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Does link text have a relationship with rankings for specific queries?

     

pavlovapete

11:47 pm on May 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



If all of my inbound links had the anchor text "click here" would I rank for anything?

I'm under the impression that getting your site to rank for "frozen widgets" means that you'll need at least some inbound links with the text "frozen widgets".

How else could the engines get a signal of the intent of your site?

helpnow

12:59 am on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



2 words: Adobe Reader.

tedster

1:04 am on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



helpnow, I don't get your point very clearly - please give us a bit more detail.

TheMadScientist

1:06 am on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member themadscientist is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



If all of my inbound links had the anchor text "click here" would I rank for anything?

Yes, if you got enough inbound links you could probably be number one for 'click here', but it would also probably be quite a bit of work...

I'm under the impression that getting your site to rank for "frozen widgets" means that you'll need at least some inbound links with the text "frozen widgets".

Correct, but you don't want them to all say exactly the same thing, because too high a percentage with link text all the same is 'unnatural' and can cause issues, so you want inbound links to 'naturally' use different text, or variations of the same text.

There are quite a few older threads here (prior to my join date) where what you're asking about is discussed at more length, but I don't remember where they are off the top of my head... You might start by browsing through the 'hot topics' thread pinned at the top of the forum.

pavlovapete

1:10 am on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Thanks for your reply helpnow. I've seen that one but I'm not sure it answers my question.

That company still ranks number one for "click here" - the text apparenty has influenced the ranking.

My question is more - what is the likelihood of that company ranking for the term "click here" if there were no links with that text?

I have a SEO guy telling me that link text has "zero" influence on rankings. Maybe I am misinterpreting this person - but it just sounds wrong. Evidently a Google employee has said this to the SEO guy.

TheMadScientist

1:31 am on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member themadscientist is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I have a SEO guy telling me that link text has "zero" influence on rankings.

LMAO... I would consider paying them to leave the site alone to let me do what I wanted if it was mine.

See my above reply if you want a more serious answer.

pavlovapete

2:26 am on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



TheMadScientist

:) It would be funny if I hadn't already paid him several thousand dollars. He came very well recommended.

He's calling the relationship between link text and ranking for particular keywords "one of the biggest SEO myths".

Again, maybe I am misunderstanding him.

I am in an unhappy situation. :(

TheMadScientist

2:38 am on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member themadscientist is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



WOW, sorry about the joke...

That's too bad, and unfortunately, what they will not be able to do is reasonably explain how some pages that are cached display something to the effect of 'what you searched for is only included in links to this page' which I have personally seen and has been reported here on multiple occasions.

What IMO is absolute myth is their knowledge as an SEO.

I guess it's entirely possible Google has thrown out the entire premise of linked and surrounding text 'counting as part of the page they point to' some time in the last couple of weeks, but IMO it's extremely unlikely, because if they had they would not ever ask webmasters to report paid links, because it would not matter if they were paid or not or if the text was being manipulated... Very sorry you have been totally mislead IMO.

Link text is one of the most important aspects of SEO and the ultimate proof is the site ranking for 'click here'. I took over a site like that once a few years ago from a 'great seo'. It ranked for the same type of terms.

If link text really does not matter, tell them to humor you and change it then watch and see what happens... If you no longer rank for 'click here' then obviously it counted.

Again, my apologies for the situation and making light of it.
I hope you get things straightened out.

[edited by: TheMadScientist at 2:50 am (utc) on May 21, 2010]

pavlovapete

2:50 am on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Hey absolutely no worries about your joke - it is a National Pastime and considered a Good Thing here in my country. So not a problem at all.

I hope I have misunderstood this SEO guy. It is going to be difficult to hand over the next $x000 installment at this stage.

I'm not sure how I argue with him if he says link text is not important. I mean, I think it is but who am I? I'm not well known. And when he throws in stuff about being told this truth by Google - what can I say?

Apart from "Give me money back." :)

TheMadScientist

3:07 am on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member themadscientist is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Ask them to explain these threads:

[webmasterworld.com...]

[webmasterworld.com...]

The cached version does say that the words only appear in links to the page.

Freejung MSG 44 from this recent thread: [webmasterworld.com...]

You could probably even sticky freejung and ask them for the query / page and show your SEO the result, then ask them to explain. Link text and surrounding text on the page counts, unless something has changed very recently.

pavlovapete

3:14 am on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Thanks for making the effort TheMadScientist.

I shall be pleased to use WebmasterWorld as the source of my "truths".

Cheers

TheMadScientist

3:20 am on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member themadscientist is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Glad I could help...

It's tough enough to keep your head wrapped around what's going on without the misleading or just plain false 'inside info' statements being made. There's a full on rant I would like to go on about your SEO, but I'll leave it there. ;)

tedster

3:34 am on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



There is another side to this. What's on the page still does count, and links from strong related pages do help you rank for terms on your own page, even if their anchor text only says "click here" or "more information".

In fact, a page can rank for decent search terms with no external backlinks at all -- if backlinks are pointing to another page and then channeled through the site's internal linking.

So there is a relationship between link text and ranking, but it's certainly not the only factor in ranking and relevance.

TheMadScientist

3:45 am on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member themadscientist is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



There is another side to this. What's on the page still does count, and links from strong related pages do help you rank for terms on your own page, even if their anchor text only says "click here" or "more information".

