I recently wrote a little bit about anchor text, but this subject needs to be revisited, because some of my readers followed my advice and I realize that they didn't quite understand... Which, of course, is the fault of the teacher and not the students. This is good SEO technique, so I will explain more thoroughly this time.
First of all, let me quickly explain what anchor text is, for those of you that are reading about this for the first time. When you link to somebody or some page or your own page, the text that you use to link to your page is very important when it comes to your search engine rankings.
Anchor text is the text that is "hyperlinked" to a website. For example, I am going to link my site, which is at AZWM.com, with the words Arizona Mortgage.
Or, I could link to a different site on Denver Real Estate...like so.
So we "anchored" our links to words that are relevant to the link and that helps the search engine to understand that my site is about Arizona Mortgages.
I see many ActiveRainers link to their "main" sites like so: http://www.azwm.com/
Yes, you provided a link to your site, but the link is practically worthless to help your site rank higher in the search engines. Don't believe me?
The Miserable Failure Googlebomb
Google took this down a couple of months ago; I have no idea why. Maybe the board of directors was afraid to deal with the Bush administration...for whatever reason.
Anyway, for several years now, until a couple of months ago, if you searched for "Miserable Failure" in Google, the number one result was the official George W. Bush biography page.
This is because thousands and thousands of people-- who truly understood the way Google worked-- linked to the George Bush site with the words miserable failure.
Whenever Google would crawl a site, and it would find those magic blue words, the Google super-computer naturally assumed that George Bush was a miserable failure. After all, thousands of webmasters used those exact words to link to his page.
How Does This Help Realtors?
Everybody works so hard on their keywords and their page titles and everything else to attempt to do well in Google...including me. However, and really think about this, do you think that the words "miserable failure" appear anywhere on the president's page?
Nope. Not at all. That's how important anchor text is. The anchor text actually took precedence over the page title, the keywords, and everything else on George Bush's page.
Check this out: Search Google for the words "click here."
Actually, I just did it for you. Here you go. Go ahead and click it; it will open in a new window.
Look at the very first result for the words "click here."
It's the page where you download Adobe Acrobat. After my Googlebomb explanation above, can everyone figure out why the Adobe Acrobat page comes up first? Think about this carefully...
The words "click here" are not in the URL, the title, or the keywords of that page, yet it's number one! Why?
Same reason that George Bush has been number one for "miserable failure."
Thousands of websites all over the Internet, say something like this-- "You will need Adobe Acrobat to view this document. If you don't have Adobe Acrobat, click here."
Get it? So many people linked the words "click here" to the Adobe site, that Google now associates those words with the official Adobe site, even though it has nothing to do with "clicking" or "here" or whatever.
So don't waste your links by doing things like this: http://www.msn.com/
Don't waste your links by asking people to click here! (Unless you want to be number one for that search phrase.)
Don't even waste your links by typing things like search the MLS.
How about typing search the Denver Colorado MLS ? Now Google knows that's a Denver MLS page!
Think carefully about the words that you use to link. If you link the word "listings" to your listings page, change that to your city name, followed by the word listings, and then link that! If you have a "schools" page, don't write "check out my schools page". That's useless.
Instead, you would want to type: "Visit my site for more information about Sanford NC schools."
Get it? Make your own Googlebomb. Pick a phrase and work it baby.
P.S.-- If you are still a fan of George W., please don't take offense at the Googlebomb. I didn't start it... But it's the best example of what good anchor text can do.