Weekly SEO news: 18 April 2006
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look at the new way that hackers use to hijack traffic from other web sites. Find out if your web site is at risk.

In the news: Even more users focus on the first result pages on search engines, new search engine stats, information about average PPC bid prices 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. Facts of the week: Do hackers hijack your search engine listings?

Are your search engine rankings still yours? Other people might hijack your search engine rankings and they might steal your web site visitors. The worst thing is that you might not even notice it.

Are you losing visitors without knowing it?

Imagine your web site URL is listed in the search engine results on Google, Yahoo and MSN. Most people that click on your URL in the search engine results are sent to your web site.

However, some people that click on your web site URL are sent to a totally unrelated web site that has nothing to do with your site.

Although your web site URL is displayed in the browser, people see a totally different site that has nothing to do with you or your company.

How do these hackers steal your visitors?

The hackers exploit a flaw in the software of some domain name servers (DNS). The hackers send incorrect information to these DNS server so that the server redirects the traffic for the URLs to another site.

If the DNS server does not validate that the information has come from an authoritative source it will send visitors to the wrong pages. That means that people who enter your URL in the web browser will be sent to the hacker's pages instead of your pages.

How can you protect your web site?

It's important that you use a reliable host that does not use an open DSN server. Go to www.dnsreport.com and enter the URL of your web site. You should see PASS in the Open DNS servers line. If your domain name fails the test, you should contact your web host.

Using a secure DNS server is crucial if you don't want to expose your web site to hackers. If your web host cannot fix the DNS problems, you should use a new web host.

Note that a secure DNS server only makes sure that no-one hijacks your search engine rankings. To get high search engine rankings, you must make sure that search engines can parse your web pages and that you have many inbound links that tell search engines that your web site is important.

2. Search engine news of the week

62% of users click on first page results (PDF)

    "Key among the findings relating to the current search engine user community is that 62% of search engine users click on a search result within the first page of results, and a full 90% of search engine users click on a result within the first three page of search results."

    Editor's note: This reinforces the need for web site owners to make sure that their websites are ranking on the first three result pages.

Search queries gain in March, Google leads the way

"In March 2006, Google gained in search market share versus year ago for the eighth consecutive month and maintained its status as market leader with 42.7 percent of searches conducted on its sites. Yahoo! remained in second place with 28.0 percent, while MSN ranked third with 13.2 percent."

Average bid is $1.39 for keywords

    "In the first quarter of 2006, the average price that advertisers bid for keywords on search engines dropped three percent to $1.39 from $1.43 at the end of 2005."


Brand searchers finding competitors' sites

    "Fifteen percent of people who search for a company's brand name end up going to Web sites of the brand's competitors, affiliates or to price-comparison sites because those sites rank high in the results."

Search engine newslets

  • Google gets a patent for technology to let the human voice command Internet search engines.
  • Google releases Google Calendar.
  • Yahoo! releases search engine, FareChase, for travel.
  • Microsoft launches specialized search engine for academic searches.
  • Comparing the mapping services.
  • Google might be working on Google Travel.
  • Qwika is a search engine that searches wikis.
  • Strange official Google pages can be found here and here.
3. Articles of the week

We wish Google didn't exist

"If there's no search engine and you need a recipe or a pot, you visit cooking.com and they find you the best match on their site. And it goes beyond web companies. If there's no search engine and you need to buy coffee, you go to Starbucks.com, right? Leaders in every field had no reason to invent for search... it's not good for them."

Talking... Google poised to shake up copyright law

"When Google Inc. went public, it shook up the way Wall Street launched IPOs. Now, the search engine company appears poised to shake up U.S. copyright law."

This boring headline is written for Google

    "Journalists over the years have assumed they were writing their headlines and articles for two audiences — fickle readers and nitpicking editors. Today, there is a third important arbiter of their work: the software programs that scour the Web, analyzing and ranking online news articles on behalf of Internet search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN.

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4. Preview of the next ARELIS version - part 11

We're currently working on a new ARELIS version. The new ARELIS version will have many new features and many improvements.

We think that it will be the best and most complete link exchange, link popularity and off-site web promotion solution. In the next few weeks, we'll show a preview of some of the new ARELIS features in this newsletter.

Part 11: Get useful information about your link partners

The new ARELIS version will have an improved link partner list that allows you to quickly see the most important facts about your link partners:

You can quickly see the backlink texts, the IP address on which the other web site resides, PR and traffic rank, the number of links on the other page and much more information.

That allows you to quickly get an overview about the structure of your link partners. You can quickly sort the list by clicking on a column header and you can also use a variety of display filters and a search box to find special link partners.

Of course, the new ARELIS version will be a free update for registered ARELIS 4 users. A limited preview of the new ARELIS version has been released to selected users.

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5. Recommended resources

A spam-free links solution for professional webmasters

"IBP is the multi award winning web site promotion tool that helps you to get more revenue with high search engine rankings in Google, Yahoo and all other major search engines.

The suite of 10 professional website promotion tools includes a search engine submission tool, a search engine ranking checker, a top 10 optimizer and a keyword generator. IBP creates professional reports in PDF, HTML and Microsoft Word format."
Review on 8844download.com

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