Weekly SEO news: 27 November 2012
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

Rich snippets help you to improve the look of your website on Google’s search results pages. Pages that use rich snippets usually get more clicks than web pages that are displayed without them. How can you make sure that Google displays your website with additional information?

In the news: the most popular searches of 2012, Google about short content pages, Google prefers its own hotel search results, and more.

Table of contents:

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Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. How to improve the look of your page with rich snippets
Rich snippets help you to improve the look of your website on Google’s search results pages. Pages that use rich snippets usually get more clicks than web pages that are displayed without them. How can you make sure that Google displays your website with additional information?

What are rich snippets?

Rich snippets are search result listings that display additional information among the regular listing. For example, a rich snippet can look like this:

rich snippets

Rich snippets are available for many different web page types: reviews, ratings, recipes, etc.

The impact of rich snippets on your search result listings

Rich snippets do not influence the position of your web pages in Google's search results. Google does not use that information in the ranking algorithm.

However, rich snippet listings stand out in the search results and they tend to get more clicks than regular listings. In addition, the markup that is used to create the rich snippets can also help Google to better match your pages with the right keywords.

How to create rich snippets for your own website

Rich snippets are created based on the code that is used on the found web pages. For example, Google uses Schema.org markup to create the rich snippets on the result pages.

Unfortunately, applying semantic markup is a rather complex task. If you want to get rich snippets for your own web pages, you can use the free rich snippet creator on SEOprofiler:

rich snippets creator

The rich snippet creator is a free tool that enables you to create Schema.org markup quickly and easily. To access the free rich snippet creator, create a free SEOprofiler account and then go to "Web page optimization > Rich snippets".

Structured markup and rich snippets can help you to get more clicks on Google's search result pages. Use the free snippet creator in SEOprofiler to add structured markup code to your web pages so that Google displays your web pages with additional information in the search results.

2. Search engine news and articles of the week

StatisticsThe Bing top searches of 2012 report

"From one of the most hotly contested elections in US history, the pageantry of the Olympic Games in London and high profile IPOs to rising stars, reality TV and Gangnam Style, it’s been a pretty exciting twelve months.

Based on the aggregation of billions of search queries, the Bing Top Searches of 2012 Report highlights the 'most searched' in [19] categories."

Discussion: does Google image search have a new algorithm?

"One of my sites has had most of it's positions in Google image traffic hijacked by different blogspots. My images are there, only credited to obscure blogs. [...]

Christmas season, searches ramp up massively from mid November onwards. Coincidence?"

John MuellerGoogle: short pages can rank well

In an online discussion, Google's John Mueller said that short pages can also rank well on Google:

"Googlebot doesn't just count words on a page or in an article, even short articles can be very useful & compelling to users.

For example, we also crawl and index tweets, which are at most 140 characters long. That said, if you have users who love your site and engage with it regularly, allowing them to share comments on your articles is also a great way to bring additional information onto the page.

Sometimes a short article can trigger a longer discussion -- and sometimes users are looking for discussions like that in search. That said, one recommendation that I'd like to add is to make sure that your content is really unique (not just rewritten, autogenerated, etc) and of high-quality."

Google is quietly adding new features to Hotel Finder as rivals look on

"Google Hotel Finder has tried all manner of tests in the SERPs like this, but nothing more than the regular 1% of total traffic test. [...]

All these developments confirm that there’s a lot of attention for this product. One might wonder if Google will follow Kayak, HotelsCombined in the semi-book direct functionality."

Related discussion: searchers and webmasters are not happy about this.

Study: 70.1% of Facebook pages make zero posts a month

"Facebook Pages (popularly known as ‘Fan Pages’) are a starting point for businesses wanting to connect to millions of potential and existing customers on Facebook. [...]

Experts recommend regular posting to a Page to get the attention of fans. However, not all Page owners can source content regularly or take time out to post every day (even though Facebook itself recommends at least one update per day). Our study found that 70.1 per cent of Facebook Pages did not make even one post per month."

Search engine newslets
  • Due to an error, Google did not show some ads during the holiday weekend.
  • Discussion: is Twitter cloaking Google?
  • Video: Why might Googlebot get errors when trying to access my robots.txt file? Answer: either cloaking or problems with the load balancing server.
  • Chinese search engine Baidu raising $1.5B though two-part bond sale.
  • U.S. said to waver on antitrust case against Google.
  • Google competitor DuckDuckGo says it's getting shut out.
  • Google destroys unauthorized NZ data.
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