Weekly SEO news: 22 July 2014
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

Some days ago, Google announced a new version of their robots.txt tool. Why is a correct robots.txt file important if you want to get a high ranking website, and what can you do to make sure that everything works as expected?

In the news: Baidu launches a search engine in Brazil, Twitter invents new metrics, Google penalty costs eBay a lot, and more.

Special announcement: the German version of SEOprofiler is going to be released in August.

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 new robots.txt testing tool and how to check your website

Some days ago, Google announced a new version of their robots.txt tool. Why is a correct robots.txt file important if you want to get a high ranking website, and what can you do to make sure that everything works as expected?

Google robots.txt

What does a robots.txt file do?

The robots.txt file enables you to tell search engines which web pages on your website they should ignore.

Robots that choose to follow the instructions try to fetch this file and read the instructions before fetching any other file from the web site. If the robots.txt file doesn't exist, web robots assume that the web owner wishes to provide no specific instructions, and crawl the entire site.

What are the risks?
If the robots.txt file of your website does not have the correct format, search engines might not index your web pages at all. That's the reason why you should check the robots.txt file of your site.

Google's updated robots.txt checker can do the following:
  • It highlights which line in your robots.txt file is blocking a specific page.
  • It enables you to make test changes in your robots.txt file before publishing it.
There are many more technical factors that can damage your rankings
It is very important that the robots.txt file of your website is correct. However, there are many more technical factors that can have a negative influence on the Google rankings of your web pages. For example:
  • Incorrect redirects
  • Broken links
  • Server errors
  • Empty or duplicate web page titles
  • Incorrectly used canonical attributes
  • Duplicate content issues
  • etc.
If you want to make sure that your web pages get the best possible rankings, you should check all of these factors. The website audit tool in SEOprofiler automatically checks 49 important elements on all pages of your website to make sure that Google gives them high rankings.
If you haven't done it yet, get your website audit report now. For many websites, the website audit report in SEOprofiler resulted in immediate ranking improvements:

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week
China web giant Baidu launches search engine in Brazil
"Baidu announced today it has officially launched its search engine in its biggest market yet outside of China, Brazil. The Portuguese-language version of Baidu, dubbed ‘Baidu Busca’, currently covers web, images, and video searches. It’s also incorporated a localized version of its Postbar (“Tieba” in Chinese) trending forum feature."

Editor's note: You can check the rankings of your website on Baidu Brazil with the ranking checker in IBP.

GoogleSurvey: 74% of U.S. adults would delete themselves from search results if they could

"Most respondents were only 'moderately' or 'somewhat' concerned about government access to their online browsing and search histories. [...]

There was considerable interest in being able to delete or remove one’s name or identity from search results. A clear majority (74 percent) said that they would be 'extremely likely' or 'likely' to take advantage of such a feature or opportunity.

WSJ: under pressure, Twitter tries to resize itself

"[Twitter's] new metrics will measure the breadth of the audience that is exposed to Twitter’s content but not logged in, the people said.

Executives hope to shift the perception of Twitter from a social network to a broadcast platform in the likeness of Google Inc.’s YouTube, whose videos are often embedded on other sites."

Google and eBayGoogle penalty costs eBay up to $200 million

"Marketplaces delivered $2.2 billion in revenue, which grew 6%, GMV grew 8%, and operating margin declined 340 basis points. It was a challenging quarter. As John indicated, we got off to a good start, but we had significant obstacles late May. [...]

The Google SEO had an immediate and dramatic impact on GMV growth. June GMV growth was 7% driven by slower active buyer growth and lower conversion. In light of these events, we have made significant investments to get eBay users reengaged, including couponing, seller incentives and increased marketing spend."

New and improved: targeting updates now available in Bing Ads

"We have added the ability to target at a  more granular level. You can now also specify radius in kilometers if you prefer to do so. Previously, we only allowed predefined increments of 5, 10, 20 etc miles as the radius. The new radius targeting limits are 1 to 500 miles or 1 to 800 km in increments of 1 mi/km."

Search engine newslets

  • ACHTUNG BABY: the German version of SEOprofiler is going to be released in August.
  • Relcy is building a PageRank-style mobile app search engine with $9M from Khosla and Sequoia.
  • Eight U.S. firms control 80 percent of worldwide mobile ad revenue.
  • Twitter acquires CardSpring to power in-Tweet commerce and offers.
  • Google iOS Easter egg: flip the Google letters.
  • Imgur: improved image search.
  • Google launches new Google Alerts interface.
  • Schema.org spam – Google should get rid of all of it.
3. Recommended resources

Everything you need

SEOprofiler is a full featured web-based SEO tool that offers everything you need to get high rankings on Google:

  • automatic weekly website audits
  • tools for keyword research and analysis
  • competitive intelligence tools
  • automated ranking checks
  • website analytics
  • tools for spam-free link building
  • link disinfection tool
  • social media monitoring
  • white-label reports (web-based and PDF)
  • and much more.

Free trial Test full version for $1

Create a free trial account now or test the full version.

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4. Previous articles
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