Weekly SEO news: 28 April 2009
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look at three easy steps that will help you to optimize the existing links to your website so that you can get higher rankings on Google.

In the news: More information about WolframAlpha, a new search concept that has received a lot of press, Ask becomes Germany's second biggest search engine, Google releases a Digg clone 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. Three easy steps to optimize your existing links

Link building is one of the hardest and one of the most important things that you have to do if you want to get high rankings on Google. As it takes so much time to get inbound links, it is very important to make sure that the links to your website contain the right keywords.

The basics about keywords in text links and link bombs

Google tries to find a relation between the words that are used to link to your site and the content of your website. If many websites link to your website with the word "tomatoes" then Google's algorithm will come to the conclusion that your website should be listed in the search results for the keyword "tomatoes".

The keywords in the links to a website have been so important for Google that people managed to get websites to the top of Google's search results for very obscure keywords. For example, some people started a scheme in which they asked their friends to link to the official website of George W. Bush with the keyword "miserable failure".

The result was that George W. Bush's website was #1 on Google for that keyword. In the meantime, Google has learned to deal with these so-called Google bombs and it's not as easy to manipulate the results with the links as it has been.

What you should do if your website has no links

When you try to get links from other websites, you should make sure that they help you to increase your rankings for your keywords. That means that you must make sure that the links to your website contain your keywords.

At the same time, you must make sure that the links to your site don't look like a Google bomb. You need links to your website that use keywords that are related to your site. If many websites link to you with a special keyword, that will increase your chances to be listed for that keyword. However, the keyword should be varied.

For example, if you want to be listed for "tomatoes", the other websites should link to your site with link texts such as "tomatoes", "delicious tomatoes", "great tomatoes", "tomatoes and other vegetables", etc.

In addition, the web page to which the links point should also contain content about tomatoes. If the linked page contains the same keywords as the link texts then it is less likely that the links are part of a Google bomb.

A good way to start link building is to contact the websites that link to your competitors. To find the websites that link to your competitors, select "Add sites > Find websites that link to your competitors" in IBP's link manager. IBP will find these websites for you and it will also help you to contact these sites.

What you should do if your website already has some links

If your website already has some links then you should make sure that the other websites link with the right link texts to your site. Do the following to optimize the links to your website:

  1. Select "Add sites > Find websites that already link to your site" in IBP's link manager. IBP will import all websites that link to your site and that have been indexed by search engines.

  2. IBP will show the text that the other websites use to link to your website in a clearly arranged list. (By the way, the list also contains other information such as Google PageRank, IP address, Alexa TrafficRank, number of outbound links on the page, total number of links on the page, etc.)

  3. If the other website links to you with a unrelated words such as "click here" or "more information" then use the built-in contact tools in IBP's link manager to quickly contact the webmaster of the other site and politely ask them to change the link text.

By optimizing your existing link texts, you'll greatly increase the chances to be listed for the keywords that are relevant to your website.

Optimizing the links to your website is not enough. You must also optimize the content of your web pages to show Google that your website is relevant to your keywords. The links that point to your website should confirm that your website is really relevant for the keywords for which you optimized your pages.

Analyze your website to find out if the content of your website matches the links that point to your site.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

[New search engine] WolframAlpha: our first impressions

"The hype around WolframAlpha, the next 'Google killer' from the makers of Mathematica, has been building over the last few weeks. Today, we were lucky enough to attend a one-hour web demo with Stephen Wolfram, and from what we've seen, it definitely looks like it can live up to the hype. [...]

WolframAlpha will be an amazing product, but it's quite different from Google and other search engines. Indeed, maybe it is actually wrong to call it a search engine at all."

Ask.com becomes Germany's search engine no.2 by arbitrage

"According to research firm Nielsen Netratings Ask.com has become the second search engine in Germany in the 1st Quarter of 2009. While Google with around 36 million unique users per month on average, reaches the top, Ask.com out competes it's competitors with 4.2 million users before rivals MSN (4 million unique users), Yahoo (2.5 million unique users) and AOL (1.7 million unique users)."

PhoneLive Search is only a phone call away

"You can call and search from any phone and ask for what you want just by saying it (no typing required). Who knew that the time you spend in the car could be so valuable?"

Google's new "What's Popular" feature aims to clone Digg

"Google's personalized home page, iGoogle, added a new feature that basically clones the core features of Digg and StumbleUpon by embedding them into a gadget that is easily accessible from right within the web desktop."

Search engine newslets

  • Navigating the web better on Ask.
  • Countdown to Kumo? Neowin reader spots 40 day clock.
  • For Yahoo, four reasons not to sell search to Microsoft.
  • Google fixes severe Chrome security hole.
  • Google Earth helps solve a plane crash mystery.
  • Google Maps: maps of the swine flu outbreak.
  • Google celebrates Samuel Morse‚Äôs birthday.

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3. Success stories

Robert Dees"Our website is bouncing between number 1 and 2 on Google."

"IBP is an amazing tool. I knew nothing at all about SEO until I downloaded IBP. I went through the IBP checklist and completed them one by one, then I used the top ten optimiser and waited.

I was floored! It didn't take months or weeks. My site went from unknown to page two. I continued to use it and now I have one position 1 on Google, 6 top 3, 6 top 10, and 8 top 20 positions on Google now for my keywords.

Needless to say my sites unique hits are way up and so are sales. Thank you IBP for your wonderful software."
Robert Dees, IBP customer

180,000 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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