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Webmaster Tools now shows backlink anchor phrases

 6:03 am on Mar 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

For a good while we could see the individual words used in backlink anchor text that points to our site. But now, Vanessa Fox reports this feature has been upgraded to show us complete phrases, and not just individual words. Nice move Google - thanks!

Now we've enhanced the information we provide and will show you the complete phrases sites use to link to you, not just individual words. And we've expanded the number we show to 100...
Webmaster Central Blog [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com]



 1:58 pm on Mar 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Nice new feature, It's interesting to see the order of them they look like the more of the same anchor is put at the top, always nice to see the new links.

One question how often do they update the backlinks in the webmaster tools?


 2:20 pm on Mar 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Now, how do I tactfully request a change from all those people who link to me with "click here" ...?


 2:24 pm on Mar 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

I just checked, I don't see anchor phrases in the link tab, just urls

ahh, I see it


 2:44 pm on Mar 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

I really don't see it in the Link tab..?


 2:45 pm on Mar 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Dagnabbit! I had verified my site months ago... then I removed the verification file after a few days. Now it says I need to verify again! I didn't realize I needed to leave the file out there.

I hope it kept my stats up-to-date.


 3:01 pm on Mar 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

It does, do not worry ;)


 3:54 pm on Mar 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

It's just not there for me.

It sounds great, I looked all over, read the blog, read the help, read other sites info on it. But it just doesn't show.

On Statistics > Page Analysis I get Type and Encodings, but no phrases or even a hint of where it's supposed to be. It's not empty or no data, it's not even evident where they are supposed to put it.

Is there anything I can do to enable this? Am I blind?



 4:15 pm on Mar 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

I still can't get my site to verrify. I'm using a subdomain and I've tried both the header and the file methods. I can access the file and I put the meta tag immediately after the HEAD tag. The errors I get are not the ones the help file addresses.

Meta tag error:
Last attempt Mar 16, 2007: We've detected that your verification file returns a status of 412 (Precondition failed) in the header.

File verrification error:
Last attempt Mar 16, 2007: Our system has experienced a temporary problem.

I tried this previously and it never worked either. I got the sitemap to work, but I can't access the advanced tools until I verrify...


 4:38 pm on Mar 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

For some sites I have it, for others I dont. Weird.


 6:25 pm on Mar 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Allright then I'll be the first to put this in perspective.

Martin [webmasterworld.com] and I were just discussing this [webmasterworld.com].

I want the timing to be a coincidence.
But the intent doesn't seem to be.

We've just reached the conclusion on how this tool could be used to match the strength of certain words in inbounds vs. your actual content. You know, to evade theme/phrase based penalties.


Now it became ten times harder if not impossible to interpret it.
( See this is why I keep track of all inbounds' URLs. )
As now, it doesn't tell what words were used most often.

Google isn't Yahoo, it doesn't care whether your inbounds carry a phrase by individual words or in their entirety. A site with 100 inbounds "Blue" and "Cheese", 50-50 each ( my favourite example ) WILL rank for "Blue Cheese" in Google. They combine any and all on- and off-page relevance in the background, it's not like you needed your anchors to be a match to your exact keyphrase all the time... what's the message here?

This will cause confusion.
We gained the third most important data and lost the second.
( I guess they won't list the anchors/links based on their WORTH, ever. )

As a SEO tool this is a step backwards.
At least for those who know how relevancy travels through anchor text.

Oh wait.
Would Google do that to SEOs?

Whatever, I think I got the message.

1.: Google reads the threads. ( here and elsewhere, but we knew that )
2.: We ( as in webmasters ) were onto something.

( Please don't take me seriously, I have hay fever. )

But since I'm at it, I see ( "natural" ) Wikipedia and Blog links all over the list. Why does the linking profile show nofollow links I wonder. That's not much help either. Could it be, because if it didn't, Wikipedia would have become a dead end in the system, along with all WordPress and other Blogs, and this would have triggered the filters to penalize them?

If not, please turn it off, I don't think we need to know.


 7:24 pm on Mar 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

I can't see the option to view anchor text. And I've had to re-verify several times. I can only assume that I'm a big dummy...


 9:19 pm on Mar 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

I can't see it either. I'm thinking it's a hidden text thing and Google will have to ban webmaster tools....


 11:13 pm on Mar 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Is there a Google command I can use to see who is linking to me with a certain phrase.


 1:16 am on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Is there a Google command I can use to see who is linking to me with a certain phrase.

I do not think google will provide such a vital stat for other sites you do not own. Webmaster tools will always enjoy extra features as it is provided only to you.

This is a great move by Google but I am sure Google is not a dump SE to still use anchor text for ranking. Anchor text can only fetch OOps.


 2:08 pm on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

rj87uk, we update both links data and anchor text once a month.

maximillianos, we keep the stats updated even if the site becomes unverified. We recommend that you leave the verification file or meta tag on your site so when we reverify periodically, your account remains verified.

Muskie, I'll check into that. Can you send me your site URL?

Miamacs, we've had several people request that we show the individual anchor words we had available before, so we're looking into potentially providing both.

We are working to make the anchor text phrases available for more sites, so if you don't see this data now, you should hopefully see it in the coming weeks.


 3:31 pm on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Having both would be great...
Thank you for considering that.


 7:24 pm on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Well, for now you can view it via Statistics > Page Analysis.


 8:00 pm on Mar 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

What is the best way to take that link text that is displaying in Webmaster Central and do a search and get all the sites linking to you with that anchor text? Since Webmaster Central isn't giving that information, I don't see anywhere in the "hacks" that I've written down over the years that this is available. Anyone have this tip?

Anyone? Bueller?



 10:36 pm on Mar 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

It's mega cool, but doesn't seem to include subdomains.

As Miamacs said, the previous configuration was more convenient to check the phrase-based problem, but the new scheme gives a much clearer picture of how people link to your site.

[edited by: Martin40 at 10:41 pm (utc) on Mar. 18, 2007]


 10:39 pm on Mar 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

rj87uk, we update both links data and anchor text once a month.

Thanks - Thought I was talking to myself, quickie: If you update the stats in the Webmaster Tools once a month is that how often new links are taken into account or is that done on a when found basis?



 11:21 pm on Mar 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have a scenario where i have two identical sites one a .com the other a .co.uk

the .com which was set up last year is succesfully spidered and listed in google, but all i get on the page analysis page in WT is

Type Distribution

Encodings Distribution
ISO-8859-1 (Latin-1)

However, on the .co.uk domain which is listed in WT but not indexed yet (why i still dont know)

I was, (just checked but it says no data available) getting all sorts of interesting information like common words etc.

Why does this show for one site and not the other and why (for over 24 hours now) has the .co.uk not shown any stats?


 12:33 am on Mar 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

(...) i have two identical sites one a .com the other a .co.uk (...)

Is one redirected to the other?
Or did you mean identical as in identical layout/design/structure?
Surely you didn't mean identical by all means did you?

If you meant that literally, then don't be surprised whatever happens.


 12:39 am on Mar 22, 2007 (gmt 0)


Yes they are identical, the reason being is that the site is a uk based site, but the .com was not showing well on UK searches.

I take it from your reaction this is not the best way to go? Can you explain please.


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