Friday, June 20, 2014

Keyword Anchor Text

Keywords and Google Bombs

Lets discuss the importance of putting keywords into your link's anchor texts. The fact is you can have high PageRank pages but if they're not well optimized they still won't rank well.

PageRank merely tells the search engines that your site is popular but keywords in the links tell the search engines why. They tell the search engines what your site is about.

PageRank can't do the why. If we were to search for “canvas shoe design” we would find pages listed from the organic search results. If we were to look at the PageRank you can see starting at the top we have a variety of PageRanks and you'll notice that they're not in sequential order. There's no direct correlation between search engine listing order and PageRank. Clearly, something else is going on.

Keyword Anchor Text
Keyword Anchor Text
The search engines look at the anchor text of a link to get an idea of what the reference page is all about. If Google finds the words “canvas shoe design” in a link, you can be pretty sure that the reference page isn't about how to run your first 5K. It makes perfect sense that the reference page should have something to do wi
th shoe design. The text in links is usually closely associated with the subject matter of the reference page. It's such a simple thing but when you think about it it makes perfect sense.

The text in the link can be calls to actions such as click here. They can be the name of the website or the company that owns the website. The link text can be a URL that's common in many directories or listings of websites. Or they can be words that are somehow related to what the reference page is about. So it makes perfect sense that Google and all other major search engines should examine links for clues about the subject matter of the reference page.

If a search engine sees a company name in the link it's fair to assume that the reference page has something to do with that company. If the link contains the words “5k running”, it's reasonable for it to believe the page has something to do with running. And if it sees dozens or hundreds of links with the words 5k running  pointing to that page, it's convinced and it figures that the page is one that many people think is a good match for the phrase “5k running”. The search engine has in effect recruited website owners or gone social to help it find a good match for the phrase.

Even if the search engine sees a call to action, it's going to associate the page with that call to action. What happens if you search Google for the phrase click here? At or near the top you'll find the Adobe Reader download page. Open that page and search the source code for the phrase click here. You won't find it. This page is a truly terrible match for the phrase except for the hundreds of thousands of pages around the web saying something like if you need to download Adobe Reader, CLICK HERE.

This is an example of what has become known as a Google bomb. A Google bomb is created by linking to a specific web page using a particular keyword phrase often for political or humorous purposes. Sometimes it's used to associate an unpleasant or insulting phrase with a particular person or perhaps to cause a site to attacking someone to rise high in the search results.

Google bombs are alive and well and if you stop thinking of them as a mere trick you'll realize they're a technique. Your task is to Google bomb your own site with the keywords for which you want to rank well. So why is my competitors ranking higher than me? Your client's website might be better optimized. A link analysis will give you the clues as to why the competitor is ranked above you.

Call it what you want. Key worded links or Google bombing or keyword anchor text, the fact is it works. It's an extremely powerful mechanism for convincing search engines that your site is related to a particular keyword phrase that is the best match. What it means is you want to make sure that many of the links pointing to your site have useful anchor texts. Anchor text in the form of relevant keyword.

Steve Steinberger

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