Anchor Text Matters!

Sending out the 411 to the other bloggers who read this–yes, the anchor text you use when linking to other bloggers matters, technically.

Michael Silence says:

In my more than five years of following blogs and my three years of blogging, it’s always been clear linking to the source is proper attribution.

It’s also concise.

This item, from the No Silence Here blog of Michael Silence on knoxnews.com, raises… — 14 words.

Link — one word.

What do you think?

For search engines, especially Google, relevant anchor text in a link passes page rank stregth to the original site/article. If the anchor text is irrelevant to the originating site/story, the strength of the referring page’s rank is not passed or is lower. In Michael’s case, the anchor text “Link” doesn’t help the NYT article as much as “New York Times” does. “Link” could be spammmy, “New York Times” probably isn’t.

Here’s a pretty good article on anchor text and links (see how I did that) and how Google views them.

Having said all that, it’s pretty odd that the guy would actually complain about it. Me, I’ll take any link I can get and hope that the context of the link is relevant. Worst case scenario–I get more readers. Best case–I get more readers and a Google boost.

There is quite a bit of discussion going on right now about Google’s statement that they don’t want to pass page rank between sites if the links are paid for. The thing is, how do you know if a link is organic or bought if the anchor text that creates the link is relevant to both the original source and the referring site?

Want to get confused even further? Try to decipher how Google really works by reading Matt Cutt’s blog.

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Comments

I always try to link relevant text when linking to people. Sometimes I get lazy, but I generally try to get the linking right. Like you, I’ll take any links I can get, especially to my lesser-known blogs.

I don’t think it’s wrong to link with “link” or “click”. As long as you are citing where you got the info, it’s all good. But I’m not sure that all bloggers are aware the these things actually count.

I’ve got very little PR on this blog right now, so it hardly matters how I link, but every little bit helps. I try to link with relevant text, even if it’s someone I disagree with. They did, after all, write something worth responding to.

And obviously, the NYT isn’t going to get much of a bang from a single link from the KNS. The guy who wrote the email to MS made himself sound like a turd.

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