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Google: Keywords in link texts

As you might know by now, we conducted a huge search engine ranking study examining 103,260 top 10 Web pages on Google, AltaVista, iWon/Inktomi, AllTheWeb, Teoma and Wisenut.

We discovered that 23.38% of the #1 Web pages on Google result pages used the queried keyword in <A> link texts.

For example, if the keyword is "software", the following <A> link text contains the keyword once:

<A HREF="">Software</A>

Nearly one out of four Web pages is a very high number so it looks like Google ranks Web pages higher if they contain keywords in their <A> link texts.

Almost as interesting is the question whether the keyword hould be used in same site link texts or in link texts of outbound links. In other words, which of the following two links should you use if your keyword is "software"?

a) <A HREF="">Software</A>

b) <A HREF="link-belongs-to-my-site.htm">Software</A>

What do you think? Guess now before you continue. :-)

In our search engine ranking study, we discovered that twice as many #1 Web pages on Google used the queried keyword in same site link texts (option "b" in our example above).

Source: Search Engine Ranking Study

If you want to know what other factors are taken into account by Google, AltaVista, AllTheWeb and others, read the full search engine ranking study:

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September 2002 search engine articles