There is a fascinating SERP artifact which almost prompts me to question whether or not there is no more valuable focus in SEO than anchor text. Anchor text you ask, how can that possibly be most important?? Well in truth, I’m not supposing it is but give these searches a moment of your time.
“Click here” Yes, really, do a search for “Click here”
- Adobe’s Reader Download – certainly the most pervasive download by anyone who owns a computer and easily found from any website featuring a PDF “Click here to download”
- XE.com’s Universal Currency Converter – consider all the travel, financial, and international websites which offer a simple feature to their users: Click here for current exchange rates
- Apple but wait… not the iPod or even the iPhone??? No, Click here to download Quicktime
I’m amused as every good designer knows you don’t use “Click here” as a call to action on web links. Sure, it makes it a little clearer for those unfamiliar with the internet that they are supposed to click here (rather, there) but imagine how much more powerful keywords such as adobe, reader, quicktime, and doubleclick would perform for those businesses if their anchor text was “Adobe Reader Download”
Let me clarify, I’m not suggesting Adobe isn’t already first position on a search for “Adobe Reader” but that anchor text increases the relevance and authority of the respective keywords on the associated website. No one searches for “Click Here” so Adobe is wasting an opportunity to strengthen their visibility on searches including those terms, e.g. “PDF Reader” or “Reader download” Sure, Reader is almost certainly as branded as an Adobe product as Kleenex is to tissues so that may still be a poor example to reinforce my point but, when we take into account the emerging Reader technologies, it is only a matter a time before Adobe is fighting for relevance. Consider too, how much more valuable “currency converter” or “exchange rates” is to XE.com.
Anchor text is such an influential consideration that Google has a patent associated with it and the topic is a frequent discussion on Search Engine Land (whose URL structure always amuses me, “Did you read their article about 080122-120943? It was excellent!”).
How much more fun can we have?
- Whoa… now there’s a study in URL Structure (nudge… nudge… Search Engine Land): seemore.com, seemore.org, seemorewildlife.com, seemoreshopping.com
- Vital BMX – ah… now there’s one that reinforces my point “See more here“
You can’t control the anchor text used to promote your website but recognize that you have influence and should at least pay attention and request of peers that they link to you in as optimized a manner as possible.