Weekly SEO news: 26 August 2008
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look at five easy to make mistakes that will keep search engine robots away from your website.

In the news: Google Suggest is now on Google's main page, information about the top search providers in different countries 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. Five easy to make mistakes that keep search engine robots away from your website

Many webmasters don't get high rankings on Google and other search engines just because Google's indexing robot has difficulty to index their web pages.

Search engine robots are very simple software programs. If an indexing robot cannot find the content of your website immediately, it will skip your site and go to the next link in the list. For that reason, it is very important to make sure that search engine robots can index your web pages without problems.

Here are the top 5 elements that drive search engine robots away:

Reason 1: Your robots.txt file is damaged or it contains a typo

If search engine robots misinterpret your robots.txt file, they might completely ignore your web pages.

Double check your robots.txt file and make sure that you use the disallow parameter only for web pages that you really don't want to have indexed.

Reason 2: Your URLs contain too many variables

URLs with many variables can cause problems with search engine robots. If your URLs contain too many variables, search engine robots might ignore your pages.

Here's Google's official statement about web pages with many variables:

"Google indexes dynamically generated webpages, including .asp pages, .php pages, and pages with question marks in their URLs. However, these pages can cause problems for our crawler and may be ignored."

Reason 3: You use session IDs in your URLs

Many search engines don't index URLs that contain session IDs because they can lead to duplicate content problems. If possible, avoid session IDs in your URLs. Better use cookies to store session IDs.

Reason 4: Your web pages contain too much code

Of course, your web pages can contain JavaScript code, CSS code and other script code that is not directly related to your content. Visit your website with a web browser and select "View source" or "View HTML source".

If it is difficult for you to spot the actual content of your website then search engines might also have difficulty to parse your pages.

Reason 5: Your website navigation causes problems

Fancy JavaScript or DHTML menus cannot be parsed by most search engine robots. Flash or AJAX menus are even worse when it comes to website navigation.

As mentioned above, search engine robots are very simple programs. They can follow HTML links, all other links can cause problems.

Optimized web page content and good inbound links are crucial for high search engine rankings. However, the best content and the best links won't help you much if search engines cannot index your pages.

Make sure that search engine spiders can index your web pages without problems so that your web pages can get the rankings they deserve.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

Google SuggestGoogle Suggest is now available on Google homepage

"We find that by providing suggestions upfront, we can help people search more efficiently and conveniently. Below are some great ways Google Suggest can help simplify your searching."

Google sites ranks as top Indian search property

"Google Sites ranked as the top search property in India with more than 1 billion searches conducted in June, representing 81 percent of the market. Yahoo! Sites ranked second with 9.4 percent, followed by Ask Network (1.9 percent) and Microsoft Sites (1.7 percent)."

Google Quality Score update

The QualityScore is no longer keyword static, but rather will vary by user query, geotargeting, etc. The 'Inactive for search' distinction goes away. Every non-paused ad has the chance to be served, even if in practice low-QualityScore low-bid ads never will. The 'Minimum bid' metric has been replaced by a 'First page bid' metric.

Yahoo JapanWhy Yahoo Japan is worth nearly as much as Yahoo

"While Yahoo seems to be treading water in the US, Yahoo Japan is sitting on top of the Japanese web industry. [...] With 46 million monthly unique visitors, according to comScore, Yahoo Japan reaches 82 percent of all Internet users in the country. That compares to 26 million monthly uniques (or a 46 percent reach) for Google in Japan. (In the U.S., the two are neck and neck, with Yahoo drawing 138 million monthly uniques, and Google 133 million)."

Russians dent Google's world domination

"Russia is one of only four countries where the American search giant fares considerably worse than local services – alongside China, where the internet is controlled by the government, South Korea and the Czech Republic. To “Google it” may be the common way of searching in much of the world but in Russia Yandex holds 55% of the market compared with Google’s 21%."

Search engine newslets

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3. Success stories

"My sales are back up! Thank you IBP!"

"Before using your product I was receiving only about five (5) hits per day to my website.

I began to use IBP to find the best keywords for my page and to optimise my website, soon I was receiving over 250 hits per day. I kept using your product to optimize my site and last night I checked my site stats and I was in shock! I had over 1001 hits in only TWO hours.

I thought at first this must be a mistake, so I began checking to see how it was possible. I could see that 987 hits came from Yahoo and one single keyword search. So I believed some body must have came to my site over 900 times. My jaw dropped, they were all from different visitors.

One of my keywords hit the position one on page one of Yahoo for a very popular keyword phrase. I began dancing as hits kept coming all night long. So next I checked my sales, and again my jaw hit the floor.

Now I have made sales before from my site, one or two a week, but never had I seen sales like this! I went to my Google Adsense account and hurray!!! I have finally made it online. You have a customer for life. I have several other keywords on page one of Google, Live Search, MSN, and now a #1 on Yahoo.

Thank you so much for this great product. I highly recommend this product to any webmaster who wants his site to succeed. Cheers!"
Robert Dees, YourBargainMart.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.

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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