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Weekly SEO news: 14 November 2006
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look at the statements of a Google official about bad neighborhood links.

In the news: Google's Matt Cutts comments on shared hosting and dedicated IP addresses, the Google AdWords update annoys advertisers and more. A beta version of the next IBP & ARELIS version is available.

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. The effect of bad neighborhood links on your web site rankings

Linking to other web sites can hurt your rankings if you link to the wrong web sites. Links to web spammers or "bad neighborhoods" on the web can have a negative effect on your rankings on Google and other search engines.

A Google official has recently commented on bad neighborhood links and how they affect your web site rankings on Google.

What are bad neighborhood links?

It seems that Google doesn't like the following type of web sites:

  • free for all links pages (FFA)
  • link farms (automated linking schemes with lots of unrelated links)
  • known web spammers

Linking to that type of site can have a negative effect on your Google rankings.

Is there an official Google statement about bad neighborhood links?

In a discussion in a webmaster forum, Google's Adam Lasnik has recently clarified what Google looks for in regards to bad neighborhood penalties:

  1. There is no relation between outbound links and Google's supplemental index.

    "It’s unlikely that your outbound linking is causing your pages to be listed in the supplemental, rather than main index."

  2. Google looks for bad neighborhood linking patterns

    "Also, be assured that we’re not looking to penalize folks for a 'bad' link here and there. Rather, our algorithms are tuned to look for patterns of 'egregious' linking behavior… both on individual sites and in the aggregate."

  3. You should check the links on your web site

    "It's certainly in your users' interest that you regularly audit outgoing links on your site (especially prominent ones) to ensure that you're not losing folks' trust by sending them to inappropriate places or 404 pages.

    Sure, it's great to keep Google happy, but it's usually more important (long term) to have your users be return visitors."

What does this mean to your web site?

Google looks for linking patterns. That means that it probably won't hurt your site if you link to a bad web site by mistake. Use a tool like ARELIS to find good related web sites with which you can exchange links.

Many links to 404 error pages might cause ranking problems. For that reason, it's a good idea to check the links on your web site every now and then.

2. Search engine news of the week
Myth busting: virtual hosts vs dedicated IP adresses

"They were commenting on the misconception that having multiple sites hosted on the same IP address will in some way affect the PageRanks of those sites.

There is no PageRank difference whatsoever between these two cases (virtual hosting vs. a dedicated IP). [...] Links to virtually hosted domains are treated the same as links to domains on dedicated IP addresses."

Lycos seeks rebirth as "virtual living room"

"Having missed much of the explosive growth of its rivals Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc., Lycos, now part of the second largest Korean Internet portal Daum Communications Corp. will launch a high-speed Internet video channel this week and let viewers watch movies simultaneously across the Internet and discuss them."

Google's Schmidt grilled at conference

"Eric Schmidt, chief executive officer of Google, sat in the hot seat at the keynote session for the Web 2.0 Summit on Tuesday. He was asked to explain moves such as the YouTube acquisition, the company's employment strategy, and their 'office suite,' which he does not like to call an office suite."

Search engine newslets

3. Articles of the week
Google: Screwing advertisers over before Christmas?

Behavioural ads on the rise

"Termed ‘behavioural advertisement’, the exercise helps advertisers roughly know the proportion of users – based on particular keyword searches – who are interested in certain market segments, as well as the demographic breakdown of these users."

A struggle over dominance and definition
    "Google: mate or menace? That is the burning question of the week — heck, probably of the year — for ye olde media companies."

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4. Recommended resources

IBP & ARELIS 9.5 beta test

We're working on a new version of ARELIS and IBP. You can be among the first to test the new version.

The new version has much improved keyword management and keyword suggestion tools, as well as several minor improvements. All known bugs have been fixed in the new version.

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.

The new version will be a free update for registered users of the current versions.


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