Weekly SEO news: 13 January 2015
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

The web pages that Google shows on the first result page for your query contain a lot of information that can help you to improve your own web pages. If you want to improve the rankings of your web pages for your keywords, taking a closer look at the result pages can help you a lot.

In the news: how to remove a Penguin penalty without removing bad links, Yahoo achieves biggest US search share since 2009, Google's news algorithm uses more than 200 factors, no more phone numbers in Bing ads, 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 search result pages can help you to improve the rankings of your own web pages (plus a shortcut)

The web pages that Google shows on the first result page for your query contain a lot of information that can help you to improve your own web pages. If you want to improve the rankings of your web pages for your keywords, taking a closer look at the result pages can help you a lot.

Google's ranking algorithm uses a variety of different factors. Some of them are obvious by analyzing the top ranked pages. Search for one of your most important keywords and then take a look at the search results:

result pages rankings

1. Is the keyword used in the title of the web pages?

The title tag of a web page often correlates with the keyword rankings of that page. Take a look at the titles of the top ranked pages.

Do your competitors use the queried keyword in the titles? If not, do they use keywords that are closely related to the queried search term? How does your own web page compare? Does your own web page contain the words that are used by the high ranking pages?

2. Does it matter if the keyword is used in the URL?

Of course, the URLs of the web pages can also influence the position of these pages. Do the high ranking pages use the keyword in the URL? Does your own page use the keyword in the URL?

How many variables are used in the URLs of the top ranked pages? URLs with very many variables often do not get high rankings.

3. What is the frequency of the searched keyword in the pages?

The frequency of a keyword in a web page influences the rankings of that page for that keyword. This is much more than pure keyword density.

If you're searching for a long-tail keyword that consists of many words, you'll often get results that do not contain the complete search term. However, the results usually contain all of the queried words somewhere on the page. For that reason, it is also important to take a look at the individual words of the search term.

This looks like a lot of work but there is a shortcut

In addition to the things explained above, there are many more things that you can learn from analyzing the top ranked pages. Unfortunately, this can be a lot of work.

That's why we created the Top 10 Optimizer in SEOprofiler. The Top 10 Optimizer thoroughly analyzes the top three results and compares them to your own web pages.

You get detailed advice on how to change your pages so that they get better rankings on Google and other search engines. The advice is tailored to your web page and your keyword:

watch the video

Do it now: get better rankings

The top ranked pages must have done everything right. Otherwise, they wouldn't be listed on the first result page. For that reason, analyzing the top ranked pages is a good way to find out how to improve the search engine rankings of your own web pages.

If you haven't done it yet, try SEOprofiler now. SEOprofiler offers many tools that help you to get results as quickly as possible:

Try SEOprofiler now risk-free!

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week
Google: getting good links can remove your Penguin penalty
"Google’s John Mueller said in a hangout video that it was possible to recover from a Penguin penalty without removing bad links. Instead of removing bad backlinks, it might be better to build good backlinks."

YahooYahoo achieves highest US search share since 2009

"StatCounter Global Stats reports that in December Google took 75.2% of US search referrals followed by Bing on 12.5% and Yahoo on 10.4%. [...]

December marked the start of its partnership with Mozilla. Yahoo is now the default search experience for Firefox 34 in the US, bringing an end to Mozilla's 10-year relationship with Google."


Some Firefox users switch back to Google

"Yahoo.com’s share of Firefox 34 paid search clicks peaked at 43% on December 10th as Mozilla ramped up pushing the upgrade out to users; since then, however, there have been gradual but continual losses back to Google, and Yahoo’s share of Firefox 34 clicks now stands at about 36%."


Google NewsGoogle: the news algorithm has over 200 factors

In an online discussion, a Google employee said that the Google News algorithm uses more than 200 factors:

"News stories are clustered not just by recency, but by over 200 factors, many that fall under originality, relevance, and authority. The most recent story may not be the first shown because there may be an exclusive or other story that the algorithm chooses as the most relevant story."

Bing: no more phone numbers in ads
"Starting February 2015 in the United States, United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Taiwan, phone numbers will only be allowed through the use of Call Extensions or Location Extensions. The ad, title, body, URL, and any other ad extensions, such as Sitelink Extensions, can no longer feature phone numbers in plain text."

Search engine newslets

  • Google: case does not matter for disavow link directives.
  • Kaizen: improvements in the website audit tool in SEOprofiler.
  • New in SEOprofiler: an improved readability checker (readability is a Google ranking factor).
  • Internet Explorer overtakes Google Chrome after mysterious usage spike.
  • Google asked to remove 345 million pirate links in 2014.
  • Bing introduces best seller search.
3. Recommended resources

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4. Previous articles
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