Weekly SEO news: 20 January 2009
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter in 2009.

This week, we're telling you why link building is like losing weight and how this will help you to get better rankings on Google.

In the news: the latest search engine statistics, Google tests preferred sites 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. Why link building is like losing weight

Link building is one of the most important things that you have to do if you want to get high rankings on Google and other major search engines. SEO blogger Gyutae Park recently compared link building with losing weight.

Indeed, there are many parallels. The following points illustrate why link building is like losing weight and how this can help you to get better results.

Fact 1: Link building takes hard work and there are no shortcuts

If you want to get high quality links, you have to invest time and effort. It's not possible to lose 25 pounds in one month and it's also not possible to be number 1 for a competitive search term in that time.

You have to work continually on your links and your web page content if you want to outperform your competitors on the search engines.

Fact 2: You have to be consistent

appleIt won't help your rankings much if you get many links at once and then stop building links. Search engines also consider how many websites link to your site over time.

Doing a 12 hour workout on a single day and then doing nothing won't help you to lose weight. It will probably be bad for your health. The same applies to links. If you get many links at once and then no links at all, search engines might think that you try to cheat them with a linking system.

If you want to lose weight, you have to be consistent. You might not see immediate results but there is a constant change and some day, you'll find that you're much thinner.

Link building works exactly like that. Do not try to game search engines by joining link systems or buying links. Get one link at a time, optimize your pages and the rankings of your website will improve steadily.

Fact 3: There are a lot of scammers

The SEO industry is full of scammers that promise easy and quick solutions. You should be very careful. If something sounds too good to be true then it's probably not true. There are no easy and quick solutions and there are no secret tricks that nobody else knows about.

The same applies to weight loss. There are lots of diet pills and miracle machines that promise easy and quick results. These methods don't work.

Fact 4: It's possible to trick the system but you won't get lasting results

There are a lot of diets and diet products that help you to quickly lose weight. Unfortunately, you only lose water weight with these diets and you'll get your old weight back soon.

Link building is similar. Every now and then, some webmasters find a loophole in Google's algorithm. These loopholes allow people to get on Google's first result page without doing the hard work.

This usually works for some weeks but then Google finds out and websites that exploited the loophole are penalized and removed from the index. It's very risky to use these methods to get high rankings because Google doesn't like spammers.

Fact 5: The result is worth it

People who lose weight usually feel more healthy and happier. Being number one on Google's result page for the right keyword can mean many more sales for your business.

All webmasters know what it takes to get better search engine rankings. You have to optimize your web pages and you have to get good inbound links. For some reason, most webmasters don't do it. Instead, they're trying desperately to find shortcuts and loopholes to get all the benefits without doing the work.

You have the choice: Don't fall for rip-off products that promise easy and quick results without much work. These products won't work and they often put your website at risk because Google considers them spamming.

If you really want to succeed, start now: optimize your web pages and get good inbound links. Our tool IBP will help you to do everything that is needed to get high rankings. IBP is not a magic tool and it doesn't offer any secret tricks but it will help you to do what needs to be done as efficiently as possible.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

comScore releases December 2008 U.S. search engine rankings

"Google Sites led the U.S. core search market in December with 63.5 percent of the searches conducted, unchanged from November, followed by Yahoo! Sites (20.5 percent), Microsoft Sites (8.3 percent), Ask Network (3.9 percent), and AOL LLC (3.8 percent)."

Ruin+Ruining the web: Google is responsible and capable

"As Google became the only search engine, it shaped the character of the web, and is responsible for that impact. By my view, Google is also capable of fixing many of the problems, by virtue of that same power. But it doesn't bother. And that's the problem."

Google tests "preferred sites"

"The preferred sites feature lets you set your Google Web Search preferences so that your search results match your unique tastes and needs. Fill in the sites you rely on the most, and results from your preferred sites will show up more often when they're relevant to your search query."

WaryIAA finds advertisers wary of Google

"Advertisers are still concerned about Google's size and market share, whether that was a naturally incubated fear or one inspired by Microsoft's lobbying: 65% said there is one dominant player in the online ad market and that there are 'limited choices and price options for online advertisers'; 85% said it's important a strong competitor to Google emerges in the online advertising market."

Search advertising runs into the recession

"U.S. search advertising spending fell 8% in the fourth quarter of 2008 from the same period in 2007 [...] Advertisers who spend less than $50,000 on search ads cut their spending by 23% year-over-year, while advertisers that spend more than $200,000 on search per month cut spending by 9% during that time. Purchases by advertisers who spend between $50,000 and $200,000 were relatively flat."

Search engine newslets

  • Is Google talking trash to the European Commission over Internet Explorer?
  • Why Google employees quit.
  • Microsoft CEO, Yahoo chairman meet in New York.
  • TweetNews is a new search engine that searches Twitter.
  • Google drops iGoogle page for iPhone.
  • Four ways Yahoo can right itself under new CEO Bartz.

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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

160,000 readers will see YOUR website

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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