Weekly SEO news: 31 May 2011
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

Google's Matt Cutts gave many SEO related tips in a live chat that was hosted on YouTube. This week's article contains all important statements that were made by Matt Cutts in that chat.

Also in the news: Internet advertising reaches a new high, how Google chooses reviews for the results, Google is testing URLs above description snippets 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. Official Google statements: how to optimize your site

Google's Matt Cutts gave many SEO related tips in a live chat that was hosted on YouTube. This week's article contains all important statements that were made by Matt Cutts in that chat:

1. Google's Panda update will be available for more languages

Google's Panda update targeted content farms and low quality websites. Although these website types are not as common in other languages, Google will roll out the Panda update to other languages after some testing during the next months.

2. Penalized websites can get their rankings back

The website of JC Penney was penalized by Google because they had a lot of paid links. According to Matt Cutts, JC Penney filed a formal reconsideration request after doing a substantial amount of work to fix the issues.

Editor's note: it probably helped that JC Penney is a big company and that the case was in the press. Getting a penalty lifted is much harder for smaller websites. If you don't want to risk your rankings, only use safe SEO methods.

3. Data from blocked sites is a ranking signal

Users that are logged in to Google can block websites in the search results. If enough users block a website, it will be interpreted as a signal that the blocked website is of low quality.

4. Google's +1 button is going to be a ranking signal

The +1 button is Google's answer to Facebook's "Like" button. It is likely that Google will offer the +1 button for website owners in the near future and that the button will be a ranking signal.

5. Do not use the nofollow attribute for links to your own website

Matt Cutts said that you shouldn't use the rel=nofollow attribute for links to your own website, including links to the privacy policy. You should use it for links to external websites that you don't necessarily trust. The websites to which you link can affect the reputation of your website.

6. Use 301 redirects and the canonical tag to prevent duplicate content

If the same content is available with multiple URLs on your website, you should use the canonical tag to avoid duplicate content issues. If you use new URLs for your pages, use 301 redirects from the old URLs to the new URLs.

7. The IP address of your website can influence its rankings

If you want to get high rankings on Google.fr, it helps if your website has a French IP address. Websites that do not have a French IP address can also get high rankings but a French IP address helps.

If you want to optimize your web pages for high rankings on Google, optimize them with the Top 10 Optimizer. Enter your keyword and your web page and the Top 10 Optimizer will tell you what to do.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

StatisticsInternet advertising revenues hit $7.3 billion in Q1/11

"Internet advertising revenues in the U.S. hit $7.3 billion for the first quarter of 2011, representing a 23 percent increase over the same period in 2010 [...]

The year-on-year 23 percent increase in first quarter revenues is not just impressive in its own right, but especially so when you take into account the fact that 2010 was a record-breaking year itself for Internet advertising revenue."

How Google might choose reviews for the results

"Run your review through a spell checker and grammar checker – chances are that Google will. [...] Avoid sentences that are either too long or too short, and make sure that those sentences have beginnings, middles and ends – sentence fragments aren't favored at all. [...]

Quality can seem like an abstraction – an aspect of something that's both hard to define and to measure, and that might be subjective enough to mean quite different things to different people. But, we've been seeing over and over in different contexts that Google is more than willing to define 'quality' features or attributes of advertisements, landing pages, advertising publishers pages, web pages and now in reviews."

Google WalletGoogle Wallet: big deal or another Buzz?

"After weeks of rumors, Google finally announced its near field communication payment system, christened Google Wallet. It must be big because PayPal sued, but how big? [...] So far, contactless replacements for debit/credit cards have failed to take the market by storm."

Google is testing URLs above description snippets

"The page URL for [a page in the search results is] now being displayed in a separate line, again beneath the page title, but above the description. [...]

We are seeing a lot more white space than usual. It will be interesting to see whether this works for Google as this new SERPs layout could become the future of the search result pages for us all."

Is Bing going to offer rewards for spam reporting?

A user suggested this in a Bing forum and Bing said that they "will certainly have our team review this and consider it in future releases":

"If there is a link farm or span in search results, the content can be flagged as spam by searchers. If the flagged content was verified as spam by Bing, the people who reported it could get a point or some small reward."

Search engine newslets

  • The new link building tools in SEOprofiler.
  • Why the New York Times replaced its Twitter ‘cyborg' with people this week.
  • Twitter's European boss warns users may face court. More.
  • Why email is crucial to Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.
  • Google announces flight schedule search.
  • Russian search engine Yandex has a very good start on NASDAQ.
  • Google begins to charge for clicks on AdWords local extensions.
  • Phishing sites hosted on Google's servers.
  • It takes 3-6 weeks to remove a false malware warning on Bing.

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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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