Weekly SEO news: 11 October 2011

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

Spelling mistakes can have a negative effect on the positions of your web pages in Google's search results. In addition to this, there are many more quality signals that Google checks on your web pages.

Also in the news: paid search ad spend is up despite economic backdrop, Google's Matt Cutts announces an algorithm update, Google updates the ad quality algorithms globally 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 spelling mistakes influence your rankings on Google

Spelling mistakes can have a negative effect on the positions of your web pages in Google's search results. In addition to this, there are many more quality signals that Google checks on your web pages.

Is it really important to avoid spelling mistakes?

Google's Matt Cutts confirmed in a video, that the number of spelling mistakes correlates with the PageRank of a website:

“We noticed a while ago that, if you look at the PageRank of a page - how reputable we think a particular page or site is - the ability to spell correlates relatively well with that. So, the reputable sites tend to spell better and the sites that are lower PageRank, or very low PageRank, tend not to spell as well.”

This does not mean that Google uses this as a ranking signal. However, Google's latest "Panda" algorithm update indicates that Google considers several quality signals when ranking web pages.

Which quality signals are checked by Google?

When Google released the first Panda update, they also released a list of questions that can help you to judge the quality of your site:

  • Does the article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
  • How much quality control is done on content?
  • Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
  • Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
  • Does the article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
  • Would you expect to see the article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
  • Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
  • Does the article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
  • Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
  • Does the article describe both sides of a story?
  • Does the article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?

What you have to do now

If you want to make sure that your web pages get high rankings on Google, you have to make sure that your web pages contain high quality content.

Low-quality content on some parts of your website can impact the whole site’s rankings. Remove low quality pages and improve the content of individual shallow pages into more useful pages.

Analyze your web pages to make sure that Google can give them high rankings. If Google finds the right content on your web pages, your website will get high rankings.


2. Search engine news and articles of the week

Q3 paid search data: strong growth despite economic backdrop

"Paid search ad spend was up 23% YoY in Q3 following a 20% YoY increase in Q2. Spend was down slightly from quarter to quarter, reflecting seasonal factors. Ad clicks rose 16% YoY in Q3 compared to 12% in Q2. [...]

Over the last six quarters we have seen Google’s share of ad spend increase from 76% to 85%, while its ad click share has risen from 73% to 82%. Google’s share was increasing before the Search Alliance, but it jumped when Bing took over Yahoo ad serving."

Google PlacesGoogle's Schmidt on the 'winners and losers' in search rankings

"I do understand that Google ranks information, and there's winners and losers. And those decisions have significant impact on people. [...]

It's very hard to beat [Facebook] in exactly same game in technology because it changes so quickly. What you have to do is you have to find a new problem and do that much better than they are, and that's what we're trying to do. And if you do that, you can ultimately win very large."

Matt CuttsGoogle's Matt Cutts announces algorithm changes

Google's Matt Cutts posted a "weather report" on Twitter:

"Weather report: expect some Panda-related flux in the next few weeks, but will have less impact than previous updates (~2%)."

Google AdWords ads quality improvements rolling out globally

"Campaigns with better-performing ads for user queries will continue to see higher Quality Scores, lower average cost per click and higher position on results pages.

The 1-10 Quality Score in the AdWords interface will continue to represent the general quality of your keyword when exactly matching a search on Google. Increases in bid and Quality Score will continue to increase Ad Rank."

Search engine newslets

  • Video: Does Google treat .co as a generic TLD? Answer: yes, Google does not consider .co a country specific domain for Columbia.
  • Bing's a bust in search ad spending.
  • Google threatens to reclaim unused Google Voice numbers.
  • Google Places spam filter: still not perfect.

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4. Previous articles

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