Weekly SEO news: 15 June 2010

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

Last week, Google officially announced that their new web indexing system "Caffeine" is live on all Google pages. What does this mean for your website and do you have to change anything on your pages?

In the news: the latest search engine statistics, Google users often use Yahoo and Ask as backup search engines, Google's John Mueller writes about bad links to your website 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. Google Caffeine is live: what you need to know

Last week, Google officially announced that their new web indexing system "Caffeine" is live on all Google pages. What does this mean for your website and do you have to change anything on your pages?

Google Caffeine

What is Google Caffeine?

Google Caffeine is the name for the new method that Google uses to index web pages. In contrast to Google's old method, Caffeine can index new web pages faster:

"Caffeine provides 50 percent fresher results for web searches than our last index, and it's the largest collection of web content we've offered. Whether it's a news story, a blog or a forum post, you can now find links to relevant content much sooner after it is published than was possible ever before."

Google changed they way in which they index the web because they want to show new pages more quickly in the search results.

What is the difference between the old system and Google Caffeine?

Google's previous system updated the search index in batches.

"Our old index had several layers, some of which were refreshed at a faster rate than others; the main layer would update every couple of weeks.

To refresh a layer of the old index, we would analyze the entire web, which meant there was a significant delay between when we found a page and made it available to you."

With Google Caffeine, Google's search index is updated continually:

"With Caffeine, we analyze the web in small portions and update our search index on a continuous basis, globally. As we find new pages, or new information on existing pages, we can add these straight to the index."

That means that new pages will be displayed in Google's search results sooner if they are relevant to the search query.

What do you have to change on your web pages?

Caffeine is not a ranking algorithm update. It does not change the way Google ranks web pages. Caffeine just means that new pages will be shown much quicker on Google's result pages.

To get your own website on Google's first result page, analyze the web pages that currently have top 10 rankings on Google. The pages that now have a top 10 ranking on Google have done everything right to please Google's latest ranking algorithm.

Analyze the top ranked pages and check how and where they use their keywords. Also check which web pages link to the top ranked pages and how they link to the top ranked pages.

Doing this is a lot of work if you do it manually. For that reason, we developed the Top 10 Optimizer. The Top 10 Optimizer automatically analyzes the web pages that currently have high rankings for your keywords and it compares them to your own website.

You will also get detailed instructions on how to change the content of your web pages and the links to your site so that your site will be listed in Google's top 10 results.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

StatisticsThe latest search engine statistics

"Google Sites led the U.S. core search market in May with 63.7 percent of the searches conducted, followed by Yahoo! Sites (up 0.6 percentage points to 18.3 percent), and Microsoft Sites (up 0.3 percentage points to 12.1 percent). [...]

Americans conducted 15.9 billion searches in May, up 3 percent from April. Google Sites accounted for 10.2 billion searches (up 2 percent), followed by Yahoo! Sites with 2.9 billion (up 6 percent), Microsoft Sites with 1.9 billion (up 6 percent), Ask Network with 577 million and AOL LLC with 361 million."

Googlers' backup plan – Ask.com?

"When Google users can’t find what they’re looking for on their favorite search engine, where do they go as a fallback plan? According to a new study by online ad network Chitika, they overwhelmingly shift to Yahoo! and Ask.com. [...]

Of second-search users coming from Google, 49.5% ran their second search on Yahoo!, 30.29% on Ask, 16.4% on Microsoft’s Bing, and just 3.8% on AOL."

John MuellerGoogle's John Mueller about bad links to your website

"In general, bad links like that to your site will not affect your site's crawling, indexing or ranking in Google's search results.

Looking at those particular URLs, it seems -- at least for the ones that I checked which were still live -- that your site's URL is only used as text on those pages, the actual links are pointing to other pages.

It's fairly common for spammers to use random text that they found on the web, so I wouldn't worry about this. That said, if you should find actual links pointing to pages on your own site, then I would double-check to make sure that your site is not hacked.

It's sadly also common for spammers to link to hacked pages.. but if you are certain that your pages are ok (if the cached version of those pages is correct, that's usually a good sign), I would not worry about that."

Editor's note: in short, this means that bad links pointing to your website won't hurt your rankings. If you find a spammy website that links to your site, you should make sure that your website hasn't been hacked because spammers often link to hacked sites.

Was the Google Mayday update a complete failure then?

"So, did the Mayday update actually accomplish filtering out this 'low quality' content from the search results? I went back and checked some of Jason Calacanis' spam pages on Mahalo that I had blogged about in the past. Unsurprisingly enough, most of the pages I checked were still ranking just fine in Google."

Search engine newslets

  • Discussion: was there another Google algorithm update on June, 2nd?
  • Google AdWords allows some advertisers to analyze competing ads.
  • Google improves answering questions on mobile browsers.
  • Twitter is down.
  • Yahoo monetizes its log-in page.
  • Google: for three years we may have collected personal data from Street View cars.

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3. Success stories

"I recommend IBP to anyone who wants to have a successful Internet presence."

"I used the suggestions in IBP for my website, and it helped me obtain a number 1 position in Yahoo for my main keywords.

My visits have improved from an average of about 15 per day to almost 200 per day, and my AdSense earnings have gone up accordingly. I recommend IBP to anyone who wants to have a successful Internet presence."
Marco, www.argentina-empresas.com

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4. Previous articles

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