Weekly SEO news: 16 July 2013
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

Since Google's Penguin update, many webmasters are worried about the importance of backlinks. Last Wednesday, Google's Matt Cutts talked about the importance of links in an online interview. Here are the key takeaways.

In the news: Google gives contradicting penalty information to some webmasters, another company tries to challenge Google, guest blogs should contain the nofollow attribute, and more.

Table of contents:

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Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Google’s Matt Cutts talks about the importance of backlinks

Since Google's Penguin update, many webmasters are worried about the importance of backlinks. Last Wednesday, Google's Matt Cutts talked about the importance of links in an online interview. Here are the key takeaways from the interview:

Matt Cutts Backlinks

1. Links are still the best way to rank a website
Matt Cutts made it clear that the links that point to your website are important:

"Links are still the best way that we’ve found to discover [how relevant or important somebody is], and maybe over time social or authorship or other types of markup will give us a lot more information about that."

2. Link building is not bad

As long as your website is linkworthy, link building is fine:

"The philosophy that we’ve always had is if you make something that’s compelling then it would be much easier to get people to write about it and to link to it. [...] Make a fantastic website that people love and tell their friends about and link to and want to experience. As a result, your website starts to become stronger and stronger in the rankings."

3. Don't use press releases for link building

Most links from press releases do not count in Google's ranking algorithm. If an editor decides to publish an article on a newspaper site based on that press release, that link will count.

4. Guest posts can be problematic

According to Matt Cutts, Guest posts can be problematic:

"If people just move away from doing article banks or article directories or article marketing to guest blogging and they don’t raise their quality thresholds for the content, then that can cause problems."

5. Content syndication should be planned

You must make sure that your website is the original site if your content is syndicated to other sites. Publish the content before others and use the rel=canonical attribute.

Good backlinks are very important if you want to get high rankings on Google and other search engines. The tools in SEOprofiler help you to get the best possible rankings for your website.

SEOprofiler helps you to find the best keywords, it helps you to optimize your web page content, it helps you to get good backlinks, it helps you to analyze your website visitors, and much more.

Best of all, SEOprofiler is a safe search engine optimization tool that plays by the rules. If you haven't done it yet, create your SEOprofiler account now:

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

Discussion: contradicting penalty information from Google

"First I get a message in GWT stating that, 'Google has applied a manual spam action.' Then, I clean up the issues, submit a Reconsideration Request, then get a response saying, 'No manual spam actions found."'

Note that it did not say that the manual spam action was revoked, only that there was no spam action found. Yet the original message stated quite clearly that there was a manual spam action applied, as opposed to an algorithmic thing."

John MuellerGoogle: use nofollow links if you're guest blogging
In an online video, Google's John Mueller said that you should use nofollow links if you’re submitting articles for your website, or your clients’ websites.

If you are a journalist writing about a website in a natural way, you don't have to use nofollow links.

Can Leap2 really take on Google in search? ‘Probably not,’ but it’s still going to try

"Google owns 67 percent of the market in the U.S. as smaller players like Bing and Yahoo fight for scraps.
But Kansas City, Kan.-based search startup Leap2 doesn’t seem to care that Google owns the market and knows exactly where it stands. [...]

'The younger generations don’t have the same kind of loyalty we have,' VanWinkle said. 'They haven’t been using Google for 15 years. They’re not loyal, frankly. They want something different.'"

GoogleGoogle: some ranking drops are normal

In an online discussion, a webmaster wondered why her website rankings for branded terms dropped since the last penguin update. Google's Gary Illyes said that the ranking drop was not related to spammy links:

"These look like normal fluctuations for a site like yours. I don't see anything that's due to technical issues on our or on your side, so I would recommend continuing to work on your site, adding new content and improving existing content."

Are Google's results too ad-heavy and self-promotional?

"A new blog post suggesting that Google’s non-paid listings make up only a tiny fraction of the entire search results page has sparked some discussion, though the exact percentage actually varies on how you count what’s on the page and from query-to-query. [...]

To me, the real concern has been the transformation of Google from being a search engine that pointed out to destination sites (like those restaurants) to wanting to be a destination of its own.

SEO and organic search is far from dead, and anyone who runs a site can look at their traffic logs to know how much traffic Google sends them every day, for free."

Search engine newslets

  • IAB global mobile advertising revenue report.
  • Foursquare search bar now lets you easily search faraway places.
  • New in SEOprofiler: dynamic charts in the ranking monitor report.
  • NSA scandal delivers record numbers of Internet users to DuckDuckGo.
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3. Recommended resources

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