Anchor Text Updates: Some straight forward reactions…
So, Google released some new information today regarding 50 search engine updates. In particular, they announced two changes to anchor text processing, which I think are worth looking at briefly. So here goes…
Tweaks to handling of anchor text.
[launch codename "PC"] This month we turned off a classifier related to anchor text (the visible text appearing in links). Our experimental data suggested that other methods of anchor processing had greater success, so turning off this component made our scoring cleaner and more robust.
Thoughts: Google removed a “classifier”. We can’t be sure what that is, but it could be related to a number of classifications we regularly talk about – brand vs non-brand, commercial vs non-commercial, etc. What we do know is merely that other methods, already in place, were better than the old method. This is probably a non-issue in most cases and would result in minor changes to the SERPs.
Better interpretation and use of anchor text.
Weâ€™ve improved systems we use to interpret and use anchor text, and determine how relevant a given anchor might be for a given query and website.
Translation: You know that Google figured out how to look beyond exact match anchor text, right? Broad anchor text works too. You might want to take a look at this article on doing broad anchor text valuation automatically using simple string-to-string comparison. The issue here is not that anchor text has been devalued, rather that perhaps exact-match anchor text has been devalued in favor of phrase, broad and related anchor text. This is a wash, but it should give you link builders more of an incentive to diversify your anchor text without being concerned about losing out to competitors who hammer away at 1 term at a time.