Weekly SEO news: 13 March 2007
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look at three other Google spam filters that might be triggered by your web site.

The new IBP version 9.6 with many new features is now available.

In the news: Search result pages in search results might come to an end, Google Checkout hast cost Google $58m so far without earning a single dollar and more.

Table of contents:

We hope that you enjoy this newsletter and that it helps you to get more out of your website. Please pass this newsletter on to your friends.

Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Facts of the week: How to work around Google spam filters - Part IV

Google tries to keep its search results as clean as possible. For that reason, they have a variety of spam filters in their ranking algorithm that try to remove low quality web sites.

If your web site gets caught by one of these filters, it will be very difficult to get high Google rankings. In this article series, we're taking a look a the 15 most common Google spam filters and how you can get around them.

Co-citation, too many pages at once and over-optimization

Google's co-citation filter analyzes the web pages that link to your site. It's actually not a filter but an algorithm that tries to put your web site in a themed context.

If the link to your web site is on a web page that links to web sites that deal with gardening equipment then Google thinks that your web site must also be related to gardening equipment. That means that your web site might be put in the wrong context if the other pages on the linking site are not related to yours.

Google's "too many pages at once" filter tries to find web sites with an unnatural site development pattern. If a web site has too many pages too fast then this filter will be applied. This usually only happens if a web page creates web pages by scraping other people's content or by building keyword-rich web pages through cloaking software.

The over-optimization filter is applied to web sites that try to fool Google by stuffing special keywords in their web pages. If the keyword density is too high, Google will downrank the web page for that keyword.

How to get around these filters

To avoid problems with co-citation, make sure that the links to your web site are on related pages that don't link to every Tom, Dick and Harry. Your links should be on theme related web pages.

Further information on the effect of co-citation on your search engine rankings can be found in this article.

If you seriously develop your own web pages without scraping other people's content and if you don't use cloaking software then the "too many pages at once" filter shouldn't worry you at all because it's very unlikely that your web site will trigger that filter then.

Don't over-optimize your web pages and don't stuff keywords on web pages. It's important that the keywords for which you want to get high rankings on Google are listed with the right density in the right elements on your web pages.

Next week, we'll publish the last part of this article series about Google spam filters.

2. The new IBP version 9.6 is now available

We have just released a new version of IBP, our popular web site promotion and search engine optimization tool. The new version is available in English, French and German.

What's new in IBP version 9.6?

  • IBP is now available in three official localized versions: English, French and German.

  • The Directory Submitter and the Special Interest Site submitter now display the Google PageRank of every directory.

  • IBP's already very powerful Keyword Manager now provides pre-defined keyword lists that you can use to complement your keywords. This allows you to create many more keyword combinations for your pay per click marketing activities.

    The pre-defined lists are colors, industries and synonyms in English, French and German. In addition, you can select the cities and states from the USA, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France.

    In addition, the Keyword Manager now allows you to strip non-alphanumeric characters from selected keywords.

  • You can now use new variables in the file names for scheduled reports (%YEAR, %MONTH, %DAY, %HOUR, %MINUTE, %SECOND). This allows you to use file names which can be sorted in the file system.

  • You can now use the rel="nofollow" attribute when linking to web sites that do not link back to your site. This means that search engines will ignore those links to your link partners.

  • New: The Web Site Optimization Editor now supports Yahoo's new Meta Robots NOYDIR tag.

  • The new version 9.6 is a free update for registered users.

If you haven't done it yet, download your IBP copy now. We're sure that IBP will help you to improve your web pages.

Do you speak French?

Download the new IBP version 9.6 now and let us know how it works for you. Our support is now also available in French.

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3. Search engine news of the week

The end of search results in search results?

"In general, we’ve seen that users usually don’t want to see search results (or copies of websites via proxies) in their search results. [...]

[Google's] new webmaster guideline that you’ll see on that page says 'Use robots.txt to prevent crawling of search results pages or other auto-generated pages that don’t add much value for users coming from search engines.'"



What is the optimal balance of paid and organic search traffic?

"In answer to the question in the title of this post - 'what is the optimal balance' - it depends. It depends most on what works for you. Test, monitor and adapt constantly and continue with the tactics that yield a positive return on investment."

Editor's note: You can analyze the return on investment of your paid and organic search traffic with AxROI.



Google Checkout promos cost around $58.4 million last year

"Google Inc. disclosed Thursday that it spent around $58.4 million last year promoting its Google Checkout online payment feature, and that it will likely spend more this year. The disclosure, in a regulatory filing, further clarifies what Google's so far spent on Checkout, which is a competitor to eBay Inc.'s PayPal."



Search engine newslets

  • Wikipedia founder plans search engine.
  • My Yahoo! gets Web 2.0 makeover.
  • Amusing news from search engine past.
  • Yahoo Web Small Business Hosting confirms .php bug
  • Microsoft's search slugfest.
  • Google AdWords change history tool.
  • How to restrict search results to a date range.
  • There are no methods to get extra high resolution images on Google maps.
  • Google Maps adding photos.
  • Google Earth urged to remove "Mount Hitler" name.
  • Confirmed: Microsoft building Google Apps/Zoho competitor.
  • Eric Schmidt: Google’s fancypants chariman.
  • Google, Baidu race to set up online library in China.
  • Google should buy Ford's Twin Cities assembly plant (humor).
  • Rumor: Google about to sign ad deal with Dish Networks.
4. Articles of the week
The economics of online advertising

"Mark Jacobsen pointed to a sobering post by Jeremy Liew on the Lightspeed venture blog about the economics of online advertising. Entitled Three ways to build an online media business to $50m in revenue, the article does the math."


Newspapers and radio find unlikely ally in Google

"Maybe it's no surprise that Google's effort to help small and medium-size advertisers buy offline media such as newspaper space and radio spots appears to be working. What is surprising, however, is that the newspaper and radio folks aren't sounding the least bit spooked by it."

What next for Microsoft in web search?

"There's no shortage of opinions in the industry about what Microsoft might try next. We contacted a variety of experts in the Web search business, and here's a roundup of what they had to say."

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5. Recommended resources

"I am on the first page of Google UK for all of my search terms and on Google.com for about a half of them."

"I had been paying around GBP600 a month on Adwords to try and drive traffic to my 360 degree feedback site.

I am a new business and at times the money I was spending on Adwords was more than I was actually earning. I bought a copy of your search engine tools and followed it all carefully.

Shortly before Christmas and now (end February) I am on the first page of Google UK for all of my search terms and on Google.com for about a half of them. I'm still learning bit I've now stopped using Adwords and I can sleep at night."
Richard Oppenheimer, www.appraisal360.co.uk



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6. Previous articles

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