Weekly SEO news: 17 May 2011
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

It's great if your website is listed on Google's first result page for the right keywords. It's not so great if nobody clicks on your listing because there's something wrong with it. There are some easy and some not-so-easy things that you can do to get more clicks on your Google listings.

Also in the news: A new tool lets you spy on the backlinks, rankings and ads of your competitors, Google does not allow you to flag spammy links, new search engine statistics 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 get more clicks on your Google listings

It's great if your website is listed on Google's first result page for the right keywords. It's not so great if nobody clicks on your listing because there's something wrong with it. There are some easy and some not-so-easy things that you can do to get more clicks on your Google listings.

Easy: Make your web page titles more interesting

The title of the listed web page is the first thing that a searcher will see. For that reason, it is very important that your web pages use compelling web page titles:

  • Words that match the search query will be appear in bold in the titles. Your listing will stand out if it contains bolded words so make sure that your web pages are so targeted that they contain the searched word in the title.
  • Make sure that the titles of your web pages are descriptive. It should be clear what to expect on the pages.
  • Add a call to action and benefits in your web page title.
  • Put the most important information at the beginning of the title. Search engines might shorten the title in the search result pages and people might not see the complete text.
  • If you're not a major brand name, avoid your company name in your web page titles.
  • Do not use the same title for all of your web pages. This is a mistake that many beginners make.

Avoid very short page titles. If the titles of your web pages are too short or only a collection of keywords, Google might rewrite them.

Not so easy: Try to influence the description that Google uses for your website

Just like the web page title, the description should include a call to action and it should tell searchers why your website is better than others. Unfortunately, Google usually does not use the Meta Description tag.

If you want to influence the description of your website on Google, you can do the following:

  • Add the keyword to the meta description: If your meta description contains the searched keyword then it is more likely that Google will use the meta description.
  • Block your ODP directory description: for some websites, Google uses the description that is used on DMOZ.org. You can avoid this by using the following tag on your pages: <meta name="robots" content="NOODP">
  • Avoid duplicate meta tags: if you use the same title and the same meta description tag on multiple pages then Google sees little value in these tags.
  • Completely block your snippet: if you use the <meta name="robots" content="nosnippet"> tag then Google won't display a snippet for your website. You should only use this tag if Google uses a very bad description for your page.

Usually, Google will create the snippet based on the text that is found on your web pages. If the searched keyword appears on your web page, it will be displayed in bold face in the snippet. Bold keywords drive click-throughs.

For that reason, the keyword should appear on your web page. If you want to make sure that your web page appears on Google's first result page for a particular keyword, it is important that the keyword appears in the right elements on a page.

Analyze your web pages with IBP's Top 10 Optimizer to find out how to change your web pages so that they appear on the first result page on Google for the right keywords.

If you want to find out for which keywords and with which titles and descriptions your competitors are listed on Google, analyze your competitors on SEOprofiler.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

SEOprofiler Check the backlinks, Google rankings and ads of your competitors

A new version of the online service SEOprofiler lets you analyze the backlinks, Google rankings and AdWords ads of any competitor site.

The service enables you to spy on your competitors so that you can analyze their linking, ad and ranking strategies. Here's an example analysis for microsoft.com.



April 2011 U.S. search engine rankings

"Google Sites led the U.S. explicit core search market in April with 65.4 percent market share, followed by Yahoo! Sites with 15.9 percent (up 0.2 percentage points) and Microsoft Sites with 14.1 percent (up 0.2 percentage points). Ask Network accounted for 3.0 percent of explicit core searches, followed by AOL, Inc. with 1.5 percent."



Matt CuttsVideo: can I flag spammy links to my site that I didn't create?

"Is there a process through which a site owner can flag spammy links being built to their site by third parties? By a competitor, for example? How do you protect against sites being penalized for bad links which they have not built?"

Google's Matt Cutts answers that question in a video: "We try very hard to make sure that one competitor can't hurt another competitor." Such a feature isn't available and there aren't plans to offer it in the near future.



More accurate traffic estimates in AdWords

"We’re announcing an update to the algorithm behind the traffic estimates you see in AdWords. As a result of our updates, we hope to provide you with better statistics for estimated clicks, cost, and ad position. This change is effective now and affects all AdWords accounts globally."



Facebook friends now fueling faster decisions on Bing

"Starting today, you can receive personalized search results based on the opinions of your friends by simply signing into Facebook. New features make it easier to see what your Facebook friends 'like' across the Web, incorporate the collective know-how of the Web into your search results, and begin adding a more conversational aspect to your searches. Decisions can now be made with more than facts, now the opinions of your trusted friends and the collective wisdom of the Web."



Search engine newslets

  • Google launches Music Beta.
  • Google AdWords now targets tablets separately.
  • Even after the Panda update, some scraper sites outrank the original sites on Google.
  • Google 'Panda' update kills content farming jobs.

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3. Success stories

"My client is on the first result page for a competitive one-word keyword!"

"Before I found IBP, I have tried to get the website of my client into the top results on Google.de for 2 years.

With the help of IBP, I managed to get the website on the first result page for a competitive one-word keyword. My client outranks big brand websites. Thanks to IBP!"
Kurt Schnabel, www.First-Web.de

 

IBP



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.

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