Google Algorithm Altered: Less Emphasis Placed on Anchor Text

Aug 25, 2008 • 8:40 am | comments (3) by twitter | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

Patrick Altoft blogged a recent finding that Google seems to have changed its algorithm and placed less emphasis on anchor text (versus on-site optimization). His theory (which is purely from observations at this point) is that Google is altering the algorithm because anchor text is currently the ranking algorithm's biggest flaw. There are a variety of reasons for this but Patrick specifically notes that the "best" link (as deemed by Google) for anchor text may not be the most ideal one after all.

Forum members are overall interested in this discovery and related developments. Since it may help thwart spammers, this may be a good direction for the algorithm to be headed. However, it may be related to the number of backlinks from a single source, as one forum member says:

It is more likely that Google would reduce value of backlinks with the same anchor text that come from the same domain, ie having 1000 backlinks from one domain using same anchor text could be worse than having 2-3 backlinks from the same site.

On the other hand, it may be that Google is starting to be a lot more privy to semantic indexing and matching up similar keywords with other anchor text. However, it's debatable that this is the case if Google is trying to reduce emphasis on anchor text altogether -- which makes sense in many cases (including in the paid links scenario which the blog post did not touch upon).

Forum discussion continues at Sphinn and DigitalPoint Forums.

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08/25/2008 01:34 pm

because god knows... back before they considered anchor text and only used on page things (late 1990s) search engines were blessedly free from spam....

Michael Martinez

08/25/2008 03:59 pm

Google was built on spam, since it's been so easy to spam its results through link anchor text. It's too early to know if they are adjusting the algorithm. It would be really nice if they did, but I find it hard to believe they would give up on their pipe dream so easily. It's only 2008 and people have been kicking their index in the rear since 1998.


08/25/2008 10:33 pm

our search traffic has halved since the weekend = so this month we will show half the ads = half the revenue = half the staff.... i would like to hear other opinions on's just unacceptable these days to do this.

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