Testing Search Indexing Using Anchor Text

This page is testing whether search indexes make use of the value of anchor text. For more tests, see the List of Search Indexing Tests.

External Anchor Text

This test tracks whether a search engine stores the anchor text of links pointing at a page as part of that target page in the index. If this is the case, the search engine will find the target page even when it doesn't contain the term in the text. For example, a page about Himalayan cats might never include the word "purebred", but links pointing at that page might include the term. If a search engine indexes the external terms, it can take advantage of this extended vocabulary.

In this example, the test are not included in the target page, only in the link. If the target appears in search results, we know that the search engine is including this text in the target page index.

Anchor Text Ranking

Some search engines will recognize anchor text and give it extra weight when scoring search results. They assume that words in the anchor text are important and may help define a page. The following pages have almost exactly the same text: one has a test string in an anchor and one does not.

Anchor Text

The best web sites have focussed pages with helpful titles. This is also good for searching, as the titles of the pages help searchers decide which result to choose. But not all sites are like that, so search engines can work around it by using whatever page structure they can find. The test page contains helpful anchor text which some search engines may be able to recognize and show in results.

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