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3rd April 2012 |  Written by Justin Butcher

Anchor Text Is Not Dead

By now many of you would have read Search quality highlights: 50 changes for March from Google, and there is much speculation about the following two paragraphs:

Tweaks to handling of anchor text. [launch codename "PC"] This month we turned off a classifier related to anchor text (the visible text appearing in links). Our experimental data suggested that other methods of anchor processing had greater success, so turning off this component made our scoring cleaner and more robust.

Better interpretation and use of anchor text. We’ve improved systems we use to interpret and use anchor text, and determine how relevant a given anchor might be for a given query and website.

There are two things I take from this:

  • Nowhere does it say that anchor text has been turned off
  • Anchor text is still being used as a signal by Google as a signal in some way, just not in exactly the same way that they used it before

My advice would be to ignore the inevitable ‘anchor text is dead’ hysteria, and test and observe things for yourself like all good SEOs always do.

Your Comments

  1. Anchor text is dead. End of story.

  2. My take on this is that the full content around the link is going to be considered. In other words, anchor text will not be considered in a vacuum. It the anchor text somewhat matches the text around the link it will be helpful. The days of simple anchor text backlinks as a “sponsor” to a high PR page or as a blog comment having nothing to do with the anchor are over. Anchor text in a contextual blog post or contextual article are still good.

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