Weekly SEO news: 5 March 2013
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

Since the dramatic Google Penguin update a few weeks ago webmasters and companies have been going crazy trying to clean up their backlink profiles. Instead of doing things to improve their web pages, some webmasters concentrate on removing backlinks that point to their site.

In the news: Google shows live examples of spam websites, Google publishes their search quality guidelines, 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 competitors can hurt your site with fake link removal requests
Since the dramatic Google Penguin update a few weeks ago webmasters and companies have been going crazy trying to clean up their backlink profiles. Instead of doing things to improve their web pages, some webmasters concentrate on removing backlinks that point to their site.

If you're a regular reader of our newsletter, you know that we don't recommend deleting backlinks. It won't help your website and chances are that you will waste a lot of time and money:

Another problem of link removal requests: they can be used to hurt competitors.

1-2-3-poof. And gone.

How black hat optimizers can fake link removal requests

Let's say that you own the domain www.MyGreatCompany.com and you have great links from great websites. Your competitor could do the following to delete the high quality links that point to your site:

  1. Register a domain name such as www.MyGreatCompanyMail.com or another domain that is very similar to your address.
  2. Redirect the new domain to your real domain name so that people who enter the fake domain name in their web browser think that it's an official domain.
  3. Create an email address from that domain and send emails to all websites that link to your website with a request to remove the link.
How to protect your website against these people

If you don't monitor the backlinks that point to your website, it might be weeks before you realize that the links were taken down.

If you use the link manager in IBP, you will be notified if a website removes the link to your site. If you want to be on the safe side, use the link manager in IBP to make sure that all of your backlinks are intact.

How to improve the Google rankings of your website

Don't worry about deleting bad backlinks and don't even think about hurting other domains. Concentrate on improving your own website.

The tools in IBP help you to improve your web pages so that they get the best possible rankings on Google and other search engines. Concentrate on your own website. There's no better way to invest your time.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

Google shows example of pages they consider spam

On a new web page, Google shows live examples of web pages that have been removed from Google's index. According to Google, "these pages are examples of 'pure spam.' They appear to use aggressive spam techniques such as automatically generated gibberish, cloaking and scraping content from other websites."



GoogleGoogle publishes its search quality rating guidelines (PDF)

Google has published the search quality rating guidelines that are used by Google's manual search quality raters.

The official document is a shortened version of the unofficial document that leaked some time ago. Google hires search quality raters  through third-party agencies to measure the quality of the search results.


Google CFO Pichette: 'Search is still in its infancy'

'"Everybody’s mindset is that search is a solved problem,” said Google Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette, during a Q&A session Thursday at Morgan Stanley’s Technology, Media and Telecom conference in San Francisco. “But the optimism at Google of seeing the possibilities of what search can do is relentless,” he said, adding later that the technology is “still in its infancy."'



Matt CuttsIf I use a ccTLD, can I indicate my geographic location is not in that country?

Google's Matt Cutts answer this question in a video. In general, top level domains are assigned to their correct location. For example, some people from Long Island register .li domains. As the majority of .li domains is from Liechtenstein, Google assumes that the geographic location of .li domains is in Liechtenstein.

If you want to make sure that your website is assigned to the correct country, do not use a top level domain that is assigned to another country.

Is this the most important person in advertising?

"In many respects, Susan Wojcicki is Google's most important patron. Her garage served as the original Google headquarters, and over the last decade the svp of advertising has grown the company’s advertising business into a $43.7 billion revenue stream as of last year. EMarketer projects that Google accounts for better than 41 percent of total digital ad revenue in the U.S."


Search engine newslets
  • Yahoo: The dos and don’ts of trademarked terms.
  • Google has lifted the Interflora penalty.
  • YouTube Harlem Share easter egg.
  • Google top searches.
  • Google helped honor FTC chairman during agency inquiry.
  • Yahoo turns 18 and is now officially calling itself a ‘technology company.’
  • Yelp: We compete with print -- not Google or Facebook.
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3. Recommended resources

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