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Axandra news archive: 24 January 2006

Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look at online press releases and if they can really help you to increase your search engine rankings.

In the news: Google refuses to turn over its search data to the US Department of Justice, while Yahoo, MSN and AOL comply. In addition, Google might offer AdWords users the option of radio advertising.

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. Can online press releases really increase your search engine rankings?
Online press releases have become popular because some webmasters think that press release can help to increase the search engine rankings of their web sites.

Do online press releases really help your search engine rankings? How can you benefit from these services?

What are online press releases?

Online press releases are normal press releases that are distributed through the Internet. Popular online press release services are PRWeb and PRLeap. These services list your press release on their web sites and on a number of partner web sites.

Some people think that the links in these press releases can help the link popularity of a web site and thus increase the search engine rankings of a site.

What does Google say about online press releases?

Matt Cutts is the person in charge for fighting search engine spam on Google. He says the following about press releases and high rankings in his blog:

"A legit press release can get you written up by reporters, or editors/sites may subsequently choose to link to your site. But the actual content of the press release itself doesn’t directly affect a site. For example, those hyperlinks don’t help [the web site in the press release] in Google."

What does this mean to your web site?

Online press releases don't hurt your search engine rankings. However, they also don't increase your rankings (if no one writes about your business). The press release alone and its distribution on various web sites has no effect on your placement in search engines.

If you don't have something people really want to hear then do not send a press release. You should only use press release services if you have something newsworthy to say. If you have an interesting press release then your web site can be mentioned on many other sites.

What can you do if you don't have any news for a press release?

Press releases are not the only way to attract links to your site. The best links to your site are links from related sites that recommend your web site in the normal text.

To find and contact related web sites, use ARELIS. For example, ARELIS quickly finds out who links to your competitors and it also allows you to contact these web sites so that they link back to you.

Developing and maintaining high quality links to your web site is essential to the success of any online business. ARELIS helps you to do it as efficiently as possible.

2. Search engine news of the week

Google stands up to US government porn probe

"US Federal prosecutors preparing to defend a controversial Internet pornography law in court have asked Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and America Online to hand over millions of search records -- a request that Google is adamantly denying.

An attorney for the ACLU said Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL received identical subpoenas and chose to comply with them rather than fight the request in court."

Google moves into radio

"Google pitched their fork into the radio advertising market yesterday by agreeing to pay up to $1.2bn for a digital platform that will schedule and implement radio advertising airtime."

Google News is out of beta

"Google Inc. on Monday said has taken its online news service out of beta, and has added a feature that automatically recommends stories to subscribers of its personalized search offering."

Study suggests search engine advertisers waste time, money

    "Many online advertisers are overpaying to have links to their business on search engines like Google and Yahoo, according to a study. [...] Researchers at Stanford Graduate School of Business say the auction system used for placement of the ads result in some users overpaying and others wasting time trying to figure out how to beat the system."

    Editor's note: If you're looking for an easy way to lower the costs for your Google AdWords while improving your clickthroughs at the same time, take a look at our AdWords eBook.

Search engine newslets

3. Articles of the week

The compliers: AOL, MSN, and Yahoo hand over data, defend actions

"In all three instances, the search companies were adamant that they did not share information that could be traced back to users. The question is, were they still in the wrong to comply?"

Google resists the feds

"People took a long time to get accustomed to using the Internet for shopping and other activities like researching movies. If they feel Big Brother is watching them, they will be concerned."

When counting Google's virtues, don't forget its vices

"We must keep in mind that our sense of privacy is protected not so much by a legal guarantee, but simply by the disorganization of information. [...] Another cause for concern is Google's monopoly of information. Every search can be traced back to an IP address. Every Gmail message is saved - even the ones that are deleted. The value of this information is what makes Google stock worth $450 a share."

The coming tug of war over the Internet

"But the nation's largest telephone companies have a new business plan, and if it comes to pass you may one day discover that Yahoo suddenly responds much faster to your inquiries, overriding your affinity for Google. Or that Amazon's Web site seems sluggish compared with eBay's."

Evil empires

"Those who want to use a non-China complicit search engine have only one viable option. All of a sudden, Reporters Without Borders' call last week for the Internet search giants to establish a set of protocols for dealing with repressive governments is no abstract matter."

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4. Recommended resources

You don't need press releases to get high search engine rankings

High quality incoming links are an important factor if you want to get high search engine rankings.

Top rankings on Google, Yahoo and other search engines are only possible if the content of your web pages are optimized and if you have good incoming links. If you want your web site to be successful, you must have both.

For example, Google sorts web pages based on their content. If more than one web page has been optimized for a search term, the results are ranked based on the number and the quality of the incoming links (Google has recently explained that procedure in an official statement).

Fortunately, there are tools that help you to provide exactly what Google wants from you:

  1. Optimize your web pages.

    A search engine optimization method that really works is to analyze the web pages that currently have a top 10 ranking for your keyword and to change your own web pages accordingly.

    As the analyzed pages have a top 10 ranking, these pages must have all the best settings. You can do this manually or you can use IBP's Top 10 Optimizer. IBP's Top 10 Optimizer makes web page optimization as easy as 1-2-3.

  2. Get high quality links to your web site.

    Developing and maintaining high quality links to your web site is essential to the success of any online business. As mentioned above, Google ranks web pages based on the number and the quality of incoming links if more than one web page is optimized for the same keyword.

    ARELIS helps you to do get high quality incoming links as efficiently as possible.

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5. IBP is now available in English, German, Dutch and French

Our popular website promotion tool IBP is now available in English, German, Dutch and French. Astucielle has just finished the French translation. You can change the language in the "File" menu in IBP.

The main download includes the English and the German version:

The Dutch and the French translations can be downloaded here:

6. Previous articles

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The Search Engine Facts newsletter is free. Please recommend it to someone you know.

You may publish one of the articles above on your Web site. However, you must not change the contents in any way. Also, you must keep all links and you must add the following two lines with a link to "Copyright by Web site promotion software."

All product names, copyrights and trademarks mentioned in this newsletter are owned by their respective trademark and copyright holders.

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