The Axandra newsletter archive - 15 March 2005
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look at a new web hosting scam.

In the news: Microsoft is going to start its own PPC service, Yahoo releases a new toolbar and plans an AdSense service, a new search engine enters the market and more.

Table of contents:

We hope that you enjoy this newsletter and that it helps you to get more out of your web site. Please pass this newsletter on to your friends.

Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Facts of the week: Does your web host change your web pages?

When you choose a web hosting company, you don't expect that they are going to change your web pages. You also don't expect that they change your web pages for their own benefit. Unfortunately, that's exactly what some web hosts seem to do.

What do these web hosts do to your web pages?

These web hosting companies change your web pages when a search engine spider requests them. For example, if Googlebot visits your web pages, the web host will return a different web page than the web page that is returned when a normal web surfer visits your web pages (a technique with the name cloaking).

The changed web pages contain links to the web host web site so that the link popularity of the web host site is improved. In addition, the web host creates new page and complete sub directories full of links on your web site.

Note that these changed URLs and the new pages cannot be seen by you. The URLs are not static and you cannot see them with your FTP client. Only search engine spiders can see the changed web pages because the web host intercepts the requests and dynamically creates the pages.

Some hosts also seem to add links to some of their clients on your web pages. They do this to artificially improve the link popularity of their clients' sites. If you see any Secret backdoor to Google offers from your web host without further details, you should be skeptical. If a web host changes the web sites of other people, it is likely that they will also change your web site.

What does Google think about this?

Shortly after this issue has been raised in an online discussion forum, a Google spokesman commented on it:

"What a scuzzy practice. [...] I've seen stuff like that before, but it's usually pretty rare. Legitimate hosts have a lot to lose from deceiving their hosting clients like that [...] Practices like that just go way beyond legitimate and into scamming."

How can you find out if your web host changes your web pages?

Go to Google, search for your domain name and click on the "Cached" link next to the results. You'll see the web page that Google has indexed then.

If the web page in the Google page has links to other web pages that you don't know, chances are that your web host has changed your pages. In that case, you should contact your web host or Google so that the problem can be solved.

Web hosting companies with ethical business standards don't use these techniques. If you find out that your web host changes your pages, you should consider a new hosting company.

If Google finds out that your web site uses cloaking, you will get into trouble, even if the cloaking has been done by your web host and not by you.

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2. Search engine news of the week

MSN to start paid listings

    "Microsoft plans to start a service where clients will pay to be listed alongside its MSN search results, people familiar with the plans said.

    It will be similar to competing programs from Google Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. Microsoft will announce a pilot program March 16, said the people, who asked not to be identified. These paid searches auction off placement next to Web search results to companies with related products."

Yahoo seeks to expand in Google territory
    "Yahoo is poised to launch an ad network for small Web publishers styled on a similar offering from Google, [...], a move that promises to sharpen competition between the search giants."

FactBites is a new search engine with a different approach
    "The Factbites engine focuses on finding genuine, meaningful content. This makes it very good at filtering out spam sites. If the page doesn't have anything of substance to tell you, it won't rank well in a Factbites search."

Yahoo offers a new toolbar

"Yahoo! Toolbar for IE now detects RSS/Atom feeds just like its toolbar sibling for Mozilla Firefox."

Search engine newslets

3. Articles of the week

Competition comes to the ad market

    "Google's website advertising program, Adsense, is about to have some fairly hefty competition. Yahoo is testing a 'long tail' ad words scheme. [...] The arrival of Yahoo -- and possibly Microsoft -- in the adwords market will be good for publishers and advertisers simply by expanding the range of choices and by fostering innovation through competitive pressures."

Google has competitors fine-tuning engines

    "Paradoxically, because of [Google's] popularity, there may be no better time to try something different. Google's success has forced competitors like Yahoo, MSN Search and Ask Jeeves to hustle with releasing new product features, search controls and improved behind-the-scenes programming."

'Chief Yahoos' aim to keep edge

    "What separated Yahoo's creators from the rest of the dot-com crowd was their desire to create a profitable business as quickly as possible - a contrarian concept back in those days of economic delirium."

Search and retain: the search/e-mail combo

    "Search without retention is more than foolish; it costs your company lots of money, with returns that aren't quantifiable. You keep filling that tire with air, but without a retention strategy profits and potential customer relationships keep leaking out."

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4. Recommended resources

"From a professional standpoint I give ARELIS an A+!"

"I'm a professional SEO advisor for a firm that coaches webmasters to dominate in the search engines. I'm an ARELIS convert from ****, and the nothing has helped my clients more.

ARELIS is so user friendly that my clients pick it up with ease. I recommend it to all of my clients and I would recommend it to anyone who is trying to dominate the engines. From a professional standpoint I give it an A+!"
Jeremy Cobb,


Lower your advertising costs and make more profit

    If your AdWords pay per click campaigns don't return a positive return on investment (ROI) or if you're paying too much for your PPC ads, take a look at our new Google AdWords eBook.

    Find out how to lower your advertising costs while increasing your profit.

Want to be mentioned in this newsletter?

    Just send us some words about your successes with IBP or ARELIS and you might get featured in this newsletter along with your web site address.

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5. From the developer's kitchen: The next IBP version - part 10

This week, we continue our series about new features in the upcoming new IBP version.

IBP 8 is multilingual and it knows your language

The new IBP version will have many more features and it will have many improvements over the current version. No other web site promotion tools offers as many features as the next IBP version.

Every week, we'll reveal another feature of the next IBP version.

Among many other great new features, the next IBP version allows you to easily translate IBP to your own language.

Do you need IBP in French, Italian or Spanish?

Do you want to provide Norwegian or Danish reports to your customers? The new IBP version makes it possible. Select "Translate IBP" in the "File" menu of the new IBP version and easily translate the parts that you need in your own language.

The translate feature also allows you to change any text in the reports IBP generates.

Get the new version for free!

Of course, the new IBP version will also offer improvements in the Search Engine Submitter, the Ranking Checker and much more.

The next IBP version will be a free update to all current IBP users. It will be released this quarter. If you buy IBP now, you'll get the new version with many more features for free.

IBP 8 beta version 3 is available

We invite you to participate in a public beta test of IBP 8, the new version of IBP with many improvements and new features. The current beta version can be downloaded here.

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6. Previous articles

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