Weekly SEO news: 27 September 2011

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

Can low quality links or links from spammy websites have a negative effect on the rankings of your websites on Google? If spammy websites point to your site, should you act?

Also in the news: the majority of Americans find Google unfair, Google's +1 button is coming to display ads, Yandex remains a big Google competitor 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 impact of spammy backlinks on your Google rankings

Can low quality links or links from spammy websites have a negative effect on the rankings of your websites on Google? If spammy websites point to your site, should you act?

Google statement

Three things that you can do when you discover spammy backlinks

Most websites have links from low quality websites and it is very difficult to do something against these links. You cannot influence which websites link to your site.

For example, a competitor could add your website to a link farm network or the competitor could spam search engines and directories with your URL.

If you find that low quality websites link to your site, you can do several things:

  1. Relax and let them link
    Linking is a significant factor in Google's ranking algorithm but it is just one of many factors. Other factors are the content of your web pages, the site structure and the appearance of a keyword in the different web page elements.
  2. Ask the webmaster to remove the links
    If you have a high quality website and get links from spammy websites, try to contact the website owners and ask them to remove their links. Google will not help you with that.

    If the webmasters of the spammy website are not cooperative, don't worry and focus on the links that are under your control.

  3. Optimize your links and your web page content
    Optimize all of the factors that influence indexing and ranking on Google. The Top 10 Optimizer in IBP has been designed for exactly that task.

    It analyzes dozens of factors that influence the position of your website in Google's search results and it shows you what exactly you have to change so that Google will list your website on the first result page.

Focus on things that can be influenced by you

Google knows that you cannot influence all of the links that point to your site. Low-quality links come from websites with low Google rankings and they cannot pass much ranking power to other websites. Chances are that Google simply ignore these links for the ranking algorithm.

For that reason, you shouldn't worry too much about links to your website that you cannot control. Focus on web page optimization and high quality link building.


2. Search engine news and articles of the week

Google79% Americans favor the FTC’s investigation of Google

"Over six in ten (63%) say it is unfair for Google to use the profits it makes from its dominant position in search advertising to buy smaller, innovative companies at an early stage, preventing them from becoming competitors. [...]

Over eight in ten (84%) say it is unfair for Google to take content from other websites and present it as its own, depriving these other websites of potential consumer traffic. [...]

Three-quarters (74%) say it is unfair for Google to raise prices for advertising without notice and to favor large e-commerce companies over small local businesses."

Google's +1 button is coming to display ads

"Starting early October we’re expanding that to include display ads across the web on both desktop and mobile. [...]

The Google Display Network gives ads that have been recommended an extra boost by including them in the auction for any page a friend visits. [...]

The +1 button on display ads will work together with +1 buttons on search results, search ads, and websites. A single +1 applies to the same content across the web, no matter where it appears."

Editor's note: get instructions on how to add Google's +1 button to your web pages

GoogleHow does Google count impressions?

A Google answers that question in an online discussion:

"You get one impression for each time a URL from your site shows up in the SERP with the caveat that sitelinks are not counted as separate impressions.

For example for the query "panther" I get two wikipedia results, so wikipedia would see two impressions for that query. In the example you gave about the NYT we would count only a single impression for the top level URL and no impressions for the sitelinks. If you clicked on either the top level page or one of the sitelinks, we would count that as one click for the top level page."

Yandex launches in Turkey

"Yandex has launched a web portal in Turkey. Yandex’s search engine and a range of other services created specifically for web users in this country are now available at yandex.com.tr."

Editor's note: Yandex and Baidu belong to Google's biggest competitors. They have the biggest market share in eastern countries.

Video: how do reconsideration requests work at Google?

Michael and Tiffany of Google's search quality team answer that question in a video: clean up your website (i.e. remove all spam elements) and then inform Google that you've removed the spam from your site.

Tell Google what the problem was (hidden text, paid links, cloaked pages, etc.). Google will check your site to see if it still contains spam elements then.

Editor's note: you can file a reconsideration request here.

Search engine newslets

  • How to analyze web pages while surfing the web (backlinks, rankings and Google AdWords ads).
  • Study finds Google uses racial profiling to deliver ads.
  • Yahoo's transition to Bing results continues.
  • Rick Santorum contacted Google, says company spreads 'filth'.
  • Google Travel site doesn't strike fear into competitors.
  • Google evangelist warns Facebook could be the next AOL or IBM.
  • Google's new search interface disables many shortcuts.
  • Search data reveal that when the sun goes down, the tablets come out.
  • Google turns 13.

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3. Success stories

You can get IBP for a discount this month

IBP is a popular SEO software tool that helps you to get your web pages on the first result page on Google and other search engines.


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4. Previous articles

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