Weekly SEO news: 25 March 2008
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look at your website contents. Does your website look like spam to search engines?

In the news: A new Google search tool finds web publishers' concerns, and Google continues tweaking its user interface.

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. Does your website look like spam to search engines?

Is your website nowhere to be seen in Google? It might be that Google doesn't like your website because it looks like spam.

Check the following list to find out whether your website might look like spam or not.

1. Domain name factors that can indicate a spammy website:

The domain names of spammy websites are often very long and contain many hyphens. Those domain names often contain commercial high value keywords (the keywords for which you receive lots of spam messages that we don't want to mention here).

Spammy domains are often registered by people who own a very large number of domains. The more domains a person owns, the more likely it is that the quality of a single domain isn't high. Spammy domains are often very young and have a short registration period. Low quality domains also often use .info, .cc, .us and other cheap top level domains.

Spammy websites often have many keyword-stuffed sub domains.

2. Content factors that can indicate a spammy website:

Spammy websites often show very many ads. They also often contain high-commercial keywords. The keyword density and the keyword frequency on low quality websites is often very high.

Spammy websites often have duplicate content and content scraped from other websites. Low quality websites usually don't have unique content.

Low quality websites usually don't contain a privacy policy, a copyright notice page and "Contact us" page with a full address.

3. Link factors that can indicate a spammy website:

Spammy websites often have many links to other spam and low quality websites. Low quality websites aren't likely to have links from trusted sites.

4. Technical factors that can indicate a spammy website:

Spammy website often use redirects (JavaScript, MetaRefresh, etc.) from landing pages. Spammy websites also often use cloaking. Of course, other spam elements such as hidden text also cause problems with search engines.

If your website uses many of the elements mentioned above then it could be classified as spam. In that case, you should consider a redesign of your website.

Search engines will regard your website as a high quality website if it has high quality links and useful content that can easily be parsed by search engines. Avoid everything that could look like spam and make sure that your web pages contain the right keywords in the right elements in the right density.

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2. Search engine news of the week
A new tool from Google alarms sites

"[Google] introduced a search-within-search feature that lets users stay on Google to find pages on popular sites [...] The problem [...] is that when someone enters a term into that secondary search box, Google will display ads for competing sites, thereby profiting from ads it sells against the brand."

Google adjusts search box for longer search queries

"If you entered long queries in a Google search box, you would notice that it's difficult to edit them because Google optimized the size of the box for short queries. Things have changed and now you can [enter] much bigger queries and Google will adjust the search box's size after you perform a search."

Google is testing autocomplete feature in default search

Google is testing Google Suggest like features on Google.com on some users. This feature is already implemented as a default on other non-U.S. based Google home pages. Both Yahoo and Ask.com already offer search suggestions as you type.

Search engine newslets

3. Articles of the week
Where's search heading? Ask Yahoo's chief scientist

"For the past 10 years, most search engines have relied heavily on analyzing anchor text, links, and content to determine relevance, he said. Recently, research by the top search engines has looked at other signals, such as user clicks and engagement [...]"

What Google could do to stop negative SEO

"Perhaps you've heard about 'Negative SEO' or 'Google bowling,' where your competitors use spam techniques seemingly on your behalf to knock down your site. [...] Google has choices and we need to scream that they make some better ones."

Microsoft & Yahoo: would teaming up even help?

"In February 2008 both Microsoft and Yahoo lost ground to Google, who continues to widen its lead. [...] Based on the latest comScore results, Yahoo doesn't look like Microsoft's silver bullet in the battle against Google."

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4. Miscellaneous

"IBP consistently outperforms the competition."

"I think IBP is a great program. After using the 'competition' for 3 years and using IBP for over 1.5 years, IBP consistently outperforms them, hands down.

It has assisted me in getting websites listed on the first page of Yahoo, Google, MSN, etc. I like the new layout. It's more intuitive than the previous versions."
Scott Norris, www.rciutah.com

"Get the results you are looking for."

"The new format of the iBusinessPromoter makes it a lot easier to use to get the results you are looking for.

I appreciate the fact that it's easy to get certain results."
Greg Myers, websitedesignandseo.com

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5. Tell us what you think about IBP 10 and win a $100 Amazon coupon

We're looking for feedback to IBP version 10. Tell us how IBP has helped to improve your online business.

The names of all participants will be entered into a raffle for a $100 Amazon coupon. Thank you for helping us make IBP the best SEO tool!

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6. Previous articles

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