Weekly SEO news: 22 February 2011
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

Last week, J. C. Penney was penalized by Google because they used paid links to advertise their website. This week, Forbes.com has been penalized because they sell links. Is your website in danger? Which search engine optimization methods are safe to use?

Also in the news: details about the problems of Forbes.com, Google ignores the title tag for the search result snippets, Google updates social search 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. Watch out: Google continues to penalize spammers

Last week, J. C. Penney was penalized by Google because they used paid links to advertise their website. This week, Forbes.com has been penalized because they sell links. Is your website in danger? Which search engine optimization methods are safe to use?

Paid links and other forms of web spam

Google's most recent activities focused on paid links spam. However, that's not the only form of spam that will get you in trouble with Google. Earlier this year, Google announced that they are going to fight web spam stronger than before in 2011.

In addition to paid links, Google considers the following spam:

    • made for AdSense websites that consist of scraped content
    • cloaking and false redirects (Google gets other pages than real web surfers)
    • keyword stuffing and pages loaded with irrelevant words
    • hidden text or hidden links
    • misspellings of well-known websites
    • fully automated, unrelated and centralized link farms
    • other methods that try to trick search engines

    All of these methods have once thing in common: they worked well in the past and they enabled you to quickly get high rankings on Google. However, these methods also have in common that Google can discover them.

    Websites that use these methods will be penalized sooner or later.

Search engine optimization methods that are safe to use

Spammy search engine optimization methods will get your website in trouble. It doesn't help to have a big name (J. C. Penney or Forbes) and it also does not help to display AdWords ads on your website.

Google Safe

If you want to get lasting results, you have to use ethical search engine optimization methods that are beneficial to website owners, web surfers and search engines.

Ethical search engine optimization leads to a symbiotic relationship:

  • Search engines: They win as they are provided with pages that are easy to understand and that contain the quality information that their visitors search for.

  • Searchers: They win as they are getting what they ask for from the search engines. They search for "green widgets" and get a page about green widgets.

  • website owners: They win as they are getting quality visitors who are interested in what their website has to offer.

The following search engine optimization methods are safe to use and they lead to lasting results:

  • optimization of existing web pages, HTML code and web page contents
  • creating good content for your website
  • organic link building to get high quality backlinks

If you use these methods to optimize your web pages, your website will get lasting results. It takes longer to get high rankings with ethical search engine optimization methods but your website will be safe.

If you plan to build a lasting business, you must use ethical search engine optimization methods.

Our search engine optimization tool IBP helps you to get high rankings with ethical SEO methods. IBP helps you to optimize the content of your web pages and it helps you to get high quality backlinks.

IBP is a spam-free SEO software tool that helps you with all aspects of ethical search engine optimization. You can download the demo version here.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

Matt CuttsForbes.com also gets in trouble with paid links

Google has notified Forbes.com that they have been penalized for selling links on their web site. Google's Matt Cutts commented on the issue in an online discussion forum:

"My recommendation would be that Forbes remove the paid links that pass PageRank. I should mention that I believe we have another example of paid links that pass PageRank on Forbes which is similar to forbes.com/ebusiness/ , so it probably makes sense to do a full check of your site for any links similar to that or powered by the same network.

After the links are gone, you can submit a reconsideration request and we'll move forward from there."

Related: Forbes accused of link spam, plays dumb, but forgets to delete all the links



Google ignores the title tag for the search result snippets

In an online discussion forum, many webmasters complained that Google does not use the original title tag for the snippet in the search results:

"I don't mind if they want to convert all caps to first letter only or truncate it when it's too long, but I wish they would not change the text when I indicate I don't want it changed by using a meta robots noodp tag. [...]

They changed my title in the SERPs for me and now it blends right in with the rest of the titles on the page. It had a distinctive look and got clicks before, now it doesn't."



Google An update to Google Social Search

"Social search results will now be mixed throughout your results based on their relevance (in the past they only appeared at the bottom). This means you'll start seeing more from people like co-workers and friends, with annotations below the results they've shared or created. [...]

If someone you're connected to has publicly shared a link, we may show that link in your results with a clear annotation (which is visible only to you, and only when you're signed in)."

Editor's note: social search results are only displayed to people who are logged in to their Google accounts.



Automated rules for Google AdWords

"AdWords automated rules [is] a new feature that lets you save time by scheduling automatic changes to your account based on criteria that you specify. Today we're happy to announce that this feature is available in all accounts. [...]

If you regularly log in to your account to pause or enable ads, adjust your bids, or perform other manual tasks, automated rules may be just the tool you need to manage your account more efficiently."



Search engine newslets

  • Bing releases a completely new toolbar.
  • Google's new navigation bar, publicly available.
  • "Send to car" no longer available on Google Maps?
  • Google suffers surprising preliminary loss in keyword advertising case.
  • Google simplifies bidding on the Google Display Network.
  • Google trying to avoid antitrust fight in Europe.
  • How Google might offer face search by using pictures from social networks.

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3. Success stories

300,000 readers will read your success story!

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.



Roger Lapin"I am getting ten times the enquiries!"

"I used IBP over a year ago to improve my magician website - I was getting little to no enquiries and thought I would try it out.

I ran the software, made all the changes it asked me to and waited. It took about 2 months for Google to fully index all the changes but oh boy it was like magic, my site that previously did not show up for local searches was close to the top, I now rank #1 for loads of magician related terms local to me, business has literally exploded and I am getting ten times the enquiries! As I said before it is like magic."
Roger Lapin, www.rogerlapin.co.uk


IBP

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4. Previous articles

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