A new article on Search Engine Journal asks even though anchor Text Ratios are considered important by many SEOs for ranking in Google, are they really something to worry about?
SEOs have researched millions of search results and discovered common anchor text ratios for the top ranked sites. Are these anchor text ratios the key to ranking better and avoiding manual penalties?
Anchor text is the technical name for the words used in a link from one page to another web page. Sometimes the anchor text is “Click Here.” Sometimes the anchor text is “Best SEO Dallas, Texas.” An anchor text like “Click Here” is going to be ignored by Google for ranking purposes. But an anchor text like “Best SEO Dallas, Texas” could be used to help rank the page that is linked to for the search phrase of Best SEO Dallas, Texas because Google uses anchor text for ranking purposes.
The founders of Google, Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page authored a research paper in 1998 that described Google’s innovative PageRank approach. The research paper is called, The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine. The research paper explains the logic of using anchor text for ranking purposes:
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.
In the following quote, where the Google founders use the word “hits,” what they are talking about is a keyword found on a web page.
…we factor in hits from anchor text and the PageRank of the document. Combining all of this information into a rank is difficult. We designed our ranking function so that no particular factor can have too much influence. First, consider the simplest case — a single word query. In order to rank a document with a single word query, Google looks at that document’s hit list for that word. Google considers each hit to be one of several different types (title, anchor, URL, plain text large font, plain text small font, …), each of which has its own type-weight. The type-weights make up a vector indexed by type. Google counts the number of hits of each type in the hit list. Then every count is converted into a count-weight. Count-weights increase linearly with counts at first but quickly taper off so that more than a certain count will not help.