Agreed, but would you ever recommend someone use 'click here' as the link text to pages, which I've heard referred to as one of the biggest mistakes people make, rather than descriptive text? Or, would you ever say 'link text does not count'?

Somehow I think not, because I know you know if link text did not count, then there would be no 'filtering' or 'penalty' when a site picks up an unnatural amount of backlinks all containing the same text...

There are so many different ways to prove link text counts it's not even funny and to say otherwise is fallacy...

Sure, surrounding text counts too, and things 'cascade' but to say 'link text counting is an SEO myth' is either a colossal fundamental change in theory by G which is very recent or completely wrong, right? LOL.

[edited by: TheMadScientist at 3:47 am (utc) on May 21, 2010]

pavlovapete

3:46 am on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Thanks tedster. This is helpful.

if backlinks are pointing to another page and then channeled through the site's internal linking.


OK maybe this is what my SEO guy is trying to say.

So if I understand you correctly tedster you are postulating that a number of decent backlinks to a page (even a homepage?) could in fact be re-channelled to raise the rankings for specific search terms?

So if I want to target specific search terms and improve my rankings I could simply(!) get more quality backlinks and then use internal linking (with the target terms as link text) to lift my rankings.

Sort of puts the ball into my court doesn't it - and puts a huge emphasis on my internal linking anchor text.

Thanks once again tedster.

Cheers

tedster

4:27 am on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I would expand a little on that. If you've got a good internal page that has no backlinks, then working to get some direct backlinks is an excellent thing to do. And keep the anchor text natural, as TMS suggested. It doesn't take but a pinch of keyword anchor text to do the job.

Even more, if the internal page is a strong bit of content, then definitely make sure you channel internal link juice to it, too.

FranticFish

7:28 am on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Re: click here and the Adobe reference. The fact that anchor text outweighs all other factors can be shown very simply when looking at the Adobe Reader page (first place for 'click here' for as long as I can remember) in Google's cache. It says

"These terms only appear in links pointing to this page: click here"

As long as that page is number one for what is probably the most competitive term on the web, then anchor text is important.

internetheaven

2:54 pm on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I'm under the impression that getting your site to rank for "frozen widgets" means that you'll need at least some inbound links with the text "frozen widgets"


You've been a member here 5 years. If you don't know the importance of anchor text by now then you're in the wrong job ... BUT, to enter in to the theoretical:

1000 x "click here" anchor text links with good on page content for "frozen widgets" could potentially rank higher than, say, a page with badly focused content and only 10 x anchor text links of "frozen widgets". Internal navigation anchor text can tip the balance in such cases.

That's extreme. But hopefully gets the theory across?

pavlovapete

12:40 am on May 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



internetheaven :)

You've been a member here 5 years. If you don't know the importance of anchor text by now then you're in the wrong job


that's the nicest way anyone has called me stupid. ever.

I have a SEO guy telling me that link text has "zero" influence on rankings.


This was my problem - a professional giving me really badly-phrased advice. With tedster's help I think I may have stumbled onto what the SEO guy was trying to communicate. I need to talk to him some more and make certain I am hearing him properly.

If he insists that it makes no difference I'll direct him to this thread - and internetheaven's post specifically :)

Thanks for all your replies.

internetheaven

1:09 pm on May 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



that's the nicest way anyone has called me stupid. ever.


My comments were more to the fact that everything on here goes against what you are being told. My assumption was that you would not be on here asking the question if this SEO's methods were actually working. I was aiming more for "gullible" rather than "stupid". ;)

A few extra pointers:

- Anyone who says they have someone inside Google feeding them information is lying. If Matt Cutts seems to have no idea half the time, then no-one under him is likely to know anything at all ... let alone go blabbing about it.

- The fact this SEO is having to justify his methods means they are not working. I can get a top 10 ranking in some pretty hefty industries in under a month with a brand new domain and content ... and I don't cost $$$$s.

- If they say social bookmarks are great links ... they just might be a bad SEO ...

- If they say 5000 directory submissions will boost your ranking ... they just might be a bad SEO ...

- If they say "oh, my own site doesn't rank well because I don't want to give my secrets away" ... they just might be a bad SEO ...

- If they say they can get you 1000 one ways across 10 class C's ... they just might be a bad SEO ...

- If they contacted (spammed) you offering their services ... they just might be a bad SEO ...

- If they say "ranking for dark red fishing poles could take up to a year" ... they just might be a bad SEO ...

Hey, this could be a good bit ... are there any SEO comedians? ;)

pavlovapete

12:23 am on May 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Thanks internetheaven.

Yes I need more confidence to tell the Emperor that he is naked - and that link text does indeed make a difference.

Cheers

MLHmptn

9:18 am on May 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Or better yet, ask the SEO why he doesn't rank for "SEO". :) If his theory is so great he would and should rank for his services. Link text is a huge portion of SEO, no ifs, ands or buts about it.

And to tell you the truth....Getting burnt by any shady SEO is a learning experience in and of itself. Read, read, read...WebmasterWorld teaches you so much you won't need SEO services. If your going to contract somebody hire somebody to find you quality relevant backlinks and nothing but.

Honestly, I've been burned by TWO SEO's, one that even the SEO god's all look up to and the other being that fraudster in jail in Nevada (I hate to admit it).
 

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