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Axandra news archive: 19 August 2008

Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look at when being first in the search results sometimes cannot be the right thing.

In the news: Google is testing new layouts for their search result pages and an outlook on what Google might be able to index in the future.

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. Being first in the search results is not always the right thing

The number one position on Google is something that most webmasters try to achive. Unfortunately, many webmasters don't take the time to find the best keywords for optimization. This can lead to problems with pay per click and with organic search engine optimization.

Suppose you sell ovens on your website. Many webmasters think that it would be a good idea to optimize the website for keywords such as "oven" or "furnace". It's not and we'll tell you why relying on the seemingly obvious keywords will cost you a lot of time and money.

You might lose money with every keyword

A new pay per click study shows that it is not profitable to have the first position for one to two words keywords. The most profitable positions in the paid results for short keywords were the fifth and the sixth position.

Keywords that consisted of three-words were profitable when the website was listed in the second or third position.

Why do people lose money when they bid for the first position?

One or two-word keywords are very general. That means that many companies think that their websites are relevant to these keywords. Many companies bid on the keyword and the keyword becomes very expensive.

expensive keywordsIn addition, general keywords don't attract targeted visitors. People who enter "oven" in a search engine might be looking for an oven manual, they might search for dutch oven recipes, for industrial ovens and many other different things.

They might not be interested in buying a new oven, even if you offer them on your website for really good prices.

That means that the keywords are expensive and the visitors that you get through these short keywords are not targeted. For that reason, it is very difficult to get a positive return on investment for these short keywords.

Keywords that consist of three or more keywords are much more targeted and they have less competition. For example, it is much better to have high rankings for keywords such as "buy an oven" or "smith oven model xp356" if you sell ovens.

People who whose multiple word keywords are in the compare or buying phase. They are more likely to purchase goods or services than those using fewer words (source: Oneupweb Research).

In addition, fewer people bid on multiple word keywords. For that reason, it makes sense to focus on these words.

How does this apply to organic search engine results?

While you don't have to pay for every click if your website is listed in the organic search results, it takes some time and work to get listed in the top 10 results.

The competition for general one or two-word keywords is much higher than the competition for specific keywords that will deliver targeted visitors to your website.

If you want to have a good return on investment, you should concentrate on multiple word keywords. These keywords deliver much better visitors and it is easier to get high rankings for them.

You will lose a lot of time and money if you optimize your web pages for the wrong keywords. Take some time to find the best keywords for your website and then optimize your pages for keywords that deliver targeted visitors and buyers.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

Google testing showing author information in search results?

Google seems to be testing showing author information in the search results. This might be a Google Scholar feature that was tested on searches this month.

Google testing showing blog results instead of Sitelinks?

"[...] screen shot, showing me that Google may have added some relevant blog posts, under the search result, as opposed to showing the typical Sitelinks."

GoogleGoogle SERP bias? Google knols best

"I noticed a few weeks ago that sites using Google Knol or Google pages were getting great positions in the Google SERPs [search engine result pages]. [...] But now the trick is out, and people are inundating Knol to grab greater positions in the SERPs than they could attain with normal means."

What Google might index in the future

"Google analyzes backlinks posted on web pages to calculate PageRank, which in turn influences the search results ranking of pages. But web pages aren't the only places to find URL pointers."

SearchThe evolution of SEO

"SEO has evolved into more than what it was 24 months ago. As Google slowly expands its ability to read Flash objects, as mobile search begins to pick up steam, as new search engines hit the ground running, SEO shows no signs of stunting its evolution."

Google privacy practices worse than ISP snooping, AT&T charges

"Online advertising networks -- particularly Google's -- are more dangerous than the fledgling plans and dreams of ISPs to install eavesdropping equipment inside their internet pipes to serve tailored ads to their customers, AT&T says."

Search engine newslets

  • Google fixes crawling problems with Blogger blogs.
  • Google News now available for Turkey and several African countries.
  • You can now use AdSense to place ads in your RSS feeds.
  • Google still search leader in customer satisfaction.
  • Yahoo drops syntax for composing more complex search queries.
  • Live Search offers local ads on Live Search maps.
  • GraphOn files patent suit against Google.
  • India's Supreme Court is suing Google, Yahoo and Microsoft for allowing certain ads.
  • Google faces defamation lawsuit in India.
  • What are the most important factors to Google Maps UK rankings?
  • How a search engine might handle singular and plural queries.
  • Wikia Search, Cuil trailing Google by a long shot.
  • Interview with Google chief executive Eric Schmidt.

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3. Success stories

"I thought yeah right... marketing hype."

Paul Boniface"Search engine optimisation was a black art to me, I knew nothing about it.

I read all the blurb about getting number one positions, and thought yeah right... marketing hype, maybe if I'm lucky I'll get page 2 or something...

Well, after a month of using IBP I do indeed have page one and some number one rankings for my chosen keywords. Some of my clients were so impressed, they have asked me to do the optimisation on their web sites too... and they are paying me... I never thought that would happen."
Paul Boniface,

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.

Is your website down? Does everything work as expected?

If your have a business website, every single minute will cost you money if your website is down.

Monitor your website and get notifications by email, instant messenger or SMS when your website is down.

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4. Previous articles

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