Weekly SEO news: 12 July 2011
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

In an online forum, a Googler explained how Google reviews reconsideration requests. What can you do if your website has been penalized by Google and what does Google expect from you?

Also in the news: Yahoo is shutting down Site Explorer later this year, Google claims there are already millions of Google+ users, and Matt Cutts answers the question why PageRank values aren't updated more often.

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 Googlers review reconsideration requests

In an online forum, a Googler explained how Google reviews reconsideration requests. What can you do if your website has been penalized by Google and what does Google expect from you?

If your website has been penalized by Google, you can file a reconsideration request here. Google's Pierre Far explained some details about reconsideration requests:

1. Google does not read all reconsideration requests

"We do have a team that reads and responds to reconsideration requests, but in some cases we may not read all reconsideration requests; for example, if a webmaster is bombarding us with a new request every day, we may choose to read only the most recent submission."

2. Your website must follow Google's guidelines

Before you submit the request make sure that you read Google's guidelines and that your site is in compliance to the best of your knowledge. That means that you should remove all spam elements from your website.

3. Make sure that it's not a technical problem

"We've seen some webmasters misdiagnose the problem and think a manual spam action is affecting their site when in reality it's something else, like a crawling issue."

Check your website with IBP's search engine spider simulator and make sure that your robots.txt file does not block Google's spider.

4. Write a clear and detailed reconsideration request

"When you are writing the reconsideration request, be as detailed and as clear as possible - help us help you. Give a timeline as accurately as possible when you're describing actions or changes that may be relevant.

If you did find and fix a violation, explain what you did. We do appreciate that some fixes simply cannot be completed 100% (e.g. cleaning up spammy back links), and in those cases explain the effort you took to fix the problem as much as possible."

Although Google allows you to file a reconsideration request, it usually takes a lot of time until Google removes the penalty.

For that reason, it's better to avoid penalties. Do not use spammy SEO methods to promote your website and focus on so-called white-hat SEO methods to promote your website on Google.

White-hat SEO methods are beneficial to you, your website visitors and Google, and they make sure that your website will get high rankings on Google that last.

Back to table of contents - Visit Axandra.com

2. Search engine news and articles of the week

YahooYahoo shutting down Site Explorer this year

"Yahoo has announced they are shutting down one of the old and beloved SEO tools, Yahoo Site Explorer, later this year. [...] the APIs are set to close on Sept. 15, so it seems likely the service itself will close on that date."

Editor's note: We recommend using our sister service SEOprofiler.com as an alternative to Yahoo Site Explorer.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt claims millions of Google+ users

"When asked by reporters whether Google planned eventually to fill out Google+ with other products, Schmidt answered, 'Yeah, and there’s a lot coming,' saying that business accounts and ads are expected."

Matt CuttsGoogle answers: why aren't the PageRank values updated more often?

"Google's Matt Cutts answered in a video that people shouldn't worry about PageRank but focus on their users. To help avoid people getting obsessed about the PageRank value, it is only updated three or four times a year in the Google toolbar (but much more often internally at Google)."

Google's sending webmaster emails about bad links pointing at their sites

"Google is telling webmasters that their site has been penalized because they have bad links, maybe paid links or other unnatural links, pointing to your site."

Google rumored to launch travel search product soon

"Whereas Google has already started to add flight schedules and airline routes [to search queries], these results would include [...] airfare data, showing users how much each flight would cost and where you could book the flight (i.e. Delta, American Airlines etc.)."

Search engine newslets

  • NY Times reports that Google is unable to keep up with SEO spam.
  • Google moves Similar Pages link to Instant Previews.
  • Google to retire Blogger and Picasa brands in Google+ push.
  • Bing now supports Google's crawlable AJAX standard?
  • Google chairman Schmidt agrees to testify at Senate antitrust hearing.
  • Report: Facebook Like button most used, Google +1 button surging.

Back to table of contents - Visit Axandra.com

3. Success stories

Win a $100 Amazon gift card - It takes 10 seconds

Click here to win a $100 Amazon gift card. It's easy and it takes about 10 seconds to enter the competition.


Send us a testimonial: 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.

Back to table of contents - Visit Axandra.com

4. Previous articles

Back to table of contents - Visit Axandra.com

Do you have a minute?