Weekly SEO news: 2 November 2010
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

Blekko is a new search engine that started a public beta test some days ago after a development period of 2.5 years. It uses an interesting new approach to improve the quality of the search results.

In the news: Google Instant doesn't seem to have an impact on search behavior, Google releases Place Search, Bing uses on-page headings for search engine result titles and more.

Table of contents:

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Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Blekko: a new search engine with a new approach

Blekko is a new search engine that started a public beta test some days ago after a development period of 2.5 years.

Who are the people behind Blekko?

Blekko cofounder and CEO Rich Skrenta was one of the founders of the Open Directory Project and cofounder of Topix. Blekko has about $20 million venture capital from well-known angel and venture investors in Silicon Valley.


What makes Blekko different?

"Blekko is a better way to search the web by using slashtags. slashtags search only the sites you want and cut out the spam sites. Use friends, experts, community or your own slashtags to slash in what you want and slash out what you don't."

The slashtags are Blekko's refinement tools. You can use them to filter the results by certain criteria. For example, a search for "global warming /conservative" returns articles about global warming, but only from conservative websites.

Which slashtags does Blekko support?

Blekko supports a variety of preset slashtags. These slashtags enable you to filter the results by date, topic or content type.

You can also search certain websites by using a slashtag. For example, the search "iceland volcano /flickr" searches for images on flickr.com. The same is available for amazon.com, blogs and some other sites.

Users can also create their own slashtags. Users can limit searches to a certain set of websites and they can also cut out spam from the results.

In the long term, Blekko hopes to improve the quality of search results with user generated slashtags. This concept is similar to Wikipedia.

Is Blekko here to stay?

It's hard to tell whether Blekko will be a success or not. Other well backed startups such as Cuil failed. The slashtag concept is rather difficult to understand for the average web surfer.

Google has a very large market share and it is so powerful that Yahoo decided to go out of the market and let Microsoft continue with the search business.

Do you have to act?

Blekko follows an interesting new approach. However, the search engine has an extremely low market share at the moment and you probably won't receive many targeted visitors from them in the near future.

Until Blekko becomes a major player, it is better to concentrate your search engine optimization activities on Google and Bing/Yahoo. Search engine optimization is not about getting listed on as many search engines as possible for as many keywords as possible.

Search engine optimization is about getting high rankings on the right search engines for the right keywords that deliver paying customers to your website. Make sure that your website is listed for the right keywords on major search engines to get as many customers as possible.

Editor's note:

Just like Google and Bing, Blekko is already supported by IBP's Top 10 Optimizer and IBP's ranking checker. IBP is always up-to-date and it works with the latest ranking algorithms to keep your website at the top of the search engine result pages.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

Google InstantGoogle Instant is having no impact on searcher behavior

"It's been just over a month since Google Instant rolled out [...] A comparison of 880,000 visits from ten high traffic websites by search term length the week prior to Instant against the week after showed virtually no change in search traffic distribution. [...]

We analyzed 2.7 million visits over the 6 week period. [...]

By now, after looking at chart after chart of visitor metrics that appear nearly identical from one period to the next you are probably getting the sense that little has changed after Google rolled out Instant with much fanfare a little more than a month ago.

The traffic data suggests searchers are searching the same way they always have and, with a month of getting used to Instant already behind them there's nothing that indicates that will change any time soon."

Google releases Place Search

"We've clustered search results around specific locations so you can more easily make comparisons and decide where to go. [...]

Place Search results will begin appearing automatically on Google when we predict you're looking for local information. In addition, you'll find a new link for 'Places' in the left-hand panel of the search results page so you can switch to these results whenever you want. [...]

Place Search is rolling out now and will be available globally in more than 40 languages in the next few days."

Editor's note: Getting listed on Google Places becomes more important with this change. You can submit your website to Google Places with IBP's semi automatic submitter: IBP > Submission > Semi-automatic > Directories > Local Search > Google Places

Another Google algorithm update?

In an online discussion, Google's John Mueller commented on the recent ranking drop of a website:

"It looks like the changes you're seeing here may be from an algorithmic change. As part of our recent algorithmic changes (which the outside world sometimes refers to as the 'May Day update' because it happened primarily in May), our algorithms are assessing the site differently.

This is a ranking change, not any sort of manual spam penalty, and not due to any technical issues with regards to crawling or indexing your content. "

BingBing sometimes uses on page headings for result snippet titles

"The title is the most important part of your caption, because it's the first place that a user looks when they are scanning a set of results. It is also the 'blue link' that users click on to visit the result's target page. [...] Sources for the snippet title: <title> tag, <hx> tags."

Editor's note: some webmasters observed that Google also sometimes uses on-page headings for search result snippet titles.

Inside Google's anti-malware operation

"A Google malware researcher gave a rare peek inside the company's massive anti-malware and anti-phishing efforts at the SecTor conference here, and the data that the company has gathered shows that the attackers who make it their business to infect sites and exploit users are adapting their tactics very quickly and creatively to combat the efforts of Google and others."

Search engine newslets

  • Google's "Fetch as Googlebot" returns errors.
  • Twitter continues to test promoted tweets.
  • Google adds total number of links tab in webmaster tools.
  • Google's Halloween logo.
  • After a five month stay (and $750M), AdMob CEO Omar Hamoui leaves Google.
  • Larry and Sergey wanted Steve Jobs to be Google's first CEO.
  • Google's 2010 M&A bill: $1.6 billion and counting.
  • Why I quit Google to join Facebook: Lars Rasmussen.
  • Google Street View: chronology of a cock-up.

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3. Success stories

"We now have several page 1 entries in Google, Bing and Yahoo!"

"We have been using IBP since launching our site. It has proved to be successful for us. We now have several page 1 entries in Google and Yahoo.

In fact we have the number one slot on Yahoo for one of our main key phrases. We found all of the software very useful, particularly the ranking tools, the optimizing section and the submission pages.

We started out looking at our competition and seeing the comparison to our site through the optimizer with the top 10 report. This was able to show how much we differed from the sites above us and offered recommendations to improve our position.

Once we put as much as we could into practice, the results started to come. Now we keep an eye on our positions in the search engines using the ranking checker. It enables you to see your improvements and any downward movements. We can recommend this software."
Steve Sewell, www.PerfectFloridaVillas.com


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4. Previous articles

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