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This 56 message thread spans 2 pages: 56 ( [1] 2 > >     
The importance of anchor text.
Why don't they understand?
IITian




msg:139254
 4:58 pm on Dec 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

On this forum we all know the importance of having nice keyword-stuffed anchors. However, it seems like some of the links I got recently don't use any anchor texts or use the generic "click here" anchor. It is quite frustrating from SEO's point of view. (I know, I know content is king and I should think about the users and not the search engines but if my site is not found ...)

Ironically, one of these is from the university where Google was born. Problem is that since the people linking to me have been using this format for all other sites, it would be quite futile for me to ask them to change their formats for me only.

This problem seems to be prevelant among non-commercial sites. Hope Google will educate the educators/non-comercials about the importance of anchor text or take into account the text in vicinity of those generic anchors. Please.

 

WebGuerrilla




msg:139255
 5:15 pm on Dec 18, 2003 (gmt 0)


I'm not so sure that's a bad thing. Repetitive anchor text clearly seems to be a factor in the post Florida era. You will get plenty of value from a link on Stanford's site. And I'd argue that you may even get more value from it if it doesn't contain any keywords in the link.

IITian




msg:139256
 5:25 pm on Dec 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

I do hope so. My only fear is that when people type in 'here' as the search term, my site will be at the top of the serps. (Hey, I have been Googlebombed! ;) )

trillianjedi




msg:139257
 5:41 pm on Dec 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

And I'd argue that you may even get more value from it if it doesn't contain any keywords in the link

I'd agree. It lowers the % of keyword anchors you currently have.

Natural variation is the key. A few "Click here" style links is not a bad thing at the moment.

My only fear is that when people type in 'here' as the search term, my site will be at the top of the serps.

lol

It never did any harm for Adobe (try a search for "click here" - that's a result of Acrobat becoming a standard).

TJ

DRGather




msg:139258
 7:39 pm on Dec 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

It never did any harm for Adobe (try a search for "click here" - that's a result of Acrobat becoming a standard).

Oddly enough, Google itself shows up on page 1 in this list as well. Not that it's in any way useful... but interesting nonetheless!

cbpayne




msg:139259
 8:58 pm on Dec 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

If I put a link on my site to another, it because it of use to my users not because I want to provide a boost through anchor text to another site. Sometimes it 'click here', sometimes its the name of the site, sometimes it the topic of the site - it all depends on the context that the link is in.

Those webmasters who email with requests for specfic anchor text (most of them seem more like demands) more often than not end up in the trash.

IITian




msg:139260
 10:10 pm on Dec 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Those webmasters who email with requests for specfic anchor text (most of them seem more like demands) more often than not end up in the trash.

Could be, but it depends upon how much their objectives match. Like, for example, yesterday I got links from a famous site related to my cause and after adding my links to his website, the webmaster emailed me asking if that was ok. Politely (very politely) I replied back explaining how Google and other SEs prefer an anchor text related to keywords I am targeting, and to make the task easier for him, sent him the modified code that he could simply paste.

He did it. I will do the same to someone whose cause I believe in. I want the websites I link to, be able to get extra traffic from higher rankings in serps besides from my site.

jomaxx




msg:139261
 1:28 am on Dec 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I will often comply with reasonable requests when doing a link exchange. But when creating a natural link, the LAST thing I am thinking about is helping the site rank high on Google, and the last thing I would ever consider is going back in and changing the text for such a frivolous reason.

Maybe if you offered something in return -- like a link back to my site, or $20 for my time (seriously).

jady




msg:139262
 2:11 am on Dec 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I gave up on anchor text and just hyperlink our company name - its a safe way to go and we actually moved up to third spot (from fourth).

I dont buy the anchor text deal.. Just link your site name/company name and all should work out nicely..

NickCoons




msg:139263
 7:08 am on Dec 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Excel,

<When was it ever proven that anchor text was a important factor? I know it often *assumed* but there seems to be no evidence.>

The whole idea of "Googlebombing" is based on anchor text being important. If it wasn't, then Googlebombing wouldn't work like it does.

