Weekly SEO news: 18 May 2010

Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

The anchor text of the links that point to your website is very important when it comes to getting high rankings on Google. Unfortunately, Google might not use the anchor text of all the links that point to your website. In this article, you'll learn how to find these links.

In the news: Bing offers ranking tips, Bing and Yahoo have a combined market share of 30%, Google is going to offer encrypted search 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. Four reasons why Google might not use the anchor text in the links to your website

The text that is used in the links that point to your website has a major effect on the position of your website in Google's search results.

For example, if many people use the text "buy blue widgets" to link to your website, then it is very likely that the linked web page will get high rankings for the keyphrase "buy blue widgets" in Google's search results.

The link text (also called anchor text) is the text that is used in text links. Example:

<a href="http://www.example.com">this is the link text</a>

Unfortunately, not all anchor texts will be used by Google. Check the following things to make sure that the links to your website pass the correct anchor tag:

1. The nofollow attribute

This is a no-brainer. Links to your website that use the rel="nofollow" attribute don't pass the link text to Google. Example:

<a href="http://www.example.com" rel="nofollow">great keyword</a>

You can use IBP to find out if the websites that link to you use the nofollow attribute: start IBP, click the "Links" button and click "Check links".

2. Invalid characters in the URL

If an URL contains invalid extra characters then chances are that search engines won't be able to index the link correctly. Example:

<a href="http://www.example.com ">great keyword</a>

In this example, there's a space at the end of the URL. Some webmasters found out that anchor text is not passed to Google if the link contains an extra space character.

Note that most browsers are able to correct this link and they will display the web page correctly. Unfortunately, search engine spiders seem to have more difficulty with malformed links (or they take them as a signal of low quality).

3. The links use 301 redirects

Google's Matt Cutts recently confirmed that Google won't consider all anchor texts that are used in 301 redirected links. Example:

<a href="http://www.example.com/page.htm">great keyword</a>

The web server redirects "http://www.example.com/page.htm" to "http://www.example.com" with a 301 redirect. In that case, it's likely that Google won't use the link text.

4. The first link passes the link text

If a page links twice to the same page then Google will use the first link text and discard the other link texts. Example:

<a href="http://www.example.com">This</a> is an example. The link text <a href="http://www.example.com">great keyword</a> will be ignored by Google.

The first and the second link go to the same URL. In this example, Google will use the link text of the first link, which is "This". The link text of the second link will be ignored by Google.

If the second link points to another page of the linked website, then both link texts will be used by Google:

<a href="http://www.example.com/page1.htm">This</a> is an example. The link text <a href="http://www.example.com/page2.htm">great keyword</a> will be ignored by Google.

Links are the most important factor when it comes to getting top 10 rankings on Google and other major search engines. Details about how to get links to your website can be found in the IBP manual (starting at page 91).

Back to table of contents - Visit Axandra.com

2. Search engine news and articles of the week

BingBing: is your site ranking rank? Do a site review

"The content of each <title> tag should be unique and directly relevant to the content on the page. Same for the <meta> description tag. And while you're checking, look to see if these tags use some of the targeted keywords for their respective pages (if not, fix that).

Bots use the content in these tags to help define the contextual theme of the pages, and thus by definition, the words and phrases used in these tags to describe the pages are identified as keywords for assessing relevance to those pages."

Editor's note: a much easier way to check if your web pages can get high rankings on Bing, Google and other search engines is to use IBP's Top 10 Optimizer.

Google's search market share slips as Bing rivalry heats up

"The company's share of U.S. searches slipped to 64.4% percent in April, down from 65.1% in March, according to comScore. Meanwhile, Yahoo's share rose to 17.7%, up from 16.9%, while Microsoft Bing crept to 11.8%, up from 11.7%. [...]

The roll out of what analysts have taken to referring to as BingHoo is expected sometime later this year. If the launch of BingHoo came today, it would command a 30% market share."

10 things that make search a semantic search

"Are Google’s squared results coming from a real semantic backbone, or is it a good old entity extraction trick anyone, who is capable of copying and pasting lists, could do? [...]

A full capacity semantic search is more feasible in application to vertical topics, especially when embedded knowledge and concept coverage can be attained at a reasonable cost."

GoogleGoogle is going to offer encrypted search

"Earlier this year, we encrypted Gmail for all our users, and next week we will start offering an encrypted version of Google Search. For other services users can check that pages are encrypted by looking to see whether the URL begins with 'https', rather than just 'http'; browsers will generally show a lock icon when the connection is secure."

Search engine newslets

  • Webmasters discuss Google's Mayday update.
  • Google and Intel in web TV launch.
  • Google says it's shipping 65,000 Android phones daily.
  • Google proposes remedies in Italy antitrust case.
  • Google hiring 300 workers to pinpoint bugs in Google Maps.
  • Google Chrome OS coming along quickly, but not ready just yet.

Back to table of contents - Visit Axandra.com

3. Success stories

Lexi Clark"I have four domains which are among pages 1-4 on Google."

"I had my same domain and website for 9 years, and no traffic from it. I was frustrated with the pay-per-click campaigns. I learned about IPB from an email. I used it, and now after almost a year, I have four domains which are among pages 1-4 on Google.

I've closed about 5 real estate transactions without having to pay a referral fee to anyone. Thanks IBP."
Lexi Clark, Real Estate Broker, www.lexiclark.com

IBP is now available in version 11.7.4

Our popular website promotion tool IBP is now available in version 11.7.4. If you haven't done it yet, download the new version now.

Tell us how IBP helped your business and 250,000 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.



Back to table of contents - Visit Axandra.com

4. Previous articles

Back to table of contents - Visit Axandra.com