Weekly SEO news: 3 February 2009
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look at the time that it takes to get top rankings on Google.

In the news: Google changes the way it treats some 301 redirects, Google flagged the whole Internet as malware on Saturday, speculation about Microsoft and Yahoo 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. How long does it take to get top rankings on Google?

Many people who start a website think that it is possible to get high rankings on Google within a few days. Unfortunately, this is not possible. Competition on the Internet is fierce and there are several factors that influence how long it takes until Google lists your website.

1. How old is your website?

If you have a brand new website then you have to wait. You can submit your website to Google but Google will only index your website if other websites link to your site.

In addition, you have to prove that your website is not spammy. Google has several filters for new websites and you have to earn Google's trust before your website can get lasting high rankings. A new website can get good rankings for less competitive keywords but it usually takes about 6 months to gain the minimum level of trust that is necessary to get high rankings.

2. How optimized was your website before?

If you have an old and established website that was blocking search engine robots due to a broken robots.txt file or a bad website navigation then it can be relatively easy to show up in search engines.

If you remove the factors that keep search engine robots from your web pages then search engines will list your website relatively quickly. Of course, this doesn't work if you have a new site.

3. How many inbound links does your website have?

If you have an old website that has very few links then it will take longer to get high rankings on Google. If your website has many inbound links, then Google will pick up the optimized pages on your website much quicker. The more quality links your website has, the quicker your optimized web pages will show up in Google's results.

4. Which keywords do you target?

This is a very important factor! The more competitive your keyword is, the longer you will have to wait to get high rankings and the more links and optimized pages you need. Start with multiple word keywords that are related to your business and then proceed to the more competitive keywords when your website has good content and inbound links.

5. Who are your competitors?

If the website that are ranked in the top 10 results for your keyword all have thousands of inbound links and more than thousand pages then it's not likely that your website will be able to get in the top 10 results if it has 10 inbound links and 20 pages. You can either wait for along time until you get top 10 rankings for that keywords (i.e. when you have a similar amount of pages and inbound links) or you can start with other keywords.

ClockHow many days, weeks or months does it take exactly?

Provided that your website has good inbound links and optimized web pages, you can get high rankings on Google within a few months if you have a brand new site and choose a very specific keyword that consists of several words. Old and established sites usually need some weeks for such a keyword.

If you target industry keywords, which usually consist of two or more words, brand new sites usually need six months to a year to get high rankings. An established site might get the same result within 3 months.

Highly competitive one word keywords usually require thousands of good inbound links. A brand new website can need several years to get high rankings for such a competitive keyword and even established sites can sometimes need more than a year.

High rankings on Google take some time. You have to optimize your web pages and you have to get good inbound links. Without these two factors, it is not possible to get high rankings on Google.

The number of inbound links is a very important factor. If you have optimized web pages but no links, then you have to build these links and you have to wait longer. If your website has a lot of inbound links then you will get high rankings quickly if you optimize your pages.

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2. Facts of the week

RedirectionGoogle stops passing anchor text through certain 301 redirects

"In the past if the old-page.html page was deleted and redirected to the homepage then the homepage would also start ranking for that query. Now this doesn't seem to be happening, in effect the link is still (perhaps) passing PageRank but it isn't passing anchor text."



Google flags whole Internet as malware

"We're not quite sure what’s going on, but a couple of minutes ago any search result from Google started being flagged as malware with a message stating 'This site may harm your computer'. Including Google’s own websites as you can see above."

Editor's note: the problem has been solved in the meantime.



Microhoo: what might have been

"A year ago Sunday, on February 1, 2008, Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer told the world his company wanted to buy Yahoo. Despite months of discussions, the deal never materialized, distressing many Yahoo shareholders and hastening Yahoo's replacement of CEO Jerry Yang with Carol Bartz. But what if Yang had gotten up on the other side of the bed one day a year ago and led his company to accept the offer?"



Google Earth OceanA deep dive into the ocean in Google Earth

"Now, with the new version of Google Earth, people can see within a few hours what it has taken me a lifetime to understand. Anyone can fly to Hawaii vicariously and see the real Hawaiian islands, not just the mountain tops that poke through the ocean’s surface. You can swim with whales, inspect coral reefs, or see the impacts of destructive fishing."



Google: "We're not doing a good job with structured data"

"Google's Alon Halevy admitted that the search giant has 'not been doing a good job' presenting the structured data found on the web to its users. [...] Halevy was referring to the databases of the 'deep web' - those internet resources that sit behind forms and site-specific search boxes, unable to be indexed through passive means."



Search engine newslets

  • Google Video searches being poisoned.
  • Gmail had problems with its spam filter.
  • FAQ on Microsoft adCenter conversion tracking.
  • DMOZ: Kids & Teens directory
  • 7 new languages in Google Translate.
  • Yahoo! reports fourth quarter and full year 2008 financial results.

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3. Success stories

Damon Taylor"Our rankings went up."

"Kiss the Bride Wedding Directory was a startup business in July 2008. We spent a lot of money doing all the wrong things. We had poor site traffic and our website ranked in the middle of no where.

I began researching how to optimise my website without paying ridiculous SEO company fees and charges. I came across a few search engine marketing tools, but Internet Business Promoter stands head and shoulders above the rest.

It has everything one needs to effectively market yourself on the Internet and develop a traffic base for your website. IBP has great help files and a quick and efficient help desk. Our rankings went up and we now appear on page 2 for key search terms. Using IBP, it won't be long before we reach the top 10 on page 1. Thanks IBP!"
Damon Taylor, Kiss the Bride



Do you want to have top 10 rankings on Google?

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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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