Weekly SEO news: 3 June 2014
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

On the official Google blog, Google's Gary Illyes and Zineb Ait Bahajji gave information on how to handle international content. If your website serves multiple languages and countries, there are several things that you can do to make sure that Google indexes your web pages correctly.

In the news: Google's Matt Cutts says that Google does not penalize competitors in the search results, there hasn't been an official Penguin update,  how Google's "right to be forgotten" form works, and more.

Table of contents:

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Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Official Google information: how to handle international content

On the official Google blog, Google's Gary Illyes and Zineb Ait Bahajji gave information on how to handle international content. If your website serves multiple languages and countries, there are several things that you can do to make sure that Google indexes your web pages correctly.

global seo

Variation 1: use international domains and show the same content to all
A good way to serve international content is to use country specific domains: example.com, example.de, example.fr, etc.

Each country and language has its own domain and the content on these website is the same for all visitors who access the domains in their browsers.

You can show a banner on the pages to suggest more appropriate versions to users from other locations. For example, Amazon.com shows a banner for Amazon.de if you access the site from Germany.

Variation 2: let users choose which local version and which language they want
Another way to present international content is to let your website visitors choose the appropriate version. In this case, your homepage contains a country and language selector to let users choose their favorite version.

After the selection, the user should be redirected to a web page that has a unique URL, i.e. each language version should use unique URLs.

If you use this method, it is important that your web pages the x-default rel-alternate-hreflang annotation for the country selector page, which was specifically created for these kinds of pages.
Variation 3: automatically redirect users
It is also possible to redirect your website visitors depending on their location and language settings. You can do this with 302 redirects or by dynamically serving the right HTML content.

This method also requires the x-default rel-alternate-hreflang annotation and you also must make sure that the language pages have individual URLs.
Things that you should consider
Regardless of the method that you use to present your international content, you should make sure that:
  • all pages have rel-alternate-hreflang annotations
  • all pages are accessible for Googlebot (you can test this with the website audit tool in SEOprofiler).
  • users can switch local versions and language

SEOprofiler will help you

Of course, the steps above alone do not guarantee that your web pages will get high rankings. You must still make sure that your pages have good content and good inbound links. The tools in SEOprofiler help you to get both:

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week
Google's Matt Cutts: we didn't penalize Vivint.com because it's a Google competitor
"It's a shame that Pando's inquiry didn't make it to me, because the suggestion that Google took action on vivint.com because it was somehow related to Nest is silly. As part of a crackdown on a spammy blog posting network, we took action on vivint.com--along with hundreds of other sites at the same time that were attempting to spam search results. [...]

This had nothing whatsoever to do with Nest. The webspam team caught Vivint spamming.

Matt CuttsMatt Cutts: how Google ranks web pages without links

"In a new video on YouTube, Google’s Matt Cutts explains how Google ranks web pages that have no or few links. He makes it clear that links are still a very important factor in Google’s ranking algorithm."


Google: the profit-driven marketer

"One of the central premises is the idea that sometimes marketers need to bid higher and spend more to make more. If the goal is to maximize profits, then an effective bidding strategy shouldn't be tied to a budget or cost per acquisition (CPA). For example, would you prefer an $80 CPA or a $90 CPA?"


PenguinGoogle says there’s been no Penguin update

"The SEO space was noticing huge changes in the search results from previously penalized sites, many that were impacted by the Google Penguin update. [...]

A Google spokesperson told us at Search Engine Land, there is no Penguin or other spam efforts going on now. So this update, at least according to Google, is not spam related. In fact, Google made it sound like there was no update at all."

How Google’s new “right to be forgotten” form works

"Requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and it seems things that are deemed reasonable, especially from private individuals, will get dropped. [...]

The EU ruling isn’t just a Google-specific thing. Any search engine with a 'presence' in the EU that can be defined by things such as having local sales offices must comply. That includes both Yahoo and Bing."

Search engine newslets

  • Yahoo! testing fixed top search bar.
  • Nielsen: Cross-channel campaigns aren’t living up to their potential.
  • Android market share expected to hit 80.2% in 2014.
  • Google's "fetch as Google" tool no longer works with !# AJAX URLs.
  • Apple adds search engine DuckDuckGo as a privacy feature to Safari.
  • Comic strip: "Don't be Google" is a good motto.
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3. Recommended resources

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4. Previous articles
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