Google Profiles Pass Anchor Text Relevency

Here are the results of a controlled test to see if links in Google Profiles affect SERPS. It would be interesting if other people can duplicate the test to verify my findings.

I’m fairly confident my methodology is sound this time. Google Profiles pass link juice. Specifically, they pass anchor text relevancy through to a landing page. That’s an easy link. Now all you need to do is get everyone linking to your profile.

I have been testing whether a page passes PageRank over the last few months and in particular was using Google Profile for my test. I managed to corrupt my first test – but in the process learnt that anchor text should not be unduly long if you want it to be effective. This time though, this result pretty much proves my theory I think, that says Google Profiles DO pass juice.

I set up some unique anchor text on my Google Profile like this:

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Which results now in the following Google search result:

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To be clear, the phrase “little Bed-shire” does not appear anywhere on the site in the harlington.net site result. The result was a “GoogleWhack”. The only page where that text appears, in that order, is on my Google profile of Dixon Jones. Yet because that text appears ONLY in anchor text, Google’s search engine has decided that the page it links t0 – not the profile itself – is the relevant page in this context.

Of course, Google’s right. So how did the others fare?

Well Live Search comes in second… finding the result, but giving the relevance to the Google Profile rather than the landing page:

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In last place comes Yahoo. They probably ban Google profiles on principal.

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Now before everyone gets carried away with rushing out to get a free link from Google, a word of caution. The only commercially viable link in my profile is absolutely buried in the serps. My test ONLY tested what it tested… mileage cannot be guaranteed and results may vary.

25 thoughts on “Google Profiles Pass Anchor Text Relevency”

  1. Thanks for sharing this man! I’d say MSn’s results are better as they share the source that is likely to make clear who/why those two sites/pages are tied together, vs Google just showing the conclusion. E.g. Doing a math problem and showing your answer vs showing how you got there.

  2. Fair comment – but your theory doesn’t scale. In an isolated example, showing the “source” is OK, but let’s say 10 pages link to the landing page… you suggest the search engines (Google OR MSN) should list the 10 sites with the anchor text above the page they all link to.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this is at the hearty of Google’s (actually Stamford university’s) patent, though, which might be why Micrsoft is researching “BrowseRank”: http://dixonjones.com/seo/browserank-microsofts-challange-to-pagerank-part-1/ As it can’t duplicate Google exactly.

  3. Very interesting. Now see whether changing the anchor text to [Harlington] will improve your ranking for that keyword. You are currently ranked at #5 on google.com as shown in the UK, #63 on google.com as shown in the US and #5 on Google.co.uk.

    If there is some juice being passed, you should at least see some ranking benefit where you are at #63.

    However, I have a feeling that the fact that that link passed relevancy was due to the uniqueness of the anchor text. Yahoo reports 109 links to harlington.net page and all of them have [harlington] for an anchor text. Since you gave the link an unique anchor text, Google “decided” to use it as a relevancy signal.

  4. The lack of other signals is what makes the test valid. I suspect you are right… the link may be passing “relevency” rather than “oomf” but checking whether the prpfile passes “oomf” wouldn’t ba a sensible test, because the page itself doesn’t have any or many inbound links, so I really wouldn’t expect that the profile increases the ranking of a site on its own.

    But if Google linked to the profile with a flat link from its home page… THAT would be a different matter 🙂

  5. Im not saying your test is not valid. What I am saying is that Google will possibly not behave the same way with all the links. It may treat a link to page X with an anchor text A differently than a link to page X with an anchor text Y. I think that rare anchor texts get treated differently than ubiquitous ones, up to the point that rareness of anchor text may even trump nofollow.

    I have not checked this personally, I am just speculating based on some hints dropped by Matt once…

  6. Youfoundjake: It was almost inevitable that would happen after posting and especially after it went hot on Sphinn. Now this page has on page relevancy for the phrase, and links, and (some) authority from this site itself.

    Dixon.

  7. Thanks a lot for the advice – I have set my Google profile up accordingly – Like you say I need to get a few links into it as well but this was a good spot.

    Cheers

  8. Google profiles are very strong. I have noticed through my journeys in SEO that profiles do give off a great deal of link power. I wouldn’t base an entire campaign on those along but they do work great.

  9. Hi Dixon,

    Thanks for doing this test. I produced and promoted this video on personal online branding & Google Profile SEO Optimization:

    http://bit.ly/googleprofieseo

    and I got into a debate with another SEO about whether or not the links passed juice. He then discovered and shared this post with me.

    I’m glad the time recording the video was not spent in vain!

    Cheers,

    Lorna Li

  10. Dixon,

    Your findings are very intriguing. I began conducting a somewhat similar descriptive study to determine the authority of Google Profiles. While doing some background research I came across this post.

    I’ve given a brief, albeit vague description of what I’m attempting to accomplish on my Google Profile (http://www.google.com/profiles/sweigold). I’ll make sure to let you know what I come up with.

  11. Hi all. It worked for me. I have got linkjuice to my pokerblog. Can recommend to get one Google Profile quick. Do also add it to your blog or website, that is: Link back to it. That will make Google happy. I have embedded my Google Profile on my main blog and it also makes my blog look connected to Google (branding purpose)

    Thanks and merry xmas!

  12. This is definitely a great article based on real life test.
    Even if SEO is not science this is the 1st SEO article with a some sort of scientific approach.
    We need smart SEO like you at http://webmasters.stackexchange.com (it’s a site similar to stackoverflow that you might already know about) but it’0 more about webmasters and SEO experts.

    Thanks for sharing such an interesting SEO test.

  13. Well heck. I never even thought about this with my own Google Profile. Now I need to go run some tests and see how I’m fairing and if I can make it better. Thanks for the write up!

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