Weekly SEO news: 24 February 2009


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

This week, we're taking a look at natural links. Which links will help you to increase your rankings on Google? Which links will have a negative effect? What can you do to get the right links?

In the news: good news about online sales, Yahoo Search turns five, Google and Yahoo improve their search ads 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. 100% natural: how to get high rankings with natural links

Some years ago, it was enough to get many inbound links to get high rankings on Google. It didn't matter from where these links came as long as there were many links that pointed to your website.

As Google and other search engines continually improve the way they rank web pages, getting the right links is crucial if you want to be listed on the first search result page.

Unnatural links can be bad for your Google rankings

Google is able to detect unnatural linking patterns. That is why the following type of links don't work:

Link farms and automated linking systems

Some online services promise hundreds of links in a short time with no work involved. All you have to do is to put some code on your website or to join a system that will help you to get links from other sites quickly and easily.

These automated linking systems don't work and Google can detect them. Actually, Google thinks that you're spamming if you participate in such a system and they might penalize your website by lowering its position in the search results.

Paid links

Google's anti-spam guru Matt Cutts has made clear that Google considers paid links spam. If you don't want to lose your rankings on Google, you should be very careful when buying links.

Natural links have a positive effect on your Google rankings

Natural links are links that make sense to your website visitors. For example, if you have a website about Linux, a totally unrelated link to a car parts website would look strange.

100 percent natural

The links that point to your website should be from related websites and from sources that would "naturally" link to you, i.e. Internet directories, social bookmarking services, blogs, etc. The more related websites link to your site, the higher your website will rank on Google's result pages.

How to get the best links to your website

There are a few things that you can do to get as many good links as possible to your website.

1. Create a linkworthy website

If your website is only a collection of affiliate links then you cannot expect that other webmasters will link to your site. Create a website with good content. You might also consider creating web pages whose sole purpose is to get inbound links. This could be "How to" articles, top 10 lists or even a controversial statement.

The more interesting your web pages are, the easier it is to get links from other websites.

2. Contact related websites and blogs

Contact related websites and point them to the interesting content on your site. Do you have an article on your website that solves a specific problem?

Contact websites that also deal with that topic or bloggers who have written about that topic and tell them about your article. Chances are that these websites will link to your site. Our link builder can help you to find and contact related websites and blogs.

3. Submit your website to related Internet directories

Internet directories are an easy way to get inbound links. However, only submit your website to Internet directories that are relevant to your website and only submit your website to the right category.

A link from the right directory and the right category to your website can have a positive impact on your Google rankings. The semi-automatic submitter can help you to submit your website to relevant directories.

4. Make it easy to add your website to social bookmark services

Add a bookmark link to your website so that it is easy for your website visitors to bookmark your site.

5. Get links to different pages of your website and vary your link texts

Most links go to the home page of a website. It usually helps to get direct links to the web page that you want to promote on search engines. The websites that link to your website should use different but related texts to link to your site. If all web pages use exactly the same text to link to your site, this will look unnatural.

Getting the right kind of backlinks is very important if you want to get high rankings on Google and other search engines. First of all, create interesting and linkworthy web pages and optimize the content of these pages for search engines.

Make sure that your web pages are user-friendly and interesting. If you then get the right kind of links to your website your rankings will increase.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

Good newsAnyone for some good news?

"U.S. retail sales jumped one percent in January, reversing a six-month declining trend and defying economists’ expectations by posting the biggest increase in 14 months. [...]

The Commerce Department also reports that non-traditional retailers such as mail order and Internet sales advanced 2.7 percent in January."

Google's state of the index

Google web spam engineer Matt Cutts published a video that recreates the "State of the Index" talk that he did at PubCon Search Marketing Conference in Las Vegas late last year.

Google AdSense users can now choose a font

"You've been asking for more control over the appearance of the ads on your sites, so we're happy to let you know that you can now change the font face of the text in ad units on pages in Latin-character languages. You can choose between Arial, Times, and Verdana font faces."

YahooYahoo! adds video, images and custom links to search ads

"[Yahoo's rich ad system] lets advertisers add video, images and custom search boxes to their search ads. The results are ads that can combine the relevance of search with the impact of rich media. [...] Rich Ads in Search is currently by invitation only, but we will update you as it opens up to more of our brand advertisers."

Five years of Yahoo! Search

"Five years ago today, Yahoo! launched its own search engine. Since then, we've introduced a host of new features, vastly improved the relevance of both our algorithmic and sponsored results, and learned some important lessons."

Search engine newslets

  • Starting this week, Google allows only one URL per AdWords ad group.
  • Google seems to lower the QualityScore of many websites.
  • Twitter tests a more integrated search experience.
  • Google needs French lessons; translates "Vimeo" to "YouTube".
  • Yahoo scraps mail ads in emerging markets.
  • What if Google turned evil?
  • Google sued in Italy over uploaded video content.
  • Google shareholders lose that loving feeling.
  • Google Maps now showing ads within listing tab.
  • OMG! Did Google Earth find Atlantis?

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3. Success stories

"I highly recommend IBP."

"As a user of IBP for a number of years now I have always managed to get top rankings for my keywords. I highly recommend IBP [...]

I have also used IBP to help some of my friends get page one rankings on Google. They don't know how I do it. :-)"
Brian Murray, www.MearnsExclusiveTravel.co.uk

Do you want to have top 10 rankings on Google?

High rankings on Google mean more website visitors, more customers and more sales. Watch the video for further information:

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170,000 readers will see YOUR website

Let us know how IBP has helped you to improve your website and we might publish your success story with a link to your website in this newsletter. The more detailed your story is, the better.

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4. Previous articles

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