Google: In 2009 We Selected Only One Of Your Anchor Text When...

May 29, 2014 • 8:12 am | comments (33) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

matt-cutts-google-anchor-textBack in 2008, Moz published a report claiming the first anchor text counts - meaning, if you have a web page that has two or more links going to the same page, but the anchor text of those links differ, Google would pick the first anchor text and ignore the ones in the past.

We covered that back in 2008 and then SEOs began debating the validity of the study. Later on Branko confirmed the claims, questioning the scientific nature of the other studies.

Now, Google's Matt Cutts comes out with a video saying in 2009, Google may (which means did, imo) have picked one of the anchor texts and not counted the other. He did not say the first, but it is likely the first. First how? First in source code or based on skipping the navigation. That is unsure, but watch the video:

Either way, SEOs like to obsess about these things - Cutts says, don't.

It changes and he clearly didn't check to see what Google does now, in 2014.

Forum discussion at Google+ and Twitter.

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Michael Martinez

05/29/2014 01:54 pm

Barry, will you PLEASE stop misrepresenting what Matt says in this video? In 2008 I debunked Rand's claim that Google only chose the first link and Matt does NOT say definitively that was all they did in 2009.

Barry Schwartz

05/29/2014 01:56 pm

I do not think I misrepresented, I said he said “may” but him saying that likely means, they did. I read people and the language they use and use my interpretation. So far, I’ve been pretty good with it.

Michael Martinez

05/29/2014 01:59 pm

To QUOTE MATT FROM THE VIDEO: "...the last time I checked, was 2009, and back then -- uh, we might, for example, only have selected one of the links from a given page." And then there is my debunk post from 2008:

Barry Schwartz

05/29/2014 02:01 pm

Yep, that is him saying they did. But you don’t have to believe my interpretation.

Michael Martinez

05/29/2014 02:03 pm

No, that is him saying they MIGHT only have selected one of the links. And that is me proving in 2008 that they selected MORE THAN ONE link.

Russ Rego

05/29/2014 02:32 pm

If you guys keep this up "Both of you will be sent to your rooms with no dinner" Barry thanks for all you do, I read your post daily, they have been a big help to me.

Yo Mamma

05/29/2014 03:00 pm

Might and may are the same thing dummy

Michael Martinez

05/29/2014 03:38 pm

"Might and may are the same thing dummy" And they are NOT the same thing as "did".

Barry Schwartz

05/29/2014 03:38 pm

Michael doesn’t trust my interpretation. After all these years. :-(

Stuart David

05/29/2014 03:48 pm

... and his being an absolute arse about it as well!

Barry Schwartz

05/29/2014 03:48 pm

Nah, he is doing what he should do. Clarifying it is my interpretation.

Stuart David

05/29/2014 03:51 pm

Reading between the lines is what you have done well, (hence the constant expressions of thanks of commentary on here owed to that). Watching that video, anyone can see the undertones, his just trying to get at you on a technical of language to endorse his now debunked 2008 *paper*


05/29/2014 04:13 pm

My interpretations of "...the last time I checked, was 2009, and back then -- uh, we might, for example, only have selected one of the links from a given page." Matt is saying I don't remember and I didn't go check sooooo off the top of my 'kinda, maybe, who cares it doesn't matter'. You big dummies.

The alive network

05/29/2014 04:16 pm

Michael Martinez Theorist, writer, and marketer lacks Barry's natural likability and general people skills, if anything he should be learning from Barry not splitting hairs! There's a reason he's on everyone else's forum! Who would hire someone todo their marketing when they can't seem to market themselves as anything other than an arrogant, know it all doushbag?

Stuart David

05/29/2014 04:17 pm

The head of Google Spam team can't remember 50 months back? (Who has said they research every question before going to air). Pull the other one.


05/29/2014 05:25 pm

Can you remember 50 months back? He started off by saying don't worry about it you big dummy then goes on to say the last time I checked in 2009, so no he didn't research the question before going to air. Who care what he said in the other video.


05/29/2014 05:31 pm

That was anchor text to the same target page from the same page/post. Other than that, I've seen Google consistently pick up anchors.


05/29/2014 05:39 pm

I'm surprised Cutts didn't say "anchor text, and if you are using keyword rich anchor text then you probably should be worrying about the big picture like UX, conversions, you know more important stuff." These guys are good, I have to admit it. They keep spewing the same generic lines about websites "work on creating good content" - "take a 30k ft view of your website experience" - "think of your users" They never, never slip up.

Stuart David

05/29/2014 05:54 pm

Yes I can, to the point! It's called 'Version Control' All videos are relative, apparently, their not as flippant with cornerstones as you are ... move along.


05/29/2014 05:55 pm

Interesting writeup. Not often I read about people taking the time to consider the weight of rare words, and back then it was practically unheard of or never considered by most. Good stuff, even being a six year old post it still holds value (w/o the grudge match).


05/29/2014 06:25 pm

I moved along a long time ago. Love to see SEO novices freak out over stuff.


05/29/2014 07:15 pm

You have to kinda be an idiot to believe that they only look at one link considering all the lies Google puts out. If you were building an algorithm would you really only consider the anchor text of one link to a page which contains 5 other a:texts to the same page? Come on people, get real. They tell SEOs things like this because they don't want to see the same spammy text on every damn link. Build your site to be natural, it's easier to use and appreciated by users.


05/29/2014 07:17 pm

They'd have to be stupid not to use more than one.


05/29/2014 07:21 pm

"arrogant, know it all doushbag" you just described yourself and most of the internet and btw it's spelled "douchebag" get it right or you look like a bag yourself

Michael Martinez

05/29/2014 08:31 pm

Hm. Interpretation. Let's see: BARRY: "Google: In 2009 We Selected Only One of Your Anchor Text When..." MATT CUTTS (of Google): "...the last time I checked, was 2009, and back then -- uh, we might, for example, only have selected one of the links from a given page." There is no excusing what you're doing Barry. You're basically lying.

Barry Schwartz

05/29/2014 08:31 pm

I am right.

Michael Martinez

05/29/2014 08:36 pm

Barry, if you were right we wouldn't be having this discussion. You're wrong.

Barry Schwartz

05/29/2014 08:37 pm

No, you think my interpretation is wrong. But I think it is right. So we disagree. But I am usually right about this stuff. If not, people would stop reading what I write, including you. You still like me? :-)

Michael Martinez

05/29/2014 08:41 pm

You're not interpreting anything, Barry. You're deliberately omitting what Matt said. You make it sound as if it he says that in 2009 they only looked at the first link and that is NOT what he said. And of course I still like you -- heck, for all I know, you would have retracted your erroneous and misleading remarks by now if I hadn't made such a big fuss.


05/29/2014 10:24 pm

Why would you hire someone that can't rank? :)

Clinton Dixson

05/30/2014 04:22 am

It's my experience that Google picks up the anchors if you pick two URLs to different pages on the same domain within the same post/page.

Nick Murden

05/30/2014 08:00 am

Yeah what a waste of time that was! We're not so stupid we can't make our own minds up.

Yo Mamma

05/30/2014 12:06 pm

Google Search "Congratulations, Class of 2014" but then shows a video, I guess supposed to be inspiring, that ends with "Search on"??? WTF Google Search WAS inspiring before it sold out and went full-blown commercial. Now it cares more about REVENUE than about quality. There is nothing more sad and less inspiring than present day GOOGLE SEARCH. Yeah the founders sure sold out to greed. Inspiring. Feel inspired. Feel EVIL IF you use CHROME, install ADBLOCK - It removes those nasty self-serving ads from your search.

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