Weekly SEO news: 17 November 2009

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

This week, we're taking a look at the right SEO tactic for low and high competition keywords. Two diagrams illustrate the importance and the effect of different optimization tactics.

In the news: Google Caffeine is going live after the holidays, a Yahoo patent about answering questions, tips for mobile websites 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. The right SEO tactic for low and high competition

Depending on the keywords for which you want to get high rankings, you have to employ different tactics. Keywords with less competition require different tactics than keywords with high competition.

The effect of different SEO tactics on the position of your website in the search results

If you target long keyword phrases with little competition, then the relative value of on-page web page optimization is very high.

For example, if you want to be listed for the search term "buy black adidas samba sneaker in knoxville" then it is enough to optimize one of your web pages for that search term because the competition for that search term is not high. You don't need many inbound links to get high rankings for that keyphrase.

The more competitive the targeted keyword is, the higher is the effect of inbound links on the position of your website in the search results:

Diagram: the effect of the tactic on your search engine position

The importance of an SEO tactic is not the same as its relative effect on your search engine positions

By taking a look at the chart above you might get the impression that web page optimization is not important to get high rankings for very competitive keywords. That is not the case. Optimizing the contents of a web page is the essential basis for high search engine rankings.

By optimizing a web page for a keyphrase, you tell search engines that the web page is relevant to that keyphrase. If more than one web page has been optimized for that keyphrase (which is usually the case) then the web page with the best inbound links will get the highest position in the search results.

For example, the website www.cnn.com has 46,600 inbound links according to Google. Although CNN.com has so many inbound links, they do not rank for the keyword "buy black adidas samba sneaker in knoxville" because the website has not been optimized for that keyphrase.

If you want to get high rankings for a keyphrase, the first step is to optimize one of your web pages for that keyphrase. Then work on the links that point to the optimized web page to outrank other websites that have been optimized for the same keyword:

Diagram: the importance of different SEO tactics

Which tactic should you use for your website?

1. The best web page optimization tactic:

When you optimize your website, optimize different pages of your website for different keyphrases. Start with longer keyword phrases that don't have much competition and then proceed with more competitive keywords.

For example, start with the keywords "buy sneakers in knoxville", "buy cowboy boots in knoxville", "buy pumps in knoxville", "shoe shop knoxville", etc. When you have managed to get high rankings for many of these keyphrases, Google will know that your website is relevant to the topic "shoes".

As soon as Google knows that your website is relevant to the topic, it will be much easier to get high rankings for more competitive keywords such as "buy shoes" or even "shoes".

The more pages of your website you optimize for different but related keywords, the better.

2. The best link building tactic:

It's not always necessary that you have more links than your competitors. You need better links.

Try to get links to your website that use the targeted keyphrase as the link text (also called anchor text) and that point to the web page on your website that has been optimized for that keyphrase.

Don't focus on quantity, focus on quality. Getting hundreds of links from a link farm won't help your website as much a few dozen links from relevant web pages with authority.

If your website has both optimized web pages and good inbound links then it will be easy to outrank web pages that only have one factor.

Our SEO software tool IBP can help you to get to the top of the search results: it helps you to find the best keywords for organic SEO and paid search marketing, it helps you to optimize the content of your web pages for search engines, it helps you with all aspects of successful link building and much more. You can download IBP on our website.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

Google CaffeineExpect Caffeine after the holidays

"The feedback on Caffeine has been very positive, so we're ready to move from the developer preview to the next stage of the roll out: going live with Caffeine at one data center. This means that a small percentage of Google’s users will benefit from the technology behind Caffeine in their regular searches. [...]

I wanted to reassure site owners that the full Caffeine roll out will happen after the holidays. Caffeine will go live at one data center so that we can continue to collect data and improve the technology, but I don’t expect Caffeine to go live at additional data centers until after the holidays are over."

Editor's note: rumor has it that the datacenter that shows Google Caffeine results is either this one or this one.

Help Google index your mobile site

"Running a mobile site and tapping into the mobile search audience isn't easy. Mobile sites not only use a different format from normal desktop site, but the management methods and expertise required are also quite different. [...] I'd like to help ensure that your mobile site is also available for users of mobile search."

Yahoo Search taxonomies and search engines

"A patent application from Yahoo published last week explores ways to return information directly to searchers, based upon building taxonomies of information about specific people, places, and things, gathered from information found on web pages, rather than having searchers look through multiple web pages to find answers to queries such as 'Ronald Reagan movies.'"

The next frontier in search: questions & answers

"We use our semantic and extraction capabilities to recognize the best answer from within the sea of information on relevant pages. Instead of 10 blue links, we deliver the best answer right at the top of the page. [...]

This week we've achieved another significant milestone by reaching 400 million Q&A pairs, and I want to acknowledge the outstanding work of our engineering and product teams who have built one of the largest and most useful Q&A collections on the web."

Search engine newslets

  • Google Fast Flip nearing launch?
  • How to monitor Google Sidewiki comments.
  • Google product ads (Google paid inclusion?).
  • Bug: Google Social Search goes offline temporarily.
  • Google publishes Stanford dissertations online.
  • A CNET conversation with Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

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3. IBP works with Windows 7

IBP 11 works fine with Windows 7

Do you plan to switch to Microsoft's latest operating system Windows 7? If you use IBP to promote your website, there's no reason not to update to the latest version. IBP 11 works fine with both the 32bit and the 64bit version of Windows 7.

IBP Windows 7

IBP also works with Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Vista. You can download IBP here.

Using current tools is very important for search engine optimization. Things that worked last year might not work today. IBP is always up-to-date with the latest algorithms of Google and all other major search engines.

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4. Success stories

Anders Heie"Within 6 months, we were on page one in all major search engines."

'Our company, KaDonk, makes a project viewer that allows users to open MS Project files. We launched our website, and our viewer in 2007 without much to show for it.

In January of 2008, we bought IBP, and started optimizing our pages, tracking our rankings, and building our link-pool. Within 6 months, we were on page one in all major search engines, often in the top 3 position.

From getting 4-6 downloads per day, we now get several hundreds daily, and for 2008 we surpassed 330,000 downloads of our viewer. IBP allowed us to get our message out, and 'get found', which is exactly what is needed for a small startup company. IBP was one of the best investments we made.
"Anders Heie, www.kadonk.com

Tell us how IBP helped your business and 220,000 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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5. Copyright issues

We've seen that quite a few websites use the articles from this newsletter without mentioning us as the source. Some websites even use our articles to promote their own services.

You are allowed to use our articles on your website but the links in the articles must remain intact and we must be mentioned as the source with a link to our website (see the box at the bottom of our index page).

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6. Previous articles

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