Weekly SEO news: 10 December 2013
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

In an online discussion, a webmaster complained that the rankings of his website fluctuate much on Google's result page. Google's John Mueller said that this was normal. This week's article shows you how to secure your rankings.

In the news: Google penalizes another link network, some Yelp reviews are published as Google reviews, spamming with sub domains is not a good idea, some Google ads might be unfair and deceptive, 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. Google's John Mueller: our algorithms are changing all the time | How to secure your rankings

In an online discussion, a webmaster complained that the rankings of his website fluctuate much on Google's result page. Google's John Mueller said that this was normal:

"Fluctuations like this can be normal - the algorithms don't stand still and use many signals to review & determine the relevance of pages & sites.

Looking at it just now, it seems that [your rankings] may just have come back again :). That said, working to improve the overall quality of a website is always a good thing. If this is currently one of your busier times, then it might make sense to do that a bit afterwards -- but I'd definitely think about what you could do to get feedback from users (customers or not) already."

How to secure your rankings

Rankings can change and Google continues to remove low quality pages from the search results. Fortunately, SEOprofiler can help you to secure your rankings:

  • Use the ranking monitor to keep track of your rankings. In addition to the standard reporting, the ranking monitor has pages for 'Alerts' and 'Opportunities' so that you can react as quickly and efficiently as possible to ranking changes.
  • Use the website audit tool in SEOprofiler to check your web pages for technical errors that can cause problems with Google.

Both the ranking monitor and the website audit tool automatically re-check your pages. Both tools will help you to locate potential problems as quickly as possible.

secure your rankings

More tools help you to improve your rankings

In addition to the ranking monitor and the website audit tool, SEOprofiler offers many more tools. For example, you can use the Top 10 Optimizer in SEOprofiler to optimize your pages for Google's current algorithm. The Top 10 Optimizer helps you to keep up-to-date with Google's algorithms.

The keyword research tools help you to find the best keywords for your website and the link building tools in SEOprofiler help you to improve the backlink structure of your site. SEOprofiler also integrates with Google Analytics so that you get detailed information about the visitors of your web pages.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

Matt CuttsGoogle penalizes another link network
"Matt Cutts is Google’s head of search spam. His department tries to remove spam from Google’s search results. On Twitter, Matt Cutts indicated that another backlink network (Anglo Rank) was penalized by Google"



Yelp reviews copied and published as Google reviews

"In the last week, one very alert client saw saw some very recent reviews on his Google Plus Local listing that looked pretty suspicious. [...]

If you’re curious to see if a review is spam, try dropping a chunk of it into Google to see if a Yelp review shows up as a close copy. If so, then definitely flag as spam to Google."



John MuellerGoogle's John Mueller: wildcard subdomains aren't a good idea

In an online discussion, a webmaster asked for the best way to automatically create sub domains to target cities in a particular country. Google's John Mueller said that the whole idea wasn't good:

"My first thought when reading the question was that this is going to be a case for the web-spam team. Please don't create tons of sites that are essentially doorway pages. Also, using wildcard subdomains (assuming the idea is to map them to cities after DNS resolution) make it extremely hard to determine how those URLs should be crawled.

Additionally, I think it's important to mention that a site using this kind of URL structure won't see any unnatural advantage in search. Search engines are just as good at handling URL parameters, there's no need to make it look like a website focused on [cityname], [countryname] when it's essentially just a part of the same website."


Google: smartphone crawl errors in Webmaster Tools

"Some smartphone-optimized websites are misconfigured in that they don't show searchers the information they were seeking. For example, smartphone users are shown an error page or get redirected to an irrelevant page, but desktop users are shown the content they wanted.

Some of these problems, detected by Googlebot as crawl errors, significantly hurt your website's user experience and are the basis of some of our recently-announced ranking changes for smartphone search results."


Consumer watchdog complains to FTC about deception in Google Shopping results
"The way that the Internet giant is featuring results from Google Shopping without making it clear that the highlighted results are nothing more than advertisements for merchants who bid for placement is an unfair and deceptive act, violating Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act. [...]

Consumers are actually being harmed because the featured results from Google Shopping more often than not return higher prices than can be found elsewhere, when consumers would reasonably expect Google’s suggestions to be the best."

Related: Google Shopping Outpaces Amazon Same-Seller Sales On Cyber Monday, Black Friday



Search engine newslets

  • Google continues testing only show the site name in search results, but now show more details.
  • Cyber Monday jumps 18 percent to $1.735 billion in desktop sales to rank as heaviest U.S. online spending day in history.
  • Google tests a smaller "Ad" label.
  • IAB: mobile revenues $3 billion in 1H, 15 percent of total.
  • One in three purchases on Cyber Monday was completed via tablets or phones.
  • Google announces a rival to the NORAD/Bing Santa tracker.
  • Google for mobile tests new sitelinks design.
  • FTC: native online ads might be illegal in some cases.
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3. Recommended resources

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