Encyclopedia of Database Systems

Living Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Anchor Text

  • Vassilis PlachourasEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4899-7993-3_939-2



Anchor text is the text associated with a hyperlink pointing from one Web document to another. Anchor text provides a concise description of a document, not necessarily written by the author of the document. It is very effective in Web search retrieval tasks, and in particular, in tasks where the aim is to find the home page of a given website.

Key Points

Hyperlink analysis algorithms explicitly employ the hyperlinks between Web documents to find high quality or authoritative Web documents. A form of implicit use of the hyperlinks in combination with content analysis is the use anchor text associated with the incoming hyperlinks of documents. Web documents can be represented by an anchor text surrogate, which is formed by collecting the anchor text associated with the hyperlinks pointing to the document.

The anchor text of the incoming hyperlinks provides a concise description for a Web document. The used terms in the anchor text may be different from the ones which occur in the document itself, because the author of the anchor text is not necessarily the author of the document. Eiron and McCurley [2] found similarities in the distribution of terms between the anchor text of Web documents and the queries submitted to an intranet search engine by users. Similarities were also found in the use of abbreviations and technical terms.

Craswell et al. [1] show that anchor text is effective for navigational search tasks and more specifically for finding home pages of Web sites. They report that searching for home pages of websites using an index of anchor text performs better than using an index of the document contents. Upstill et al. [3] also suggest that the anchor text of the incoming hyperlinks from documents outside a corpus of documents enhances the retrieval effectiveness for homepage finding.


Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Craswell N, Hawking D, Robertson S. Effective site finding using link anchor information. In: Proceedingof the 24th Annual International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval; 2001. p. 250–7.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Eiron N, McCurley KS. Analysis of anchor text for web search. In: Proceeding of the 26th Annual International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Informaion Retrieval; 2003.p. 459–60.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Upstill T, Craswell N, Hawking D. Query-independent evidence in home page finding. ACM Trans Inform Syst. 2003;21(3):286–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Yahoo! ResearchBarcelonaSpain

Section editors and affiliations

  • Giambattista Amati
    • 1
  1. 1.Fondazione Ugo BordoniRomeItaly