Google Counts First Link, Not Second, Says SEO

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Got a couple of links on one page to another page? Google only has love for the first one, no matter what you do with it.

Swap its anchor text, nofollow it, Google doesn’t care, it seems. That first link on a page with multiple links to a second page receives Google’s notice. The rest, not so much.

Branko Rihtman at SEO Scientist noted the first link phenomenon isn’t a new concept. Rand Fishkin made that point at SEOMoz in March 2008.

Rihtman wanted to delve into the idea a little bit farther, resulting in his test of one page, two links, one destination page, to see if Google really did appear to index the first, and only the first, link:

So, in order to test the theory, I picked two sites that sometimes double as my furry lab animals and set them up so that site A links to site B with two links using different anchor texts. The phrases appeared only on a site A, they were not to be found anywhere on site B and if that site was to rank for any of those two phrases, it would be only due to the anchor text of the links pointing from the site A.

Based on his testing, Rihtman found Google only picked up on the first link. Then he dropped a nofollow attribute on the first link, to see if Google would skip it and rank the site for the second link. It didn’t happen.

“Besides the fact that nofollowing the top link will not get you around the Google ignoring the second link, it is interesting to see that Google will still count the top link even though it is nofollowed,” he said.

Google Counts First Link, Not Second, Says SEO
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  • http://www.ericward.com EWard

    If we are going to get picky, I described this in LinkAlert! back in ’03. :)

  • http://www.sem-advance.com Clint Dixon

    Might have had some credibility if it were not for the fact that the server is what is crawled and not individual pages.

    Search spiders crawl servers and happen to follow links on pages on the server.

    Unless these were the only two pages on the server the test is flawed.

    Besides Google counts more than links (especially internal) when scoring for SEO Serp.



  • http://www.mlmthegame.com Anders

    A Costa Rican SEO wizz tought me this abott a year ago, and how vital it is that the first link is your html sitemap, this is one easy way to get your entire site crawled everytime…


  • http://domainforensic.net seochallenge

    A lot of these tests can be picked apart , and though appearing water tight , have hidden flaws in them , here is a quote from Googe faq

    "Why is Googlebot downloading information from our "secret" web server?

    It’s almost impossible to keep a web server secret by not publishing any links to it. As soon as someone follows a link from your "secret" server to another web server, your "secret" URL may appear in the referrer tag and can be stored and published by the other web server in its referrer log. So, if there’s a link to your "secret" web server or page on the web anywhere, it’s likely that Googlebot and other web crawlers will find it."

    Not sayiing this is the case , just that it may be overlooked


  • http://www.rankbetterseo.com/questions/ seo questions

    One of your best posts about seo and the questions that arise.

  • http://www.m4s73r.com/ Internet Marketing Indonesia

    thanks for your article. Very help me. I will more like visit to webpronews site. :) Fantastic

  • http://www.m4s73r.com/ Internet Marketing Indonesia

    thanks for your article. Very help me. I will more like visit to webpronews site. :) Fantastic

  • http://seosoftwarefree.blogspot.com Irvan

    I don’t know about this before. thanks

  • http://www.aquapoxy.com Epoxy Paint

    True!, thats why its good to just put that first link within the first few lines of your article.

  • http://www.freshmusiclist.com Play list

    I dont agree with this at all.

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