Weekly SEO news: 16 February2010
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

All major search engines have special teams that try to eliminate web spam from their search result pages. Bing has just published an article about web spam. Is your website spam and are your rankings at risk?

In the news: New statistics about the number of searches in January, market shares and the average length of keywords, Google mixes paid and free results 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.Bing about web spam - Is your website considered spam?

The official Bing blog recently had a post about web spam. According to Bing's definition, web spam is "unwanted web content that uses overtly manipulative techniques in an effort to fraudulently attain undeservingly high ranking in search engines."

Why is web spam a problem?

Search engines want to return relevant websites on their result pages. If a web spam page is listed in the search results, it will lead the search engine user to a web page that is not related to the query.

How does Bing classify web spam?

Bing classifies spam based on two types of signals: page-level and link-level:

  1. Page-level spam is comprised of shady search engine optimization techniques that are used on-page. On-page spamming techniques include hidden text, keyword stuffing, doorway pages and cloaking.

  2. Link-level spam uses fraudulent linking strategies to improve the rankings of a website in the search engines. For example, this can be done by joining automated link exchange networks or by setting up many domains with automatically generated pages for the sole purpose of linking to each other.

For a page to be labeled as web spam by Bing, at least one of these techniques must be in use.

Does Bing penalize web pages with web spam?

The Bing engineers actively work to detect web spam. When thy find a website that uses spammy optimization techniques, they will penalize that website:

"We penalize those sites with actions commensurate with the egregiousness of their offenses, ranging from rank neutralization (intentionally lowering their organic page rank) to permanent expulsion from the index."

What does this mean for your website?

Although this blog post was written by Bing engineers, it is very likely that Google uses similar (if not more strict) methods to find web spam. If you don't want to risk the position of your website in the search results, you should only use ethical search engine optimization methods.

If you use spammy SEO methods, you might get high rankings on search engines quickly. Unfortunately, search engines usually detect all spamming methods sooner or later and they will completely remove your website from the search results as soon as they find out that you use these methods:

Spammy SEO methods

If you use ethical SEO methods, it will take longer until you get high search engine rankings. However, your rankings will grow steadily and you'll get a much better performance in the long run:

Ethical SEO methods

Do not use spammy SEO methods to increase your rankings. It will backfire on you. Use ethical search engine optimization methods to get lasting results.

If you want to find out how you have to change your web pages so that your website will be listed on the first result pages of Google and Bing for the keywords of your choice, analyze your website with IBP's Top 10 Optimizer now.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

StatisticsU.S. web searches top 10.2 billion in January

Google received 66.3% of all searches, Yahoo 14.5%, Microsoft/Bing 10.9%, AOL Search 2.5% and Ask.com 1.9%. The total number of searches in January 2010 was 10,272,099,000.

Searchers using longer queries in 2009

"The long tail is getting longer; 1- and 2-word queries are on the decline, while 4- and 5-word queries are rising. Even 3-word queries are down slightly, but not enough (in my opinion) to call it part of the trend just yet. [...] Four-word queries are up 12% since 2007, and five-word queries are up 16%."

Google Google AdWords now offers "bid ideas"

"We're adding more functionality to the Opportunities tab with the introduction of bid ideas. Bid ideas, based on bid simulator data, will help you raise or lower your bids on specific keywords to improve your AdWords ROI.

Whether you wish to decrease overall costs or increase traffic to your website, customized bid ideas can help you determine exactly which bids to adjust to make the most of your advertising budget."

Editor's note: You have to be careful with Google's tips that have an effect on your bids. Further information on how to optimize your AdWords ads can be found in the AdWords eBook.

The trouble with Google's Yellow Pages experiment

"Google has begun to mix organic search results with 'sponsored' search results. Prior to this, the results were separated. Sponsored links were always on the right, and the main search results were 'organic,' they were listed on how relevant they were to the query -- not because of payment."

DMOZ 2.0 rumored to launch at end of March

"There have been many reports and rumors about the forthcoming Open Directory Project overhaul, dubbed DMOZ 2.0. [...] This may lead to the development of additional tools that could help editors analyze websites and identify higher quality sites based on common non-dmoz data metrics."

Search engine newslets

  • The giant mess of mixing Gmail addresses with Google Buzz/profile names.
  • A new Buzz start-up experience based on your feedback.
  • Google acquires Aardvark.
  • Google tests a new Google News homepage.

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3. Success stories

Tell us how IBP helped your business and 230,000 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.

Click here to tell us your story.


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4. Previous articles

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