Weekly SEO news: 11 November 2008
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look at an official Google statement about the effects of links from your site to other websites.

In the news: Links from .edu or .gov domains have no special value, search engines (and webmasters) might benefit from the economic crisis, Microsoft won't make Yahoo another offer 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. Official Google statement: the effects of outbound links on your website

Last month, Google published an official statement about linking out to other websites. Some webmasters still think that linking to other websites might have a negative effect on their Google rankings. That is not the case.


Links to other websites can have a positive effect on your website if you link to the right websites. Here's a summary of Google's statements:

The good side of outbound links

Relevant links to other websites can help your website visitors. For example, you could provide your readers in-depth information about similar topics or you could offer your readers your commentary on existing resources.

Outbound links can also help your credibility. Links to the right websites show that you have done your research and that you have expertise in the subject manner. Good links to other websites can make visitors want to come back for more analysis on future topics.

A very positive effect on links to other websites is that they help you to build relationships with other domain experts. If you send visitors to another website then that website might send visitors to your website in return.

The bad side of outbound links

Links to other websites can have a negative effect on your website if you don't monitor to which websites you link. According to Google, unmonitored (especially user-generated) links and undisclosed paid advertising outbound links can reduce your website's credibility.

If your website allows user comments or other user created contents, then you should make sure that these comments are moderated and/or you should add the rel="nofollow" attribute to user generated links.

Google doesn't like paid links. If you accept money for outbound links, you should also add the rel="nofollow" attribute to the link.

Google recommends not to have more than 100 links per web page. Too many links on one page confuse your website visitors.

Should you worry about the PageRank of the linked website?

Google makes it very clear that you shouldn't worry about the PageRank of a website as long as you are linking to a website you believe your website visitors will enjoy.

It doesn't matter if the linked website has a lower PageRank than your website as long as the website is somehow related to your site. According to Google, webmasters should consider outbound links as a common sense way to provide more value to their users, not as a complicated formula.

If you link to good websites, outbound links will have a positive effect on your site. IBP's link builder helps you to find good related websites, it helps you to build relationships with other websites and it also helps you to increase the number of inbound links to your website.

Further information about link building, how to get good inbound links and how to avoid common mistakes can be found in our free SEO book.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

Links from .edu and .gov domains have no special value

Many webmasters and marketers think that a website will get a ranking boost on Google if it has links from .edu or .gov domains. Google's Matt Cutts and Google's John Mueller recently said that this wasn't so:

"This is a common misconception - you don't get any PageRank boost from having an .edu link or .gov link automatically. If you get an .edu link and no one is linking to that .edu page, you're not going to get any PageRank at all because that .edu page doesn't have any PageRank. [...] We generally treat all links the same - be it from .gov or .edu or .info sites."

InterfaceGoogle tries to improve search quality with an improved user interface

"The role of 'user experience' research is to try and get the inside story on what people do when they search. We're constantly asking: What's the user's experience of search? What works and doesn't work for them? What are they looking for? What DO they want?"

Search won't fall off cliff as online ads slow

"Although the slowdown threatening to drag out two quarters or more has hit the online ad industry, search could remain the bright spot in an otherwise dismal scenario. [...]

Economic hardships have led consumers to use search engines more as they evaluate shopping options and compare prices."

GreenBallmer rules out new bid for Yahoo.

"Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said Friday that Microsoft is 'not interested' in making a new offer for Internet company Yahoo, despite Yahoo's share price currently sitting at less than half what Microsoft initially offered. [...]

'Look, we made an offer, we made another offer. It was clear that Yahoo didn't want to sell the business to us, and we moved on.'"

Google at 10: searching its own soul

"As Google recently turned 10 years old, some analysts and investors began to say the company was suffering from early signs of maturity. Google’s growth rate, while still brisk, has slowed significantly and is expected to slow more because of the economic slowdown."

Search engine newslets

  • Microsoft tries to steal Verizon deal from Google.
  • Google improves its AdSense ad filter.
  • Google CEO on Obama tech czar job: No thanks.
  • Google and Microsoft executives trade jabs.
  • Hitwise ranks election traffic to news sites.
  • Russian company to sue Google for $3 billion for contextual ads technology.
  • Google's China market share to grow in 2009.
  • Microsoft in web search deal with Sun.

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3. Success stories

"This only took us approximately 3 months."

Gill Fisher"I began working in SEO in 1998 with one of the first Internet hosting and marketing companies. Working with Ken Stubbs, the first President of ICCAN, and Glenn Davis of www.openvision.com I was responsible for SEO for large US companies like Wilson Sporting Goods, Fortune Brands, and others.

Our group was at the cutting edge of SEO at the time and still is today. Today I own www.1contemporary.com, an online and store based import/export dealer of high-end modern designer European Italian furniture. 1 Contemporary Furniture is the 3rd oldest website under the keyword 'contemporary furniture, Italian furniture, designer furniture, and european furniture. We ship to 50 states and around the world over 40 of the most renowned names in the industry world-wide.

For the past 7 years www.1contemporary.com has been at the top on the first page of our keywords and we remain so today thanks to IBusinessPromoter."
Gill Fisher, President, 1 Contemporary Furniture

Get your website in front of more than 160,000 readers

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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4. Previous articles

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