Weekly SEO news: 16 May 2006
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look at the effect of co-citation on your search engine rankings.

In the news: Google releases new tools, Yahoo revamps its home page, an unexpected search engine leads the relevancy test 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. Facts of the week: The effect of co-citation on your rankings

The effect of co-citation is often overlooked by search engine optimizers. The other web sites to which your link partners link can influence your search engine rankings.

Here's an example: web sites 1, 2, 3 and 4 all link to the web sites A, B, C and D. Although A, B, C and D don't link to each other, search engines think that A, B, C and D are related to each other because the same web sites link to them:

The effect of co-citation on your rankings

If A, B, C and D are all linked from 1, 2, 3 and 4 they might be related to one another, even though they don’t directly link to each other. If A, B, C and D are all linked by many other web sites, they have a strong relationship. The more web sites they are linked by, the stronger the relationship.

If your web site is web site A, you should make sure that web sites B, C and D are related to your site.

Co-citation and bad link pages

Suppose you have a web site selling shoes. If you are listed on a web site that links to gambling sites, viagra sites and your shoe store then search engines might think that your web site is related to gambling and viagra.

The search engines look at the link pages and check to which other web sites the pages link. If the other pages are gambling and viagra sites then search engines think that your web site is also related to gambling and viagra.

That means that it might be difficult to get high rankings for search terms that are about shoes.

Co-citation and good link pages

It's important that the other links on the web page that links to you are related to your site. If you're listed in the "Shoes" category of a link directory then all web sites in the same category are usually also about shoes. When search engines look at this page and check the links to other sites they will think that your web site is related to shoes.

That means that it will be much easier to get high rankings for search terms that are about shoes.

What does this mean to your link campaigns?

When you exchange links with other web sites, make sure that the link to your site is on a page that lists related links. It's not necessary that the complete other web site is about your topic. It's okay if the other web site has a single category page that deals with the topic of your web site. The link to your web site should be listed on that page then.

The more pages of the other site are about your topic, the better. Make sure that the link to your site is in a good neighborhood and that the other links are related to yours.

If you want to find out which web sites Google considers related to your web site, go to Google and enter related:www.your-domain.com in the search box. Replace your-domain.com with your own domain name and make sure that there is no space after the colon.

To find high quality web sites that could link to your web sites, use ARELIS. You might also want to take a look at the preview of the new ARELIS version that has many new features. The new ARELIS version will be a free update for users of the current ARELIS version.

2. Search engine news of the week

Google releases Google Co-op and Google Trends

    "Google Co-op is a way for users to help us improve search. It lets people and organizations label web pages and create specialized links related to their unique expertise. [...]

    Google Trends builds on the idea behind the Google Zeitgeist, allowing you to sort through several years of Google search queries from around the world to get a general idea of everything from user preferences on ice-cream flavors to the relative popularity of politicians in their respective cities or countries."

Search engine relevancy report

"[Exalead.com is] currently fighting it out for the lead with Google and MSN. Yahoo and Ask.com are also very close and metacrawler, info.com is in the hunt as well."

Yahoo Inc. to overhaul home page

    "Yahoo Inc.'s Web site is unveiling a new look Tuesday as the Internet powerhouse strives to remain the world's most popular online destination and strengthen its advertising appeal. The overhaul marks the first facelift to Yahoo's home page since September 2004."

Snap.com blurs lines between ads, content

    "Internet search engine Snap.com is hoping to expand its sparse audience by making Web surfing more like channel surfing on a TV [...] Snap will lump together search results financed by advertisers in the same column as Web links drawn from algorithms programmed to disregard financial incentives and find the most relevant response to a user’s request."

Search engine newslets

3. Articles of the week

Google, Microsoft rivalry viewed as squeezing small search shops

    "Google's slew of new products announced last week made it clear that the company intends to amp up its long-standing feud with Microsoft [...] The new releases came within a week of Microsoft's official release of its paid search product, AdCenter, designed to take on Google."

Search engines offer new ways to find results

"For information seekers, the days of culling Web search pages, ten machine-generated hyperlinks at a time, may be numbered.

[Yahoo] is using the millions of human suggestions from its recently introduced Yahoo Answers to complement the mathematically organised features of its core search system."

Versus GooYa (or YaGoo?), Ballmer's secret sauce will have to be special

"The way advertising is bought and sold will be fundamentally different in the future than it is today. That, I think we all agree. The importance of technology in the sale of advertising will go up."

Fuzzy maths

"In a few short years, Google has turned from a simple and popular company into a complicated and controversial one."

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4. Test drive the new IBP and ARELIS version

We're currently developing the new generation of our web promotion tools ARELIS and IBP. You can be among the first to test the new generation.

The most complete search engine optimization tool is coming

Both ARELIS and IBP have been integrated into one user interface. IBP and ARELIS are still two independent programs but it is now much easier to work with both programs on the same web site.

In addition, the new Top 10 Inbound Link Optimizer tool will help you to get better search engine rankings.

What's the catch?

The new version is not ready for the final release yet. The latest beta version is very stable but there might still be some problems.

Only if you're comfortable testing pre-release versions that are not intended for daily work, you should download the test version. We value your feedback on the preview version so that we can make the final release as powerful as possible.

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5. Recommended resources

Check the link popularity of your web site

Editor's Choice"Link Popularity Check is a free handy tool for web site owners that allows you to check your link popularity and compare it to your competitors as well as a list of major internet web sites (msn.com, ebay.com etc).

It displays the results in an easy to read, color coded report window and also provides some tips for improving your link popularity. The popularity check is based on results from major search engines."

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6. Previous articles

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