Weekly SEO news - 5 April 2005
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look at some important ranking secrets that have been revealed by Google in a recent patent filing.

In the news: Yahoo has released a new index, Google adds personal video search and satellite maps 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 ranking secrets revealed - Part 1

Google has recently filed a patent that details many points that Google uses to rank web pages. The title of the patent is "Information retrieval based on historical data" and it confirms the existence of the Google sandbox and that it can apply to all web pages.

In this article, we're trying to find out what this means to your web site and what you have to do to optimize your web pages so that you get high rankings on Google.

Part 1: How your web page changes influence your rankings on Google

The patent specification revealed a lot of information about possible ways Google might use your web page changes to determine the ranking of your site.

In addition to web page content, the ranking of web pages is influenced by the frequency of page or site updates. Google measures content changes to determine how fresh or how stale a web page is. Google tries to distinguish between real and superfluous content changes.

This doesn't mean that it is always advisable to regularly change the content of your web pages. Google says that stale results might be desirable for information that doesn't need updating while fresh content is good for results that require it.

For example, seasonal results might go up and down in the result pages based on the time of the year.

Google possibly records the following web page changes:

  • the frequency of changes
  • the amount of changes (substantial or shallow changes)
  • the change in keyword density
  • the number of new web pages that link to a web page
  • the changes in anchor texts (the text that is used to link to a web page)
  • the number of links to low trust web sites (for example too many affiliate links on one web page)

Google might use the results of this analysis to specify the ranking of a web page in addition to its content.

Section 0128 in the patent filing reveals that you shouldn't change the focus of too many documents at once:

"A significant change over time in the set of topics associated with a document may indicate that the document has changed owners and previous document indicators, such as score, anchor text, etc., are no longer reliable.

Similarly, a spike in the number of topics could indicate spam. For example, if a particular document is associated with a set of one or more topics over what may be considered a 'stable' period of time and then a (sudden) spike occurs in the number of topics associated with the document, this may be an indication that the document has been taken over as a 'doorway' document.

Another indication may include the disappearance of the original topics associated with the document. If one or more of these situations are detected, then [Google] may reduce the relative score of such documents and/or the links, anchor text, or other data associated the document."

This means that the Google sandbox phenomenon may apply to your web site if you change your web pages.

What does this mean to your web site?

First of all, you should make sure that your web page content is optimized for Google. If your web page content is not optimized, all other ranking factors won't help you much.

Try to find out if the keywords you target on search engines require static or fresh search results and update your web site content accordingly. Make sure that you don't change too much at once so that your web site won't be put in the sandbox.

In upcoming newsletter issues, we'll discuss other important factors that can influence your ranking on Google and that are mentioned in the patent specification..

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2. Search engine news of the week

Yahoo has launched a new search index

    "We're releasing a new index tonight. You should see a lot of new content in the index as well as fluctuations in the rankings of results from previous searches."

Google adding personal video to search repertoire

    "Google Inc. plans to put out a call for personal video clips as it moves to further expand the reach of its Web search business. "

Google feature incorporates satellite maps
    "Online search engine leader Google has unveiled a new feature that will enable its users to zoom in on homes and businesses using satellite images, an advance that may raise privacy concerns as well as intensify the competitive pressures on its rivals."

Yahoo!/FindWhat patent dispute headed for trial

    "The patent-infringement suit filed by Yahoo!'s Overture against FindWhat.com is heading for trial later this month, after surviving the latter firm's efforts to have the case dismissed. A decision in the case could settle once and for all the issue of who owns the bid-for-placement technology that has fueled the paid search advertising boom."

Search engine newslets

3. Articles of the week

Second sight

    "Yahoo is the new Google. Google is the new Yahoo. Up is down, and black is white. This spring has been very strange. Google, it seems, has jumped the shark. It has been overtaken, left standing, and not by some new startup of ultra smart MIT alumni or by the gazillions in the Microsoft development budget, but by the deeply unhip and previously discounted Yahoo."

Living by Google rules

    "In order to let the products develop organically, sometimes Google forgoes revenues in the short term. 'It takes years to become profitable in terms of total dollars invested, but we don't even think about it,' he adds. 'When we started Google News, we forgot to put ads in it. It's not deliberate. We actually forgot.'"

Barry Diller's search for meaning

    "The conventional wisdom is that Diller already owned a stable of Internet brands like Expedia, CitySearch and Match.com as well as assorted other assets like HSN, Ticketmaster and Lending Tree."

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4. Recommended resources

"I would have a much harder job without my IBP."

"Axandra's IBP is easily the most used tool in our Arsenal, and is also my personal favorite. As a professional SEO'er, I'd highly recommend it to anyone that I don't already have my eyes on to be my next client...

Not only does it have the best Search Engine Submission process of any of the SEO Suite softwares we've used, but its 'Top Ten Optimizer' nails each of my client's mistakes in bold letters to the front page of their personalized report.

I would have a much harder job without my IBP."
Luke Parker, www.internetoptimization.net


Lower your advertising costs and make more profit

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    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 5 is available

This is probably the last beta version before the final release.

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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