Weekly SEO news: 28 September 2010
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

That's one of the worst things that can happen to a webmaster: your website has lost its rankings on Google. This article will help you to get back your old search engine rankings.

In the news: Google's new keyword tool is out of beta, information about the impact of Google Insight based on statistics, there might have been a Google ranking algorithm 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. First aid: how to recover lost rankings on Google

It's one of the worst things that can happen to a webmaster: your website has lost its rankings on Google. Ranking drops can cost your business a lot of money. This article will help you to recover your lost rankings on Google.

Possibility 1: Your website has been penalized by Google

To check if your website has been penalized by Google, search for "site:yourdomain.com" (replace yourdomain.com with your own domain name) on Google.

If Google does not display any pages of your website, then your site has been penalized.

Google only penalizes websites that use spammy search engine optimization methods. For that reason, you have to remove all issues that might have caused the problem:

1. Remove all on-page spam:

  • Remove hidden or nearly-hidden text on your web pages. Reconsider any use of display:none and visibility:hidden that you use in the CSS code of your website.

  • Check your web page titles, the meta tags and even the HTML comments on your web pages and remove any elements that might be interpreted as a keyword stuffing attempt.

  • Remove any unnecessary redirects, links to dubious websites and all duplicate pages from your website.

  • If you use cloaking or bot blocking scripts on your server, disable these scripts. Many bot blocking scripts keep legitimate search engine spiders away.

  • Make sure that your HTML code is clean and that your web pages look nice. Don't use any automatically created doorway pages.

2. Fix all off-site issues:

Off-site issues are often the reason for ranking penalties and they are more difficult to fix than on-page issues.

  • If you participated in automated link exchange systems or if you paid a cheap overseas link building service to get links to your website then it's likely that these links have been flagged as spam links by Google.

    Google does not like automated link systems at all. Remove all automated link systems from your website and try to make sure that these linking systems do not link anymore to your site.

  • If you purchased links to improve your rankings, try to get rid of these links. Paid links do work to some extend but they can get your website in trouble when Google finds out that you use paid links.

3. File a reinclusion request

When you are sure that all spam elements have been removed, you can file a reinclusion request.

Keep your reinclusion request short and to the point. Be friendly and explain what you have done to clean up your website.

Possibility 2: This is a change in the ranking algorithm

A ranking drop does not necessarily mean that your website has been penalized.

1. You redesigned your website or your website is relatively new

Google also temporarily downranks websites after a major design change (source). In that case, you don't have to worry about the ranking drop because Google will give you your old rankings back after some time.

Of course, you must make sure that your new website design can still be parsed by Google and that your new web pages still contain the keywords for which you want to be ranked.

2. Other websites are better than yours

    Search engine optimization is not a set-and-forget thing. Your competitors might have improved their websites so that they now have better content and better links than your site.

    No website can keep its rankings forever. Re-analyze your web pages and optimize the content of your pages so that it is compliant to Google's latest ranking algorithm.

    Also improve the backlinks that point to your website. The link builder in IBP can help you to get better links.

Losing rankings on Google is hard for any website. If you do the things described above, chances are that you will get your rankings back as quickly as possible.

If your website doesn't have top 10 rankings on Google yet, optimize it with IBP's Top 10 Optimizer. The optimizer will tell you what to do so that you get first page rankings on Google for the keywords of your choice.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

StatisticsGoogle's updated keyword tool is out of beta

"We've combined the best features from two previous keyword tools into one. The previous Keyword Tool and Search-based Keyword Tool are no longer available in AdWords. The updated Keyword Tool is now the only Keyword Tool available in AdWords, so you can now simply call it 'The Keyword Tool.' [...]

We've also changed how we calculate Global Monthly Searches and Local Monthly Searches. Statistics in these columns are now based on Google.com search traffic only. Previously, they also included traffic from search partners."



Discussion: was there a smaller Google ranking algorithm update this month?

"I have seen a sudden drop in rankings for my most traffic generating keywords on Google UK, whereas my competitors' keywords haven't dropped. [...] I'm in the UK and I've seen some of my sites drop too today, I suspect a shake-up. In my experience it sometimes settles back to normal after a day or two."



Multiple domains vs subdomains vs folders in SEO

"Multiple domains are used when we want to be very GEO targeted and when we have enough content and resources to support all these websites. [...]

Subdomains are used when you have different products and services that you want to present by using a different website structure [...]

The folders are the most common, easy to use and all purpose solution. It is the safest method in terms of SEO and Web Development. You should use folders when you have a relatively small website and when you want to maintain the authority of the domain in the main categories."



Google InstantThe impact of Google Instant (based on statistics)

"Nine out of the eleven sites saw increases in 7+ word keywords. Eight out of eleven sites saw decreases in 2 and 3 word keywords. [...]

The data, so far, suggests that Google Instant might be pulling people away from 2 and 3 word keywords and towards 6 and 7+ word keywords. This shift doesn't appear dramatic, but there appears to be a slight shift toward long tail keywords."



Google uses AI to make search smarter

"Imagine a very near future when you don't forget anything because the computer remembers [...]

Artificial intelligence innovation could directly affect Google's revenue, which rose to $23.7 billion last year. Take Google Instant, a new search tool launched in early September that uses AI to guess what a person is searching for as they type keywords into the search box."



Search engine newslets

  • Google's own Chrome browser inflates Google Analytics data.
  • Google turned 12 years old.
  • French court convicts Google and boss of defamation.
  • Social media: Digg's traffic down 26% after the redesign (Reddit is the winner).
  • Wolfram Alpha announces an Android app.
  • Eric Schmidt: Forget Apple, Facebook, Bing's our biggest problem.

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3. Success stories

"IBP has saved the telephone charges."

"Our small company sells craft beer in French throughout France. Most of our business goes through our website. So it was important that we get a good rank in search engines like Google.

We started groping and experiment; Internet is full of information, often contradictory, for the optimization of website. Of course, we had knowledge, like everybody.

We knew a lot about page titles, meta description, H1 tags, but what to choose? Which factors are most important? And it was unthinkable to take a phone call to our biggest competitor 'hello, we would like to know how you have optimized your site'. IBP has saved telephone charges.

With IBP, we got second place for our main keyword in Google, and the rankings for other keywords continue to grow.

We have multiplied our visitors and sales. All this would not have been possible without IBP and today we can only congratulate ourselves for having it."
Ebeer EURL, www.ebeer.fr



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.



IBP

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