Weekly SEO news: 3 January 2012

Welcome to the first issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter in 2012.

A company has started the new year with shady Google AdWords ads. Fortunately, Google has pulled the ad in the meantime. Is this ad a sign of the shady advertising methods that we have to expect in 2012?

Also in the news: Google can detect boilerplate text on your pages, Google doesn't have to filter sites for violations, some people think that Bing will gain more ground against Google in 2012 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. The new year starts with shady ads on Google AdWords

A company has started the new year with shady Google AdWords ads. Fortunately, Google has pulled the ad in the meantime. Is this ad a sign of the shady advertising methods that we have to expect in 2012?

What exactly happened?

A blogger discovered that a company run a Google AdWords ad that appeared for the keyword "new year's day"

Why is this a shady ad?

At first glance, this looks like a regular ad. However, the ad is shady in many ways:

  • The ad uses www.dailymail.co.uk (a UK newspaper) as the display URL although it is not affiliated in any way to the site. The landing page of the ad is on a totally unrelated domain.

    That means that the server redirects Googlebot to the dailymail.co.uk website and shows all other visitors the ad. In other words, the advertiser is cheating Google.

  • The ad looks like the website of a television network although it's not. In addition, the landing page uses a geolocation script that inserts the city of the website visitor on the page.

    This should create the impression that a local lady tested the product. It doesn't look so good if the page is accessed from another country:

  • The landing page uses a fake Facebook 'Like' button with fake numbers.

  • The photo of the woman named 'Emily' is from a web page that illustrates how to manipulate photos with Photoshop.

Fortunately, Google has pulled the ad in the meantime. That means that they could discover that someone was delivering different content to Googlebot and human visitors of the page.

If you want to get lasting results on Google, you shouldn't cheat Google (and you shouldn't use misleading pages as the one above).

If you want to make sure that your website get the best possible rankings on Google, use ethical search engine optimization methods that are beneficial to you, your website visitors and search engines.

 

2. Search engine news and articles of the week

Google can detect boilerplate text on your pagesJohn Mueller

"Google is generally quite good at recognizing 'boilerplate text' (text which you repeat on many pages) and treating it appropriately

I wouldn't worry about having to place a disclaimer on your pages. If you want to make it clearer to search engines that it's not relevant to your content, you could also just place the text in an image (personally, I'd just place the text on the pages normally)."

Related: How Google might identify transient content on webpages.



Google's Eric Schmidt discusses the competition

"Today we have one very clear competitor, which is Microsoft, we used to two, with Yahoo, but Yahoo largely outsourced the search stuff to Microsoft. We seem them as the core competitor, we have additional competition from different corners, so Facebook is a competitor in a bunch of properties and also for attention."



BingThree reasons Microsoft's Bing will gain ground against Google in 2012

"Bing recently became the second most popular search site on the Internet, but is still far behind to Google. Here are three reasons Bing will narrow that gap in 2012.

Bing partnerships with Facebook and Twitter will pay off [...] Bing integration with Xbox and Kinect will help [...] Bigger reach in mobile will grow market share [...]

Google fears Bing enough that it will pay Mozilla nearly $1 billion over the next three years to remain the default search engine on Firefox. Google wouldn't pay that money if it didn't recognize that Bing was a formidable competitor."



Google doesn't have to filter sites for violations

"An Italian court refused to block Google from hosting sites that allegedly violate copyright laws, falling in line with a European high court decision that barred general filtering of web content."



Search engine newslets

  • Ads show how Google+ is desperate for real people.
  • Google tries to kick Authors Guild out of court in book case.
  • Google fined for faulty word suggestion.
  • Google roils travel.
  • buySAFE sues Google over “Trusted Stores” service.
  • Google buys a lot of links to promote Chrome.

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3. Success stories

"IBP consistently returns the best results."

"As an SEO company, we use many different tools, some significantly more expensive than IBP, yet it's IBP which consistently returns the best results and the one we turn to the most.

The lovely thing about IBP is the ease of reporting which our clients love, allowing us to work closer to their business and deliver the results they need."
John, www.cookieseo.co.uk



IBP

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4. Previous articles

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