Weekly SEO news: 20 March 2012

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

You want lasting results when you build links to your website. It does not make sense to invest your time in search engine optimization methods that are just a flash in the pan. How do you judge the quality of a website? What is a good website and from which web pages should you get links?

In the news: a new study shows that organic search is undervalued, dynamic web pages can still cause some trouble, Google's local policy could be improved, a new AdWords study 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 to judge the quality of a backlink

You want lasting results when you build links to your website. It does not make sense to invest your time in search engine optimization methods that are just a flash-in-the-pan.

How do you judge the quality of a website? What is a good website and from which web pages should you get links?

PageRank is not so important

1. The PageRank of a website is not that important

Many webmasters only want to get backlinks from pages with a particular PageRank. While you can use this method, it is usually a waste of time and it makes link building more difficult than it really is.

If a website has an overall high quality then it does not matter if the page with the link to your website has a low Google PageRank:

  • If a high quality website adds a new page, the new page will have an initial PageRank of zero. Nevertheless, the page can still be very good.
  • A page that has a PageRank of zero today can have a high PageRank tomorrow.

If only pages with a high PageRank had a chance, it wouldn’t be possible to get new pages in Google’s result page. Experience shows that new pages appear in Google’s results every day.

In addition, the PageRank that Google publicly displays is not the actual PageRank that Google uses in its algorithm and the PageRank value can be manipulated.

2. Common sense leads to lasting results

You do not need special metrics to judge the quality of a web page. When you find a web page that could link to your site, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the linking page look good to the average web surfer?
  • Does the page have interesting content?
  • Is the content somewhat related to my website?
  • Does it make sense if the web page links to your site?

If you can answer all questions with “yes” then you should try to get a backlink from that page. It doesn’t matter if that page has a low PageRank.

3. Give Google what they want and your website will succeed

Google tries to imitate common sense with its algorithm. If you use common sense to build your links and follow the tips above, you make sure that the backlinks to your website will count in all future updates of Google’s algorithm.

The link building tools in IBP help you to build links with a common sense approach. If you build links with the tools in IBP, you will get lasting results and you make sure that your backlinks won't be flagged by Google's future algorithm updates.


2. Search engine news and articles of the week

New studyNew study: organic search is undervalued

"In order to measure the overall effect of online marketing campaigns, one must be able to determine the true value of each marketing channel: organic search, paid advertising, email marketing, direct visits, and referrals. Typically, a user will interact with a website in a number of different ways using a combination of these channels over the course of a few days or even weeks. [...]

The year-long study of online conversion habits produced the following takeaways: Organic Search was undervalued by as much as 77.25% [...] Direct Visits were overvalued by as much as 81.59%"

Editor's note: this new study confirms how important it is to get your website on the first result page for your keywords.

Local ranking factors study

"Having a physical address in the city of the search did not turn out to be a strong ranking factor, only distance from centroid seemed to matter. So, if you are just outside the city and your address is not officially in the city, this didn't seem to hurt any more than a business whose address was in the city, but just as far from the centroid.

Not having any Google reviews or having an average review score of one hurt ranking (as expected), although the incremental increase in ranking as the review score increased from two through five was negligible."

IndexingNo more SEO worries for dynamic content?

"When the spider fails to identify dynamic content, you might lose a lot more than a few words on a page. If that content contains links, the spider might not see whole pages on your site, and whatever pages THEY link to.

So, I’m a technical guy, and I really love to see the spiders getting smarter. It would be great if any Web page that can be rendered properly in a browser could be crawled and indexed by all search engines. [...]

But we’re not there yet. So, make sure that you know what the spiders see (all of them) before you employ lots of dynamic content techniques."

Editor's note: use the search engine spider simulator in IBP to find out how search engine robots see your web pages.

Google’s local policy is stupid

"I think this post is a pretty good example of why I think this “policy” is inherently stupid and unreasonable, and I hope Google reconsiders. [...] Should Google exclude legitimate service businesses who don’t have a public storefront from the local results? Why or why not?"

Google: do not stop your AdWords ads

"What happens when search ads are paused? How much does organic traffic make up for the loss in traffic from search ads? We found that an average 89% of paid clicks are essentially lost and not recovered by an increase in organic clicks when a search campaign is paused."

Editor's note: the better your website is ranked in Google's organic search results, the less dependent you are from Google AdWords.

Search engine newslets

  • The websites with the most backlinks in March 2012.
  • Google's Matt Cutts: new top level domains won't help you to rank higher.
  • Google AdWords to retire demographic bidding.
  • Bing testing in-line Twitter trends and Facebook shares, influencing results?
  • Archived Google Places forum posts.

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3. Success stories

Tell other readers of this newsletter 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.


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4. Previous articles

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