Weekly SEO news: 31 July 2007
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look at Google's view on keyword stuffing.

In the news: Google introduces a new meta tag, a new way to find supplemental results, why you shouldn't use XML sitemaps 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. Google's Matt Cutts: do not stuff your keywords

Keyword stuffing is one of the oldest spamming techniques on the Internet. Many webmasters still use that technique although most search engines can detect it nowadays.

Last week, Google's anti-spam engineer Matt Cutts made fun of a website that used keyword stuffing. Apart from the rather dubious content of the web page, the webmaster included a very long list of related and unrelated keywords in a small text box at the end of the page.

Google doesn't like keyword stuffing

"Keyword stuffing is considered to be an unethical search engine optimization (SEO) technique.

Keyword stuffing occurs when a web page is loaded with keywords in the meta tags or in content. The repetition of words in meta tags may explain why many search engines no longer use these tags." (Wikipedia definition)

Google doesn't like keyword stuffing at all. If Google detects keyword stuffing on a web page, that page will be banned from Google's index. Google's Matt Cutts puts it that way:

"Webmasters are free to do what they want on their own sites, but Google reserves the right to do what we think is best to maintain the relevance of our search results, and that includes taking action on keyword stuffing."

You might use keyword stuffing on your web pages without knowing it

While most keyword stuffing is done intentional, it can also happen that your web pages trigger Google's spam filters although you didn't want to spam.

For example, if you have very similar keywords that are used often on your web pages, this might look like keyword stuffing.

How to avoid unintentional keyword stuffing

If you're unsure if you use a certain keyword too often on a web page then use IBP's optimizer tool. The optimizer tool will analyze your web pages and compare it to the web pages that currently have a top 10 ranking for that keyword.

IBP will tell you in plain English sentences how often you should use your keywords on your web page so that your site can get top 10 rankings. IBP will also tell you in which web page elements you should put the keywords (and how often) so that you get the best results.

Spamming search engines is not a good idea. Although most spam techniques will work for some time, all of them will get your website banned sooner or later. Better focus on ethical search engine optimization methods to get lasting results.

2. Search engine news of the week

Yet a new way to find supplemental results in Google

"The other day, I reported that Google drops the supplemental results query command. [...] A new way to find supplemental results has been discovered. [...]

A search for site:http://www.domain.com/& will return supplemental results for the site."

Google officially introduces the unavailable-after meta tag

"We have introduced a new META tag that allows you to tell us when a page should be removed from the main Google web search results: the aptly named unavailable_after tag. This one follows a similar syntax to other REP META tags."

New data in Google Trends

"Google Trends has new data. The last update was in March, so Google should allocate more resources to this project and push new data more frequently."

Search engine newslets

  • Google No. 1 in Germany.
  • AdWords Quality Score survey results are in.
  • Rumor: AOL to change name to TMZ.
  • Google to release Google Finance for Canada.
  • Is Google Checkout confusing?
  • Humor: Watch Google's Matt Cutts zap a spammer.
  • Harry Potter font looks like Yahoo logo?
  • Microsoft's local SUV armada vs Google's streetview fleet.
  • First case of large scale abuse at Google Maps?
3. Articles of the week

Why you should not use XML Sitemaps

"XML Sitemaps (whether it be Google sitemaps or otherwise),  are not doing you any good in most cases [...] How will you know which of the pages you’ve pushed into Google’s index through it’s own 'shortcut', are not receiving the linklove they need?"

Microsoft offers a web-based strategy

"Microsoft has lagged behind Yahoo and Google in this business despite spending heavily to build its own advertising technology, known as AdCenter. In May, Microsoft agreed to pay $6 billion to acquire aQuantive, an online advertising conglomerate. And Microsoft has also bought small companies that specialize in placing ads in video games and mobile phones."

100 days for Yahoo!

"Yahoo is no longer the number 1 property on the Web, at least according to this month's comScore Top 10 Worldwide Online Properties report. That puts Yahoo at number 3, behind Google (#1) and Microsoft (#2). Yahoo is still ahead of its new media competitors - Time Warner is #4 and Fox Interactive #7."

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4. Recommended resources

"I feel that Axandra plays very fair."

"I was about to buy a link management program when I discovered that they 'lock you up' in the sense that if you don't continue paying for the subscription the links will get lost.

This is not the way with Axandra, I feel that Axandra plays very fair and I am really impressed of how powerful the software is."
Director Swedish Plate AB

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