Weekly SEO news: 26 September 2006
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look at Google's supplemental results and how you can find out how many of your pages are listed in these results.

In the news: malware can change the search results on your computer, information about the conversion rates of PPC vs. organic search results 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. How to get out of Google's supplemental results

Google uses two indexes for its search results. The normal index and the supplemental results index.

What are Google's supplemental results and what's the problem?

Google defines supplemental results as follows:

"A supplemental result is just like a regular web result, except that it's pulled from our supplemental index. We're able to place fewer restraints on sites that we crawl for this supplemental index than we do on sites that are crawled for our main index. For example, the number of parameters in a URL might exclude a site from being crawled for inclusion in our main index; however, it could still be crawled and added to our supplemental index.

If you're a webmaster, please note that the index in which a site is included is completely automated; there's no way to select or change the index in which a site appears. Please also be assured that the index in which a site is included doesn't affect its PageRank."

If your web pages are listed in the supplemental results then it is likely that your web pages could not be parsed correctly by Google's standard crawler.

The problem with Google's supplemental results are that they are only supplemental. If your web pages are listed in the supplemental results then they won't be returned very often for regular search queries.

How to find out if your web pages are in the supplemental results

An easy way to find out how many of your pages are listed in Google's supplemental results is to search for the following on Google.com:

site:www.domain.com ***

Search for that phrase and then proceed to the last result pages to find the supplemental results. Of course, you have to replace www.domain.com with your own domain name.

How to get out of Google's supplemental results

Most web sites have pages in Google's supplemental results. It means that Google had difficulty to index these pages or that Google had other problems with these pages.

  1. Make sure that your web pages don't contain any spam elements and that you don't use any spam techniques to promote your web site. Using spam techniques to promote your web site is often the reason why a web site doesn't get good rankings. Better focus on ethical search engine optimization methods.

  2. Make it easy for search engines to index your web pages. If possible don't use web page URLs that contain question marks or the & symbol. Make sure that the HTML code of your web pages offers what search engines need. Use IBP's Top 10 Optimizer to prepare your web pages.

  3. Make these pages easy to find for Google's web crawler. The more links point to your web pages, the more likely it is that search engine crawlers fill find your web pages. Use ARELIS to get good inbound links to your site.

Most web sites have pages in Google's supplemental results. The easier you make it Google to index your web pages the more pages of your site will be listed in Google's normal results.

2. Search engine news of the week

Malware alters Internet search results using a rootkit

"The first of these modifies the DNS settings on the compromised computer so that when a user clicks on results returned from search engines such as Google, a different page is displayed. This tactic is exploited by the creators of the program in order to profit from pay-per-click systems, or even to redirect users to pages designed to steal confidential data."

Report: Paid search not much better at turning shoppers to buyers

"Keywords bought on a pay-per-click basis at search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Microsoft MSN had a median conversion rate of 3.4 percent, compared with 3.13 percent for unpaid results to search queries [...] Both forms of search were far above the overall conversion rate of about 2 percent for most e-commerce sites. [...]

Most people don't understand that to get high conversion rates you need multiple touch points. It's not just one or the other."

Ask.com aims to increase search market share

"Ask.com Internet search service could grow its share of the market to 8 to 10 percent from a current level around 2 percent [...] Online advertising rates, which are often determined by the number of times users click on a Web ad, will increasingly move to a model of payment-per-action, where advertisers pay, for example, only when a Web user buys a product or signs onto a mailing list."

Google plugs phishing hole

"Google has acknowledged the presence of a phishing hole on its Public Service Search application and has blocked access to the service until the problem is fixed."

Search engine newslets

  • Google has the largest number of dead and old pages.
  • Microsoft offers new ways to advertise.
  • Google cross-site request forgery.
  • A Google page that lists all supported Google country extensions.
  • Suit filed against AOL; seeks to block search history storage.
  • First half 2006 Internet ad revenue figures.
  • About the Google News case in Belgium.
  • Marketing on Google: it’s not just text anymore.
  • Google plans upgrade for search engine in the fourth quarter.
3. Articles of the week

Chaos by design

    "The inside story of disorder, disarray, and uncertainty at Google. And why it's all part of the plan. (They hope.)"

The dark side of online advertising

    "Google and Yahoo say they filter out most questionable clicks and either don't charge for them or reimburse advertisers that have been wrongly billed. [...] That confidence may be slipping. A BusinessWeek investigation has revealed a thriving click-fraud underground populated by swarms of small-time players, making detection difficult."

Why Google loves the little guys

    "Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt could buy almost anything on the Internet, from eBay to Amazon.com. Maybe he will, but that's not the way to world domination."

Angry publishers stamp on Google's spiders

"The initiative, called Acap (Automated content access protocol), is intended to stop search engines aggregating content in breach of permission or copyright."

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4. Recommended resources

"I have obtained ten top 10 positions on 2 of the major search engines"

"I have re-written my websites after using IBP. And using the advice given by IBP have obtained 10 top ten positions on 2 of the major search engines within 3 months.

The Top 10 Optimizer is invaluable, priceless - this IS a must have for any internet business operator. You simply must have it to firstly obtain a top ten position and then keep it. ARELIS is an excellent piece of software that has saved me many hours/days/weeks of work."
Peter Curtis, www.holisticpages.co.uk

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