Weekly SEO news: 19 April 2011

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

Would you say "no thanks" if someone offered you an easy way to get 50% more visitors to your website? Probably not. However, that's exactly what most webmasters are doing. There's a simple thing that you can do to drive many more visitors to your site.

Also in the news: information about Google's international Panda update, Google informs penalized sites, a Google statement about handling duplicate content 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. How to get 50% more customers with a simple change

Would you say "no thanks" if someone offered you an easy way to get 50% more visitors to your website? Probably not. However, that's exactly what most webmasters are doing. There's a simple thing that you can do to drive many more visitors to your site.

The Internet is not just Google

Last week, research company Experian Hitwise published the search engine market shares for March 2011. Google accounted for 64.42 percent of all U.S. searches, Bing-powered search comprised 30.01 percent of searches for the month.

Most webmasters focus on Google and ignore all other search engines when it comes to search engine optimization. Ignoring Bing is a mistake. A market share of 30% is huge and there are several reasons why you should include Bing in your SEO activities.

Three reasons why it makes sense to optimize your website for Bing

1. There's less competition on Bing

Most webmasters concentrate on Google. It is easier to get high rankings on Bing because fewer people compete aggressively for the same keywords.

2. Millions of searchers will find your site

As mentioned above, Bing currently has a market share of 30%. That's just half of the market share that Google has but that's still millions of people who might be interested in your website.

If you have just focused on Google then you can increase the number of website visitors by 50% just by adding Bing to your search engine optimization activities.

3. Bing searches deliver more click-throughs

According to the Hitwise data, Bing powered search engines achieved the highest success rate in March 2011. More than 80 percent of searches executed resulted in a visit to a website.

Google achieved a success rate of 66 percent. It might be that the search results snippets in Bing are more attractive or the results in Bing are simply more relevant.

How to optimize your website for Bing

Google and Bing return different websites for the same search query. That means that they use different ranking algorithms and that it is difficult to optimize the same page for both Google and Bing.

If you want to get the best possible results, optimize some pages of your website for Google and other pages of your website for Bing. The more pages of your website you optimize, the better.

Use IBP's Top 10 Optimizer to get detailed instructions on how to optimize your web pages for Bing. IBP works with Bing.com, Bing.co.uk, Bing.com.au, Bing.de and many other local Bing variations. Of course, IBP also helps you to optimize your web pages for Google.com and many local Google variations.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

Panda Analyzing Google's UK Panda update

"A lot of people were well prepared for the update having seen their US traffic drop on 25th February but it’s still a big shock to lose 50% of your non-brand SEO traffic overnight. [...]

One of the really impressive things about the update is the ability Google now has to detect duplicate content. [...] Also, for Google to use the Panda algorithm to remove traffic from a forum which is full of user generated content just shows how broad this update was in it’s scope."

Google answers webmasters with penalized sites

"There's no need to file a reconsideration request for your site, because any ranking issues you may be experiencing are not related to a manual action taken by the webspam team.

Of course, there may be other issues with your site that affect your site's ranking. Google's computers determine the order of our search results using a series of formulas known as algorithms. [...]

If you've experienced a change in ranking which you suspect may be more than a simple algorithm change, there are other things you may want to investigate as possible causes, such as a major change to your site's content, content management system, or server architecture. For example, a site may not rank well if your server stops serving pages to Googlebot, or if you've changed the URLs for a large portion of your site's pages."

John MuellerGoogle statement: how to handle duplicate content

"Just to be clear -- using a robots.txt disallow is not a recommended way to handle duplicate content. By using a disallow, we won't be able to recognize that it's duplicate content and may end up indexing the URL without having crawled it. [...]

That would disallow us from crawling URL (A) above. However, doing that would block us from being able to recognize that the two URLs are actually showing the same content.

In case we find links going to (A), it's possible that we'll still choose to index (A) (without having crawled it), and those links will end up counting for a URL that is basically unknown."

comScore releases March 2011 U.S. search engine rankings

In addition to Experian Hitwise, research company comScore has also released new search engine data. In these statistics, Bing powered search engines have a market share of 29.6%:

"Google Sites led the U.S. explicit core search market in March with 65.7 percent market share (up 0.3 percentage points), followed by Yahoo! Sites with 15.7 percent and Microsoft sites with 13.9 percent (up 0.3 percentage points). Ask Network accounted for 3.1 percent of explicit core searches, followed by AOL, Inc. with 1.6 percent."

Who spends the most on Google AdWords?

These are the top 10 advertisers from October-December 2010:

Amazon: $51 million, AT&T: $27 million, Capital one: $26 million, Target Department Store: $26 million, Expedia: $23 million, eBay: $22 million, Progressive: $19 million, Sprint: $17 million, Geico: $16.5 million, State Farm: $16.2 million.

Search engine newslets

  • Google's big blue bar for Internet Explorer users.
  • Google's 10 biggest mistakes in the last 10 years.
  • Email from Google: robots.txt file creates issues for Google Product Search images.
  • Google Images with Date Annotations.
  • New on Google Places: Profiles, photo uploads and search tweaks.
  • Impact of paywall on NYTimes.com.
  • Google Maps: new 45° imagery for fun in the sun.

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3. Success stories


300,000 readers will read your success story!

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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