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

This week, we're showing you how you can optimize the listings of your website on Google Maps. Good listings on Google Maps can result in many website visitors.

In the news: Google makes clear that webmasters should not obsess about PageRank, Yahoo's paid inclusion program will be discontinued, search rankings for September 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. How to get your website above the regular results on Google - without paying for it

For many businesses, it is very important to be listed in Google Maps. If you offer a service or a product that is relevant to a special area, you might miss many visitors if your website is not listed in Google Maps.

Your website can be listed on page one, above the regular results

This summer, Google changed its algorithm so that the search results automatically include local results if relevant:

"We like to make search as easy as we can, so we've just finished the worldwide rollout of local search results on a map, which will now appear even when you don't type in a location. When you search on Google, we will guess where you are and show results near you."

These local results are often displayed above the first regular result on the result pages:

Google Maps Local

If your website is listed in the local results, it will be listed above the regular results on that page and people will also see the exact location of your business.

Quick access to your company information

If web surfers enter your company name in Google (for example "cafe habana, nyc") they will get your company information at the top of the search results, above all other results on the page:

Google Maps Local

As you can see, Google will also show user reviews about your business in the results.

How to get listed on Google Maps

You can submit your website to Google Maps through Google's Local Business Center. Login to your Google account and click "Add New Listing" to enter your company information.

How to optimize your Google Maps listing

There are several things that you can do to get a better listing on Google Maps or to make your listing stand out. You can enter your business information in Google Maps for free but to be listed at the top of the list, you have to optimize your entry.

  • Enter as much information as possible about your company. Include important keywords in your description. Also add information about opening hours, payment types, etc. Choose the best possible category for your website.

  • If possible, include images and videos to help your listing stand out. The more information you provide, the better.

  • If your business location is in the center of the town, it is more likely that it will appear at the top of the list.

  • Submit your website to other local directories. Google Maps compiles its local results by crawling and parsing data from other online directories and databases. A good position in online yellow pages can cause your listing to be placed higher on the list.

Tip: you can use IBP's directory submitter to submit your website to Google Maps as well as to many other directories and local search pages. Start IBP, click on "Submission > Semi-automatic" and choose "Directories > Local Search" in the list.

IBP's local search submitter

The more local directories list your website, the better.

  • Optimize your web pages for local content. Add your city and state name in your web page title. You can also use local meta tags to tell search engines the location of your website. IBP's website optimization editor can add regional meta tags and meta GEO tags to your web pages.

  • Get positive reviews. Encourage your website visitors to write positive reviews about your company on Google Maps. More stars can mean a higher position.

If you follow the tips above, your website will get a good listing in Google Maps. Do not spam Google and describe your business without exaggeration. Include your keywords in your company description but don't overdo it.

In addition to being listed in Google Maps, it is important to be listed in the regular results on Google. IBP's Top 10 Optimizer can help you to get your website on Google's first result page for the keywords of your choice.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

PageRankGoogle removes PageRank from its webmaster tools

Google's Susan Moskwa says: "We've been telling people for a long time that they shouldn't focus on PageRank so much; many site owners seem to think it's the most important metric for them to track, which is simply not true. [...]

We removed it because we felt it was silly to tell people not to think about it, but then to show them the data, implying that they should look at it."

For the time being, the PageRank will still be displayed in Google's toolbar.

Editor's note: If you want to find out which metrics are important to get high rankings on Google, analyze your website with IBP's Top 10 Optimizer.

Yahoo discontinues its paid inclusion program

"Yahoo's paid inclusion program Search Submit Pro (aka Yahoo SSP) is being discontinued effective December 31, 2009. Everyone has been wondering if Yahoo and Bing would keep Paid Inclusion (Search Submit Pro) up and running after the Yahoo/MSN deal. But it looks like now the verdict is in. Paid Inclusion and Yahoo SSP will be discontinued."

StatisticsSearch rankings for September 2009

"Google Sites led the U.S. core search market in September with 64.9 percent of the searches conducted, followed by Yahoo! Sites (18.8 percent), and Microsoft Sites (9.4 percent). Ask Network captured 3.9 percent of the search market, followed by AOL LLC with 3.0 percent."

Yahoo updates its SiteExplorer

"At the page level, you can now see your SearchMonkey object statistics. This means that if you've marked up your pages or provided us a feed that matches one of our existing SearchMonkey templates, your page will display all of the SearchMonkey objects we’ve indexed on that page. [...]

We’ve also included Yahoo! Search keyterms and Delicious bookmark information for this page. Site Explorer gives you a great way to explore all sorts of metadata about your pages, whether it comes from SearchMonkey, Delicious, or our term extraction code."

New York Times: real-life lessons in using Google AdWords

"It used to be that business owners often struggled to afford advertising for their products or services. Google AdWords has changed that by offering an inexpensive way to spread the word. But if you don’t do some careful planning, you can easily find yourself spending thousands of dollars with little to show for it."

Editor's note: if you want to avoid costly mistakes, this eBook can help you.

Search engine newslets

  • Google released their third quarter results.
  • Google blocking .gb.com domains?
  • The AAAA supports the Yahoo/Microsoft deal.
  • Why Google Suggest is better than Yahoo suggest (humor).

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3. Browser plugins for Keywordindex

Our free keyword suggestion tool has become very popular since its release. You can now access KeywordIndex through two new web browser plugins:

1. Access KeywordIndex.com from the search box of your web browser

The search plugin enables you to search KeywordIndex.com from the the search box of your web browser.

The search plugin works with Firefox, MS Internet Explorer and Google's Chrome browser. You can get it here.

2. Access KeywordIndex.com from Google's toolbar

The KeywordIndex plugin for your Google toolbar adds a small KeywordIndex "K" button next to the search box in Google's toolbar:

The plugin for Google's toolbar enables you to do two things:

  1. Enter a keyword in the search box in Google's toolbar and click the "K" button to get keyword suggestions and search numbers for that keyword.

  2. Mark any word on any given web page and click the "K" button in Google's toolbar to get keyword suggestions and search numbers for that keyword.

The KeywordIndex plugin for Google's toolbar works with Google's toolbar for Firefox and MS Internet Explorer. You can get it here.

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4. Success stories

Oliver Knittel"I'm happy to report that I am on Google's first page."

"I purchased the IBP software almost seven months ago and must say it's pretty amazing. I'm happy to report that I am on the first page of Google Germany for ten of my search terms. This of course has brought more traffic to my site and higher page rank. Thank you very much for your product."
Oliver Knittel, www.insure-it.de


220,000 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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5. Previous articles

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