Yahoo SERPs Using Anchor Text for Title Tags

It looks like Yahoo! is using anchor text from the first link found on the page in place of the designated TITLE tag. I just noticed it today on two separate sites so I am not sure how long it has been going on and whether or not it will be a permanent change.  At first I thought it might be pulling the TITLE from a Yahoo! Directory listing or DMOZ listing, but neither site is listed in either directory. So I dug a little deeper and realized it was the anchor text of the first link on the page pointed back to that page.

Not sure if I am explaining this clearly or not so here’s an example. Let’s make up a fake site about dogs called DoggyExampleSite.com.

The keywords you want to target are “dogs for sale” so you put it in the TITLE tag.

<TITLE>Dogs for Sale | Doggy Example Site</TITLE>

The first link found in the source code of the page is a link to DoggyExampleSite.com with the anchor text “Doggy Example Site.”

Let’s say your site has come up number 1 on Yahoo! for years for the keyword “dogs for sale.” When somebody searched for it, your site would come up first with the “Dogs for Sale | Doggy Example Site” as the title in the SERPs and everybody was happy.

But if today’s findings are going to be permanent, your site would now display “Doggy Example Site” as the title in the SERPs instead of your desired keywords. It’s yet to be determined if the actual ranking of the site will drop, but I imagine that the CTR would decrease as the searcher may opt to click through to the 2nd result that might have “Dogs for sale” in their title.

So basically this could become a problem when it comes to SEO for Yahoo! I will definitely keep my eye on it in the next few weeks.

Keyword Elite 2.0 Review

I am getting inundated with emails, tweets, links all about the keyword research software Keyword Elite 2.0 which apparently launched today. While it may be a good product, obviously the hype is generated by affiliates trying to make money off selling the software, which should be no surprise to anybody who makes a living online.  I have never used the original version so I am a bit hesitant whose reviews to believe.

The feature that catches my eye is the “Google AdWords Time Machine”, which reveals data on which competitors are bidding on which keyword in the past 6 months. The premise is that if a competitor is bidding on a specific keyword for an extended period of time, then theoretically that keyword is making money for them and you should consider bidding on that keyword yourself.

I think I’ll wait a few days before thinking about purchasing Keyword Elite 2.0, unless somebody out there can convince me that I need to buy it sooner!

Screening Anchor Text in Contact Form Spam

I wrote a blog post last year about “How to Stop Contact Form Spam” and it seems to do the job to weed out the bots from hitting your form processing script automatically and submitting a bunch of spam. However, it looks like one of my websites is getting hit manually by a person or script – they are filling out all of the required fields with a valid-formatted email address and actually clicking the submit button to access the confirmation page. However, they are flooding the “Message” textarea box with thousands of pharmaceutical words, some of which are hyperlinked to their spam sites. The most logical way I can think of to combat these spammers is to screen out all submissions that have keywords in the anchor text of any links submitted. I don’t want to disallow URLs completely, but only those that contain custom anchor text. I’ve Googled variations of “anchor text contact form spam” but have come up with nothing.

So I will need to figure out how to do this myself, either with PHP and/or JavaScript. I DON’T WANT TO USE A CAPTCHA or any other question to check if it’s a human or not, because there’s a very good chance that it is a human! If anybody has any suggestions, please leave them in the comments!!