Weekly SEO news: 31 October 2006
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look at Google's -30 penalty. If your Google rankings have dropped, this penalty might have been applied to your web site.

In the news: According to a new study, search is most efficient at aquiring new customers, Yahoo might buy AOL or Yahoo might be purchased by Microsoft.

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 -30 penalty

Webmasters in online forums have discovered a new Google filter that Google uses to downrank web sites in its result pages. Has this filter been applied to your web site? How can you avoid that Google applies that filter to your site?

What is Google's -30 filter?

The -30 filter is a penalty that Google applies to web sites that use spammy SEO techniques. If Google applies the penalty to a web site, the rankings of that site are downgraded by 30 positions.

Many webmasters in online forums reported that they had top rankings on Google and now they cannot get beyond position 31 in Google. Some webmasters even have #31 rankings for all of their keywords on Google.

Why does Google apply the -30 filter to some web sites?

It seems that Google applies the -30 filter to web sites that use certain spamming techniques. It seems that the following techniques trigger the -30 filter on Google:

  • Guestbook spamming

    If you try to get inbound links by spamming guestbooks and blogs then Google might apply the filter to your web site.

  • JavaScript redirects

    JavaScript redirections might be misinterpreted as a spamming attempt. Better use 301 htaccess redirect if you must redirect URLs on your pages.

  • Doorway pages

    Google doesn't like doorway pages. If you must use special landing pages for PPC ads and other ads, make sure that these pages cannot be spidered by Google and other search engines. You can use robots.txt to do that.

What can you do if Google applies the -30 filter to your site?

First of all, you should remove the spam elements from your web site. If you use JavaScript redirects or doorway pages, remove them from your site.

The -30 filter seems to be an automated filter. If you remove the spam factors from your site then you'll probably get your rankings back after some time. You can also send a reinclusion request to Google.

If nothing helps, then the only way to get reincluded in Google is to get a new domain name.

Google doesn't like spammers. If you want lasting results then you should focus on ethical search engine optimization methods.

2. Search engine news of the week
Search still most efficient by far at acquiring customers, study says

"At an average cost per acquisition of $8.50, Internet search was shown to be more than twice as efficient as the next-best marketing channel in a study of five channels by Piper Jaffray & Co.[...]

Yellow Pages came in as the second-most efficient at $20 per customer acquisition, followed by online display ads, $50; e-mail, $60; and direct mail, $70."

Yahoo's dilemma: Deal or no deal?

"Fortune has learned from multiple sources that Yahoo recently approached Time Warner about buying America Online (AOL). [...]

A Yahoo purchase of youth-oriented Facebook for as much as $1 billion has been rumored for weeks. Semel could also sell his company."

It seems that Google tries another newspaper ad test

"We'd like to invite you to participate in a free test that Google is
performing with a limited group of our current advertisers.

As part of this test, we'll convert your existing (Market Segment Removed) related online ad to a print ad and place it in a newspaper."

Search engine newslets

3. Articles of the week

Microsoft should buy Yahoo

    "For Microsoft, a deal for Yahoo would reduce the pressure on it to increase the market share and profitability of its MSN business, the analyst noted. Microsoft’s year-to-year sales growth of 5 percent in Internet advertising was well below estimates for industry growth of 26 percent".

Build a better video ad - the Google way

    "Google AdSense's product management director answers the big questions about developing a strategy to reach specific consumers through targeted, multi-platform online video ads."


Whatever happened to YAHOO? A: It got Googled
    "For the last three quarters, Yahoo has reported a decline in earnings while Google’s have powered ahead. The unfolding drama is reflected in recent share performance."

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4. Recommended resources

"IBP and ARELIS raised the PageRank of our web site from PR2 to PR 5."

"We purchased the Axandra system in August 2006. Over the next 2 1/2 months, we applied the techniques offered through IBP and ARELIS and raised the page ranking of our web site from a PR2 to a PR5.

Thanks Axandra for such an easy-to-use and logical means of helping us to advance our mission by showing us how to steer more unique visitors to our website!"
Dr. Waln Brown, www.williamgladdenfoundation.org

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