Weekly SEO news: 28 August 2012
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

Everyone's crazy about links. Some people want to get as many backlinks as they can get, others fear that their site will be penalized if it has too many links or the wrong backlinks. Are backlinks really that important? A search engine has the answer.

In the news: Long tail keywords are important, Google confirms another Panda update, Google dumps 5.5% of organic first page rankings 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. Reality check: are links not as important as you think?
Everyone's crazy about links. Some people want to get as many backlinks as possible, others fear that their website will be penalized if it has the wrong backlinks. Are backlinks really that important? A search engine has the answer.

More than backlinks

Broaden your thinking

Last month, Bing published an article in their official blog in which they explained the importance of backlinks:

"For a long time, the prevailing thinking was links were the golden egg.  They were what you needed to turn the tide and boost your rankings.  And that was true. Today, though, it might pay to broaden your thinking."

Although the article is from Bing and not from Google, it contains many interesting points that also apply if you want to get high rankings on Google:

1.  Don’t place all of your eggs in one basket

It's easy to concentrate on a single tactic. However, it's also risky. Backlinks are only one signal to the search engines. Although it is a very important signal, there are many more signals that determine the position of a website in the search results.

According to Bing, you should check your web pages if they use more than one H1 tag, you should check the IMG ALT attributes, the meta descriptions, etc.

The mentions of your web pages on Twitter, Facebook and other social sites can also influence the rankings of your website. While it is very difficult to check these elements manually, it is very easy if you use the Top 10 Optimizer in IBP.

The Top 10 Optimizer in IBP checks the backlinks that point to your pages (including the anchor texts), it checks the contents of your page,  it checks the social mentions of your website ,etc.

You will get a detailed and easy-to-read report with detailed instructions on how to improve your pages and links. The Top 10 Optimizer report covers all important ranking signals that are necessary to get first page rankings on Google.

2. Don't try to find shortcuts, they just cost time and money

Many webmasters try to find shortcuts: quickly get hundreds of backlinks, quickly increase the number of Twitter followers, quickly get free content for your website.

All of these shortcuts have in common that they are considered spam by most search engines and some of them can get your website banned from search engines in the long run.

If you invest the time that you spend seeking shortcuts in optimizing your real web page content, you will get much better results.

Keep the big picture in view. High rankings are made of more than backlinks.
Work on all signals that influence the position of your web pages in Google's search results and you will get the best possible results.
2. Search engine news and articles of the week

StatisticsShort tail keywords vs long tail keywords

"The average conversion rates for long tail keywords were 4.15% higher than the conversion rates for short tail keywords. [...]

Overall, while short tail keywords are incredibly important to drive traffic and get visitors to your site; we still can’t lose focus of how important long tail keywords are as well."

Editor's note: use the keyword manager in IBP to find new keywords for your website.

Google confirms another Panda update

On Twitter, Google has confirmed another Panda update:

"Panda data refresh this past Monday. ~1% of queries noticeably affected."

BingBing: four areas of search and social focus

"Over time, the engines build a level of trust with your site.  Part of that trust comes from the actions you take when performing SEO.  Were you buying links last year?  That could haunt you as it erodes our trust. [...]

 One over-riding goal, however, should always be to WOW your visitors.  Do that and your popularity will continue to grow and it’ll attract the attention of the engines in a positive way."

Google SERP dumps 5.5% of organic first page listings

"Google had reduced the usual 10 search listings to just 7 on over 18% of Google searches [...] A 30% reduction of organic listings on 18.3% of SERPs approximately equals wiping out 5.5% of all first page organic listings. [...]

To grow their business by 25% this year, given that average CPC's have been falling, by my own estimations, I think they basically need to find approximately an extra 24 billion clicks on their ads. That’s got to come from somewhere."

Editor's note: to make sure that your website can be found on Google's first result page, optimize your pages with IBP.

Is Google+ turning us into spammers?

"We’re on Google+ (and we tell our clients to do it,) because we know that’s what Google wants [...] The reality is, Google+ is not where conversions (or even conversations) are happening for most businesses."

Search engine newslets
  • Bing adds Quora experts to social sidebar.
  • Google Analytics could be banned in Norway.
  • Google, Facebook working on India request to remove content.
  • 5 days after launch, Qihoo 360′s search engine leapfrogs Google to place second in China.
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3. Recommended resources

Download the brand-new IBP 12

The new version IBP 12 is now available for download. IBP 12 has many great new features. Download it now and see for yourself:

New version 12

If you haven't done it yet, you can download the free demo version of the brand-new IBP 12 now.


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4. Previous articles

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