SEO 101 – The Power of Proper Link Anchor Text

SEO web design tips and techniques for high SERP
First published in May ’11, this has been updated with info from the source… Google
In this first installment of Nick’s OJT (“On the Job Training”), I will briefly explain what I’ve learned and share with you.
One of my latest jobs was to make “satellite” websites that direct traffic to my client’s main website, in this case The Protein Factory. This is old school SEM that’s new to me, but really illustrates the power of proper link anchor text.
Protein Factory logo
When making links, the anchor text will tell Google not only “where” its pointing to, but will also say “why”. That’s all relevant content that goes to the “relevance” side of the “relevance” and “authority” criteria Google and many other search engines use to rank your site. The practical application is using a “title” attribute in the “a href”, “img” or “li” tag.
To see title “tags” in action, hover over the Protein Factory logo (above) or any navigation links, images or list items on my or my clients’ sites. See my Gallery page for great examples. After you hover your mouse over the elements and see the “tool tips” come up, click on “view source” to see how they are constructed.

This is killer because it does two things – it adds relevant content not only to the site this link is on, but also the site its pointing to!
The proof was in the fact that at the start of this job, The Protein Factory was page 4 for search term “protein and whey”. Not even a week after posting 3 of the satellite sites that point to the PF site, it was PAGE 1 #9.
hmmm…. methinks I see a connection here.
Do this for all your links to improve your SEO for max SERP (you should know these terms by now. If not, then Google) especially when leaving your links on blog comments, forum posts, etc.
anyone care to comment?

Here’s the scoop
from Google research paper:
2.2 Anchor Text
The text of links is treated in a special way in our search engine. Most search engines associate the text of a link with the page that the link is on. In addition, we associate it with the page the link points to. This has several advantages. First, anchors often provide more accurate descriptions of web pages than the pages themselves. Second, anchors may exist for documents which cannot be indexed by a text-based search engine, such as images, programs, and databases. This makes it possible to return web pages which have not actually been crawled. Note that pages that have not been crawled can cause problems, since they are never checked for validity before being returned to the user. In this case, the search engine can even return a page that never actually existed, but had hyperlinks pointing to it. However, it is possible to sort the results, so that this particular problem rarely happens.

This idea of propagating anchor text to the page it refers to was implemented in the World Wide Web Worm [McBryan 94] especially because it helps search non-text information, and expands the search coverage with fewer downloaded documents. We use anchor propagation mostly because anchor text can help provide better quality results. Using anchor text efficiently is technically difficult because of the large amounts of data which must be processed. In our current crawl of 24 million pages, we had over 259 million anchors which we indexed.
2.3 Other Features
Aside from PageRank and the use of anchor text, Google has several other features. First, it has location information for all hits and so it makes extensive use of proximity in search. Second, Google keeps track of some visual presentation details such as font size of words. Words in a larger or bolder font are weighted higher than other words. Third, full raw HTML of pages is available in a repository.

from Anatomy of a Search Engine -by Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page
Computer Science Department, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 (circa 1999)

Added Sept 7 2011_______________

pretty good guess, huh?
nick sharpe