Weekly SEO news: 28 December 2010
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

We wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a great year 2011! May you enjoy peace, love, and happiness among friends and family.

Instead of our regular article, this weeks issue contains an easy holiday jigsaw puzzle that you can solve online. Have fun!

In the news: Google's John Mueller talks about multi-language websites and pages for mobile phones, Google might call you to sell you ads, Google censors unexpected words in discussions 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. Christmas puzzle

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

John MuellerHow Google treats multi-language websites

"In general, having duplicate content across different country-versions of your site (assuming the geo-targeting settings are used) is not a problem.

However, it will still be duplicate content in the sense that the 'value' of the content is split across multiple URLs, making each URL on its own potentially appear less relevant than the relevance of all of these URLs together.

One way you could avoid this problem would be to choose one 'preferred' version of your content, and use the rel=canonical link element to notify search engines of your preference.

This would generally result in only that preferred URL being indexed, while still letting users use your sites naturally (without redirects)."

Related: Google recommends one language per page.

Ring, ring. Hi, it's Google

"Google Inc., which helped popularize the idea of automated ad sales on the Web, has been quietly turning to an old-fashioned tool—phone calls—to compete in the hot market for local business advertising.

The Internet-search giant this year has hired several hundred sales representatives to call U.S. businesses such as spas, restaurants and hotels to promote new advertising initiatives, people familiar with the matter said. The effort includes an office in Tempe, Ariz., with around 100 sales representatives."

NORADDashing through the snow... with NORAD and Google

"[We] follow Santa as he journeys around the world delivering presents to children in more than 200 countries and territories. There are a few different ways to find the jolly old man in his unmistakable red suit over the course of the day, so feel free to track him using any of the following methods."

Google as Big Brother in the forums

"As we cede control of public functions to private entities we may gain some functionality or efficiency but we often lose control of other more critical, less commercial aspects of our lives.

For example, as we cede control of money, traditionally a public function, to the likes of PayPal or Bank of America in the form of internet or credit card payments we run the risk of them unilaterally and arbitrarily removing access to this form of exchange, as in the case of Wikileaks. As commercial entities, they are not held to the same standards as a government of due process and can behave without much criticism or oversite, limiting access to given individuals to a critical public function at a whim. [...]

Google is intervening, humanly or algorithmically, to prevent the use of some non controversial terms in the forums. Forums, unlike Places pages, are meant for 'open' discussion. The phrase that they are deleting?

World Trade Center.

That’s right, a word that is embedded not just in our language but in our psyche is being actively deleted when used in the forums."

Google's John Mueller: how Google treats pages for mobile phones

"If you have created mobile versions of your whole website, it's fine to submit those URLs with mobile Sitemaps as well (listing them once for the normal web Sitemap and once for mobile). We're able to crawl and index mobile content separately, even if it uses the same URLs as the normal web-based content. We crawl mobile content using various mobile user-agents. [...]

With 'mobile' we mean the traditional mobile phone browsers, not smart-phones (which we generally treat the same as desktop browsers given their advanced capabilities). Using special CSS/HTML templates for smart-phones would be fine and would not require submitting them via mobile Sitemap. It keeps things a bit easier if you want to focus on smart-phones, but there are still a gigantic number of more traditional phones with limited internet browsing capabilities out there."

Search engine newslets

  • A holiday card from Google.
  • Facebook passes Yahoo to become second largest traffic source for videos on media sites.
  • Google shopping for Groupon wannabe.
  • Facebook revenue is not growing like Google's did.
  • NY Times: Google's next deal.

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3. Give yourself a Christmas gift

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4. Previous articles

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