Anchor links are one of the ways in which search engines rank web page and web site details. They are one of the most significant metrics used by search engines to determine the rankings of web pages when it comes to searches. One could argue that anchor links are “manmade” to a greater extent than other kinds of metric. Bloggers and journalists in news organizations can effectively create hotlinks to other web pages. These anchor links may contain the phrase “Click here for more information”. They are just as likely to contain pertinent information referencing the other site more explicitly. So for example, when a search engine is to rank web pages, it will in general consider and place a great deal of weight on the anchor links that contain relevant text to the link in question. For example, a news article on a political blog mentions the “scandals that dogged the Clinton administration” or “George W Bush’s overly aggressive foreign policy”. The anchor links are those that go back to the articles that discuss these issues on Slate, the New York Times or Der Spiegel, for example (using that exact terminology in the links). Then the web page to which the discussion off the blog links to will be given a weight when it comes to those search terms in search engines.
Although manmade, this is a natural and evolutionary way to rank web page metrics on search engines. It relies on human interactivity in ways that are not seen in other metrics, and similarly relies on a blogger or journalist’s urge to cite their sources or to point out good work or things that are of interest. Various other elements are taken on board – for example, the actual URL of the linked to web page (which may contain the words Bush or Clinton, for example).