Copywriting

The Power of Anchor Text. True Story!

By Elisa Gabbert December 04, 2009 Posted In: Copywriting Comments: 3

It's something you hear over and over again from SEOs: Anchor text matters. Chris Brogan relayed this familiar advice this week in a post on decisions we make as bloggers:

By the way, HOW you link to something matters. If you link to chrisbrogan.com by calling it Chris’s blog, then you’re telling Google that people searching for “Chris’s blog” might want chrisbrogan.com. If you link to chrisbrogan.com by calling it social media resources or social media strategy or whatever (frankly, I’ve never known what to bother ranking for in search results), then you are telling Google that people searching for social media whatever might want to find my blog.

So in choosing the words for the link text, you’re also making decisions.

Aside: It took me FOREVER to find where I'd read this again. First, I looked back through my feeds from the week, but I assumed I'd read it on a more search-centric blog so I didn't check Chris Brogan's. Then I explicitly searched for it in Google Reader, but I used the phrase "anchor text" and he refers to it as "link text," so it didn't come up. Finally I resorted to a regular old Google search, filtered for "blogs" and "recent," scanning for things I knew I'd read, and Chris's post came up—but only because someone used "anchor text" in the comments. So. Note to Chris Brogan: It's called anchor text.

ANYWAYZ, I simply took this advice on faith until the day I saw the power of anchor text in action. A couple of years ago, I was doing a little healthy self-googling when I found this page in the SERPs:

Google SERP

(Yes, it's on page 31 now, but I swear it used to be on one of the first few pages. Self-googling isn't my ONLY hobby.) I knew instantly why it was showing up, despite the fact that my name, obviously, does not appear anywhere on this page featuring an Italian painting in Boston's MFA collection ("Portrait of a Woman with a Pearl Necklace"):

Woman with a Pearl Necklace

It's because my friend Adam Golaski once used my name as the anchor text in a link to this painting, because he thinks it looks like me.

Power of Anchor Text

Pretty awesome, huh? I bet if more people linked to the painting with "Elisa Gabbert" in the "link text," it would climb back up in the rankings … but at what point would Google deem it a Google bomb?

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Comments

Friday December 04, 2009

Larry Kim (not verified) Said:

Wow that painting really looks like you!

Friday December 04, 2009

Elisa Gabbert Said:

Ha ha, I probably should have done a side-by-side comparison, separated at birth style.

Friday December 04, 2009

Justin Freid (not verified) Said:

Your post is spot on. I am attempting to make my company understand how powerful inbound links with the proper anchor text is. It is a struggle to make product development and marketing understand that it is worth the time of a developer.

And you should definitely show a side by side pic.

 
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