Excel




msg:139264
 7:58 am on Dec 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I still fail to see how that proves it is *important*. All Googlebombs, that appear to prove something, only use non-competitive keywords.

NickCoons




msg:139265
 9:29 am on Dec 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Excel,

Two months ago, I had a link placed on another site to one of my product pages. The anchor text was the name of the product. I made no other changes to the site. I moved from #14 to #1 for the name of the product in less than a week.

This isn't hard proof, but it's enough to peak my interest in the idea.

glengara




msg:139266
 10:11 am on Dec 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

The importance of link text may be being diluted by the addition of other factors that count towards the allinanchor "score".
[webmasterworld.com...]

Excel




msg:139267
 10:53 am on Dec 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

NickCoons, I'm not being rude here but, if you had moved up to # 1 after bolding the product name would you then hold the same importance to bolding? Besides, just how competive is the product term?

I'm not saying that anchor text doesn't play any role, I'm saying that there is no *proof* that it *is important* in the scheme of things.

To me, it's smart to use anchor text that *entices* a serious customer to click. If that means using a product name and/or service description then so be it. But to use anchor text with the intent of only raising your ranking is very much a fallacy IMO.

trillianjedi




msg:139268
 11:06 am on Dec 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

When was it ever proven that anchor text was a important factor? I know it often *assumed* but there seems to be no evidence.

Excel, you're looking at things too narrowly and assuming that the google algo is static. It isn't. I can absolutely assure you that, up till only a couple or three months ago, anchor text was *the* key in the google algo. You could get a *blank page* up to the #1 spot for a competitive term with the right quantity of inbounds. I know. I was doing it.

The problem is, it's no longer the case. Anchor text inbounds have been tweaked in the algo. No-one has yet worked out exactly how, but clearly the end result that google was aiming for was to reduce google-bombing by people using that anchor-text key to get exceptional results in google SERPS.

So you need to forget about the old-way, and whether or not it was ever proven or not (a search around these forums will answer that pretty conclusively for you) and learn the new way and learn to develop as and when it changes again. And it will.

TJ

trillianjedi




msg:139269
 11:31 am on Dec 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Not on a competetive keyword/phrase you didn't!

I consider anything returning >2,000,000 results to be competitive. I appreciate that's subjective and that other people would consider that non-competitive.

Unfortunately "a search around these forums" mainly turns up guess work, speculation and conspiracy theories. Sure, there is some good info here, but it gets buried in mountains of ^&*(%

Very true - I find the best way to contend with that is to look at what the majority of people are saying and look for correlations - it's the only way to cut through. If you haven't already, I also recommend subscribing to the members area where there is a lot less noise and a lot more information of real substance.

If it aint broke don't fix it.

I completely agree with that.

You also said earlier:-

But to use anchor text with the intent of only raising your ranking is very much a fallacy IMO.

Which I also completely agree with, although I think it is possible to cater for both. I tend to consider that when copywriting and creating anchor text. That's my method and, as you say, if it ain't broke don't fix it.

I do not believe that search engine technology is yet at a point where it is "clever" enough to truly view a page with the rule-set of a human user. Until that day comes, I think that creating something that works well on both sides is key.

TJ

Excel




msg:139270
 12:01 pm on Dec 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I consider anything returning >2,000,000 results to be competitive.

A large number of results returned doesn't mean a keyword/phrase is competitive. Do a search for words like "up', "down" "a" etc and you will get millions of pages, I doubt that these are competitive though.

trillianjedi




msg:139271
 12:08 pm on Dec 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Do a search for words like "up', "down" "a" etc and you will get millions of pages, I doubt that these are competitive though.

So you're saying that if you wanted to rank well for "a", it's not competitive?

For a term or phrase to be competitive, it doesn't have to be deliberate.

Unless you're referring to manual tweaking for certain keyphrases by google?

