Weekly SEO news: 27 April 2010

Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

Most people use a keyword suggestion tool when they try to find new keywords for their campaigns. While keyword suggestion tools are good, they should not be the first step in your keyword research activities. This article helps you to find great keywords without using keyword tools.

In the news: Google limits the site search operator, how Google tries to find the creation date of a web page, how not to sell links, Google vs. the government 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. Four steps to great keywords (without keyword tools)

Most people use a keyword suggestion tool when they try to find new keywords for their campaigns. While keyword suggestion tools are good, they should not be the first step in your keyword research activities.

Before you use a keyword suggestion tool, ask yourself the following questions:

    keyword research
  1. What problems can your product or your service solve?
  2. Which questions do potential customers ask?
  3. Can you offer unusual solutions?
  4. Which products and services do you offer?

As you can see, the products and services that you offer are the least important. A person with a headache might not now that the Shiatsu that you offer will help them. They even might now know what Shiatsu is and if they know it, they might not be able to spell it properly. The same applies to all other services and industries.

For that reason, it is important that you focus on the first three points before using your products or services in the keywords.

1. What problems can your product or service solve?

In this example, the problem that your product or service can solve is a headache. Create a list of words that describe the problem:

headache, racking headache, migraine, vicious headache, splitting headache, megrim, constant headache, etc.

2. Which questions do potential customers ask?

People type different things in Google's search box when they try to find a solution to their problem. Here are some real queries that have been done on Google (use IBP's keyword suggestion tool to find keywords that are searched by real web surfers):

  • why does my head hurt
  • why does my head hurt when I cough
  • how to get rid of migraines without medication
  • how to get rid of migraines when pregnant
  • why can't i concentrate on anything
  • why am i so tired
  • etc.

The problem that your product solves creates certain circumstances (fatigue, temper, concentration problems). Address these circumstances in your keyword phrases.

The problem can also be connected to another factor (for example migraine and pregnancy). Create keyword phrases that are related to these factors.

3. Can you offer unusual solutions?

Most people will take a pill when they have a headache. In this example, you offer a solution that many people don't know about (Shiatsu). The following phrases would work for you:

  • get rid of migraines without medication
  • get rid of headache without pills

The unusual solutions that you offer can also be used in your AdWords ad copy and on your web pages. For example, you might create web pages around the following topics:

  • How to get rid of headaches without using Aspirin
  • An unusual way of healing migraine without medication
  • etc.

4. Which products or services do you offer?

Of course, you should also use the names of the products and services that you offer in your ads and SEO campaigns. In this example, this would be:

shiatsu, shiatsu massage, etc.

When you try to find new keywords, tell a short story that describes the problem and the solution: "A person has a racking headache. The person cannot concentrate because of that headache and the person is tired. Instead of taking a pill, there can be other solutions. That solution is my Shiatsu service."

By doing this, you'll find many keywords around which you can create new web pages and PPC ads. Of course, you can also combine this method with keyword suggestion tools.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

GoogleDoes Google limit the site: search operator? (discussion)

"These newly uninformative site: results have now been with us for many months and in the last few weeks the distortion seems to be intensifying.

It is heartening that Webmaster Tools reports higher numbers in many cases - but does this mean Google won't be showing accurate numbers to anyone but those verified as responsible for the website?"



Word War III: Google vs. governments

"In how many ways did Google respond to this week’s letter (PDF) from the data protection authorities of nine countries criticizing the company’s approach to privacy? [...] I think we’re getting closer to what Google really feels. The tone is tetchy. The underlying message is clear: Google would like the letter’s signatories to go forth and multiply. [...]

Google will become a regulated quasi-utility. It’s easy to suggest why this should happen, but profoundly difficult to imagine how. Yet where there’s a will, the political elites will eventually find a way."



How Google is reverse engineering page dates

"In recent weeks I've noticed a disturbing new trend in Google SERP’s: Google has become much more aggressive at trying to reverse engineer the publication date of a post/page. [...]

Here are some methods I've seen them use: Full format dates inside the main content of pages, dates in the comments, when no other date appears on a page and decoding dates in URL's."



NewspapersHow not to sell links on your newspaper site

"I looked at where some of the links are featured, and sure enough, a list of totally unrelated sites. Paid links. [...]

Now say I see one of my competitors in there? I could just report the site for selling links and my competitors for buying them [...] Everybody knows selling links is against Google TOS whether you listen or not. AND if I did buy links in footers like this (which I don't), I wouldn't be happy there was an email to 1000 seo companies telling THEM my clients was buying links."

 



Search engine newslets

  • Privacy issues? Google engineers leaving Facebook in droves.
  • Google adds Google Earth to Google Maps.
  • Google changes the way they work with advertising agencies.
  • Google's Matt Cutts about basketball, Star Wars and search questions.
  • Google Places quality guideline update.
  • Long-term prospects hang over Google's results.
  • Google has over 1 Million AdSense advertisers.
  • Yahoo services will be pre-loaded on Samsung devices.
  • Google Maps: browse local businesses in Street View.

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3. Success stories

Tell us how IBP helped your business and 250,000 readers will see YOUR website

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.

Click here to tell us your story.

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4. Previous articles

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