Weekly SEO news: 22 May 2007
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look at a search engine ranking study. Which web page elements lead to high rankings on Google?

In the news: Google releases Universal Search, Google might buy FeedBurner, click fraud seems to be higher than Google claims 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. New study: which web page elements lead to high Google rankings?

The German company Sistrix analyzed the web page elements of top ranked pages in Google to find out which elements lead to high Google rankings. They analyzed 10,000 random keywords, and for every keyword, they analyzed the top 100 Google search results.

Which web page elements lead to high Google rankings?

Sistrix analyzed the influence of the following web page elements: web page title, web page body, headline tags, bold and strong tags, image file names, images alt text, domain name, path, parameters, file size, inbound links and PageRank.

  • Keywords in the title tag seem to be important for high rankings on Google. It is also important that the targeted keywords are mentioned in the body tag, although the title tag seems to be more important.

  • Keywords in H2-H6 headline tags seem to have an influence on the rankings while keywords in H1 headline tags don't seem to have an effect.

  • Using keywords in bold or strong tags seems to have a slight effect on the top rankings. Web pages that used the keywords in image file names often had higher rankings. The same seems to be true for keywords in image alt attributes.

  • Websites that use the targeted keyword in the domain name often had high rankings. It might be that these sites get many inbound links with the domain name as the link text.

  • Keywords in the file path don't seem to have a positive effect on the Google rankings of the analyzed web sites. Web pages that use very few parameters in the URL (?id=123, etc.) or no parameters at all tend to get higher rankings than URLs that contain many parameters.

  • The file size doesn't seem to influence the ranking of a web page on Google although smaller sites tend to have slightly higher rankings.

  • It's no surprise that the number of inbound links and the PageRank had a large influence on the page rankings on Google. The top result on Google has usually about four times as many links as result number 11.

Can you use that information to get high rankings for your own website?

While general advice can help you to get higher rankings, it is much better to get detailed advice specifically for your website and your keywords.

It might be that your keywords trigger slightly different ranking filters at Google and that the algorithms have been changed since Sistrix performed the study.

For that reason, we recommend that you use IBP's Top 10 Web Page Optimizer to optimize the content of your web pages. IBP's Top 10 Web Page Optimizer has several advantages:

  • You'll get concrete advice for your website and your targeted keywords.

  • You can specify the search engine on which you want to get high rankings (Google.com, Google.co.uk, Yahoo.com or any other major search engine in many language variations).

  • The Top 10 Web Page Optimizer analyzes many more web page elements than the study above.

  • The results are tailored to your specific situation. You'll get specific advice that helps you to reach your goals.

High rankings on Google are the result of optimized web page content and good inbound links. The problem is to find the right web page elements that have to be optimized. In addition, the type of the inbound links is important. IBP's Top 10 Inbound Link Optimizer helps you to get the best links for your site.

2. Search engine news of the week
Google releases Universal Search

"With universal search, we're attempting to break down the walls that traditionally separated our various search properties and integrate the vast amounts of information available into one simple set of search results. [...]

Also, in terms of integration and navigation, today we introduced a new universal navigation bar at the top of all Google web pages to provide easier navigation to your favorite Google products, such as Gmail."



Rumour: Google to buy Feedburner

"The delay in announcing the deal, I am told is solely due to the delay in closing out the DoubleClick deal. If true this deal makes a lot of sense for both parties."



Fair Isaac claims pay-per-click fraud is 10% to 15%

"10% to 15% of clicks billed to pay-per-click advertisers represent 'pathological' or fraudulent traffic. This number is consistent with the 14.2% figure reported by click auditing firm Click Forensics in January.

Google disputes Click Forensics' figures and has consistently taken issue with the methodology and motives of those reporting significant levels of click fraud."



Search engine newslets

  • Yahoo may net Bebo owners $1bn.
  • No JavaScript, no Google Universal Search navigation.
  • Yahoo says 'Been there, done that' to Google redesign.
  • Even Yahoo! gets the blues.
  • 'Month of bugs' pins bull's-eye on Google, Yahoo.
  • Google AdSense disabling arbitrage publisher accounts.
  • Google licensing automated 3D building generator.
  • Google takes space in Fremont for expansion.
  • Microsoft to acquire aQuantive, Inc.
3. Articles of the week
How does Google Universal Search compare?

"How does it stack up against search sandboxes from competitors like Yahoo!'s Alpha, Ask's Ask X, Microsoft's Imagine Live, and even Google's own test bed Searchmash? [...]

I found Searchmash to be the best. It has a straight forward design (like Google), great results (like Google), and presented information in an easy to consume format. Yahoo!'s Alpha was not far behind in any of those respects, however."



The other paid search: paid direct links

"Paid direct links are ad links purchased either directly from sites or through a network. Unlike PPC search links, these are standard HTML links that convey both direct traffic and link power to the advertiser site. [...]

Search engines have come out against paid direct links as a manipulative process that subverts their natural method of ranking and rating sites."



Man who took Google global

"The advertising business that Kordestani built is today worth nearly $150 billion (£76 billion), and his own fortune is estimated at $2 billion."

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4. Recommended resources

Optimize your web pages for top 10 rankings on Google!

High rankings on Google, Yahoo and other major search engines are the result of optimized web page content and good inbound links.

If you want to get high rankings then you need both.

Fortunately, IBP helps you to get your website to the top of the search results:

IBP offers everything you need to get top rankings on major search engines. Download your copy here.



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