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Anchor Links without Plain Text Description?

To Do or Not To Do

     
12:20 am on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I have a datafeed I publish on a page which displays products. I have the option of 2 layouts for the datafeed. One layout shows the feed with the product image, an anchor text product link, and no description. The other layout shows the feed with the product image, an anchor text product link, and a plain text description.

The first layout is the most appealing to web visitors and highest conversion, which should be obvious as to which layout to choose. I did choose it as my layout.

But, my question is how much affect does anchor text with no description vs. anchor text with a plain text description have in regards to search engines?

It seems a significant drop in traffic has occurred, probably at least 30% of organic long tail search disappeared from the search engines within a few weeks of making this change. The keywords from my analytics reports show that the search terms used are the anchor text links. Any thoughts?

7:42 pm on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Which format earns you the most money? Go with that one.
3:18 pm on Feb 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Martinibuster,

That may sound like the obvious choice, but if you could please give me a better answer as to the effect anchor text links vs. plain text. Sure I have a higher conversion when not using plain text description, but I lose organic rankings so in retrospect I depend on my organic rankings for conversions. There isn't a cut or dry answer, I need to know if anyone know the difference of using anchor text vs. plain text...thx.

4:23 pm on Feb 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

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>>>but I lose organic rankings so in retrospect

If losing organic rankings has no effect on your earnings then it doesn't matter. If losing rankings has an effect, then it does matter.

8:51 pm on Feb 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Yes, losing organic rankings has an effect on my earnings because I depend on my organic rankings for traffic.
8:42 pm on Feb 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Most search engines associate the text of a link with the page that the link is on. In addition, we associate it with the page the link points to. This has several advantages. First, anchors often provide more accurate descriptions of web pages than the pages themselves. Second, anchors may exist for documents which cannot be indexed by a text-based search engine, such as images, programs, and databases.

[infolab.stanford.edu...]

in a nutshell, google partially determines whether a site should be posted for a keyword query by the anchor text in the link;

 

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