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:
Let’s see what’s going on here.
The following results are what I see ranking on the first page:
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:
Next, let’s look at the percentage of “click here” in anchor texts of these URLs.
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:
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:
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.
- 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.