Weekly SEO news: 4 November 2008
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look at five internal linking tips that will improve your search engine rankings.

In the news: Google's index returned strange results last weekend, Google updates the AdWords QualityScore, official information about AdWords match types 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. Five internal linking tips that will improve your search engine rankings

If you want your website to be indexed by search engines, it is important that your site has a good link architecture. The link architecture of your website is the method that you use to link from your website pages to other pages of your website.

How search engines find the web pages on your website

search engine robotSearch engines use so-called spiders or robots to index web pages. Search engine spiders are relatively simple software programs. When they visit your web pages, they follow all links that they can find on the page to index the other pages of your website. Most search engines follow only text links.

JavaScript menus, Flash menus and search boxes cannot be accessed by most search engine spiders. That means that search engines will only index the web pages of your website that can be easily found by their spiders.

Five internal linking tips that will improve your search engine rankings

Most search engine spiders do not type into your search boxes and they do not use pull down menus. The following tips will help you to make sure that search engine spiders will index your web pages correctly:

  1. Use simple text links to link to your web pages

    Most search engines cannot index fancy Flash or JavaScript menus. Some even have difficulty with image links. If possible, use simple text links to link to your web pages. You can make text links prettier by styling them with CSS.

  2. Your most important pages should not be more than one click away from the index page

    Web pages that can be accessed with a few clicks from your home page are considered more important than web pages that are buried deep inside your website. It's easier to get high rankings for these easy to access pages.

  3. Use descriptive link texts

    The text that you use to link to your web pages helps search engines to better understand your content. If you sell shoes on your website, do not use links such as <a href="page.htm">Click here</a> but descriptive link texts such as <a href="page.htm">business shoes</a>.

    That makes it easier for search engines to put the page into a context and it will be more likely that the page gets high rankings for the keyword "business shoes".

  4. Create a sitemap

    A sitemap is a simple web page that contains link to all important pages of your website. You could add a link to your sitemap in the footer of every web page. By doing this, search engines can find all important pages with two clicks.

  5. Check the validity of your HTML code

    Errors in the HTML code of your web pages can prevent search engines from indexing your web pages correctly. For example, an HTML error might indicate the end of a web page before the actual content begins. That would mean that search engines would skip the content and any links of that page. You can access the official W3C HTML validator in the Tools menu in IBP.

If you want to find out which links search engines can index on your web pages, use IBP's search engine spider simulator. You can access the search engine spider simulator in the Tools menu in IBP.

Back to table of contents - Visit Axandra.com

2. Search engine news and articles of the week

Ranking chaosGoogle had an algorithm problem over the weekend

Many webmasters reported very strange Google results over the weekend. Google's Matt Cutts commented on this in a webmaster forum:

"I think this was a short-term issue and things should be back to normal pretty soon (if not already). [...]

I don't consider those rankings indicative of anything coming in the future. Some data went into the index without all of our quality signals incorporated, and it should be mostly back to normal and continuing to get back to normal over the course of the day."

Google updates the AdWords QualityScore algorithm

"In the coming days, we'll update the portion of the Quality Score algorithm that accounts for ad position. This will result in more accurate Quality Scores, ensure that ads compete fairly for position based on their quality and bid, and enable Google to show the most relevant ads to searchers by rewarding high-quality advertisers with better ad positions."

allianceYahoo, Google recast ad alliance

"The new plan, which the online-ad giants submitted over the weekend, comes as the companies face mounting pressure to ditch or revise the pact. The companies struck a fairly open-ended agreement in June that allowed Yahoo to display search ads sold by Google and share the revenue."

Broad and exact match, which will AdWords use?

If you are bidding $3.00 for broad match and $1.00 for an exact match and someone searches for the exact keyword, do you pay $3.00 or $1.00? Google's AdWords Pro Sarah answers the question:

"The exact match of the keyword will be served regardless of your bid (assuming the exact match is searched). So, even if you were bidding $100 on the broad match and only $0.1 on the exact, the exact would enter the auction. [...]

If you are bidding $1 for an exact match, and your competitor is bidding $100 for broad match (assuming all else equal), your competitor will show."

The Israeli woman behind the Google logo

"Ruth Kedar could have been a rich woman today. Ten years ago at Stanford University, two students asked her to create logo for their new company.

Unlike other start-up companies at the time - which offered shares in exchange for such services - these entrepreneurs believed in their company and insisted on paying for the design."

Search engine newslets

  • Online retail sales stats: consumers buying but spending less.
  • Where can I vote? Google Maps lists voting locations.
  • AOL launches local events search: When.com.
  • Waiting for Google's Kindle killer.
  • Chinese search engine Baidu.com plans to buy back $200 million of its ADSs.
  • If Scott Moore leaves Yahoo, does that mean it's buying AOL?
  • Microsoft launches live map search in India.
  • ChaCha And Aardvark: Putting Humans To work to get you the answers you need.
  • Meet the Mozzies (DMOZ editors).
  • Google considers local centre in Australia.

Back to table of contents - Visit Axandra.com

3. Success stories

"This only took us approximately 3 months."

"We have followed the suggestions of the IBP page optimizer [...] and we now show rankings in the top three pages of every major search engine.

On 5 of the engines we are ranked on page one for our first set of keywords/phrases. Our second set of keywords and phrases are now no lower than the 3rd page of all major search engines and our newest set of keywords and phrases are ranking between the first and third page of all major search engines.

This only took us approximately 3 months total. This product is amazing! The thing we like the best is that IBP does the majority of the work for you. The suggestions have brought us up from obscurity top rankings in a VERY SHORT time.

IBP has been totally amazing in what it has done for our search engine rankings. THANKS - this has been the best money I ever spent for our SEO efforts!"
Richard Mann, DigitalScrapbookPages.com

Do YOU want to be listed in this newsletter?

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.

Back to table of contents - Visit Axandra.com

4. Previous articles

Back to table of contents - Visit Axandra.com

Do you have a minute?