Weekly SEO news: 5 November 2013
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

The official Bing blog has posted information on how to improve the Quality Score of your ads and web pages. If you want to optimize your paid search campaigns for the holiday season, the following tips in this week's article will help you.

In the news: Google flags disavowed links, Bing teams up with Twitter, the Digg effect is back, Bing gives some further SEO tips, 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. Official information: how to improve the Quality Score of your ads
The official Bing blog has posted information on how to improve the Quality Score of your ads and web pages. Although the information is from Bing, it can also help you to get better results with your Google campaigns.

Quality ScoreIf you want to optimize your paid search campaigns for the holiday season, the following tips will help you:

Relevancy is important

Some business owners run ads on every possible keyword variation and on every synonym that they find.

While it is important to bid on many targeted keywords, it is also important that there's a connection between the keyword, the ad and the landing page.

If that relevancy is missing, you run the risk of using keywords that won't deliver results. The relevancy influences the Quality Score of your ads.

Your Quality Score can change even if you don't make changes

Just because you haven't made any changes to your campaign does not mean that your competitors haven't optimized their accounts.

If your competitors optimized their relevancy for the keywords for which you advertise, the Quality Score of your own ads will decrease.

There are three ways to improve the Quality Score

1) Improve the relevance of your keywords
  • How relevant are the keywords that you've chosen for your campaign?
  • How well do your keywords compete against your competition and other advertisers who bid on the same keywords?
2) Improve the relevance of your landing page
  • Are your ads and landing pages relevant to the search queries that potential customers use to find your products, services and website?
  • Does your website offer content that is useful to your website visitors?
3) Improve the user experience on your landing page
  • Is your ad highly relevant, accurate and well written and is there a strong relation between the keyword, the ad text and the landing page content?
  • How does your website navigation and functionality affect users?
Which Quality Score your keywords will get

1) A Quality Score of 1-5: Your keywords will get this Quality Score if it is underperforming in the market place. The keyword might not be relevant to the ad or the ad is poorly written. The click-through-rate (CTR) is lower than average.

Ads with keywords that have this Quality Score are less likely to appear when the keyword is searched.

2) A Quality score of 6: Your keywords will get this Quality Score if the CTR is competitive but not better than the average of keywords that target the same traffic.

3) A Quality Score of 7-10: Your keywords get this Quality Score if the keyword is very competitive and the CTR is higher than the CTR of keywords targeting the same traffic.

Improving the Quality Score of your keywords will improve the results of your paid search marketing campaigns.

Paid search marketing shouldn't be your only way to promote your website. If your website is only listed in the paid search results, you'll miss the majority of people who would purchase something on your site.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

GoogleGoogle seems to ignore many disavow files
In an online discussion, webmasters said that Google informed them about bad backlinks although these links were included in the disavow file:

"I looked at the links which were given as sample URL's from Google on the latest rejection and it is in my disavow file which was uploaded a week prior to my reconsideration request. Is this an error from Google as I am assuming that Google will be bombarded by these and some errors might come through the net, if so should i just reconsider straight away saying, the links you have given I dispute as they are already disavowed and I don't understand what else I need to do?"

Editor's note: It might be a good idea to avoid the disavow links tool.

Bing teams up with Twitter

"We have been teaming up with Twitter for a few years to surface public tweets from people who may have something to contribute to what you’re trying to get done with Bing.

Whether it’s a politician, celebrity, thought leader or friend, our renewed partnership with Twitter ensures that you have near real-time access to what people are tweeting tailored to what you’re searching for."

BingBing: Ruts in the SEO, social and PPC roads. Are you stuck?

"Are you actually breaking bad molds and making decisions that are best for the business? Or are you stuck in a rut repeating past successes and failures over and over again? [...]

Ruts exist in SEO – failure to invest in quality and depth of content; failure to think your content can be compelling, focus on technical aspects to the exclusion of other areas like usability, social media, etc.

Ruts exist in PPC – putting your campaigns on 'fire-and-forget'; not building and refining landing pages; not doing testing between ads; not creating fresh ads frequently; not testing bidding/page placement against conversions, and so on."

Deja vu: the "Digg effect" is back
"And despite all of [the other social media referrers], it was another site that sent the most referral traffic: Digg. [...]

The article appeared on the Digg home page (shown above), and also on the Technology tag page [...] Digg sent more than 2x as many visits as Techmeme, and more than Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn combined. [...] Digg was the top referral source for a viral article."

What your search history says about you (and how to shut it up)
"With this week's revelation that the NSA secretly hacked into the data centers that power Google and Yahoo users' emails and documents (allowing them to check out users' files at will and without warrants), one is forced to wonder if Americans are aware of exactly how much personal information the NSA might find there -- and how much they agreed to provide. [...]

The privacy policy states that by signing in, you allow Google to collect information about you -- including whatever you give them. This includes your name, address, phone number--maybe even a credit card number and a photo."

Search engine newslets

  • Video: Should I add schema.org markup on my videos even if they're automatically added by YouTube? Answer: yes, you should.
  • Inflated numbers: "in stream" activity on Google+ doesn’t only happen on Google+ itself.
  • Google is testing a new ad extension (discussion).
  • Study: Instagram is the fastest growing social network.
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