A little while ago I read the following thread over at SEOmoz:

Results of Google Experimentation – Only the First Anchor Text Counts

This made me panic a bit, because it would have meant that the footer link I had on this blog was not helping my homepage rank. I think someone mentioned in the discussion that even if the 1st link was nofollowed, it would still be the only one that counted. This would have meant that I was supposed to be completely shafting myself.

I got rid of the 1st links to the homepage altogether hoping to see a rise in Google for my main phrase, but I did not. I did however rise over 60 places, within less then a week or so on MSN/Live search.

I wanted to know for sure with Google, so when I 1st changed over my design less then a week ago, I made it so that every post in this blog linked to the about us page, with my name as the anchor text. I have just checked today and it is ranking 4th on Google UK, just behind my Yahoo! post.

  • The 1st anchor text always says about
  • There is very little on-page for it, other then the links in these posts
  • There are other pages with far more David Eaves links (external ones)
  • There are no external links to that page using that anchor text

My conclusion: Google does not only look at the 1st link to a page for anchor text, MSN/Live search does and I am not too sure about Yahoo!

Good advice and practice from SEOmoz anyway though, if only for MSN. Why take a chance on it? Make sure that you have your good anchor text in the 1st links to your pages.

Update: Seeing how VanDeMar seems to be the one who started this whole thing off, here is a link to his original post:

You May Be Screwing Yourself With Hyperlinked Headers