Weekly SEO news: 25 October 2011

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

In an online Q&A session, Google's Matt Cutts answered the questions of webmasters who want to get higher rankings on Google for their websites. This week's article summarizes the most important SEO relevant statements of this session.

Also in the news: Google's 'minor' October update seems to be bigger than announced, Google doesn't show keyword referrers anymore, click-through-rates decrease 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 web pages

In an online Q&A session, Google's Matt Cutts answered the questions of webmasters who want to get higher rankings on Google for their websites. This article summarizes the most important SEO relevant statements of this session.

The effect of +1 clicks on your organic rankings and ads

Google is still testing the effect of +1 clicks on the search results. It seems that only clicks from trustworthy people will influence the position of a web page. In other words, it won't help to buy +1 clicks.

In addition, the +1 clicks on ads will show others who have +1′d it but that is all at this time.

You cannot exclude keywords from your website

It's not possible to ensure that your website does not appear in the search results for a particular keyword. The reason for that is because that could be a way you could silence critics or not show up for negative reviews.

The age of a website is important but only one of many factors

The age of link anchors and domains can influence the position of a website in the search results. However, Matt Cutts says that you still need fresh information because old information can get stale.

Google decides per keyword if the search results show websites with newer or older content. Old websites often tend to have more links and that the links are often the reason why older domains have higher rankings.

Google will rewrite your meta description tag

Google will only use the meta description of a web page if they find it appropriate to the searched keyword. Google will also write its own description to show the searcher why the page was ranked for the query.

What to do if other websites steal your content

You should do a DMCA complain and a spam report, especially if the other website is a spammer who is scraping content completely.

Double 301 redirects are okay

A web page shouldn't redirect to more than 4 URLs. Chained 301 redirects should be only 301 redirects and they should not be mixed with 302 redirects.

Google also detects JavaScript redirects. Matt Cutts says that Russian spammers tried to fool Google with JavaScript redirects but Google could detect it.

Google uses many different factors to determine the position of a web page in the search results. Analyze your web pages with IBP's Top 10 Optimizer to find out how to adjust your web pages so that they get listed on Google's first result page for your keywords.


2. Search engine news and articles of the week

Google's minor Panda update in October seems to be major

Webmasters reported dramatic ranking drops in several forum threads:

"I have followed all the rules over the years, yet on the morning of October 14 I woke up to an unexplainable 60% drop in traffic. I've heard that Google has been adjusting its algorithm or something. I don't understand how that works but I know that I have not done anything to deserve this huge loss (which of course is translated into a corresponding loss of income from my site)." (related threads)

GoogleGoogle doesn't show keyword referrers anymore

"When you search from https://www.google.com, websites you visit from our organic search listings will still know that you came from Google, but won't receive information about each individual query."

Related: Google invests in privacy for profit: Google just p... on the SEO community and tried to call it rain [...] Google has shown "irreconcilable favoritism to paid users."

Breaking down language barriers with translated English-language results

"Starting today you may see relevant results in English in addition to those in your default language. For example, let’s say you speak Hindi and want to find information on mountain climbing -- we want to help you also find the relevant pages in English and for these, you’ll also see a translation into your language."

BingGoogle & Bing click-through rates

"For Google SERPs, the observed CTR was 18.20% for a No. 1 rank and 10.05% for a No. 2 rank. For Bing SERPs, the observed CTR was 9.66% for a No. 1 rank and 5.51% for a No. 2 rank. The resulting total average CTR for first page organic results is 52.32% for Google and 26.32% for Bing."

How does Google determine page speed?

Google's Matt Cutts answers that question in a video. He says that Google uses the Google toolbar to determine the speed of a website.

In addition, only one out of 100 searches is affected by the site speed ranking factor. One out of 1000 websites is so slow that it impacts the rankings of the website.

Search engine newslets

  • Video: Google's Matt Cutts says that SEO is a valid way to help people find what they’re looking for via search engines.
  • Google has removed the + search operator.
  • Gmail tests huge image ad.
  • Patent: How a search engine may automate web spam reports and search feedback.
  • Yahoo finishes the transition to Bing results.
  • MC Hammer announces a new search engine.

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3. Success stories
"We now have several page 1 entries in Google, Bing and Yahoo!"

"We have been using IBP since launching our site. It has proved to be successful for us. We now have several page 1 entries in Google and Yahoo.

In fact we have the number one slot on Yahoo for one of our main key phrases. We found all of the software very useful, particularly the ranking tools, the optimizing section and the submission pages.

We started out looking at our competition and seeing the comparison to our site through the optimizer with the top 10 report. This was able to show how much we differed from the sites above us and offered recommendations to improve our position.

Once we put as much as we could into practice, the results started to come. Now we keep an eye on our positions in the search engines using the ranking checker. It enables you to see your improvements and any downward movements. We can recommend this software."
Steve Sewell, www.PerfectFloridaVillas.com

Get high rankings on Google

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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