TJ

Excel




msg:139272
 12:11 pm on Dec 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Not entirely no. I'm saying that the number of results returned does not necessarily correspond to the keyword/phrase competitiveness.

trillianjedi




msg:139273
 12:29 pm on Dec 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm saying that the number of results returned does not necessarily correspond to the keyword/phrase competitiveness.

OK, I'm using the word "competitive" in terms of the other pages that exist that a page you wanted to rank well for would be competing with in the google SERPS.

Whether that term/phrase is "a" or "widgets online" makes no difference to that meaning. If "widgets online" returned the 3,000,000,000+ pages as "a" does, I would consider those equally competitive, except in the instance where google is applying a specific filter to the phrase "widgets online".

I'm not in a porn, gambling etc arena, so have no experience (that I know of) of working against such filters.

TJ

Chris_R




msg:139274
 12:49 pm on Dec 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

The search:

Dog Cat Any

yields 3 million results.

Number of results don't mean that much when that is the only metric being used. You have to add common sense into the equation as well. Some of the phrases I see people trying to optimize for make me scratch my head.

Reminds me of those in the domain boards trying to argue their domain is worth $$$$ because there was X number of searches in overture that month for that term.

As the Google algo is made up of possibly hundreds of factors I believe I am NOT looking too narrowly. Far from it.

This is all fine and dandy in press releases and such, but in reality - old google came down to about five things. At least those were all I used and had no problem getting top ten listings for almost any two word competitive phrase I wanted.

Google has devalued the three things that made them a good search engine. Relying on Title, Anchor Text, and PR. They are trying to broaden their metrics for quaqlity, but they went too far the other way.

I wouldn't worry too much about anchor text anymore. Worrying too much will hurt you - trust me. Get good anchor text when you can, but don't worry too much about it. You will only hurt yourself.

Google is targeting SEOs - overuse of Anchor Text is a dead give away you are an SEO.

The days of the small being able to find a niche keyword, build a site around it, and bring in customers are over.

They would rather list a page from amazon.com or the BBC that happens to contain those words, but has little or nothing to do with the subject matter.

*** Pick ANY two word adult search that contains two words that in and of themselves are not overly offensive and you will see what I mean ***

trillianjedi




msg:139275
 12:56 pm on Dec 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google is targeting SEOs - overuse of Anchor Text is a dead give away you are an SEO.

One of the things that most people who dropped experienced from Florida having relied on anchor text heavily as the means of gaining a good ranking.

TJ

karembeu




msg:139276
 1:33 pm on Dec 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

trillian, not sure about others, but we had no reliance on anchor text, and dropped out of site for ALL search terms.

We finally clawed back to reasonable position around the 8th (something at G changed, as we did nothing), when we jumped from page 20 to page 2, now we are back on page 1, but down a few spots to 9 from 3-4 on our main term.

For pretty much ANY theory out there you can find evidence for and against, we simply don't know for sure, and are just making educated guesses.

p.s. I take that back, we are back to position 4 now? Glad we took the wait and see approach and changed nothing. We had that luxury as we also use adwords, I know others didn't have the option.

trillianjedi




msg:139277
 1:35 pm on Dec 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

For pretty much ANY theory out there you can find evidence for and against, we simply don't know for sure, and are just making educated guesses.

Of course, but that's part of the process really.

Out of interest, what was it that made your site succesful in the SERPS in the first place (in your view)?

Have you read the various threads on the OOP theory? Any thoughts?

TJ

NickCoons




msg:139278
 6:23 pm on Dec 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

<if you had moved up to # 1 after bolding the product name would you then hold the same importance to bolding?>

I wouldn't ignore it.

<Besides, just how competive is the product term?>

Not too much competition, 138,000 results returned.

<I'm not saying that anchor text doesn't play any role, I'm saying that there is no *proof* that it *is important* in the scheme of things.>

I'm not saying that it's proof either. In fact, I would make the opposite claim and say that there is no proof that any single factor is important. The posts on this site are based entirely on observation, and many of these observations are consistent enough to act upon. But none of them are proof. If Google's current algorithm was posted here and we could all examine it, I'm sure we'd be surprised at what things were most important.

