Weekly SEO news: 6 January 2009
Welcome to the first issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter in 2009.

This week, we're helping you to get ready for 2009. Read our 5 step checklist to find out if your website succeeds in the new year.

In the news: Google's search results seem to have changed, MSN can now follow JavaScript links, Google has updated its toolbar PageRank numbers 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. Website checklist for 2009: is your website ready for the new year?

The new year 2009 might be a tough year for many businesses but if you do it correctly, it can be a very successful year for you.

2009 can be your year

Before you start with new things, you should make sure that your current website is up-to-date. The following checklist will help you:

Step 1: Check your company information

Does your about page draw a current picture of your company? If you have a staff listing on your website, is it up-to-date?

Check these pages as well as the copyright notice and the privacy police of your website to make sure that your web pages don't look outdated.

Step 2: Check your contact information

Does your website list your current phone and fax numbers? Are the mailing and email addresses listed on your website correct? You'll lose customers if your contact information is outdated.

You should also check the email addresses that you use on your website. Are help@yourdomain.com, info@yourdomain.com, order@yourdomain.com, etc. redirected to the correct recipient? Send test email messages to all addresses that are listed on your website.

Many businesses have so strong spam filters that many legit customer email messages don't reach them.

If you have contact forms on your website, make sure that they work and that they are easy to use. If someone doesn't enter a correct email address in your contact form, does the error message make sense?

Step 3: Check your auto-responders

Do you send automated confirmation messages when someone sends you an email message? Does your shopping cart send email messages after an order?

Check the text of your automated messages to make sure that it says what you want to say and that is contains current information.

Step 4: Check the links on your website

The older your website is and the more pages your website has, the more likely it is that it contains some broken links. For that reason, you should regularly check the links on your website.

You can find a free link checker in the free demo of IBP. Download the free IBP demo version and select the link checker under IBP > Tools > Broken Link Checker.

Step 5: Check if your web pages are ready for Google

If you want to get high rankings on Google, you must make sure that it's easy for Google to parse your web pages. Can Google easily find all of your web pages? Do you target the right keywords on your web pages? Are all elements of your web pages optimized for Google? You can check this with IBP's Top 10 Optimizer.

The economic times are tough but it also depends on you whether 2009 will be a successful year for your website or not. If you do the right things, chances are that your website will help you to get more customers this year.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

Google's search results have changed

Webmasters in several online forums noticed changes in Google's result pages. Many websites now have fewer Sitelinks in Google's search results. Websites that disable the back button in the browser seem to have better rankings now. Other webmasters have noticed that their websites lost several positions in Google search results.

Live SearchLive Search begins crawling JavaScript with MSNBot-Media

"[A member of an online forum] noticed that one of Live Search's bots was crawling through his JavaScript. The bot is named MSNBOT-MEDIA and he noticed that it was accessing JavaScript files and AJAX functions."

Google updates the PageRank displayed in Google's toolbar

"Google recently did a toolbar PageRank update. It’s pretty much done now. If you want more info, I've answered questions about PageRank and the Google Toolbar in the past."

GrabIs Google's culture grab unstoppable?

"As such a dominant player in the online world, Google will now occupy a unique gateway position that, if abused, could easily create a de facto monopoly. A situation where competition is removed from the market place by placing the keys in the hands of one company cannot, ultimately, be good for the consumer. This is a bridge too far."

Marissa Mayer on the future of Google

"We think it's really important to move beyond just keywords and allow people to ask questions, and maybe access things more easily from their mobile phone [...] We're also looking at how to weave new media into it and how we can bring books, videos and news right into the search experience. And then there are various pieces of personalisation."

Search engine newslets

  • How to install IBP on Linux.
  • Google in push to gain e-mail market share.
  • Building a bridge in Google Earth.
  • Microsoft Live Analytics SSL expired?
  • Google Euro logo.
  • Google Android netbooks on their way, likely by 2010.
  • Internet Explorer's share of the browser market fell below 70%.
  • Google not doing so well with the Chinese New Year.
  • China steps up internet censors' scrutiny.

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3. Success stories

Do you want to have top 10 rankings on Google?

High rankings on Google mean more website visitors, more customers and more sales. Watch the video for further information:

Watch the video

The Google ranking mystery is solved: get top 10 rankings on Google!

No need to speculate anymore. There is a proven solution.

IBP's Top 10 Optimizer decrypts Google's ranking algorithm and it tells you what exactly you have to do to get top 10 rankings on Google.

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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