Weekly SEO news: 25 June 2013
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

What would you say if your competitors deleted 39% of the backlinks that point to your website? Sadly, this seems to be possible and it is not too difficult. If you don't want to lose your rankings, you have to keep track of your backlinks.

In the news: most people find new websites through search engines and social networks, Google talks about reconsideration requests, 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 your competitors can delete 39% of your backlinks

What would you say if your competitors deleted 39% of the backlinks that point to your website? Sadly, this seems to be possible and it is not too difficult. If you don't want to lose your rankings, you have to keep track of your backlinks.

secure your links

How your competitors can delete your backlinks

A blogger found out that it was very easy to get backlinks removed. He sent link removal messages from a newly created Gmail account stating that he was working on behalf of a client. The results were surprising:

    • 4% of the recipients requested money to remove the link (between $2 and $2000).
    • 4% asked for proof that the sender of the message was really working for the linked company.
    • 39% of the recipients deleted the backlink to the website without further questions.
Remember that this was not a link removal message from an official company website. The link removal requests were sent from a Gmail address and the sender only claimed that he worked for the linked company.

How to delete the backlinks of any website in three easy steps

The numbers above indicate that it is extremely easy to remove the backlinks of a website:
  1. Get a free email address with a nice name, for example shoes.com-backlink@gmail.com.
  2. Create a link removal message with an officially sounding text. Mention the words "Google", "penalty" and maybe "Matt Cutts".
  3. Send this message to all websites that link to the website.
Just to be sure: do not do this! We just want to illustrate how easy it is to get backlinks removed.

How to protect your backlinks

As it is very easy for your competitors to remove your backlinks, you have to monitor your backlinks to make sure that they are not deleted.

Fortunately, there are tools that can help you to do this. For example, the backlink manager in SEOprofiler automatically monitors the backlinks to your site.

If a link that points to your site gets removed (or if it gets the nofollow attribute) the links will be marked in red (or yellow).

It's sad that Google's Penguin update has resulted in a link removal craziness that makes the above scenario possible. If you want to get lasting results, you have to do the following:

  1. Use safe SEO methods that play by the rules. By using these methods, you make sure that your website gets high rankings that last.
  2. Monitor your rankings and your backlinks to make sure that your competitors don't manipulate your rankings.
Fortunately, SEOprofiler can help you with both tasks. If you haven't done it yet, create your SEOprofiler account now:

Free trial Test full version for $1


Create a free trial account now or test the full version for only $1.

2. Search engine news and articles of the week

Forrester research: search remains first, social second for how people find websites

"54% of respondents found websites through natural search results, up from 50% in 2011. Social networks were the second-most preferred discovery resource, with 32% using them in 2012, up from 25% in 2011 and 18% in 2010. Links were the third important means of website discovery, with 28% saying they found websites from links on other sites, down from 31% last year.

Attention paid search marketers: Just 18% of those surveyed said that they used search ads for website discovery. This is actually an improvement from 2011, when paid search was the least popular form of website discovery, with only 8% reporting that they used paid search ads to find websites."


GoogleOfficial Google statement: backlinks and reconsideration requests
"Reconsideration requests are intended for sites with manual spam actions. If your site’s visibility has been solely affected by an algorithmic change, there's no manual action to be revoked, and therefore no need to file a reconsideration request. [...]

After your request is processed, we'll send you another message to let you know the outcome of the request. In most cases, this message will either inform you that the manual action has been revoked or that your site still violates our quality guidelines."


Bing announces 'Bing boards'

"Bing Boards are visual collections of images, videos and links that tell a story from a unique point of view. They are created by people who are passionate about the topics they blog, write or talk about – not companies or algorithms. Bing Boards are designed to be complementary to web search results, appearing in the middle column of Bing, and are aimed to help people to discover new, visually rich content."



StatisticsGoogle's  tilde operator no longer works

"Google had an advanced search operator that allowed you get results for different variations of your query. "Normally, synonyms might replace some words in your original query. Add a tilde sign (~) immediately in front of a word to search for that word as well as even more synonyms. For example, [~food facts] includes results for 'nutrition facts'," explained Google.

Now the tilde operator is missing from Google's help center article and it no longer works."

Google Local carousel ranking = Maps ranking = Location prominence

The ranking algo that Google is using is the same location prominence algo used in the current/old Google Maps. There does not appear to be any blended/organic influences in the results that I have looked at so far and the ranking matches pin for pin in both Maps and the 7-Pack display for the same search results."


Search engine newslets

  • Watch Now: a new YouTube experiment.
  • Discussion: Google drops authorship image for many searches.
  • How many results are required for the new Google Local carousel to display? At least 5.
Back to table of contents - Visit Axandra.com
3. Recommended resources

How to get an in-depth review of your website

Doing a regular audit of your web pages is important if you want to make sure that search engines can index all of your pages. The more pages your website has, the more likely it is that there are many errors that have to be corrected.

The website audit tool in SEOprofiler automatically checks your web pages once per week. Then you get a report that shows all the issues that should be corrected. By correcting these issues, you make sure that search engines can index all of your pages correctly. Here’s a screenshot of the overview page:

seoprofiler

You can get the website audit tool and all other tools in SEOprofiler for our special offer price:

Free trial Test full version for $1


Create a free trial account now or test the full version for only $1.

Back to table of contents - Visit Axandra.com
4. Previous articles
Back to table of contents - Visit Axandra.com

Do you have a minute?