Weekly SEO news: 8 June 2010

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

If you want to get high rankings on Google and other search engines, you must do the right things to succeed. You have to work on many different factors to make sure that your website performs better than the sites of your competitors. This week's article helps you to check the five most important points.

In the news: long tail keywords still deliver more conversions, Google updates the toolbar PageRank, Flash is still a problem for Google 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. Five things you have to do to get high Google rankings

If you want to get high rankings on Google and other search engines, you must do the right things to succeed. You have to work on many different factors to make sure that your website performs better than the sites of your competitors.

High rankings on Google

Step 1: make your web pages accessible

Search engines must be able to access your web pages. If search engines cannot parse your web pages then they will ignore your site and you won't get good rankings. Check the following points to make sure that search engines can access your web pages.

  • Your web server must not return an error code when search engine spiders visit your web pages. If your server returns an error code, search engines won't index your site.

    Your web server should return a "200 OK" code to search engine spiders. You can check the status code that your web server returns to search engines with IBP's search engine spider simulator.

  • You should also check the HTML code of your web pages. While most HTML errors don't cause problems with search engines, some of them can prevent search engines from indexing your site.

    The fewer HTML errors your web pages have, the better. You can access a HTML validator in the "Tools" section in IBP.

  • The content of your web pages must make sense to search engines. Don't use images or Flash to present the main content of your web pages.

    To find out if your web page content contains all the elements that are needed to get a listing in Google's top 10 results, check your web pages with IBP's Top 10 Optimizer.

  • Your robots.txt file must allow search engines to index your web pages. If you accidentally blocked all bots or all directories of your website (this can happen with a simply typo in the robots.txt file), search engines won't list your website.

Step 2: use a meaningful site and information architecture

A good site architecture shows search engines that your website is more than just a collection of random web pages.

Use folders and logical linking to show search engines which pages of your website are related. Search engines should be able to find out that a group of web pages on your site is related to a certain topic.

Step 3: choose your keywords wisely

Choosing the right keywords is one of the most important steps that determines whether your SEO campaign is a success or not.

It's best to focus on longer keywords for search engine optimization. One word keywords are less likely to convert to a sale and they are also much more competitive. Details can be found here.

IBP's keyword tools help you to find the keywords that will work best with your site.

Step 4: work on your website content

Web sites that only offer articles and affiliate links that can be found on dozens of other web sites will have a hard time to get good search engine rankings.

Try to create unique and trustworthy content that separates your web site from the others.

Write about things you know. If you're an expert in a special field, write as much as possible about that field to make sure that your web site becomes the best resource for that topic.

Step 5: work on your backlinks

Without good backlinks, it is impossible to get high rankings on major search engines. The links that point to your website have a major impact on the position of your web pages in Google's search results.

Try to get as many links as possible from related web sites. The more targeted the link, the more it will help your search engine rankings.

Search engine optimization can be tricky because a small error in one element can destroy all of your other efforts.

Take a look at the checklists in our free search engine optimization eBook to find out how your web site can get top rankings on Google, Bing, Yahoo and other major search engines.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

LongtailUsing Google Analytics to prove the SEO long tail theory

"Anyway I want to know, 'Does a longer keyword actually give a better Conversion rate?' [...] I took 13 Analytics accounts who have either e-commerce tracking or goals set up and set out about exporting the data. [...]

From the data presented it does show clear support that the long tail theory in SEO still exists and it is still right to assume niche keywords will drive a higher conversion although they have a lower search volume."

Editor's note: use the keyword tools in IBP to find good long tail keywords.

Google PageRank update June 2010

Many webmasters reported a PageRank drop for their websites in several discussion groups. The PageRank of these sites was lowered to zero. Here's Google's official answer to PageRank related problems:

"Don't worry. In fact, don't bother thinking about it. We only update the PageRank displayed in Google Toolbar a few times a year; this is our respectful hint for you to worry less about PageRank, which is just one of over 200 signals that can affect how your site is crawled, indexed and ranked.

PageRank is an easy metric to focus on, but just because it's easy doesn't mean it's useful for you as a site owner."

Editor's note: the green bar and the number in Google's toolbar is not important. It's important to get high rankings for the right keywords. If you're interested in getting high rankings for the right keywords, make sure that your web pages contain the right elements.

FlashIt's not just Apple: Google hates Flash too

"Google, at the end of the day, also hates Flash. Running an all flash environment is SEO death. Flash websites are simply too complicated for Google's spiders to actually understand. Google sees the internet primarily in text - flash, and other scripts are ignored. [...]

Google has made no effort to improve its searching of flash. Two years ago Google and Adobe announced they were working together on the problem. Since then, nothing."

Google vs Bing vs Yahoo

"Google handles 71% of all search queries in the United States in May 2010, while Yahoo handles around 15% and Bing around 9%. [...]

The changes to search engines from Google and Microsoft are causing some consternation among users, who typically don't like changes to a service like search that they use so frequently. Some users complained that Google is looking more like Bing with the addition of a new navigation bar, while Bing is adding tabs to look more like Google."

Search engine newslets

  • Will using Google Analytics have a negative effect on my ranking? (video)
  • Google now shows your pictures on its home page.
  • Google Suggest now shows spelling suggestions.
  • Yahoo! World Cup schedule shortcuts.
  • Google Maps: updated Google Places management UI (LBC).
  • Australia launches privacy investigation of Google.
  • Bing encourages developers to submit Bing Maps apps.

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3. Success stories

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.



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4. Previous articles

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