SEO Debate Over 1st Anchor Text is What Matters to Google

Jun 6, 2008 • 8:09 am | comments (8) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

A couple months ago we reported on an SEOMoz post that was debated at Sphinn on the topic of which anchor text counts? Is it only the first anchor text on the page linking to a specific URL or is it all the anchor texts that are linking to that specific URL count.

Let me explain. Let's say I first link to my Big Blue Pineapple Chair with the anchor text Big Blue Pineapple Chair and then the second time I link to that exact URL, I use the anchor text Small Red Cantaloupe Chair, would Google count the second link? Hmm, so far, it doesn't seem that way - but that was not a full or thorough test.

A new Sphinn discussion revolves around a post named Debunked: Only The 1st Anchor Text Counts With Google. The discussion basically agrees that the this theory was not debunked and requires more testing. There are several SEOs currently testing the first-anchor text theory and I will keep you posted on those findings as they come out.

Forum discussion at Sphinn.

Previous story: The Video URL Is Not Always Optional in Google Video Sitemaps



06/06/2008 12:32 pm

I recently tested this on one of my sites. Did not knew about the debate. My results: second and even third link does metter for Google.


06/06/2008 02:33 pm

Although I have not done any specific testing, but I think all links count, irrespective of the anchor.


06/06/2008 02:33 pm

I have tested this for last 2 months and have concluded that google only attributes the first anchor text in the code with the target url. I will be publishing my findings in the near future at

No Name

06/06/2008 03:58 pm

I believe that did a case study to figure this out. They arrived to the conclusion that the 1st is the one that matters.

Michael Martinez

06/06/2008 05:02 pm

Rand has some very bizarre linking theories that are contrary to what actually happens in the search engines. If you put 10 outbound links on a page, the anchor text for the 3rd one may show up before the anchor text for the 1st one, but he reached the conclusion that only the 1st link counts. This latest bit of nonsense was really not worth all the fuss.

Miguel Salcido

06/06/2008 05:41 pm

imnotadoctor and myself have tested this and we can say with 100% certainty that our test conclusively proved that Google only takes the first anchor text. There are ways around this that will allow you to have multiple anchor texts attributed to the destination URL though. Again, we will be publishing our findings, which are more extensive than this, in the near future at We will also be presenting our findings in person at the San Diego Ad Club Interactive Marketing Day on June 11th.

Bill Sebald

06/08/2008 10:57 pm

To me, only ranking off the first anchor text is short sighted. If it's a matter of processing, that's one thing, but other links could be more meaningful to users. I have to think it's a combination, even if the first one is weighted higher.

Michael Martinez

06/09/2008 04:25 pm

Sorry guys. That dog won't hunt.

blog comments powered by Disqus