Weekly SEO news: 8 December 2009

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

Google's new Caffeine index is going to be released soon. What do you have to expect from this update and how will it affect the position of your web pages in Google?

In the news: Google now personalizes search without a login, Google launches real-time search, how search engines create snippets 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 Caffeine: how will it affect the rankings of your web pages?

Google Caffeine is the name given to Google's next algorithm update that is going live after the holidays. It seems that Google Caffeine will be more than Google's regular updates. It will probably be a major overhaul of the calculations that Google uses to rank web pages.

CaffeineWhat is going to change?

Of course, Google hasn't revealed the details of Google Caffeine yet. However, the new index has been live on some test servers and some Google employees also talked about the next index. The following factors might play a larger role in Google's next index:

  • Website speed: if you have a slow loading website, it might not get high rankings on Google.

  • Broken links: if your website contains many broken links, this might have a negative impact of the position of your web pages in Google search results.

  • Bad neighborhoods: Linking to known spammers and getting a lot of links from known spammers isn't good for your rankings in Google's current algorithm. The negative impact of a bad neighborhood will probably be even worse with Google Caffeine.

  • The over-all quality of your website: Google's new algorithm probably will take a closer look at the over-all quality of your website. It's not enough to have one or two ranking factors in place.

    You'll probably need good optimized content, a good website design with a clear navigation, good inbound links, a low bounce rate, etc. The number of social bookmarks might also play an increased role.

Factors like the age of a website, its past history, authority etc. will still play a role in Google's new index. However, the effect of the different factors on your rankings will shift.

How can you adjust your web pages to Google's new Caffeine index?

Although Google's Caffeine update hasn't been release yet, there are some things that you can do to increase the chances that your website will get good rankings in Google's new index:

  • Remove all spam elements from your web pages. Anything that might be considered spam can and will have a negative effect on the position of your web pages sooner or later. This includes text that has nearly the same color as the background, cloaking and fully automated linking systems.

  • Check your website design and the navigation of your website. Your website should have a professional look and feel. The navigation should be easy to understand and your web pages should easily be parseable by search engine spiders. You can test this with the search engine spider simulator in IBP (Select Tools > Search Engine Spider Simulator in IBP's main window).

  • Get links from social bookmark websites. Social bookmark links already play a role in Google's current algorithm and that role might increase.

  • Check your links. You shouldn't link to websites that look like spammers. It's better to focus on selected quality links instead of as many links as possible.

Google Caffeine is going to be released after the holidays. If you follow the tips above, your website will be in a good position when Google's new index will be online.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

GoogleGoogle now personalizes your search without a login

"Previously, we only offered Personalized Search for signed-in users, and only when they had Web History enabled on their Google Accounts. What we're doing today is expanding Personalized Search so that we can provide it to signed-out users as well.

This addition enables us to customize search results for you based upon 180 days of search activity linked to an anonymous cookie in your browser. [...] You'll know when we customize results because a 'View customizations' link will appear on the top right of the search results page. Clicking the link will let you see how we've customized your results and also let you turn off this type of customization."

Related: This might have some privacy implications.

Google launches real-time search

"Now, immediately after conducting a search, you can see live updates from people on popular sites like Twitter and FriendFeed, as well as headlines from news and blog posts published just seconds before. When they are relevant, we'll rank these latest results to show the freshest information right on the search results page."

Bing 15 Google users tried Bing for a week and 10 of them switched

"[A research firm] recruited 15 Google users and instructed them to use Bing, exclusively, for one week without revealing to them that the study was sponsored by Microsoft. Out of these 15 participants, the study reveals that 10 indicated that they'll switch from Google to Bing."

How a search engine may choose search snippets

"A recent Yahoo patent application describes how they might make [search] experience better when deciding which snippet to show searchers, looking at the quality of choices they have for a snippet within the text on a page, how relevant those choices might be, and how well that text might match up to the intent behind the search."

Google announces new fade-in home page

"The main feature of the new homepage is that it 'fades in' — when the page first loads, it shows only our logo, the search box and the buttons. For the vast majority of people who come to the Google homepage, they are coming in order to search, and this clean, minimalist approach gives them just what they are looking for first and foremost."

Search engine newslets

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3. New in IBP: Google Universal results

IBP's ranking checker now supports Google Universal results

If you check the position of your website in Google's search results with IBP's ranking checker then you can now choose if IBP should also consider Google Maps and Google News results.

IBP enables you to choose whether you just want to check the regular website results or if you also want to include the local search and news results. You can download the trial here.

IBP Windows 7

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

"We are booked 3 months in advance."

"Thank you for the best web site search engine optimizer. I have tried many in the past but was reluctant to spend a bit more for IBP.

I needed website exposure because we have a vacation home in Florida and I needed to get out as much exposure as possible. I found the best part of your program was the Keyword builder and the website analyzer.

Your analyzer quickly found the weaknesses in my website. I have only been using IBP for about 4 months now and already I am in the top 10 on Google with many keywords. Many thanks again for helping us achieve quick success on the web, especially Google. We are now booked 3 months in advance with help from your company."
John Thurlow, Vacation Home Close to Disney World

Tell us how IBP helped your business and 230,000 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. Previous articles

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