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Google Shows ‘Datalicious’ Anchor Phrases

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More useful information for site publishers arrives from Google’s Webmaster Central as they begin reporting on anchor text phrases linking to a website; Danny Sullivan coins a word to describe the update.

Google Shows Datalicious Anchor Phrases
Google Shows ‘Datalicious’ Anchor Phrases

Search conference attendees are familiar with Google’s Vanessa Fox, who frequently writes at the Webmaster Central blog. Her latest post described how Google will start giving webmasters a more complete picture of how sites link to them.

(For those of you who haven’t met Vanessa, why not take a moment to enjoy our video of her chat with Rand Fishkin at SES Chicago 2006? It’s Friday and you need something to do while waiting for the basketball games to start at noon, anyway.)

Vanessa described the benefit of their latest update to Webmaster Central like this:

Now we’ve enhanced the information we provide and will show you the complete phrases sites use to link to you, not just individual words. And we’ve expanded the number we show to 100. To make this information as useful as possible, we’re aggregating the phrases by eliminating capitalization and punctuation.

The move received applause from search expert Danny Sullivan, who discussed the change on his site. He compared the old, less useful way of showing a bunch of anchor words without showing their relationship.

“Keywords are mostly useless junk food data. Phrases are datalicious, tasty and helpful,” he wrote.

Anchor text has an important place for websites in indexes at Google as well as other search engines. Vanessa noted how “anchor text influences the queries your site ranks for in the search results.”

If a webmaster sees desirable anchor phrases bringing organic traffic into the site, it means the site has done a good job at presenting itself to the most desired visitors.

Less desirable anchor phrases, or a minimal presence of desirable ones, probably mean the site publisher needs to re-evaluate how it targets its niche for better performance.

There’s no reason to leave a better ranking on the table, especially with Google showing how it’s being built by the anchor phrases people create. After all, they’re datalicious.

Google Shows ‘Datalicious’ Anchor Phrases
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