mix of tactics you can use effectively in an attempt to be the best via a specific keyword phrase that dominates the search term universe for your product/service.

rfgdxm1




msg:154978
 12:25 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

>If you have a pre-existing brand, or you wish to develop and cultivate customer retention, in the long-run, brand is more important. If your business is driven by new users and new customer aqusition via the search engines- a keyword rich URL is part of a comprehensive mix of tactics you can use effectively in an attempt to be the best via a specific keyword phrase that dominates the search term universe for your product/service.

Right. In particular, I consider for Internet marketing keyword-keyword domain names far superior than brand name in the domain. For example, if I am selling blue widgets, I want blue-widgets.com rather than brandname.com because someone looking to buy blue widgets will see immediately from the domain name I am a seller of what they want. If they don't know what my brand name for blue widgets is already, seeing brandname.com won't appeal to them. Obviously if someone has a well known, pre-existing brand than brandname.com might make more sense.

>In one of my keywords, the top 50 sites all have the keyword in the domain, despite some being poor sites with
little content and few links.
This is for a very competitive term, and some well SEO
sites without keyword in the domain, are unable to break
into the top 50.

I see this repeatedly also. Real world observation seems to be that Google gives a big boost for keyword in domain name. It also makes good sense for Google to give a big algo boost for keywords in domain name. From a webmastering perspective, it would make no sense to choose the name blue-widgets.com unless blue widgets was what the site was about. Remember, Google mainly is interested in *relevant* results. Sites with keywords in domain name tend to be relevant for them.

annej




msg:154979
 6:18 am on Mar 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Does anyone know if the order of the keywords matters? For example if my site is called 'American Widgeting History' and someone links to me as 'Widgeting History' will that give me any credit with Google.

I'm thinking about changing my title tags to 'Widgeting History in America' just to place 'widgeting' first in the title as that is the single key word I want to optimize the most.

This 63 message thread spans 3 pages: 63 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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