Weekly SEO news: 13 July 2010

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

You know what you sell and you know the topic of your website. Are you sure that Google puts your website in the right category? If your website is about shoes, Google still might think that it is about frogs and toads. How can you tell Google that your website is not about toads?

In the news: Google reveals website statistics, Google uses a new OneBox on the search engine result pages, a webmaster lost his rankings after making his website faster, demographics help search engines to return better results 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 to tell Google that your website is not about toads

You know what you sell and you know the topic of your website. Are you sure that Google puts your website in the right category? If your website is about shoes, Google still might think that it is about frogs and toads.

Toads

If Google puts your website in the wrong category, it will be very difficult to get high rankings for your keywords.

How to find out what Google thinks about your website

To find out what Google thinks about your website, perform a "similar" search for your domain. Enter the following in Google's search box:

related:www.domain.com/ ~domain.com

Replace domain.com with your own domain name and make sure that there is no spacer after the colon. On the result page, Google will show you websites that it finds related to your site.

If the websites on the search result page are related to your website then everything is okay. If the websites are about totally different topics, then you have a problem and Google probably won't display your website in the search results for the right keywords.

Why does Google put your website in the wrong category?

Suppose your website is about selling shoes. If your site is linked by other websites that link to your website and other websites that are about frogs and toads then Google might think that your website is related to frogs and toads.

It's important that the other links on the web page that links to you are related to your site. If you're listed in the "Shoes" category of an Internet directory then all web sites in the same category are usually also about shoes.

When search engines look at this page and check the links to other sites they will think that your web site is related to shoes. That means that it will be much easier to get high rankings for search terms that are about shoes.

Is your website in the right co-citation category?

The other websites to which your link partners link influence the ranking of your website on Google.

Here's an example: web sites 1, 2, 3 and 4 all link to the web sites A, B, C and D. Although A, B, C and D don't link to each other, Google thinks that A, B, C and D are related to each other because the same web sites link to them:

The effect of co-citation on your rankings

If A, B, C and D are all linked from 1, 2, 3 and 4 they might be related to one another, even though they don’t directly link to each other.

If A, B, C and D are all linked by many other web sites, they have a strong relationship. The more web sites they are linked by, the stronger the relationship.

If you are the owner of website A, you should make sure that web sites B, C and D are related to your site.

What does this mean for your website?

When you build links, make sure that the page that links to your site also contains other links that are related to your website topic. The more pages of the other site are about your topic, the better.

If the link to your website is in a good neighborhood then it will be much easier to get high rankings for your keywords.

The backlink tools in IBP will help you to get more related backlinks to your website. Related backlinks and optimized web page content will bring your website on Google's first result page.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

GoogleGoogle: the average web page takes up 320 KB on the wire

"Here are some statistics about the size, number of resources and other such metrics of pages on the world wide web. These are collected from a sample of several billions of pages that are processed as part of Google's crawl and indexing pipeline. [...]

The average web page takes up 320 KB on the wire. Only two-thirds of the compressible material on a page is actually compressed. In 80% of pages, 10 or more resources are loaded from a single host. The most popular sites could eliminate more than 8 HTTP requests per page if they combined all scripts on the same host into one and all stylesheets on the same host into one."



Google SERPS now showing new OneBox

"It appears that Google has rolled out changes to the display of the Local Onebox showing on the main search engine results page. [...]

The businesses website now shows above the OneBox pushing the OneBox slightly further down the page, More Info has become the branded Place Page, directly under the business name, there is an additional large and prominent map pin next the business name, review numbers no longer show when there are less than a certain number."



CSSDiscussion: changing code to CSS killed the Google rankings of a webmaster

"I effectively took my average page size from 80k to 20k (before gzip compression) and the site is lightning quick. Visitors have been super happy with the improvement. Every visitor but googlebot apparently. The day after I rolled this major revision out, I began losing my major keywords. Every keyword was top 10, now I'm gone... not in supplementals - nowhere. Keywords dropped over the last 3 days... today there isn't much left. [...]

I would predict that, in time, you will return to your previous positions. The problem is the waiting game, and the uncertainty that you must be experiencing ... and the financial hit can't be any fun either. During the MayDay slaughter one of my best sites dropped like a stone in a matter of 2 days. I went camping in a remote area of southern Idaho and when I re-emerged into civilization, I found that nearly one month to the day after The Fall, that same site had once again regained all the previous traffic levels. If a similar pattern holds for you, then you'll be back on top again in a matter of weeks."



Innovation: shrewd search engines know what you want

"By giving a search engine some basic demographic information, such as age, gender and educational background, it is possible to boost the engine's chances of identifying user intent correctly. [...]

Recent studies suggest a surprisingly high number of us – 70 per cent – use the mouse cursor to help our eyes follow text on screen. Tracking the cursor offers a cheap way to check how people read a search results page – vital information for companies keen to target their adverts at people who are likely to respond."



Search engine newslets

  • Russian search engine Yandex searches in real-time.
  • Video: is PageRank calculated differently for domains registered before 2004? (answer: no)
  • China renews Google's license.
  • Google secretly invested $100+ million in Zynga, preparing to launch Google Games.
  • Google releases a parking spot app for Android.
  • Google is working on interactive video ads (registration required).
  • Google's logo for the FIFA World Cup final.
  • World Cup search trends.
  • Shorter map URLs are now available on Google Labs.

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3. Success stories

"I was one of people who thought that when you submit your URL to Google, it will appear on the first page automatically."

"When I created my website, I knew nothing. Actually, maybe it was a good thing because if I knew how difficult will it be, I would never even start. I was one of people who thought that when you submit your URL to Google, it will appear on the first page automatically. Not even funny...

I did not know what PR means, automatic submissions vs. manual, how to get links, etc. Also, I was and still is on shoe-string budget, so any free information has been greatly appreciated.

IBP has become a source that has been helping me all the way with industry news, trends and ideas as well as monthly updates on my website performance. It's still hard and I have a long time to go, but thanks to your help I'm on first page of Google for my main keywords."
Anna, www.findnewpassion.com



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