The Axandra newsletter archive - 28 September 2004
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look at the importance of valid HTML code.

In the news: Yahoo gives its web site a facelift, Frooge is coming to the UK and some people think that A9 might be a trojan horse.

Table of contents:

We hope that you enjoy this newsletter and that it helps you to get more out of your web site. Please pass this newsletter on to your friends.

Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Facts of the week: Why valid HTML code is important to your web site

Many webmasters overlook a very important aspect of web site promotion: the validity of the HTML code.

What is valid HTML code?

    Most web pages are written in HTML. As for every language, HTML has its own grammar, vocabulary and syntax, and every document written in HTML is supposed to follow these rules.

    Like any language, HTML is constantly changing. As HTML has become a relative complex language, it's very easy to make mistakes. HTML code that is not following the official rules is called invalid HTML code.

Why is valid HTML code important?

    Search engines have to parse the HTML code of your web site to find the relevant content. If your HTML code contains errors, search engines might not be able to find everything on the page.

    Search engine crawler programs obey the HTML standard. They only can index your web site if it is compliant to the HTML standard. If there's a mistake in your web page code, they might stop crawling your web site and they might lose what they've collected so far because of the error.

    Although most major search engines can deal with minor errors in HTML code, a single missing bracket in your HTML code can be the reason if your web page cannot be found in search engines.

    If you don't close some tags properly, or if some important tags are missing, search engines might ignore the complete content of that page.

How can you check the validity of your HTML code?

    Fortunately, there are free services that allow you to check the validity of your HTML code. The most common HTML validator is the W3 HTML Validator.

    It is a service that checks HTML documents for conformance to W3C HTML and XHTML recommendations and other HTML standards.

    Just enter the address of a web page on this page and the validator will tell you what errors are on that page.

Although not all HTML errors will cause problems for your search engine rankings, some of them can keep web spiders from indexing your web pages.

Valid HTML code makes it easier for search engine spiders to index your site so you should make sure that at least the biggest mistakes in your HTML code are corrected.

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2. Search engine news of the week

Yahoo gives web site a facelift

    "Yahoo Inc. has given its popular Web site a facelift to highlight some of the features that the company has been improving during the past year. [...] The most visible changes include the addition of a 'music' button across the top of the home page and the removal of a button that directed traffic to the company's help wanted site, HotJobs. [...]

    Yahoo's redesign also includes a new search tab for the site's Web directory and a regularly updated feature that will report on which topics are generating the most search requests."

Yahoo introduces new My Yahoo service

    Yahoo has just released a new version of the My Yahoo services that offers stronger RSS integration and a variety of other features.

Hackers use Google to access photocopiers

    "Making copies of something important? Photocopiers are the latest networked devices to fall prey to hackers armed with nothing more than Google's search engine. [...]

    Using Google hacks [...] hackers are discovering and using login details for networked photocopiers so they can watch what is being copied."

Froogle is going to be expanded to the UK

    It seems that Google is going to expand its Froogle service to the UK as "United Kingdom" has been added to the "You must be able to ship your products anywhere within at least one of the following countries" list.

LookSmart buys

    "LookSmart has purchased, an Internet archiving service, in a bid to keep up with the latest innovations in Web search. [...] With, the company is betting on ever-more specialized tools for Web search to win new consumers and distribute its advertisements.'s software lets people save full-text copies of any Web page, and then share or search their personal collection of Web documents."

Search engine newslets

  • Search engine Fagoogle had stop its services because of trademark problems with Google.
  • Google celebrates Ray Charles' birthday with a special Google logo.
3. Articles of the week - Amazon's Trojan Horse

    "Trojan horses come in many shapes and sizes. While most computer users worry about the ones that can damage their files or harm their computers, other types of Trojan horses can sometimes have far more insidious, long-term consequences. The latest is's new search engine, [...]

    And say [...] my employer, or a potential employer, discovers this, and considers me a risk. Or my health insurance company, or any other party that might have prejudices against certain types of behavior, gets wind of it. My cover is blown, all because I used a search engine that is, in essence, bugging my Internet usage. (A9's privacy FAQ clearly states that this is possible)."

You got mail (and ads)

    "Eager to capitalize on what could be the next big trend in Internet advertising, companies like Microsoft, Yahoo! and Google are duking it out with free e-mail accounts. [...] Gmail is supported by advertising placed around the messages users send and receive."

Keep searching: the Epoch Times not welcome on Google

    "The Chinese version of Google news filters out some sites, The Epoch Times included. [...] I could see the difference in results when searching Chinese Google News in the US or through a proxy with China: some vs. none. [...]

    Google had a choice to make when it started its version of Google News for China. It could have displayed all possible news outlets and let the Chinese government make its own choices. Or it could have filtered out sites blocked by the Chinese government. It chose the latter."

Why Google News signals the death of the online exclusive

    "Google News does take into account who broke the content first and does not just compile stories based on time."

Google's veil of secrecy

    "Google's stock has done extremely well since its hotly anticipated initial public offering last month. But where Google goes from here is a source of intense debate."

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4. Recommended resources

"We now hold the number one position on page 1 on"

    "We purchased the ARELIS software in April 2004. [...] Within 2 months of purchasing ARELIS, we had moved from a third page position on Google for the phrase 'egyptian arabic' to a first page position.

    Today when I checked, we now hold the number one position on page 1 of for that phrase. Our web traffic has increased accordingly, and our online sales have jumped.

    I was first introduced to ARELIS through another user of it who sent me a very personalized email asking to exchange links, having found our website using the software.

    I was so interested in the idea that we immediately purchased the software, and the cost of the software was insignificant compared to the results we have seen since we began to use it. Thanks for a great product."
    Andrew Dempsey, Kairos Information Technology, Cairo, Egypt

Are you more popular than your competitors?

    How does your web site compare to your competitors? Does your web site have more incoming links? How much traffic do your competitors get?

    The new version 3.0 of the freeware tool Link Popularity Check helps you to get the answers quickly and easily. Click here to download your free copy.

Want to be mentioned in this newsletter?

    Just send us some words about your successes with IBP or ARELIS and you might get featured in this newsletter along with your web site address.

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5. Previous articles

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