Weekly SEO news: 14 August 2007
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look at the importance of being listed on the first search engine result page.

In the news: Google marks its own blog as spam and deletes it, rumors about Yahoo selling its search business, a Google PageRank discussion 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. The importance of a page 1 listing and how to get it

High search engine rankings are important if you want to get more customers and more sales. Is it important to be listed on the first result page or is it enough to be listed in the top 30 results?

If you want to get visitors, you must be listed in the top 30 results

A study about this topic was released last year:

"Key among the findings relating to the current search engine user community is that 62% of search engine users click on a search result within the first page of results, and a full 90% of search engine users click on a result within the first three pages of search results. [...]

Fewer search engine users are willing to click on results past the third page now (10%)."

It's time to act now

The study confirms the importance of being listed on the first result page. If your web site is not listed on the first result page, changes are that web surfers won't see your site.

Many webmasters still believe that they can get top 10 rankings just by submitting their websites to search engines.

This might have been true several years ago but now you have to do a little bit more to get high rankings.

How to get listed on the first three result pages on Google

  1. Start by choosing the right keywords. This is very important.

    It makes no sense to target general keywords such as "business" because you have no chance of getting the number 1 listing for such a keyword. In addition, general keywords usually don't convert to sales.

    The best keywords have little competition and a high conversion rate. Use this keyword analysis research tool to find these keywords.

  2. Create a content rich web site that can be optimized for many different keyword combinations.

    The more different web pages you have the more likely it is that search engines will list your web site on the first position for a keyword and that web surfers will find your web site relevant to their needs.

  3. Get inbound links to your web site. High search engine rankings are the result of optimized web page content and good inbound links. If you want to have rankings, your web site must have both.

Top 30 search engine rankings will bring your website more visitors and more sales if you target the right keywords. Detailed information on how to get top 10 rankings on major search engines can be found in our free SEO book.

2. Search engine news of the week
Google mistakes own blog for spam, deletes it

"Readers of Google Inc.'s Custom Search Blog were handed a bit of a surprise Tuesday when the Web site was temporarily removed from the blogosphere and hijacked by someone unaffiliated with the company.

The problem? Google had mistakenly identified its own blog as a spammer's site and handed it over to another person."

Upcoming change to the Google top ad placement formula

"Quality Score is the greatest determining factor in top ad placement, which means no one will ever be able to pay their way to the top.

We have, however, been working on an improvement to the top ad placement formula that will soon offer advertisers more control over achieving top placement while increasing the quality of our ad results for users."

Speculation on Yahoo's Search Plans Abounds

"A Web rumor of late has Yahoo selling off its search business, possibly even to its adversary Google.

It's not surprising that Yahoo would consider giving up on search, considering Google has the most market share in that ever-important category. Plus, over the years Yahoo has focused more and more on its media offerings, and has put much emphasis on developing its Panama ad management technology. Indeed, the company seems to be aiming to manage display ads for other publishers, and selling their inventory to national advertisers."

Search engine newslets

  • Search engines top best online brands report.
  • Yahoo launches its new traffic quality center.
  • Google is starting to act like your garden-variety monopoly, says Fortune's Brent Schlender.
  • How search engines rate on privacy.
  • Google video on online privacy.
  • Get ready for a new Live.com.
  • Why did Google Answers shut down?
  • 10-Q Watch: Yahoo’s acquisitions; Yang salary.
  • Yahoo paid $160K to lobbyist in 2007.
3. Articles of the week
How Effective is Google Personalized Search? 57% Say There's No Difference, or it's Worse!

"Just under half (48%) of respondents in this week's R/WW poll haven't noticed any difference in their Google search results. Only 12% have seen an improvement, but perhaps of more concern is that 9% say their search results have gotten worse!"

Google isn't always the best search choice

"The technology used to figure out what pages people want to see also helps companies calculate what products people might want to buy, and therefore what ads to display for them. Do you really want one company controlling that show?

Google should stop displaying toolbar PR (discussion)

"Enough is enough. Can't the folks in Mountain View see that this situation is nowhere near honorable or 'entertaining'?

Since it seems that up-to-date and accurate PageRank reporting is an extremely unlikely step for Google to take, I think the time has come for them to stop reporting ANY green fairy dust at all. Keep it as part of the secret sauce, sure, but stop teasing the public at large with funny numbers."

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4. Recommended resources

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