The Axandra newsletter archive - 2 November 2004
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're telling you how some webmasters fake their Google PageRank numbers.

In the news: Yahoo launches Yahoo Mobile, Google buys a satellite image firm, and much more.

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: How to fake Google PageRank numbers
Recently, a new technique of faking the PageRank number of a web site has become popular. For example, a rather dubious adult web site managed to get a PageRank of 10.

How did this web site get this high PageRank number?

    The web sites used a relatively simple trick. A known loophole in the Google algorithm is that a web page that redirects to another web page will get the PageRank number of the redirected web page.

    A web page that redirects to will get a PageRank of 10 because web surfers that go to the redirection page will actually land on which has a PageRank of 10.

    To get a high PageRank number, a web site must just redirect to (or another page with a high PageRank) when the Google spider visits the site. This is a technique called cloaking.

Does this technique help my rankings on Google?

    No, it doesn't. It doesn't help your web site rankings at all. Actually, it prevents your web site from showing up in Google because Google thinks that the content of the redirected web site is the content of your site. The only effect on your web site is that the green PageRank bar will be longer.

What does this mean to your web site?

    Don't try to get links (or even buy them) from other web sites just because these web sites have a high PageRank. PageRank numbers can be faked and if a web site is not related to your site, it doesn't make sense if that web site links to you.

It's better to focus on links from web site that are related to yours. Links from related sites will increase your search engine rankings and you'll get targeted visitors from these sites. Focus on web surfers, not on search engines. ARELIS can help you to find related sites that could link to your web site.

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2. Search engine news of the week

Yahoo battles Google for the cell phone

    "While Google SMS (Short Message Service) uses text-only messages to deliver its results, Yahoo's new mobile service offers localized search results, maps and Web site icons that let people point, click and make a call."

Google buys satellite image firm Keyhole

    "Search giant Google said Wednesday that it has acquired Keyhole, a company specializing in Web-based software that allows people to view satellite images from around the globe."

BellSouth sells Google web-site ads

    "BellSouth Corp.'s Yellow Pages and online directory unit is helping to sell advertisements on Google Inc.'s Web sites [...] Close to 2,000 sales people in nine Southeast states will sell online advertising packages featuring Google."

Google widens test to Froogle merchants

    "Google has invited Froogle merchants to beta test its ad automator tool, and rolled out new features for its shopping search site. [...] The company has also rolled out changes to Froogle that help it catch up with other shopping search engines."

LookSmart breaks even, surprises analysts

    "LookSmart did better than expected in the third quarter, effectively breaking even on a per-share basis by posting net income of $15,000. Analysts had expected the company to post a $0.02 per share loss."

Ask Jeeves reports doubled profits

    "Ask Jeeves more than doubled its profits from last year, posting third quarter net income of $10.7 million, or $0.15 per share, the company reported today."

Search engine newslets

3. Articles of the week

Google takes a risk

    "You've come to love Google, but will you trust Google, too? [...] Of course, there's nothing wrong with what Google is doing, but it is increasing the odds that sensitive data can be found. [...] It will be harder to keep the brand so beloved when googling your friends' and neighbors' hard disks leads to unpleasant surprises."

Jerry's take on what's next in search

    "Ten years ago, we were focused on a simple yet vast problem: finding better ways to aggregate and organize information so people can find it. Today, the challenge is different. [...] What else can we do to take search to the next level? What else can we do to make search even more useful and accessible to you?"

Google plugs hole exposing Gmail mail-boxes

    "Google Inc. has fixed a security flaw in its Gmail Web-based e-mail service that allowed attackers to hijack users' e-mail accounts [...] [Google spokesman] Tyler declined to discuss the nature of the problem, but a source close to Google confirmed that the flaw allowed an attacker to gain complete control over a user's account."

Google sites plagued by phishing opportunities

    "A young Italian computer scientist has discovered another phishing opportunity on one of Google's web sites. [...] This allows an attacker to inject their own content onto the page, which could lead to fraudulent activity or phishing."

Holidays are coming - fast

    "A new national survey from warns that the buying rush is set to start sooner than ever. [...] Online retailers should also be preparing because it looks like the holidays are coming early this year."

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4. Recommended resources

"We have a link popularity of 19,345!"

    "When I started using ARELIS, I had a link popularity of 800 and we were receiving around 500 unique visitors per day. Today, we have a link popularity of 19,345 and are welcoming an average of 2700 unique visitors per day! ARELIS really works!"
    Aaron Cooper,

Number 1 ranking with Yahoo after only 21 days online!

    "This weekend I'm celebrating because my brand new website that only went online 21 days ago (8th October) which I have been optimising using your IBP program is at pole position (No. 1), and no.5 for a couple of profitable key word phrases on Yahoo!.

    I'm rapt 'cause I've only tweaked one page (my homepage) so far...and to have that one page ranking so high so fast is amazing. I can't wait till my other pages which I'm optimising get spidered too.

    I'm a total neophyte to web building and search engine optimisation...and so I think this intensifies my excitement. I eagerly devour your newsletters and try to utilise one piece of advice from each. Thank you for your advice and such great software."
    Richard Hargreaves, CEO

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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