Weekly SEO news: 8 May 2012

Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

Google has announced that they made 52 changes in April. Which of these changes are relevant to your website rankings and how do you have to react to these changes?

In the news: Bing introduces a much clearer interface, Google reconsiders reinclusion requests, Matt Cutts talks about human quality raters and an ex-Inktomi employee explains how Google killed Inktomi.

Table of contents:

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Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Official Google statement: ranking algorithm updates in April

Google has announced that they made 52 changes in April. Which of these changes are relevant to your website rankings and how do you have to react to these changes?

What has happened?

Every month, Google publishes the changes that they made during the last month. This April, Google made 52 changes. Not all of these changes are relevant to the rankings of your web pages.

Some of the changes dramatically changed the way Google ranks web pages on the search result pages.

New Google

Which changes are relevant to your web page rankings?

The following changes have the biggest impact on the position of your web pages on Google's search result pages:

  • Improvements to how search terms are scored in ranking. One of the most fundamental signals used in search is whether and how your search terms appear on the pages you’re searching. This change improves the way those terms are scored.
  • Keyword stuffing classifier improvement. We have classifiers designed to detect when a website is keyword stuffing. This change made the keyword stuffing classifier better.
  • More authoritative results. We’ve tweaked a signal we use to surface more authoritative content.
  • More domain diversity. Sometimes search returns too many results from the same domain. This change helps surface content from a more diverse set of domains.

These first two items probably refer to the Penguin and Panda updates that Google released last month.

Other items in the update list referred to sitelinks. Some search results might get two layers of sitelinks instead of a text snippet. Google also updated the algorithm for local searches and the way titles are displayed for some pages.

How do you have to adjust your web pages?

If you want to get high rankings on Google, you have to make sure that your pages offer what Google's latest algorithm requires. The Top 10 Optimizer in IBP can help you to analyze your web pages for Google's latest algorithm.

The Top 10 Optimizer in IBP is based on the analysis of Google's current top 10 results and it always tells you how to get high rankings with Google's latest algorithm.

The optimization method that is used by IBP makes sure that IBP always works with Google's current algorithm. You will get detailed advice that will make sure that your web pages get high rankings on Google.

People who think that SEO is the same as spamming will have a hard time with Google's new algorithms. People who use white-hat SEO methods will benefit from Google's changes.

2. Search engine news and articles of the week

Bing introduces a much cleaner interface

"We’ve tuned the site to make the entire page easier to scan, removing unnecessary distractions, and making the overall experience more predictable and useful. This refreshed design helps you do more with search—and gives us a canvas for bringing future innovation to you."



StatisticsStudy: Google's love affair with Wikipedia far more serious than Bing's

"Google favors Wikipedia far more than Bing, appearing on page one 46 percent of the time for combined keywords (informational and transactional) compared to 31 percent for Bing.

Comparison of instances Wikipedia did not appear in the search results at all shows it occurred 64 percent of the time for Bing compared to 29 percent of the time for Google."



Google Places reconsiders reconsideration requests

"Google is no longer accepting Places reinclusion requests via the link in the Places Dashboard. [...]

On a tactical level this means that if your listings have been suspended you have to create a new account, add your listings and re-verify. It is also interesting to speculate about this on more strategic level. Is Google just coming up with a better, more streamlined way to allow listings to be reincluded or is there more to it than that?"



Matt CuttsVideo: how does Google use human raters in web search?

Google's Matt Cutts explains the process in a video. Google's Quality Raters classify URLs as good, bad, spam and other classifications.

After an algorithm update, Google's engineers can do a side by side (blind taste test) directed to the Quality Raters and the raters say which side they like better."



A relevant tale: how Google killed Inktomi

"Inktomi was the #1 search engine in the world for a while. [...] Inktomi didn't control the front-end. We provided results via our API to our customers. This caused latency. In contrast, Google controlled the rendering speed of their results. Inktomi didn't have snippets or caching.

Our execs claimed that we didn't need caching because our crawling cycle was much shorter than Google's. Instead of snippets, we had algorithmically-generated abstracts. Those abstracts were useless when you were looking for something like new ipad screen resolution."



Search engine newslets
  • Google: A/B split testing does not lead to Google warnings.
  • Video: How does Google view font replacement (with images)? Answer: as long as the replaced text is the same, this is okay.
  • Google Places: “We currently do not support this location” bug fixed.
  • To crawl or not to crawl, that is BingBot's question.
  • Microsoft changes the name of "Microsoft Advertising for Small and Medium Businesses" to "Bing".
  • Google is making a huge and annoying mistake.
  • Another Google Panda update on 27 April.
  • News sites increasingly kept in the dark as Google hides incoming search terms.
  • Yahoo! and Microsoft Search Alliance implementation complete in the UK and France.

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3. Recommended resources

Check the backlink profile of your website and much more

SEOprofiler is a full-featured SEO solution that can analyze the backlink profile of your website and much more.

You can also use it to spy on the Google rankings and Google AdWords campaigns of your competitors, it helps you to get new backlinks, it helps you to optimize your web pages, it checks your rankings on search engines and much more.

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