Weekly SEO news: 18 December 2012
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

Backlinks are still the most important ranking signal of Google, Bing and other search engines. Since Google's Penguin update, bulk-link spam doesn't work anymore and the quality of the backlinks has become more important than ever before. This week's article helps you to make a successful link building plan for 2013.

In the news: Google's reconsideration request requirements, the latest search engine statistics, online advertising helps offline businesses, 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. A five step plan for your 2013 link building campaign

Backlinks are still the most important ranking signal of Google, Bing and other search engines. Since Google's Penguin update, bulk-link spam doesn't work anymore and the quality of the backlinks has become more important than ever before.

link building 2013

A good plan will make your link building activities much more efficient. The following steps will help you to create a great plan for your 2013 link building campaigns:

Step 1: check the current state of your website

Check the status quo before you start with a new campaign. What makes your website linkworthy? Why should other websites link to your site? Do you know where your customers can be found on the web? Does your website offer content that interests your customers?

Step 2: set your goal

Getting more links is not a goal. Your link building campaign should contribute to the main goals of your  search engine optimization campaigns. For example, you could target these goals:

    • Get at least 20 links from related websites that will deliver targeted visitors to my website.
    • Getting at least 100 links from related websites that contain keywords that are related to my business to improve my search engine rankings.

Your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and trackable.

Step 3: make sure that your website is linkworthy

The best link building campaign won't work if your web pages aren't linkworthy. Other websites won't link to your website for no reason.

To create linkworthy content on your web pages, you could do the following:

    • Improve existing content and make it more attractive.
    • Use offline content of your company and make it available online.
    • Interview people who are related to your business.
Linkable content is useful and interesting. Offer the answer to the questions that your customers ask, offer interesting facts about the products and services that you sell and show your website visitors why your company is better than your competitors. If it makes sense, include as many photos as possible.

Step 4: put your ideas to the test

Double check your linkworthy content. Do other people really care about this content? If the content is just about you, chances are that not many people will care.

Ask people inside and outside your company for feedback why your ideas will work and why your ideas won't work.

Step 5: get things done

When you've finished step 1-4, it's time to get things done. Locate good websites that could link to your website and contact the owners of these websites.

The link building tools in IBP can help you to find these links as efficiently as possible. IBP also helps you to get the contact information of the other websites and it helps you to keep track of your link building activities.

Getting good backlinks is the key to high rankings on Google and Yahoo/Bing. The plan above will help you to achieve your goals as quickly as possible.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

Matt CuttsWhat should be included in a proper reconsideration request?

Google's Matt Cutts answers this question in a video. You have to prove to Google that you stopped spamming and that you removed all spam elements from your web pages.

In addition, you have to convince Google that you won't spam again. If Google thinks that you're going to use another fly-by-night trick in the future then your reconsideration request won't be successful.


comScore releases November 2012 U.S. search engine rankings

"Google Sites led the U.S. explicit core search market in November with 67 percent market share (up 0.1 percentage points), followed by Microsoft Sites with 16.2 percent (up 0.2 percentage points) and Yahoo! Sites with 12.1 percent. Ask Network accounted for 3 percent of explicit core searches, followed by AOL, Inc. with 1.7 percent. [...]

Nearly 17 billion explicit core searches were conducted in November, with Google Sites ranking first with 11.4 billion. Microsoft Sites ranked second with 2.7 billion searches, followed by Yahoo! Sites with 2.1 billion, Ask Network with 506 million and AOL, Inc. with 297 million."

Editor's note: make sure that these searchers find your website.



John MuellerJohn Mueller: use Google translate to check if Google can index your website

If you're not sure whether Google can index your web site or not, you can use Google Translate to check this. Google's John Mueller gave that tip in an online discussion:

"It looks like your website is redirecting some Google IP addresses to the Google homepage. You can confirm this by checking with Google Translate."



Study: online presence can help local shops (PDF)

"The Internet drives consumers into stores – 91 percent have gone into a store based on an online experience; more than half after reading an online circular.

Shopping is often a combined online/offline experience – 77 percent research product information online while shopping in a store, with 62 percent completing the purchase."

Editor's note: make sure that your website can be found online.



Yahoo introduces new cost-per-lead ad format

"Cost-Per-Lead (CPL) for Search Ads lets you add a contact form to your listings—increasing searcher engagement and encouraging users to provide valuable information, like demographics, email addresses, and even their 'digits.' And the best part is, you pay only when users complete your form."

Search engine newslets
  • Bing social results arrive on iPad.
  • Google changes the SafeSearch filter.
  • This year, NORAD tracks Santa with Bing, not Google.
  • Google Zeitgeist 2012.
  • EU official says Google antitrust talks 'advancing'.
  • AVG and Yahoo! team up on secure search.
  • Google tackles geographic (map) spam for businesses.
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3. Recommended resources

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