<To me, it's smart to use anchor text that *entices* a serious customer to click. If that means using a product name and/or service description then so be it. But to use anchor text with the intent of only raising your ranking is very much a fallacy IMO.>

I posted the link on an unrelated site with almost no traffic just to see what would happen. I'm never picky about the anchor text used by someone else when they link to me, I just let them pick whatever they want. When I link out, I use text that is appropriate to the link. It seems to do otherwise would go against Google's natural "for the user" mentality.

Chris_R




msg:139279
 6:41 pm on Dec 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Anchor Text does have something to do with it. When you go to an adult site - many have an Enter and Exit link. To be smart a**** - they link the exit link many times to disney (as in go here kiddy - you are to young) or yahoo.

[google.com...]

Many are now also linking to google. Google, Yahoo, and Disney have nothing to do with "exit" - but are listed there.

I made my living off of PR and Anchor Text while everyone else was talking relevant theming pyramids or paying $300 to be listed in the

universe/world/continent/country/states/city/subcategory

part of Yahoo (that many times wasn't indexed by Google).

Googles Algo WAS VERY SIMPLE. Everyone tried to make it more than it was. It is still simple - it is the filters and stuff ON TOP OF THE OLD BASIC ALGO which are not.

Anchor text works - of course now if you aren't x type of site and/or do this, and or do that - then it won't help as much or even possibly hurt you.

It isn't natural to have 500 different sites pointing to you all using the same anchor text. Google knows this and has been using this for some time. They really cranked it up (or something similar) during Florida.

Bottom Line is - If I were a site just starting out - I wouldn't try and get all my link partners to use the anchor text I WANTED as you most likely won't be very happy with the results. Google has admitted to an over optimization filter. They already collect anchor text data.

Before Anchor Text could ONLY help you. Now that doesn't seem to be the case.

IITian




msg:139280
 7:07 pm on Dec 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

It isn't natural to have 500 different sites pointing to you all using the same anchor text. Google knows this and has been using this for some time. They really cranked it up (or something similar) during Florida.

The next step in this ongoing could be people coming up with lists of important keywords/keyphrases mixed up with a few generic ons ('click here', 'really cool site', 'enter' ...) and use biased random number generator to generate anchor text of varying lengths and different text.

willybfriendly




msg:139281
 7:12 pm on Dec 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

The next step in this ongoing could be people coming up with lists of important keywords/keyphrases mixed up with a few generic ons ('click here', 'really cool site', 'enter' ...) and use biased random number generator to generate anchor text of varying lengths and different text.

Already did this to some extent, i.e. different target keywords appearing in the links. Didn't help me from the initial ravages of Florida.

Problem is, if your site is about one thing, people linking to it will tend to use that one word in the anchor text. Doesn't matter how white hat you are, if G wants to use an algo that penalizes similar anchor text, then you will get pinched.

WBF

IITian




msg:139282
 9:24 pm on Dec 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Today I got a couples of links listed with the standard urls with the titles and descriptions next to them. (Very common with non-profits and informational sites.) If I wanted I could have asked them to change the format to anchored links, but I didn't do that.

As long as some the important keywords are listed near the link (url), I think Google, currently, or in near future will understand what the link is all about.

I think that there could be a "vicinity factor" involved. (Speculation, of course.) Anchor texts have vicinity factor of 0, word next to the url has 1, word separated by one word has 2 and son on for, maybe next 20 words or so. (Lower "vicinity factor" means higher relevance to that link. Add to that some credit for headings and title on the page.

is300




msg:139283
 9:32 pm on Dec 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I just acquired a chunk of webspace on a PR7 page and loaded it up with 6-7 keyword-stuffed links pointing to my site. Does anyone have any factual proof that this will hurt me right now?

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