Weekly SEO news: 22 April 2008
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look at a search engine patent that discusses the age of websites. The age of your and other people's websites can have an effect on your search engine rankings.

In the news: new search engine statistics, Yahoo updates its ranking algorithm, Google likes to work with Yahoo 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. How the age of your and other people's websites affects your rankings

High rankings on all major search engines are influenced by the number of web pages that link to a web page and by the quality of the web pages that link to a page.

Links from popular and trusted web pages have a bigger impact on the search engine rankings of a web page than links from less popular and trusted pages.

A new patent application with the name "Ranking Domains Using Domain Maturity" indicates that there is another factor that helps search engines to determine the quality of a web page.

How the new method can be used to detect high quality links

Here's the abstract of the new patent application:

"Ranking domains for search engines is provided herein. To rank a domain, contributing domains associated with the domain are identified. Additionally, the maturity of each of the contributing domains is determined.

A rank for the domain is then determined based at least in part on the maturity of each of the contributing domains. The domain rankings may then be used to order results for search queries."

The patent applications indicates that newer domains are more likely to be spam or part of a link system that tries to game search engine algorithms.

Web pages that have links from older domains may be ranked higher than other domains in the search results.

Why do search engines think that new domains are likely to be spam?

Domain names are cheap and some domain name registrars even offer free domain registration and trial periods.

Spammers can easily take advantage of these offers to build a network of websites that link to each other (a so-called link farm).

The new patent describes how search engines can use the age of websites to specify the value of their links. For example, links from websites that are several years old could have a high effect on the search engine positions of the ranked sites while links from newly created websites might not have any effect at all.

The age of the websites that link to a web page is not the only factor that influences the position of your website in the search result pages.

Actually, that are several dozen factors that decide whether your website will get top positions on Google or not. Having them all in place makes the difference between a successful website and a website that no one visits.

Analyze your website now

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2. Search engine news of the week
Nielsen: March U.S. search share rankings (PDF)

Google has a share of 58.7%, Yahoo holds 18.1%, Microsoft 12.0%, AOL 4.1% and Ask 2.4%.

Compete March search market share

"Google market share declined 0.6ppts despite 5% volume growth… the first decline in nine months. Yahoo! continued the slide with market share dropping another point to a new record low and was the only engine with year-over-year share losses"

Yahoo updates its ranking algorithm

"Over the next few days, we'll be rolling out some changes to our crawling, indexing and ranking algorithms. While we expect the update will be completed soon, as you know, throughout this process you may see some ranking changes and page shuffling in the index."

Search engine newslets

  • Google named top global brand.
  • Google News adds a new quotes search feature.
  • Google - about to overtake ITV.
  • Microsoft buys travel search site.
  • Google announces first quarter 2008 results.
  • Google plans to hire 200 in China this year.

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3. Articles of the week

Google CEO says "Nice to be working with Yahoo"

"[Google CEO] Schimdt had nothing but kind words to say about Yahoo -- Google's erstwhile rival recently turned potential business partner -- during a conference call with investors following the company's first-quarter results."

Google isn't the only one

"Recession? What recession? That was the attitude of many online advertising executives at the Ad:Tech conference in San Francisco last week."

China vaults past USA in Internet users

"China, already the world leader in cellphone use, has surpassed the USA as the No. 1 nation in Internet users. [...] The percentage of American users — 71% — still exceeds China's 17%. China has 1.3 billion people, compared with nearly 304 million in the USA."

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4. Success stories

"My website now ranks number 1 on Google. "

Dan Clay"I'd just like to thank IBP for making SEO so easy. When I set up my website I didn't have a clue about keywords or Meta tags - it was a foreign language to me.

5 months on my website now ranks number 1 on Google and Yahoo for my most important keyword and ranks in the top 10 page results for dozens more.

I would definitely recommend IBP to any one looking to increase their search engine traffic. IBP has added thousands of dollars to my income in just a few short months and I'm just getting started - not a bad return on investment if you ask me!"
Dan Clay, www.PersonalTrainerSydney.com

Share your success story with us

Let us know how IBP has helped you to improve your website and we might publish your success story with a link to your website in this newsletter. The more detailed your story is, the better.

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6. Previous articles

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