I remember about 3 years ago when you could actually use the allinanchor search command on Google as an SEO tool.

The allinanchor command basically shows you the search results according to links only, so content is not a factor. 3 years ago you could do a regular search and then do an allinanchor and work out things like this website isn’t ranking as high as it should do because it hasn’t got enough anchor text links or it hasn’t got the right keywords in the content.

Unfortunately at sometime around February 2006 the command seemed to stop working. Now I don’t believe Google actually disabled the tool, because if they did I think it just wouldn’t do anything. Allinanchor searches on Google will still bring up results, it is just the vast majority of the time they are no different to the regular results.

I believe the command stopped working because the algorithm changed, on page factors are no where near as important as they used to be and lets face it most of the time when people get a lot of links on something they are optimised on page for it.

So what can you use the allinanchor search command for?

OK so here it is, the allinanchor command is a Google Sandbox detection tool. If you want to get a rough estimate of where a sandboxed site should be ranking according to the links it has then use the allinanchor command.

Here is an example, one of the brand new sites that I am working on KoshCreative.co.uk is currently ranking nowhere in the 1st few hundred results for its main phrase design agency even though it has lots of links with that anchor text. If I do a allinanchor search on Google UK for design agency, I can see the site coming up on page 6 – Link

I believe that the position result is roughly where the site would be ranking according to the links it has if it were not in the sandbox.

With a little testing I think you could make a pretty good Google sandbox detection tool by using this command. If any of you know anyone who could make something like this up for me I might be willing to pay to try it out.

Posted in Search Engine News By David Eaves a UK search engine optimisation specialist.