Weekly SEO news: 1 April 2014
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

All website owners need more traffic and more sales. Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the best ways to reach these goals. Many people lose a lot of money because they don't invest as much in SEO as they should.

In the news: Google penalizes brands in the UK, how Google evaluates new ranking algorithms, how a single guest post can get an entire website penalized, 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. Four reasons why SEO seems hard (although it isn't)

All website owners need more traffic and more sales. Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the best ways to reach these goals. Many people lose a lot of money because they don't invest as much in SEO as they should.

They are afraid that SEO is too difficult or not suitable for their company. Here are four reasons why SEO seems hard to some people although it isn't.

it can be done

Reason 1: I don't know how to optimize my website

Search engine optimization seems complex when you start. It's normal that beginners are confused and uncertain.

Fortunately, SEO isn't rocket science. Reading a step-by-step SEO tutorial will familiarize you with the basic concepts of search engine optimization.

Even if you plan to hire an SEO agency you should read such a tutorial. If you have a better knowledge, you can judge the level of expertise of the agency that you hire.

Reason 2: I don't have the staff or the time for SEO

This usually means that search engine optimization is not a high priority for your business. That's usually a mistake.

Good search engine optimization campaigns can drive a lot of targeted visitors to your website. Good SEO can turn an underperforming website into a cash cow for your business.

Consider changing your priorities. High rankings for the right keywords have a direct influence on the sales of your business.

Reason 3: I cannot compete with big brands

Smaller websites can be quicker than big brands. Big companies often take months to change something on their web pages. There are several things that you can do to compete with large brands:
  • Use better and more targeted keywords that attract better customers.
  • Make your web page titles and descriptions more attractive so that searchers click on your site in the search results.
  • Improve your website navigation so that searchers find things more quickly on your site.
  • Offer something that the big brand does not offer. This can be personal support, better customer service, etc.

Reason 4: I don't get a positive return on investment

Normally, good SEO campaigns pay for themselves. Unfortunately, there are many shady "SEO agencies" that aren't as reputable as they should be. If you hire sure an agency, it can happen that you spend a lot of money for nothing.

Fortunately, there also are reputable SEO agencies and do-it-yourself SEO tools that will help you to get a good return on investment.


Search engine optimization is one of the best things that you can do to get more website visitors and more sales. If you haven't done it yet, try SEOprofiler now. SEOprofiler is a do-it-yourself SEO tool that will help you to get high rankings, more website visitors, and more sales:


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2. Search engine news and articles of the week
UK brand sites falling like flies - brand penalties by Google
"So far when it came to SEO – one of the biggest complaint was you are OK if you are a brand. Looks like Matt Cutts has had a change of heart and is hammering UK brands one after the other."

Matt CuttsMatt Cutts: how Google evaluates new ranking algorithms
"In a video on YouTube, Google's Matt Cutts explained how Google evaluates new ranking algorithms:

1: They test the new algorithm offline. Search quality raters compare the new results to the old results. 2: If the first test is passed, the new algorithm is tested with a subset of real live searchers. If the new results get a higher click rate, the search quality launch committee has the ultimate say on if the algorithm goes live to the public or not."


Microsoft has big plans for Bing’s entity engine

"Microsoft clearly has big plans for using entities in Bing and products that rely on it; the company plans to open up a part of this entity engine so more third-party sites will be able to highlight some of their features on Bing."


GoogleHow a single guest post may have gotten an entire site penalized by Google

"The latest chapter in [Google's] war on guest posts feels a bit crazy: an entire site put into Google’s penalty box because of a single guest post that Google didn’t like. [...]

It should be pretty disturbing to any publisher that Google might fairly broadly decide just how narrow your site has to be, in order to escape a penalty, if you have guest authors it deems writing off-topic. [...]

Google: Enough with the penalties and get into a model where if you don’t like a link, you don’t count it rather than issuing penalties."

Google: more information about HTTPS pages in GWT

"In the past, we didn’t show index status data for HTTPS websites independently, but rather we included everything in the HTTP site’s report. [...]

If you have a website on HTTPS or if some of your content is indexed under different subdomains, you will see a change in the corresponding Index Status reports."

Search engine newslets

  • US e-commerce February update: up and to the right.
  • Become a Pokémon master with Google Maps (April fools' day joke).
  • China's Baidu defeats U.S. lawsuit over censored search results.
  • Bing lists alternatives in search results.
  • Survey: search engines dominate mobile product research.
  • Advertisers keep spending more on paid search in Q1, CTRs jump 23%.
  • Google lets you rearrange Google apps in the Google bar.
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3. Recommended resources

Link disinfection: how to deal with bad links that point to your site

Hear what Matt Cutts says about bad links that point to your website:

link disinfection

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4. Previous articles
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