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Have you ever wondered exactly what kind of power lies in the hands of anchor text? Let me enlighten you:

Back in 2003, a bunch of people who didn’t like George Bush too much got together and inserted links everywhere they could that looked like this:

<a href=”http://www.whitehouse.gov/president/gwbbio.html”>miserable failure</a>

Eventually, enough websites linked to George W. Bush’s biography using the words “miserable failure” in their anchor text that the page ranked #1 for the term in Google. It may have worked because it’s not a very competitive keyphrase, but it’s still a great example of how anchor text can affect your search engine ranking.

Googlebombing, or link bombing, has become common in web culture. The SEO community has sponsored contests in order to manipulate ranks for nonsense, noncompetitive terms. It’s a subject of some controversy, raising questions of whether the search engines should remove these kinds of pranks from their results, whether it’s just harmless fun, and whether it still works the way it used to 5 years ago. Whatever your opinion is on the subject, facts such as this should open your eyes to the importance of choosing the right anchor text for your links.

Instead of falling in the habit of linking to your site like this:

If you’re interested in SEO & Internet marketing tips, click here!

Try choosing your anchor text to be relevant to your site:

Check out my blog for great tips on SEO & Internet marketing!

Believe it or not, “click here” is listed in Google more than 1,530,000,000 times! You would have a better chance ranking #1 for “Internet marketing” with about 20,300,000 results.

So let this be your lesson: When linking to your site or paying for link ads, don’t forget to use relevant anchor text!


Category: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Article posted by: Neon on August 17th, 2007



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8 Comments to “Do Search Engines Notice Anchor Text? Ask George Bush!” »

Aug 17 2007 at 10:04 am

[…] Clark Link to Article george w bush Do Search Engines Notice Anchor Text? Ask George Bush! » This excerpt […]

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Comment by Mikael
Aug 20 2007 at 1:44 am

Another great example is the guys trying to rank for “coolest guy on the planet” – Brad Fallon, Jonathan Ledger, Russell Bronson, Mike Filsame and many more.

Harmless little joke but still shows that anchor text works wonders.

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Comment by satya
Aug 20 2007 at 11:42 am

Google has another database for anchor texts and link it points to.. and rather than page rank this is considered. Infact it has a system called lexicon to generate commonly searched terms and each term would have a set of sites (links) ranked out. There for those words i.e. the anchors…the coresponding link which is more in amount will get on top.

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Comment by Sucker
Aug 20 2007 at 6:10 pm

A while back I checked and Adobe was #1 for click here… And they still are today.

I doubt that anyone will take that away :)

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Comment by J. Robinson
Aug 20 2007 at 9:36 pm

@Sucker: Now that you mention it, I do remember hearing something about that a few years back.

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Comment by Click Input
Aug 21 2007 at 12:46 am

It’s easy to do too because no one is going to be trying to rank for words like miserable failure either!

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Comment by ecoshopper
Aug 27 2007 at 11:17 pm

I think I read somewhere that this does not work with google now. I think they look at what the incoming links’ webpage is about. So now the “miserable failure” link page has to be about that!

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Sep 05 2007 at 2:01 pm

[…] on August 17, I made a post emphasizing the significance that anchor text has on your links. In this paid review, I want to […]

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