|The Axandra newsletter archive - 24 May 2005|
to the latest issue of the Search Engine
This week, we're telling you how your firewall can destroy your search engine rankings.
In the news: Google launches a service similar to My Yahoo, Ask Jeeves buys Excite Europe and more.
Table of contents:
|1. How your firewall can destroy your search engine rankings|
Some webmasters recently experienced a delisting from the search engines without any good reason. The webmasters had not done anything wrong and their web sites were optimized for search engines. Nevertheless, the web sites had been removed from search engines.
Poorly configured firewalls can block search engine spiders
It turned out that the delisted web sites were all hosted by the same hosting company. More precisely, the web sites were all hosted by a hosting company that used a special firewall software by SonicWALL Inc.
That firewall stopped the search engine spiders from accessing their web sites. Google, Yahoo, MSN and all other search engines that request the robots.txt file couldn't index the web site anymore because the firewall didn't allow that:
This is the standard security settings of the SonicWALL firewall and it basically means that your web site won't be spidered by search engines if you use this firewall without customizing it.
A firewall with these settings will drop the connection to anyone requesting the robots.txt file so that it looks as if the web site is offline. From an SEO point of view, this is very bad for your web site because all good search engine spiders request the robots.txt file before indexing your web site.
What does this mean to you?
If your web site is not listed on search engines although it has many good incoming links and optimized web page content, you should ask your web host if their firewall blocks search engines that request the robots.txt file. Your web host might not be aware of the problem.
|2. Search engine news of the week|
"In what appears to be a broadside aimed at MyYahoo, Google rolled out a new feature on Thursday that lets people set up a personalised Google home page.
The feature [...] lets people with Gmail and other Google accounts create a home page with different modules that they can drag and drop across their page, giving them one place to go for e-mail, headlines, weather reports, maps, movie schedules and, of course, Web search."
"Espotting Media, a leading European paid listings provider, today announces that it has renewed its agreement with 2 major sites in Scandinavia - Spray in Sweden and Jubii in Denmark, both of which are owned by Lycos."
Seekport UK-specific search engine moves out of beta phase
|3. Articles of the week|
"Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt acknowledged that his company's search engine can ruffle privacy feathers [...] Many people are disturbed to find their home phone number. But we found it because it was a public piece of information."
|4. Recommended resources|
Get top positions on Google, Yahoo, MSN Search and other major search engines!
|5. Previous articles|