Weekly SEO news: 29 March 2011
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

Last week, Google was granted a patent that describes how Google might segment the content of a web page. Depending on the location of the content, a web page will get higher or lower rankings.

Also in the news: Yahoo introduces Search Direct, Matt Cutts talks about localized content and Google, Bing adds real-time results to news search, further information about Google's Panda update and more.

Table of contents:

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Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. How Google segments the contents of a web page

Last week, Google was granted a patent that describes how Google might segment the content of a web page. Depending on the location of the content, a web page will get higher or lower rankings.

Why is it important to segment a web page into different parts?

The average web page consists of several parts: a header, a footer, the website navigation, the main content, ads, etc.

Not all parts of the page are equally important. To determine the position of a web page in the search results, text that appears in the main content of a web page is more important than text that appears in the footer or in ads.

How does Google analyze the content of a web page?

According to the patent text, Google looks at the HTML of the page. Google also tries to simulate the display of a web page in a web browser to understand the location and the purpose of different parts of the page.

What exactly does Google analyze in the different parts of a web page?

The patent lists several "modules" that are used to analyze a web page:

1. Link analysis

Links found in different semantically distinct regions may be assigned different weights. That means that the influence of a link in the main part of a web page is probably higher than the influence of a link in the footer.

2. Text analysis

The importance of text on a web page is rated by location. For example, if a keyword appears in the main content area of a web page or in the title, then this page will rank higher than a page that has the keyword in the footer.

3. Image captioning

Text found near an image is more relevant to the image than text further away from it. This module can be used to rank a picture in image search.

4. Snippet construction

Google usually does not use the meta description tag for the snippet that is displayed on the search result page. According to the patent, Google creates the snippet based on the text in the web page section that is the most relevant to the keyword.

If you want to get high rankings on Google, you must make sure that your web pages contain the right keywords in the right elements of your web pages. IBP's Top 10 Optimizer analyzes all elements of your web page and it will tell you how you have to change them so that your website gets top 10 rankings for your keywords.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

Yahoo Yahoo introduces Search Direct

"Search Direct predicts search results as fast as a person types, character by character, and presents those results dynamically, generating a fast, simple search experience that goes beyond a list of blue links. [...]

Yahoo! content is combined with information from the Web to provide rich answers, not just links, and to give people the option to immediately engage or continue to a traditional search results page."

Video: how should I handle localized content?

Google's Matt Cutts answers how webmasters should handle local content of a website. Is it better to use all languages on the same domain or should you use local domains for each language (example.de, example.it, example.nl, etc.)?

If possible, you should put local content on separate domains. It is a lot easier for Google to determine the language of a website if it has a dedicated domain. The content will also be seen as local content than instead of a simple translation.

You should not use auto-translation to generate local websites because Google might treat that as spam.

BingBing feature update: Bing News with real-time Twitter feed

"Now alongside the latest headlines on Bing News, you will find a real-time feed with the latest updates from Twitter highlighting hot news topics. [...]

Bing news now lets you compare and assess authoritative news analysis alongside real-time citizen journalists so you can decide which content sources you want to use."

Google's Panda update: eCommerce sites at risk

"The update is definitely not sitewide – there are a number of sites we looked at where the update had only hit pages of a certain type. For example ecommerce sites where the category pages were fine but product pages were hit hard. [...]

This update is going to cause major issues for anybody that has a large site with product descriptions that are duplicated across lots of other sites. If you have a few of these it’s not an issue to rewrite them but a lot of big ecommerce sites have 10,000+ products and to rewrite those is going to be a major headache."

Related: Google Panda update hits the UK (discussion)

Search Trends: Japan earthquake 2011

"Online focus shifted quickly to recovery, relief, and the ongoing potential nuclear disaster. Concerns about its effect on the world at large have been trending high, as well as other country’s own power plants.[...]

Inevitably, such calamities trigger a search for meaning in superstitions as well as science, as people try to grapple with the meaning of why such disasters occur. In addition to lookups for 'nostradamus predictions' and 'apocalypse,' people have been doing research on the Supermoon phenomena."

Search engine newslets

  • Google: a new tool for U.S. intelligence?
  • Facebook not testing web search box at top of site.
  • Facebook test mines real-time conversations for ad targeting.
  • Google News de-indexing Berkleyside: Bug, not snub.
  • Google's Larry Page almost skipped web search for automated cars.
  • Googlers buy more junk food than Microsofties.

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3. Success stories

"IBP doubled my turnover!"

"We've been using IBP at Kate's Clothing Ltd for several years now, but its biggest impact was mere months after first downloading it. Since I started selling gothic clothing as a hobby back in 2003, I'd gradually built up a loyal customer base through word of mouth, but it was going to take something more to reach the next step up.

With IBP's help we optimised our website for our main keywords and within a few months we hit the top position on google.co.uk for one of our main keyword. Over the ensuing months our sales rocketed, our turnover doubled, we took on more new staff and moved to larger premises!

We now constantly use IBP to maintain our position and develop our search engine ranking for new key words."
Kate Seagroatt, www.katesclothing.co.uk


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4. Previous articles

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