Weekly SEO news: 3 June 2008
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

Does your domain name prevent your website from getting high rankings? This week, we're taking a look at the ranking problems that many webmasters experienced with .info domains. Is there a ranking filter for .info domains?

In the news: Yahoo updates its ranking algorithm, cloakers might damage your AdWords reputation 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. Does your domain name prevent your website from getting high rankings?

The top level domain of your website can have an influence on your website rankings. Last week, many websites with a special top level domain were delisted from Google's search results.

No more visitors from Google. What has happened?

Last week, many webmasters observed that all of their websites with an .info domain name disappeared from Google's search results.

Some websites removed traffic drops from several hundreds of visitors per day to zero visitors per day. It seemed that all websites that used the .info top level domain had been removed from Google's index.

A few days later, the websites with the .info domains reappeared in Google's search results.

Why did this happen?

It looks as if Google updated its filters for special domain names and went a little too far. Earlier this year, the head of Google's anti-spam team made the following statement:

"A top-level domain (TLD registry) will offer domains for under $4. The result will be another TLD blighted by spammy domain registrations."

Domain names with a .info ending have been available for 99 Cent for some time. It's likely that very many .info domain names have been purchased for spamming purposes.

Google might have intended to block .info domains that spam and a bug in the algorithm wiped all .info domains from Google's results. Fortunately, Google's engineers fixed the bug within days.

What does this mean for your website?

Filtering all .info domains just because many of them are used for spamming is a very drastic measure. Although Google doesn't do this, it's clear that there is some kind of filter for these domains.

If you want to succeed with your online business, it might be better to use a .com domain or the local top level domain of your country instead of a .info domain.

In addition to your domain name, many more factors influence the position of your website in Google's search results. Analyze your website now to find out which elements of your website can cause problems with Google.

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2. Search engine news of the week

Yahoo updates its ranking algorithm

"We'll be rolling out some changes to our crawling, indexing and ranking algorithms over the next few days, but expect the update will be completed soon. As you know, throughout this process you may see some ranking changes and page shuffling in the index."

Advertisers now use cloaking for Google AdWords

"An active bug in Google Adwords is letting spammers create ads that display your URL but redirect to a spam site of their choosing, cloaking the redirect. [...]

At the moment, these sploakers are 'only' ruining your online reputation and driving up the cost of advertising on AdWords. But this could quickly get a lot worse, if they team up with phishing sites that look and feel like your own site."

Google to launch large scale geo-services

"Google is backing up their Location API with a large effort to map out cell-phone towers and wifi hotspots, so that a user’s location can be pin-pointed more precisely."

Search engine newslets

  • Some kind of Yahoo deal getting closer.
  • Belgian newspapers want $77M from Google.
  • Google has a new browser favorite icon.
  • Google outed as anonymous eBay critic.
  • Microsoft Live Search toolbar to be distributed on 2009 HP consumer PCs.
  • Google plans to open data centre in Austria.
  • North Oaks tells Google Maps: Keep out - we mean it.
  • Analysts to Google: buy Salesforce.
  • California privacy chief says Google should improve disclosure.

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3. Articles of the week
We're all guinea pigs in Google's search experiment

"Google found that when the results increased to 30 per page, people searched 20 percent less overall, Mayer said. After much analysis of server logs, the company found it was because it took about twice as long to display the longer results list for the user, and speed matters."

The humans behind the Google money machine

"Mr. Fox is among a small group of Google employees who keep a watchful eye on the vital signs of one of the most successful and profitable businesses on the Internet. The number of searches and clicks, the rate at which users click on ads, the revenue this generates — everything is tracked hour by hour, compared with the data from a week earlier and charted."

Judge orders Yahoo investor lawsuit made public

"Due to their personal interests in maintaining Yahoo’s independence and their strong antipathy to Microsoft, Yang and Filo failed to consider and respond in good faith to the acquisition offers by Microsoft to the detriment of Yahoo and its shareholders."

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4. Success stories

"I have several keywords in the top 10."

Geoff Michael

"I started using IBP in January 2008. It's now May and I have several keywords in the top 10 in Google.com.au and Yahoo.com.au.

In fact I have every product we sell in the top 10 except for CRM Software and I have just changed the site as per the software's instructions last week and the keyword is now number 13.

Would have been absolutely impossible without the software."
Geoff Michael, www.coordimax.com

"IBP has paid for itself many times over. "

"Well where do I start. I was a complete idiot when it came to computers and IT and my employment was a construction worker in his late forties.

I knew I had to do something and I had a dream of working from home and running some sort of sales business. So, someone showed me how to turn on a PC, and I haven't looked back since that day. First of all I learnt Front Page and wrote my own website and sent it up to the server. I could not understand why it was not on the front page of Google the very next morning so I called the server and they told me, 'What search Engines are you sending it to'. This was a shock, I thought it was all automatic and I would be a Captain of Industry overnight. Boy do we have to learn fast!!!

Then I found IBP. This program has paid for itself many times over and since the initial use where it showed me where to tweak my website and what to change.

Within a short period of time sales were definitely up and I have been in position 1 & 2 on Google many times. I did try other SEO programs but nothing stands up to IBP. I owe it all to IBP for the help and direction to achieve the sales statistics I wanted. Thank you to your team for a great product."
Roger A Dodd, www.tubetools.ca

Share your success story with us

Let us know how IBP has helped you to improve your website and we might publish your success story with a link to your website in this newsletter. The more detailed your story is, the better.

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5. Previous articles

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