Weekly SEO news: 19 July 2011
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

You probably know the offers from companies who promise links from PR5-PR9 sites for a few dollars. This sounds like a very good offer and the websites look relatively credible. However, things that look too good to be true usually aren't true.

Also in the news: the latest search engine market share statistics, another PageRank update, Google rewrites the title tags of some websites 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. The risk of using dubious link-building services

You probably know the offers from companies who promise links from PR5-PR9 sites for a few dollars. This sounds like a very good offer and the websites look relatively credible. However, things that look too good to be true usually aren't true.

Many people have been burned by these link building services. Examples can be found here, here and here. (For the lawyers, we have nothing to do with the comments on the linked pages and we do neither endorse or denounce the companies mentioned on the pages.)

Do not burn your money

What do these companies promise and what do they actually do?

The promises of these dubious link building companies sound very good:

  • They promise you links from high PR websites.
  • The promise you a quick and easy solution to get more backlinks to your site.

Unfortunately, this is not what these companies actually do. When you order such a link building package, you will get the following:

  • They create fake accounts on forums with a link to your site.
  • They write dubious comments in forums with a link to your site.
  • They create hundreds of fake websites and Internet directories to which they "submit" your site. The websites and directories are all owned by the same company (which also owns the link building service).

These links might actually harm your website

There are several reasons why these links won't help your website:

  • The quality of the pages and the links is so low that the links won't have a positive effect on your rankings.
  • Some of these sites add the links in a way that clearly looks like a paid link (which cause problems with Google).
  • Most of the links will disappear after a short time.

Some people in the scam forums even reported that they were charged for links that didn't exist at all.

When they requested their money back, the customer service did not reply and the "US link building company" turned out to be located in an Eastern European country. The money was lost.

When it comes to link building and SEO, there is no fast-track

If you want to get lasting rankings in Google's top 10 results, there are no quick and dirty solutions. You need high quality web page content that has been optimized for users and search engines and you need backlinks from high quality websites.

It takes some time to get these backlinks but it's worth the time and the effort. A single link from a high quality website is better than lots of low quality links from dubious sites.

That's where IBP comes in: IBP helps you to manage your link building campaigns, it helps you to find potential link partners, it checks your backlinks and it helps you to contact your link partners.

In addition, IBP helps you to optimize your web pages, it helps you with keyword research, it checks the position of your website site and much more. And all of that for a price that is considerably lower than the prices that the link building services mentioned above charge.

Go for quality and try IBP now. You won't regret it!

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

GoogleJune 2011 U.S. search engine rankings

"Google Sites led the U.S. explicit core search market in June with 65.5 percent market share, followed by Yahoo! Sites with 15.9 percent and Microsoft Sites with 14.4 percent (up 0.3 percentage points).

Ask Network accounted for 2.9 percent of explicit core searches, followed by AOL, Inc. with 1.4 percent. [...] In June, 67.6 percent of searches carried organic search results from Google (vs. 67.8 percent in May) while 26.6 percent of searches were powered by Bing (vs. 26.5 percent in May)."

Discussion: Google rewrites the title tags of websites

"I've been seeing this for months now. I've got a bunch of SERPS where the title is completely ignored; they rank but they come up as 'Domain.com' in the title - that string isn't even IN that particular title tag. Very obnoxious on Google's behalf, and I can't possibly see how it improves the likelihood of clickthrough. So why rank it at all if they're going to rewrite the title so poorly? It's a mystery to me."

PageRankAnother Google toolbar Pagerank update?

"After keeping us waiting an age for a toolbar pagerank update and giving us PR Update June 2011, Google is apparently giving us another one right now. [...]

One of our client sites shot up from 4 to 6 last month and now back down to 4. Traffic and conversions still up but difficult conversation tomorrow to explain why their green fairy dust dropped down!"

Google patent granted on PageRank sculpting and opinion passing links

"Google’s head of Web spam, Matt Cutts wrote a blog post in 2009 on this practice of PageRank sculpting with a rel='nofollow', noting that it wasn’t really a very helpful practice, and probably didn’t work the way that most webmasters might think it does. [...]

Interestingly, one of named inventors of the newly granted Google patent is the very same Matthew Daniel Cutts."

Wall Street Journal: site claims to loosen Google “death grip”

"One of the largest sites hit hard by Google’s new 'Panda' ranking algorithm change, said it may have found a solution: divide itself into thousands of smaller sites. [...]

The HubPages subdomain testing began in late June and already has shown positive results. Edmondson’s own articles on HubPages, which saw a 50% drop in page views after Google’s Panda updates, have returned to pre-Panda levels in the first three weeks since he activated subdomains for himself and several other authors."

Editor's note: if you want to make sure that Google does not penalize your pages, only use white-hat SEO methods to optimize your pages.

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Search engine newslets

  • Google is testing a fixed search bar.
  • NY Times: Google+ improves on Facebook.
  • Google+: It's a man thing.
  • Google quickly removes most review spam in moving industry – more remains at Google and elsewhere.
  • Zuckerberg closes off Google+ account so he can't be tracked.
  • The official shortcut for Google websites.
  • Yandex holds 65% of Russian contextual ads market valued at $430M in H1/2011.
  • Mobile now 12% of all paid search impressions; tablets 2% of all impressions.

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3. Success stories

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4. Previous articles

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