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A “Click Here” Case Study

31 January 2013 BY

Adobe is known to have been ranking for “click here” for ages and this is a seemingly totally non-commercial phrase that I just didn’t imagine anyone doing anything on purpose to rank for it (it appears I was wrong about that but more about it later).  So I thought it would be a nice keyword for a bit of a case study.

It all started with a tweet I have spotted:

tweet-click-here

Let’s see what’s going on here.

The following results are what I see ranking on the first page:

http://get.adobe.com/reader/

http://clickhere.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mystery_meat_navigation

http://www.w3.org/QA/Tips/noClickHere

http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/

http://www.countrycallingcodes.com/

http://www.xe.com/ucc/

http://www.java.com/getjava/

http://www.clickbank.com/accountSignup.htm

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr%3Fcmd%3D_registration-run

Let’s first look at these URLs’ backlinks via Majestic SEO. (Notice that I am looking at the actual URLs ranking, not the domains at this point – with giants like Wikipedia in the mix, covering all kinds of topics, it wouldn’t make much sense to do otherwise.) To simplify things a bit, we’ll be looking just at the total number of backlinks and domains from where they come as well as Trust flow and Citation flow:

citation-flow

Next, let’s look at the percentage of “click here” in anchor texts of these URLs.

anchor-texts

Some comments:

http://get.adobe.com/reader/ – “click here” for this URL is actually 6%, not 2% as for the whole domain.

http://clickhere.com/ – little did I know when I thought this is a totally non-commercial keyword! Clickhere.com is a digital marketing and advertising agency from Dallas, TX. Wonder how well they convert for that particular query… Anyways, due to “click here” basically being their brand name, a prevailing majority of their anchor texts contains it in one form or another.

What really surprised me though is a Paypal page ranking at #10 with only 3 links, 0 of them having “click here” as anchor text. What is even more surprising is that this page redirects to the home page – so Google is actually ranking a 302 redirect:

header-302-redirect

One more thing I’d like to look at here is the domain age. I will be looking at the Web Archive data rather than the domain registration whois data as the actual known live site on a domain makes a lot of a difference from a dormant domain with no site on it. I have collected the data from both sources just to see the complete picture. Here is what we got here:

whois-data

Seems like it’s one of those keywords where you got nothing to do with a domain younger than 2000!

Next interesting factor, especially since the EMD update, is the keyword in the domain name. We have only got one such domain (clickbank.com is not exactly an EMD for this query so does not qualify) in these SERPs, but regardless of Google’s stance on EMDs it’s ranking just fine, from certain IPs I used to check the results it even outranks Adobe.

Page topic is something else I looked at. A good number of these results appear to be sites offering software downloads (hence “click here” is kind of a natural anchor text for them). The Wikipedia page only mentions “click here” once and it’s definitely not the topic of the page. The only page in the top 10 actually talking about “click here” is http://www.w3.org/QA/Tips/noClickHere. In case of Paypal’s redirect page, the words “click here” do appear on the page but they are only visible to a bot, not a human visitor who just gets redirected.

Lessons learned

  • There is more in these SERPs than meets the eye and Adobe ranking for “click here” is probably the least of the relevancy problems.
  • The EMD update may have hurt some EMD domains but whenever there is an indicator of brand (or simply nothing else to rank, or enough signal strength for other factors), these domains still ranks pretty well.
  • The domain age seems to still be a serious factor.
  • There might be 195 more factors we are not seeing and not taking into consideration so all our speculations are only as good.

About the Author, Irish wonder

This is a guest post by IrishWonder, who has been practicing SEO since 2000, is an independent SEO consultant at irishwonder.com and a CMO for ContentMango.com.

AUTHORED BY:
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This post was written by an author who is not a regular contributor to State of Digital. See all the other regular State of Digital authors here. Opinions expressed in the article are those of the contributor and not necessarily those of State of Digital.
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  • GaryTheScubaGuy

    I’ve been buying and building “click here” links for two years and they work very well.

    “Here” does even better.

    TextLinks.com, SENukeX and XIndexer all lined up. The stand back and watch what happens :) I run a MarketWire release and take their indexed links csv export and import it into a module on SENuke and build links to the PR sites that are pointing back to my sites with the anchors I am targeting.

    Penguin is looking at links that point to sites that link to you.

    I’d be interested seeing this same analysis using those links/anchors. If I only had a few days to do it???

    • http://www.irishwonder.com IrishWonder

      Gary – feel free to hire me to do it :D

      “Click here” and “here” would indeed be quite natural anchor texts for many cases and it surely never hurts to have a few of these even in your second level backlinks, i.e. sites linking to you. As to your magnificent lineup – yup I remember seeing the picture of your home office. Given your industry tho, I hardly imagine things being done otherwise with much success.

  • Rankwatch

    Great case study folks. It certainly has revealed several stuff related to EMDs on Google.