Could Google be ignoring links with keywords? I think it could be. It’s certainly a way for it to get out a monster it (and other search engines) have created.
A while back there was keyword bombing where people teamed up and used inappropriate anchor texts on links to popular websites for a bit of fun. Google acted against these links individually. But if they realise there is abuse of the system, why not ban it all together?
It’s been heavily reported that Google has attempted to drop the page rank of sites selling links. For example, those using PayPerPost and similar systems. In some cases it’s just being listed in the system has been enough to get sites dropped by a page rank. But being listed is outside of the site owner’s control – and this goes against the grains for Google’s own rules. So I’m not convinced about these reports.
Looking at blogs that are being paid to post to – don’t most of these make heavy use of important keywords in links? After all, if you are paying for links you want the best!
What makes me think Google is ignoring links with keyword phrases? Well looking at a couple of my own web sites an existing one dropped page rank in the October update. Studying which pages have the best page ranks, it’s those in which the links pointing to the page don’t use keyword phrases. These aren’t keywords used for the sake of it – they were chosen because they reflect the subjectc of the pages.
Another site – new and ranked for the first time has every page linked from the home page has a PR1. Except 1 page. Again, the description of this page uses keywords unintentionally (creating this site I tried to steer away from this).
It is known that many directory sites have suffered a drop in page rank – supposedly those selling one way links. One way links are known to improve page rank and Google could have stopped this industry by reducing the page rank of the directory sites abusing their page rank. Including keywords in the anchor text was another way of optimising pages / sites and is often used in directories.
So why should Google not be able to work out that stuffing anchor texts full of keywords is (a) typical of directories / link exchanges and (b) a sign of cheating? Reduce the power of links using keyword phrases for anchor texts and drop the page rank of sites that do that a lot and you penalise the directories from 2 sides at once.
You also penalise innocent sites. Those that maybe are legitimately using these keyword phrases – possibly accidentally.
Maybe the percentage of such links should be taken into account. Maybe one day it will. But if you are link building to improve your page rank, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Have at least some of the links using your site name or description – not just your favourite keywords.