The term “click here” is a generic term that appears all over the internet – if you do a Google search for it yields 1.7 billion results (yes billion!), even if you do an exact search it still yields 972 million results. I am sure you would agree these are astronomical results and I bet you are now wondering which site ranks number one for this term? – if you cannot be bothered to check then I will let you know right now – it is the adobe acrobat download page – I bet you did not think that would be the one.
So why, other than passing interest, would anyone be interested in such a fact? The answer to this question is anyone who is interested in search engine optimization (SEO) – if I tell you that the top ranking page for “click here” does not contain the term “click here”, it does not appear in the pages meta tags nor do either of the words even appear individually on the page then it may alter some of your thinking about SEO.
So after all that is has been written about on page optimization (keyword density click here, use of meta tags, use of tags to highlight key phrases etc) we find a clear example of a top ranking site that has NO on page optimization at all, it completely disregards all the accepted wisdom about on page optimization and still ranks top out of 1 billion results.
So how has this been achieved?. The answer is simple – backlinks. There are literally hundreds of thousands of sites that link to the adobe acrobat download page. Equally importantly as the number of backlinks is the quality of the links – many of these backlinks come from authority sites (.edu,.gov etc).
What is particularly interesting is that this quantity of links has probably been built organically – i.e. by people wanting to link to the site rather than been requested or encouraged to do so. And why have they done this? – Because the site has something unique, useful or interesting to offer. This principle is a good one to bear in mind when developing your linking strategy – what am I offering that is unique, useful or interesting and that people will WANT to link to?
This example of a high ranking site seems to go against all perceived wisdom on site ranking i.e. it seems to suggest that on page optimization has no effect on ranking what so ever. Whilst this does appear to be true in this case what we are probably seeing is the sheer scale of high quality links to the site far outweighing any possible on page optimization to the point where it is irrelevant. However this would probably not hold true for the vast majority of sites who do not have these vast quantities of backlinks. In these cases the on page optimization will still affect ranking and therefore still has to be taken care of.
This is a very powerful demonstration of how effective backlinks are in affecting search engine ranking. In fact it seems to point to the fact that backlinks are the primary determinator of page ranking, with on page optimization trailing behind.