Weekly SEO news: 6 September 2011
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

Last month, Google announced new and extended sitelinks. The maximum number of sitelinks increased from eight to 12. The new sitelinks format increased the importance of good meta description tags on your web pages.

Also in the news: more sitelinks for AdWords ads, Google counts links from subdomains as internal links, as expected Google will use +1 data in the ranking algorithm and more.

Table of contents:

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Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. With Google's new sitelinks, the meta description tag becomes more important

Last month, Google announced new and extended sitelinks. The maximum number of sitelinks increased from eight to 12:

sitelinks

If Google decides to display sitelinks for your website, your site will get a much more prominent display than before.

How to make your sitelinks more attractive

Google uses the first 30-35 characters of the meta description tag of a web page for the snippets.

To increase the number of clicks on the snippets, you should optimize your meta description tags:

  • The first 35 characters in the meta description tag should contain a clear description of the page and/or a call-to-action.
  • Each page of your website should have its own meta description.

Note that Google updates the sitelinks of a website periodically. It may take some time before the new descriptions of your web pages appear in the sitelinks.

How to get sitelinks

In general, Google shows sitelinks if it is sure that a website is the exact match for a search query (usually product name or company name searches). Google generates the sitelinks for your website based on your website navigation and based on the links that point to your website.

If Google does not show sitelinks for your website then you should work on your website navigation:

  • Avoid JavaScript and Flash navigation and try to use regular <a href> links as often as possible.

  • If you use images for your website navigation, make sure that the images contain alternative texts that allow Google to categorize your links.

Do not use too many navigation links and make it easy for web surfers and search engines to find out which pages of your website are the most important pages. The better a web page is linked, the more likely it is that it will appear in the sitelinks on Google.

Sitelinks are a nice addition for brand name searches but they usually don't appear for searches that consist of two to four words. These words are the most important keywords for website promotion and search engine optimization.

To get high rankings for keywords that lead to more customers and more sales, optimize your web pages with IBP's Top 10 Optimizer. The Top 10 Optimizer analyzes the content of your web pages, the backlinks of your web pages and popularity of your website on social sites such as Facebook and Twitter. You also get detailed advice on how to improve your pages so that they get top 10 rankings on Google.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

Google now counts links from and to subdomains as internal links

"Most people think of example.com and www.example.com as the same site these days, so we’re changing it such that now, if you add either example.com or www.example.com as a site, links from both the www and non-www versions of the domain will be categorized as internal links.

We’ve also extended this idea to include other subdomains, since many people who own a domain also own its subdomains—so links from cats.example.com or pets.example.com will also be categorized as internal links for www.example.com."

Editor's note: use the backlink builder in IBP to get more links from external websites.



GoogleGoogle AdWords now testing up to 6 sitelinks in ads

"If a user search triggers your ad to run with sitelinks, our system may include up to six of your additional links on your ad, along with the main landing page link. The higher the quality of your ad, the more likely sitelinks may be able to run on that ad."



When to buy a keyword that organically ranks #1

"Just create a simple experiment following the steps outlined above. If your total profits are higher when you are buying the same keywords – then keep buying them. If your profits are lower (and you are not buying words for other reasons), then do not buy them. It really is that simple."



GoogleGoogle explores re-ranking search results using +1 button data

"Google is making plans to turn its +1 button into a q tool that helps it re-order search results and fight web spam. [...]

If Google’s search results become heavily dependent on social signals from Google+, then there’s going to be heavy pressure on the net’s websites to embed the Google+ button."

Editor's note: detailed information on how to add Google's +1 button to your web pages can be found here.



Why Bing cannot loosen Google’s grip on search

"Microsoft’s greed stands in the way of Microsoft attracting grassroots support from organic search marketers. [...]

Bing is pickier about what content it will index than Google. In fact I have seen this time and time again: People create thousands of Web documents, Google indexes around 80% of them and Bing indexes around 30% of them. Why? The best answer I can come up with is that Bing trusts fewer links than Google."

Editor's note: If you want to get high rankings on Bing (and Google), optimize your web pages with IBP's Top 10 Optimizer.



Search engine newslets

  • Google testing voice search for web internationally.
  • Google Translate for Google+.
  • Google +1 extension for Chrome.
  • Google wants you to +1 your favorite custom maps.
  • A very gloomy picture of Larry Page's short tenure as Google CEO.
  • Bing thinks second place is good enough, for now.
  • Google introduces stricter rules for new AdSense publishers.
  • Google to review paused adverts, starting 6th September.

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3. Success stories

You can get IBP for a discount this month

IBP is a popular SEO software tool that helps you to get your web pages on the first result page on Google and other search engines.

IBP



Send us a testimonial: 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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