Weekly SEO news: 31 January 2006
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're trying to find out how the upcoming Google update "Bigdaddy" could change your web site rankings.

In the news: Google releases a censored Chinese version of its search engine and a new toolbar, Ask releases a German version 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. Bigdaddy: Big changes on Google to come

Google has announced a major update that will affect the ranking of web pages in Google's index. In contrast to the usual algorithm updates, this update will be much bigger because it changes the way Google works behind the scenes. Google has given the update the name "Bigdaddy".

What is Google's Bigdaddy update?

Google uses a network of data centers with different IP addresses to answer search queries. These decentralized servers share the workload of indexing web sites.

The upcoming Bigdaddy update is not an algorithm update but a change in Google's data center infrastructure. It contains new code for sorting and examining web pages. According to Google's search engineer Matt Cutts, the update will be live in February or March.

Less spam, more content and a new Google spider?

Google is updating the data center infrastructure to handle potential spam problems such as 302 redirections or canonical URLs more efficiently. In addition, the new infrastructure will allow Google to develop more advanced algorithms and larger databases.

Another reason for the new data center infrastructure is that Google wants to be able to index different content types. Google is now testing a new search engine spider that is based on the Mozilla browser.

The new spider should be able to index more than traditional search engine spiders, possibly links within images, JavaScripts or Flash files.

How can you test how Bigdaddy will affect your rankings?

Some Google data centers that use the new Bigdaddy system are already online. For example, if you go to 66.249.93.104 you can test Google's new data center.

Google even wants your feedback. Click the "Dissatisfied? Help us improve" link at the bottom right of the result page. Enter your feedback and use the keyword bigdaddy so that Google knows that your feedback is about the new data center.

It's hard to tell how the Bigdaddy update will affect your web page rankings. If you have a spam free web site with good content and many incoming links, the update should have a positive effect on your Google rankings.

2. Search engine news of the week

Ask Jeeves launches Ask Deutschland

"We are delighted to announce the beta of Ask Deutschland and now offer our unique search features to German Internet users."



Google upgrades toolbar

"Google upgraded its toolbar software for Microsoft Internet Explorer on Monday, adding features that suggest ways to finish a query before the user is finished typing, along with custom buttons that allow users to save favorite web sites to the toolbar that runs near the top of the browser window."


Google comes up with search engine for China

"Internet giant Google introduced its China-based search engine last week. [...] 'In order to operate from China, we have removed some content from the search results available on Google.cn, in response to local law, regulation or policy,' says Google senior policy counsel Andrew McLaughlin. However, he admits that removing search results is contradictory to Google's mission."

Kanoodle to provide sponsored links on MSN

    "[Kanoodle] today announced the signing of a distribution agreement with MSN. Under the terms of the arrangement, Kanoodle will provide its content targeted sponsored links to MSN Spaces."

Search engine newslets

  • Ask Jeeves releases its own image search feature.
  • Yahoo chairman Terry Semel about Yahoo.
  • Google unveils corporate search toolbar.
  • Google Zeitgeist has an updated look.
  • Google images is also censored in China.
  • Kosmix is a new health search engine.
  • Seekz is a new search engine.
  • Yahoo wants to be the leading search engine.
3. Articles of the week

Dear Google

"I never thought you would give in to the claims of governments to hide information. What is there left now to be trusted if even search is being manipulated? How can I be ever sure that what you display to me as a result for the queries I’ve entered is real, complete and fully objective?"



Two faces of Google

"We’re glad that Google [...] is refusing to comply with an order from the Justice Department to turn over data [...].

But what’s odd and ironic about Google’s principled stand against the U.S. government is its eagerness to kow-tow to despots in 'the party’s republic' of China."



Storm warning for Google, search?

    "Personalization has been the Next Big Thing for Web publishers since the dawn of the commercial Web itself. Now, just when it's starting to get useful to marketers and users, it may be a little too useful to the Feds."



MSN Search provided DOJ with "absolutely no personal data"

    "57 bloggers/online experts gathered in Redmond yesterday at the 'MSN Search Champs' event were invited to discuss with senior MSN management the recent news and concerns around the data MSN Search, Yahoo and AOL provided to the US government.

    The precise nature of the information hadn't been disclosed...until now. It turns out that it was nothing more than an innocuous two-column list of search terms and frequency."

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4. Recommended resources

The key to top 10 rankings on Google, Yahoo and other important search engines

Top rankings on Google, Yahoo and other search engines are only possible if you have optimized web page content and if you have good incoming links.

To get high search engine rankings, your web site 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).

Whenever search engines update their search engine algorithms, they just try better ways to find web pages with good content and many recommendations (links).

If you optimize your web pages and get good incoming links then it is difficult not to get high search engine rankings:

  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 so that you can get top 10 rankings.

    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. Previous articles

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