Weekly SEO news: 24 October 2006
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look at Google's Sandbox and TrustRank filters and how they influence the rankings of your web pages.

In the news: Google releases a new search service, click fraud continues to be an important topic 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. Google's SandBox and TrustRank filters and your web site

Google's Sandbox and Google's TrustRank are often discussed in webmaster forums. How do these factors influence your web site rankings on Google and what can you do to get out of the sandbox or to get a high TrustRank?

What are the Sandbox and Google's TrustRank?

The Sandbox and Google's TrustRank are part of Google's ranking filters. A very important factor for the ranking factors in Google is time.

The age of your web site influences your rankings as well as the age of the web sites that link to your web site. In addition, Google checks since when other web sites link to your site and how your inbound links grow over time, etc.

If you have a new domain name, then it's more difficult to get high rankings on Google. Google doesn't know your web site yet so it it doesn't know if it can trust your web site or not.

For that reason, new web sites usually have to deal with more filters than old web sites. It can happen that a new site gets great rankings and then it disappears from the rankings for some months. This phenomenon is called the sandbox effect. You can find further information about it in previous issues of this newsletter (1, 2).

The Sandbox and Trustrank are two sides of the same coin

The Sandbox and TrustRank are just names for a set of filters. The Sandbox effect basically means that new web sites disappear from the search results for some time after getting good rankings. It means that time filters have been applied to a web site.

A high TrustRank means that Google has learned to trust a web site. It is probably is several years old, reputable sites link to the web site and the web site has a good inbound link history and it hasn't used spam techniques in the past.

A web site that is in the Sandbox probably hasn't a high TrustRank. Inversely, a web site with a high TrustRank won't be put in the Sandbox.

What does this mean to your web site?

The older your web site is, the better. It seems that Google's filters tend to be stricter with new domain names so it's more difficult to get high rankings with new domain names.

New domains have to prove that they are trustworthy before they can get high rankings.

To show Google that your web site is trustworthy, get good inbound links to your web site and keep on working on inbound links. The longer other web sites link to your site and if new web sites begin to link to your site the more likely it is that you'll get high rankings.

You should optimize the links to your site. If the right web sites link to your site, you show Google that your web site can be trusted.

If you have an old domain name and many good inbound links, then you can improve your Google rankings by optimizing your web page content.

If you have a new domain name, you have to show Google that your web site can be trusted first. You can do this by getting the right links to your web site. Use ethical SEO techniques to promote your web site on search engines.

2. Search engine news of the week
Google releases custom search engine service

"Google has launched a new service designed to let Web site publishers build their own search engines using Google’s massive index of page links. [...] With Custom Search Engine, Google joins others that provide similar services, including Yahoo Inc. and Rollyo Inc."

Google gets ad edge on Yahoo

"Google announced on Thursday that it had almost doubled its net profits in the third quarter to $733-million and increased its revenue by 70 percent to $2.6-billion, of which 99 percent was online advertising. [...]

Yahoo!, however, announced a 38 percent fall in profits in the same quarter, at $158.5-million, and a rise of only 19 percent in revenue to $1.58-billion."

Click-fraud rate on Google, Yahoo down, report says

"The click-fraud rate among top-tier search sites like Google and Yahoo is dropping. It fell to 11.9 percent in the third quarter, compared with 12.8 percent in the previous quarter.

But at second-tier search providers, it rose to 23.2 percent from 20.3 percent."

Search engine newslets

  • WebFetch is a new meta search engine that looks more or less like DogPile.
  • AskVille is a new answer search engine by Amazon.
  • Search engine thrives in Carnegie Mellon's backyard.
  • Google releases a (beta) service that allows you to optimize your AdWords landing pages.
  • Take a look at the top Halloween searches on Yahoo.
  • Yahoo Japan reports 22% rise in quarterly profit.
  • Google now has a Polish blog.
  • Google buys SpaceShipOne.
  • Judge consolidates two class suits against Google.
  • YouTube shared user data with studio lawyers.
  • Google's authors guild suit drags on. And on. And on.
  • Google becomes a political player.
  • Google is not invincible: 5 reasons why.
3. Articles of the week

Three out of four CE buyers research on the web first

    "Seventy-seven percent of consumer electronics (CE) purchases were influenced by Internet research according to research done by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and Yahoo. [...] Of the total $32.5 billion spent on the CE products tracked in this study, online research influenced a striking 77 percent or $25.1 billion."

    Editor's note: This study shows how important it is to get high rankings on search engines.

Going broke on Google Adwords?

    "You've heard the stories. Click fraud has run rampant on Google, Yahoo, and MSN. This is evidenced by the numerous law suits that have been filed."


'Click fraud' threatens foundation of web ads
    "From her home surrounded by cornfields in Dow City, Iowa, Jackie Park spends hours each day on her computer, earning half a penny every time she clicks on an Internet advertisement.

    By the end of the day, she usually tallies a few hundred clicks, yielding about $300 a year. It's not much, but it adds up for the 35-year-old mother of five who became disabled three years ago."

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4. We're hiring

We're looking for a web application software developer (Python/PHP/Ajax/MySQL) and an employee for software translation and customer support (French).

Both jobs are located in our new offices in Montabaur, Germany. Telecommuting is not possible.

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5. Recommended resources

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6. Previous articles

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