The Axandra newsletter archive - 29 March 2005
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look at recent changes in Google's ranking algorithm.

In the news: Google acquires a web site analytics company, Yahoo adds a new search feature 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: Google changes its algorithm again

Some webmasters have observed significant ranking changes in Google's search engine result pages. It seems that Google has tweaked its algorithm again or that it is still fine-tuning the way it ranks web pages for its next algorithm update.

What has happened?

Google uses more than 100,000 servers to store its data. These servers build-the Google data centers. Depending on the time and the place from which you access Google, Google will redirect you to different data centers.

For example, you might be redirected to the IP address or to when you enter in your web browser. Both IP addresses reflect different data centers in which Google will search for your query (the IP addresses in this example were operational on 29 March 2005, they can change at any time).

There are very many different Google data centers and each data center has its own index. Normally, the contents of the different data centers is about the same.

Webmasters who observe several data centers have found out that there are currently three types of data centers. Depending on which data center group you use for your search query, you'll get different results.

What does that mean?

It seems that Google uses different algorithms in these data centers and that Google uses some data centers to test algorithm changes. Using only a few data centers allows Google to test algorithm changes without affecting all search results.

The three different data center groups that have been observed by some webmasters probably reflect the test of different algorithms that affect the same ranking factor.

Data center group one (the biggest) uses the current algorithm, group two (a small group) tests algorithm change A, group three (another small group) tests algorithm change B. That way, Google can test the best way to improve its algorithm without affecting all search results.

What does this mean for your web site?

At the moment, this means nothing for your web site. The changes are only tested in some data centers. If you use Google's normal web site and if you don't access Google's data centers directly, chances are that you haven't been affected by these testing changes.

To optimize your web pages for high Google rankings, take a look at the web pages that currently have top rankings on Google and try to find out what these pages have done to get these rankings. As these pages have top 10 rankings, they must have done something right.

IBP's Top 10 Optimizer can help you to do this quickly and easily. IBP's advice is always based on the latest search engine algorithms.

Don't go mad about Google. Although Google is a very important search engine, you'll also get targeted visitors from Yahoo, MSN Search, Ask Jeeves and other search engines. Optimizing your site for more than one search engine makes you less dependent on a single player.

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2. Search engine news of the week

Google agrees to acquire Urchin

    "Urchin is a web site analytics solution used by web site owners and marketers to better understand their users' experiences, optimize content and track marketing performance.[...]

    Google plans to make these tools available to web site owners and marketers to better enable them to increase their advertising return on investment and make their web sites more effective."

Gigablast search engine now offering related pages
    "Gigablast Inc [...] announced its new Related Pages feature which is available to the public via the company’s website,. [...] Related Pages are highly relevant search results which do not necessarily contain the searcher’s query terms. A lot of these related pages are never even returned by other search engines for that reason."

Ask Jeeves gets Diller's cash, keeps staff

    "Ask Jeeves Inc.'s acquisition by media mogul Barry Diller's IAC/InterActive Corp. this week for $1.85 billion in stock will lead to some layoffs at the Oakland Web search engine but it will also bring more resources for Jeeves to compete with market leaders Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc."

Yahoo adds search for 'flexible' copyright content

"Yahoo has added a feature that lets people search content that's been licensed through Creative Commons, a nonprofit group that specializes in copyrighting material so that it's available for some reuse."

Search engine newslets

  • Google opens a new office in India.
  • ZoomInfo is a people information search engine.
  • Take a look at the sources for Google news.
  • Play Google's Easter game.
  • Queryster released a meta search engine with a Mac OS X look.
  • Google to support universities.
  • Google's 1999 "Tell a friend about Google" page is still online.
  • The Google store has added many new products, including a marble blaze.
3. Articles of the week

Google insider stock sales are "staggering" say analysts

    "If you add up every single penny of profit Google has ever made since they opened their doors, you would have an amount smaller than the value of stock those three execs have sold since Jan 1st of this year.

    If you add in the amount of stock other low-level employees of Google have sold since last August, the total comes to over 1.8 billion dollars - which is more than five times the total amount of profit Google has ever made as a business."

How Yahoo got its Mojo back

    "A handful of blog-evangelists, a couple of key buys and some libertarian friendly moves have turned Yahoo from a dot.has.been to the new darling of the chattering classes. It is only a matter of time when mainstream media rediscovers Yahoo, and a stock market resurgence follow."

Google ensnared in a war of words

    "Google is a giant, but they cannot dictate the law [...] The growing number of lawsuits against Google around the world could diminish that advertising revenue by reducing the number of search words that could be sold to competitors."

Is Opinion tide turning against Google?

    "There comes a time when a company gets so powerful, and the perceived potential to abuse that power so large, that public opinion begins to turn on it. [...] We've noticed a growing dissatisfaction with Google in various niche constituencies over the past several months."

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4. Recommended resources

Another 5 out of 5 rating for our products!

"Link Popularity Check is a handy tool for web site owners that allows you to check your link popularity and compare it to your competitors as well as a list of major internet web sites.

5 out of 5 It displays the results in an easy to read, color coded report window and also provides some tips for improving your link popularity."
5 out of 5 rating on


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. IBP 8 beta version 4 is available

We invite you to participate in a public beta test of IBP 8. The new IBP version is twice as powerful as the old IBP 4 version, that's why we called it IBP 8.

This is new:

  • Link Popularity Improver
  • Web Site Optimization Editor
  • Scheduler to automate ranking checks and submissions
  • Keyword Editor with special Google AdWords support
  • Pay Per Click Search Engine Manager
  • enhanced project management: one project for all tools
  • you can work on multiple projects at once
  • better report customization
  • complete new user interface to support the new features
  • click here to see a complete list of all improvements

IBP 4 users: The new IBP 8 uses a new project concept, but it will try to import your IBP 4 projects automatically. Your IBP 4 installation will not be touched.

Note that this is a pre-release public beta test designed to help finding problems in the new version before release. Use it only for testing the new version. Test it now!

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.

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6. Previous articles

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