Weekly SEO news: 24 July 2007
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look at possible ways how your competitors might sabotage your website.

In the news: Yahoo updates its algorithm, click fraud reaches 15.8% and much 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 your competitors can sabotage your website rankings

High rankings on search engines can help you to get a lot of customers. If your website has high rankings on Google for a good keyword then your website will get a lot of attention.

Your competitors also know that and and some of them might not use ethical business practices. There are some things that your competitors might do to sabotage your search engine rankings:

1. Your competitors might create spam under your name

All major search engines use links to calculate the ranking of web pages. It's not only the number of links that counts but also the quality.

Your competitor might add your website to several spam linking schemes to hurt your site.

In addition, your competitor might use your website URL for spamming in online forums, social network sites and blog comments. Although it's not you who is spamming the websites, it will be hard to prove that you're innocent and social network sites might ban your website (which will have a negative effect on the link structure of your site).

2. Your competitors might peach on you

Did you buy links on other websites to improve your search engine rankings? Google doesn't like that at all. If your competitor finds out that you use paid links he might tell Google and your rankings might drop.

The same can happen if you use any unethical SEO method on your website (hidden text, cloaking, etc.). If your competitor finds out and informs Google then it's likely that it will affect your search engine rankings.

3. Your competitor might send a copyright complaint

If a search engine has been notified about a copyright infringement on your website then the search engine must remove the page from its index for 10 days. If your competitor files a copyright complaint against you then your website can be temporarily removed from the search results.

4. Your competitor might create duplicate content

Search engines don't like duplicate content. If more than one web page has the same content then search engines will pick one page and drop the rest.

If your competitor creates duplicates of your web page content then these duplicates might get better rankings than your own site. Of course, this can cause legal problems for the person who duplicates the content (as all methods mentioned in this article).

You cannot avoid that unethical competitors spam other sites with your name but you can avoid being banned for using spam techniques on your web pages. Only use ethical search engine optimization methods to get high rankings on Google and other major search engines.

2. Search engine news of the week
Yahoo updates its ranking algorithm

"We've been rolling out some changes to our fresh web data and crawling, indexing and ranking algorithms over the last few days. We expect the update will be completed by the weekend. So, as you know, throughout this process you may see some changes in ranking as well as some shuffling of the pages in the index."

Is Yahoo selling out?

"By removing the tinted box and leaving out the words 'sponsored results', Yahoo is effectively selling the number one search result. [...] it appears that Yahoo has gone out of their way to seamlessly blend an advertisement with their search results."

Click fraud reaches 15.8% in Q2/2007

"The overall industry average click fraud rate was 15.8 percent for Q2 2007. This is an increase from 14.1 percent for the same quarter in 2006 and 14.8 percent for Q1 2007."

Search engine newslets

  • Ask Sponsored Listings and Microsoft deliver search advertising to small businesses
  • Google adds a message center to its webmaster central.
  • Google not always disclosing ads.
  • Google stops "Related Links" service.
  • Xinu is a new service for website stats.
  • Yahoo! to rival AdSense with Tyroo Ads.
  • Google streetview camera car fleet set to invade America.
  • Google security flaw allows sites to auto-subscribe new RSS readers.
  • Ask.com improves its Sitemaps protocol support.
  • Google expands print advertising program.
  • EU authorizes German online search-engine grant.
  • iRazoo is a new search engine.
3. Articles of the week
Google's cookie cut may not be enough for EU

"A member of an influential European Union privacy group has said it will meet to discuss whether Google has gone far enough in reducing the amount of time the Google cookie stays on computers."

15 things about how Google handles duplicate content

"Duplicate Content is one of the most perplexing problems in SEO. In this post I am going to outline 15 things about how Google handles duplicate content. This will include my leaning heavily on interviews with Vanessa Fox and Adam Lasnik."

When asked, Ask to stop data retention

"Ask.com became the first major search engine to promise users it won't store data on their queries, giving the privacy conscious the option of conducting research on the Internet in relative anonymity."

Related: Ask.com to give people unmatched privacy control, Microsoft calls for privacy rules

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4. Recommended resources

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"Search Engine Optimisation is a new concept within our business, but even in its infancy the growth generated from it has been noticeable.

IBP and ARELIS have been a key in my fight against the billions of websites which currently forming part of the net; and truth be told, chances are I would be working on a different part of the business if I hadn't come across this tool. It makes my day to day tasks a breeze.

Moneyfacts.co.uk now boasts a healthy, and rapidly growing, online presence. So competitors watch out!"
Marco Barra, Moneyfacts.co.uk - the money search engine

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