First Link Anchor Text Priority - Only the text in the first link counts in Google.

Services for Real Estate Pros with

This post is something I have not seen much information about in the past few months so I'm not sure if the real estate community has heard about it.

Testing conducted to verify this data has been done by many SEO professionals and we are conducting some tests of our own at REASEO.Our testing is not complete and I will be posting the results on the blog when we have any info.


First Link Anchor Text Priority

This is mainly an on-site issue that may be affecting your rankings. As we know, keywords in the anchor text of the links pointing to your website will help your website rank for those keywords. Example: the link to above will help that site rank for the search term reaseo.

What we didn't know was that if a webpage has two or more links to the same destination with different anchor text, the anchor text of the first link is the only one that counts.

What this means is: if your website has a Home link in the top menu bar like the one at, and a link in the footer with the desired anchor text. The second link will not pass value for that keyword. The first link will pass value for Home in this instance.

How can you fix this?

There are multiple solutions to fix this. But there is a common tactic being used that actually make things worse.

Do Not nofollow the first link. This is making the search engines ignore anchor text all together for the link on that page, basically treating the link as if it was an image link rather than a text link.

What Does work is:

Using an image for the first link. The search engines will skip this and pass value for the anchor text of the next link. This may or may not be possible with your web host.

Using a redirect for the first link. This will have the same effect as using an image. The search engines don't read the redirects. This can be done using javascript redirects, PhP redirects or htacces redirects. Also may or may not be possible with your web host. But you may be able to talk to the tech support and see if they can set something up for you.

The simplest way is using an image link or just renaming your link(renaming your link may make your site look sloppy and is not recommended if it doesn't look right). You can also rearrange the html code but that is way more of a pain to do and I can't even seem to figure that out without redesigning my whole site.


What I Did on my Site
What I have done on my own site is, I've linked to only the main pages in the menu bar up at the top. So Home is still going to be the anchor text passing for the homepage. No big deal here as the easiest backlinks to get are to the homepage.

In the sidebar navigation I have linked to my main category pages where the anchor text I want to rank for fits in without looking to messy. For the rest of the pages I will be linking to them only in the content or footer section of the site.

By making sure the first link to your pages is your desired keyword phrase you may be able to gain some rankings. But your backlinks from external sites should reflect the internal links.

Don't overdue it, always test your results. Make a note of where your site is ranking before implement any changes and track the results. If you drop in rankings after a week or so, change it back. If your site jumps back up leave it alone.


I've also added some new content to New Building Links also the Real Estate SEO Guide is almost complete, if your new to SEO or want a fresh look check it out.


Comments (1)

Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.

Great tip.  I had not heard of this but it does make sense that the search engines would devalue mutliple links.  Do the search engines do this for links to the entire site or each html page?  For example if I link to my home page with one anchor text and link to a property search page with another (on the same starting page) do they only count the first link they see?  Thank you.

Jun 04, 2009 07:58 AM