Weekly SEO news: 30 May 2006
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look at your domain name and the things Google knows about it.

In the news: a new keyword tool from MSN, new search engine statistics 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: What Google knows about your domain name

There's a lot of speculation about the information that Google has about domain names. Last year, Google became a domain name registrar but they haven't offered domain registration services in the meantime.

There must be another reason why Google decided to become a registrar. What does Google know about your domain name and what do they not know?

Why did Google become a domain registrar?

It seems that Google doesn't intent to buy or sell domain names. It's much more likely that Google wanted to have greater access to domain information.

As a registrar, Google has access to the APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) of other registrars. While Google doesn't have access to the customer records of VeriSign or other registrars, they can now easily query their WHOIS records.

What can Google do with that information?

Google probably wants to analyze domain names. By regularly checking the WHOIS information of a web site, Google can track the history of a domain name.

That allows Google to find relations between different domains names and changes in ownership. If a domain name has a new owner, Google might reconsider the value of the domain name in the ranking algorithm.

Some people buy old domain names to avoid the Google sandbox effect and to benefit from existing links. If Google can detect the ownership change of a domain name, it might become more difficult to benefit from old domain names.

What can Google not do?

Google cannot access the customer information of other registrars. They only have access to the same information that you get when you use a public WHOIS service.

That means that Google cannot access your data if you use the domain privacy services that some registrars offer. However, this could also lead to problems.

If you hide too much information about your domain name, your domain name could be flagged in Google's ranking algorithm and Google's trust in your domain name might be reduced.

It's difficult to tell what Google really does with the domain data. It's probably best not to try to cheat Google with domain purchases just for SEO purposes. Concentrate on your main web site and optimize the content of your pages to get high search engine rankings.

Building a web site with good content and good inbound links takes longer than buying an old domain name. However, you can be sure that this method won't trigger any domain spam filters.

2. Search engine news of the week

New MSN tool: detecting online commercial intention

    A new tool lets you check the URLs and search terms for "commercial intentions". Enter a search term or URL and get their Commercial Intention and the confidence score.

    This tool can be useful for keyword research because non-commercial keywords usually don't lead to results. The tool only works with MS Internet Explorer.

Google increases US web search market share to 43% (ComScore)

"In April 2006, web search company Google gained in search market share for the ninth consecutive month and maintained its status as market leader with 43.1 per cent of all US searches conducted on its sites, according to figures from internet research firm Comscore Networks. Internet company Yahoo remained in second place with 28 per cent, while MSN ranked third with 12.9 per cent."

Google Tops 50 Percent Mark In US Web Searches (Nielsen/Netratings)

    New stats out from NetRatings show Google now handles half the web searches in the United States. Yahoo has 22%, MSN 11%.


Start-up retrofits search for IM

    "Google is research. This is search. [...] You can enter up to 25 sites to search. Instead of (link-ranking formula) PageRank determining relevance, I decide."

Google holding closed beta

    "Google is holding a closed beta (probably to trusted testers) that helps people make purchases from 'high quality' merchants. [...] All we know is that Google registered "googlecheckout.net/org/info" — this doesn't necessarily mean anything. Google registers domains all the time, but they aren't obligated to do anything with them."

Search engine newslets

  • Weather report: Yahoo! search index update.
  • Google clicks with Aussie ad partner.
  • Google's 'Oogle' hunters bag another one.
  • Google to shut down Orkut communities.
  • Google cuts deal to put its desktop software on Dell PCs.
  • Google puts everywhere in NZ on map.
3. Articles of the week

Google aims to take over your TV screen

    "Google is planning a new ­version of its search engine – designed for TV screens – that the company’s co-founder and its chief executive believe will rival traditional broadcasting."

Online advertising spend forecast to outstrip national newspapers

"By the end of next year, internet advertising will close the gap on regional newspapers, the number two medium by spend, but will still be well short of tele-vision, the biggest outlet in the GBP12 billion (17.5 billion) a year UK media advertising market."

Yahoo-eBay tie-up smart but 'anti-climactic'

"Yahoo Inc. and eBay Inc. are doing the right thing with the partnership they announced Thursday, but the impression is that they are running scared."

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4. Test drive the new IBP and ARELIS version

We're currently developing the new generation of our web promotion tools ARELIS and IBP. You can be among the first to test the new generation.

The most complete search engine optimization tool

Both ARELIS and IBP have been integrated into one user interface. IBP and ARELIS are still two independent programs but it is now much easier to work with both programs on the same web site.

In addition, the new Top 10 Inbound Link Optimizer tool will help you to get better search engine rankings.

Thank you for your input!

Your input has helped us to add many improvements to the new version during the beta test. The new version is not 100% ready for the final release yet. The latest beta version is very stable but there might still be some problems.

Only if you're comfortable testing pre-release versions that are not intended for daily work, you should download the test version. We value your feedback on the preview version so that we can make the final release as powerful as possible.

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5. Recommended resources

"This is the best program I have ever got."

"I've been trying to find a link so I can tell You about your IBP8 program. It works! I am still shocked each time I optimize a page then find it on page 1. I can't believe how I much money I wasted on other SEO programs. It has also changed my business expenses. No more relying on expensive PPCs This is the best program I have ever got. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."
Marissa Keeghan, www.luckydipjewelry.com

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6. Previous articles

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