Weekly SEO news: 19 March 2013
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

For many webmasters, link building has been a numbers game. The more links a website has, the better. Whole industries were built around this idea. There's a new approach to link building that will help you to get better results.

In the news: Google releases another Panda update, Google sends a link warning notice to the BBC, Google and Bing gain market share, paid search ads don't work for eBay, 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 new approach to link building
For many webmasters, link building has been a numbers game. The more links a website has, the better. Whole industries were built around this idea. You can buy links in bulk and there are several tools that automatically created hundreds of backlinks through low quality links from forums or blog comments.

Since Google's recent updates, even the most ignorant webmaster should have understood that this is not the way link building works. Google hates these artificial backlinks and you can even get your website in trouble if you use tools and services that automatically create backlinks to your site.

New Google: the new approach to link building

It's the quality of the backlinks that matters, not the quantity. When you try to get new backlinks to your website, consider the following:

Get backlinks that show your influence

When Google introduced a ranking algorithm that was based on the number of backlinks that point to a website, the main idea was that a website with many backlinks must be an influential website.

Most of the artificial backlinks do not indicate influence at all. If you focus on the backlinks that show Google that your website is important, then you don't have to worry about future Google updates. Google's algorithm wants to find important links that point to your website.

Google likes the following links:

    • Links from websites that have a related topic. If your website is an online travel agency, links from travel blogs will have a very positive influence on your rankings.
    • Links from single web pages that are related to your topic. For example, a newspaper website usually isn't related to your site. If they publish an article about a topic that is related to your website, a link from that page would be great.
    • Links that show the importance of your website. If your website is linked with a "Further information about that topic can be found here" link then search engines will see that your website is an authority for that topic.
    • Links from high authority websites. If Wikipedia or the NY Times link to your website, it's clear that your website must be important.
Get backlinks that show that your website is real

These four link types above are the best links that your website can get. That does not mean that other links don't count. There are several other link types that will also have a positive influence on your search engine rankings:

  • Links from business associations. These links show search engines that your website belongs to a particular category.
  • Links from related articles. If you publish guest posts on other web logs, it's okay to link to your site. As long as the content of the page is related to your website, this will have a positive influence. Do not bulk submit the same article to many sites. Be selective.
  • Links from business directories. Some websites such as the Yellow Pages simply must list your website if you want to show search engines that you're serious about your business.
  • Links from business partners. It's perfectly fine if your business partners link to your site.
  • Any link that delivers targeted visitors to your website.

All links that deliver visitors to your website are good links. When you build backlinks, ask yourself: "Can I get visitors through this link?" If the answer is yes, the link is a good link. It's as simple as that.

How the tools in SEOprofiler help you to get these links

SEOprofiler offers many powerful tools that help you to get the links mentioned above. The hub finder tool helps you to find websites that link to several of your competitors, the link opportunity finder helps you to find websites that accept your guest posts, the backlinks by keyword tool helps you to find websites that will link to your website with a particular keyword, etc.

In addition, SEOprofiler offers a sophisticated link manager that helps you to manage your link building campaign. The link manager keeps track of your link requests, it checks if the other websites still link to your site, it automatically finds contact information, and much more.

New link building tools

Google's new approach to link building actually isn't a new approach. It's what we have been recommending in this blog for years. If you want to get high rankings that last, you have to use search engine optimization methods that are beneficial to searchers, search engines and your business.

Start getting great backlinks

The link building tools in SEOprofiler help you to get high quality backlinks that lead to high rankings that last. You can use all link building tools in SEOprofiler for just $1 (this offer is available once per customer):

Free trial Test full version for $1

Create a free trial account now or test the full version for only $1.

2. Search engine news and articles of the week

Google releases another Panda update

"What’s that, a Panda Update you just felt? Some believe so. But Google says it is unlikely to confirm that or any future Panda Update, as it has done in the past, because of the new 'gradual' rollout infrastructure it is using for Panda Update changes."

GoogleThe BBC gets an unnatural link warning message – what does this mean for your site?
"Your website might have received an unnatural link warning message from Google. Does this mean that your website has been penalized? What do you have to do if you receive such a message?

Some days ago, the BBC has received an unnatural link warning message. Google’s response to that message shows how to deal with these notifications."

Do paid search ads work? eBay doesn't think so.

"eBay management agreed to run a controlled experiment in which they shut off all Google search ads in a third of the country, while continuing to buy ads everywhere else. [...]

There was no appreciable decline in sales of eBay listings in the part of the country where Google ad purchases were shut off. People who thought to buy guitars via eBay were finding their way to the site anyway, either by clicking on natural listings or by going directly to eBay’s site without using a search engine at all."

Editor's note: eBay's findings show that it is very important to be listed in Google's natural listings. Use SEOprofiler to get your website in Google's natural listings.

StatisticsGoogle and Bing gain market share

"Google Sites led the U.S. explicit core search market in February with 67.5 percent market share (up 0.5 percentage points), followed by Microsoft Sites with 16.7 percent (up 0.2 percentage points) and Yahoo! Sites with 11.6 percent. Ask Network accounted for 2.6 percent of explicit core searches, followed by AOL, Inc. with 1.7 percent. [...]

69.7 percent of searches carried organic search results from Google (up 0.4 percentage points), while 25.9 percent of searches were powered by Bing (up 0.3 percentage points)."

Video snippets vs. author images – which have higher click through rates?

"The results of this survey indicate that the presence of video snippets is much less effective in driving clicks in specialty lawyer searches than the simple authorship snippet. Why is this the case?

Searchers are getting more sophisticated. The Internet is full of distractions, useless information, and time wasters, and they are developing an intuition for filtering through the noise. Now more true than ever, people are not going to click on a video result if they don’t believe it will provide them with the information they want, how they want it."

Search engine newslets
  • The Bing operating system: Microsoft bets on deep search integration to beat Google.
  • Google authorship markup patent applications published.
  • Google: Panda to be integrated into the search algorithm.
  • Google to close Google Reader.
  • Half of mobile search conversions happen in one hour.
  • Don't expect any big Yahoo acquisitions.
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3. Recommended resources

Get a detailed SEO audit of your website for $1

Doing a regular audit of your web pages is important if you want to make sure that search engines can index all of your pages. The more pages your website has, the more likely it is that there are many errors that have to be corrected.

The new website audit tool in SEOprofiler automatically checks your web pages once per week. Then you get a report that shows all the issues that should be corrected. By correcting these issues, you make sure that search engines can index all of your pages correctly. Here’s a screenshot of the overview page:


You can get the website audit tool and all other tools in SEOprofiler for our special offer price:

Free trial Test full version for $1

Create a free trial account now or test the full version for only $1.

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4. Previous articles
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