Weekly SEO news: 5 January 2010
Welcome to the first issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter in 2010.

Last month, Google started to display real-time results on the search engine result pages. How are these results calculated and how can you get in these results?

In the news: Google updates the toolbar PageRank, additional information about Google's PageRank, Google's new interface, a new Google patent 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. How to get in Google's real-time results

Last month, Google started to display real-time results on the search engine result pages.

How do real-time results look like?

The real-time result box is displayed for search terms that are currently discussed on social network sites. To provide real-time results, Google started partnerships with Facebook, MySpace, FriendFeed, Jaiku, Identi.ca and Twitter:

real-time results

How to get in Google's real-time results

Google hasn't revealed how the real-time results are chosen but there are some things that seem to have an effect. If you want to see your tweets in Google's real-time results, you should consider the following:

  1. Google analyzes the text used in the blog post, tweet, etc. to determine the quality of the post. If a post looks like spam, it won't be chosen for the real-time results.

  2. Google seems to create profiles of users that are re-tweeted more often than other users. If a Twitter user has many high-authority followers, it's more likely that the tweets will appear in the real-time results.

  3. Google wants to identify spammers by the quality of their followers and the quality of their messages.

The collected information will be used to calculate an "Update Rank" for each contributing user.

How much time should you invest to get in Google's real-time results?

The problem with Google's real-time results is that they do not appear for all search terms and that each result is quickly replaced by another result.

For that reason, you cannot get lasting results in Google's real-time results. It is much better to invest your time in getting listed in Google's regular search results. A listing in Google's regular top 10 results will bring many more targeted visitors to your website than a listing in the real-time results.

Google's real-time results are a nice addition to Google's portfolio. However, they are also problematic. Will high authority posters sell links in their tweets? How will Google find out if a posted message is true? For example, Google real-time results recently reported the death of actress Natalie Portman although the story was not true.

Add they keywords for which you want to be found in a natural way to your social media posts. Do not try to cheat the system. Try to get in Google's results regular top 10 results and offer something interesting on your website so that other people talk and tweet about your website.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

PageRank Google toolbar PageRank update

"Almost exactly like last year, Google is pushing out a New Years PageRank Update now. Mid-December we reported PageRank shifts or penalties and today, there are wide spread reports of a PageRank update in the Google Toolbar."

Editor's note: The PageRank that is displayed in Google's toolbar is not the PageRank that is used in Google's ranking algorithm.

Beyond PageRank: learning with content and networks

"The 'Google Page Rank Algorithm' is a common example. The downside is that the typical references to PageRank are a naive view of Google search, but the upside is that it is a nice opportunity to introduce some fields of study that I want to talk about. [...]

When we only focus on human-generated link structures such as those used in PageRank, or collaborative filtering, we miss the bigger picture that includes those approaches, as well as approaches based on the content itself, often text."

New Google Google's blue interface (aka Jazz) being seen by more searchers

"A new Google user interface Google hopes to push sometime this year. Technically, it is not named Jazz, but I think that is the name that might stick. Only a few Google users saw the interface. But ever since the New Years period, I have been seeing more and more reports of users seeing the interface."

Editor's note: images of Google's new interface can be seen here.

New York Times: why Twitter will endure

"The history of the Internet suggests that there have been cool Web sites that go in and out of fashion and then there have been open standards that become plumbing [...]

I vastly overestimated the importance of broadcasting on Twitter and after a while, I realized that I was not Moses and neither Twitter nor its users were wondering what I thought. Nearly a year in, I've come to understand that the real value of the service is listening to a wired collective voice."

New Google patent reveals better contextual targeting of image and video ads

"Google is apparently working on a technology that will help in improving the contextual relevance of image and video ads. A recently published patent explains how the newly developed technology works."

Search engine newslets

  • Take a look at Google's New Year fireworks.
  • Google and India test the limits of liberty.
  • Twitter kicks off 2010 hiring people away from Google, Bebo, Ning and more.
  • Yahoo reportedly selling Zimbra to VMWare.
  • [Google CEO] Eric Schmidt: the baddest man on Twitter.
  • In Russia, Google ads get subversive.

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3. Success stories

"IBP has been one of the best SEO investments I have ever made!"

"I have been using IBP for a couple of years now and always achieve top rankings. I have recently shifted my online focus from products oriented to advertising oriented. The flagship of my new focus has achieved top rankings after being registered for just a couple of months. IBP has been one of the best SEO investments I have ever made!"
Matt Johnson, www.whitelaptop.org

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4. Previous articles

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