Weekly SEO news: 22 January 2013
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

Are you dissatisfied with the performance of your website? Maybe it's time to take another close look at your web pages. Look at your website with the eyes of an uninterested third party. This week's article will help you to do that.

In the news: why Google removes small directories from the result pages, the  2012 retail season, Google AdWords ad security, 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. Five steps: how to check your website
Are you dissatisfied with the performance of your website? Maybe it's time to take another close look at your web pages. Look at your website with the eyes of an uninterested third party. Step back and take a neutral look on your website:

Improve your website

Check: Are your web pages fast enough?

Does your website load fast or do you have to wait for the pages? Slow loading web pages keep customers away. Only use third party plugins if they are really necessary and use asynchronous JavaScript code whenever possible.

Check: What is your website about?

Your website visitors should see at a glance what your website is about. Come straight to the point. Tell your website visitors what they will get on your website.

Check: Do your web pages look good and up-to-date?

The first impression is very important. Does your website look like the website of a professional business or does it look as if it has been coded by your nephew in 1999? Is it easy to see that your pages are regularly updated?

Check: Do your visitors get lost on your site?

A good website navigation is very important. The usability of your website can influence your search engine rankings. Show your website visitors on which page they are and which options they have.

Check: Do you offer compelling content?

The content of your web pages should be interesting, informative and error-free. Focus on your website visitors. Replace all sentences that start with "We" with sentences that start with "You."

Answer the visitor's question "What's in it for me?" as clearly as possible. Each page should have a clear call to action.

The things above are the first things that you should check if your website does not perform as expected. If you want to know how to get your web pages on Google's first page, check them with the Top 10 Optimizer in IBP.

The Top 10 Optimizer analyzes all important elements of your web pages and it will tell you how to change your web pages to make sure that they get on Google's first page for the keywords of your choice:

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2. Search engine news and articles of the wee

Google's John Mueller: why we remove small directories

"With directories like that, I always worry that it's very easy to create a ton of content that doesn't have a lot of value yet. For example, I clicked through to a number of businesses, and apart from the general information such as the address and occasionally some keywords, I am missing anything unique, compelling, and of high quality."

StatisticsThe 2012 retail season in paid search

"Com­pared with Q4 2011, online retail spend was up by a healthy 16%. By com­par­i­son, paid search retail spend was up 13% in Q4 last year. In terms of mar­ket share, Google increased its share in retail paid search to 86.5% per­cent, up from 85.9% in Q4 2011. [...]

While tablet retail cam­paigns have his­tor­i­cally enjoyed higher con­ver­sion rates than desk­tops, they have had 30% lower Cost per Clicks (CPCs) than desk­tops. As a result, they enjoyed a 73% higher ROI than com­pa­ra­ble desk­top cam­paigns."

Harper's publisher says Google's 'toddler gibberish' is driving us insane

"This unending assault of babble potentially could lead to revolutionary conditions in which the new writer-teacher proletariat rises up to overthrow the Internet oligarchy and the politicians and government agencies who protect it."

AdWordsGoogle AdWords ad security

"Advertising helps fund businesses online and enables them to provide services and content for free to their users.  But, bad ads can ruin your web experience, putting you and legitimate businesses in harm’s way.  We have a vested interest in fighting bad ads and their sources with considerable firepower."

Search engine newslets
  • The new Chrome version will use SSL search as the default. That means that more searches will appear as "keyword not provided" in your statistics.
  • Google improves handwritten search.
  • Ahead of Graph Search launch, Facebook removed the ability to opt out of search results.
  • Discussion: Google image search testing new interface.
  • Google Product Listing Ads generated 28% of Google non-brand clicks in Q4 (PDF).
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3. Recommended resources


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4. Previous articles
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