Weekly SEO news: 26 March 2013
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

A new study shows that Google's tolerance of spammy backlinks is decreasing. How many bad backlinks can cause trouble and which backlinks should you avoid?

In the news: Google still needs text to understand your web pages, rich-media ads have higher click-through-rates, Google doesn't allow phone numbers in AdWords texts, 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. Google's Penguin updates are getting stricter
A new study shows that Google's tolerance of spammy backlinks is decreasing:

"The Portent analysis found strong evidence that Google is steadily lowering the bar for what it considers spam link profiles. [...] We found that the majority of websites — 36 out of 50 — have “clean” profiles with less than 10 percent of their links coming from questionable sources. [...]

We discovered Google has been applying a stricter standard over time. In the initial Penguin update, the only sites we saw penalized had link profiles comprised of more than 80 percent manipulative links.

Within two months, Google lowered the bar to 65 percent. Then in October 2012, the net got much wider. Google began automatically and manually penalizing sites with 50 percent manipulative links."

low tolerance

Google has become much stricter when it comes to spammy backlinks. If you want to get high rankings on Google, you should make sure that your website doesn't contain spammy backlinks.

The following backlink types can be considered spam:
  • Too many keyword-rich links in press releases: If the linked keyword doesn't make sense in the press release, it's better to avoid that link.
  • Low quality article directories: Links from websites that contain thousands of low-quality articles about every possible subject provide no value.
  • Low quality blogs: automatically created blogs with a lot of articles about a wide range of topics usually trigger Google's spam filters.
  • Link lists with hundreds of unrelated pages: Link lists aren't bad as long as they are related to the topic of a website. If a link page lists to every Tom, Dick and Harry, you should stay away from that page.
  • Random forum links: If you're not participating in an online discussion, you should not add your link to that forum.
Tools that you should avoid at all costs:

Many newbie webmasters still fall for tools that promise thousands of backlinks within a few days. Any link building tool that uses words such as "dominator," "super," "amazing," "secret" or any other superlative in its name or headline is usually a spamming tool. Avoid these tools if you want to get lasting results.

Shortcuts often lead to dead ends:

People who use these spamming tools often said things like "this tool got my website to number one within two weeks." Six months later the same person had to say "my website rankings plummeted." Shortcut SEO methods lead to short-lived results:

The right tactics and methods lead to lasting results:

If you use safe SEO methods that play by the rules, you don't have to worry about Google's algorithm updates. It takes longer to get high rankings with safe SEO methods, but the results are worth the time and effort:

white-hat optimization

SEOprofiler is a complete SEO software suite that helps you to get high rankings on Google and other search engines. It uses only safe SEO methods that play by the rules.

If you want to improve the position of your web pages, try SEOprofiler now. You can get the full version 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

Video: Does Google still need text to understand my site?

Google's Matt Cutts answer this question in a video on YouTube. Google still needs text to understand your website. If you want to make your website prettier, you could use web fonts and you should use alt attributes for your images.

BingBing Webmaster tools won't let you block all pages of your website
If you want to block an URL from Google, it can happen that you cannot do it with Bing's webmaster tools. If Bing finds that a web page is important, you have to block it with a noindex meta tag.

Study: rich media ads have higher click-through rates (CTR)

"Click-through rates rose from 0.10% for standard banners to 0.14% for rich media and 1.11% for video. Interaction rates rose from 2.5% for rich media to 6.4% for interactive in-stream video (VPAID), an increase of 156 percent. This trend was replicated worldwide."

BingUnderstand your world with Bing

"We have expanded Satori to include a significantly larger number of entities from more domains with a deeper level of understanding about them.

They include people, places, and things which are among the most common searches on Bing. So, whether you’re searching for answers about a celebrity, co-worker, animal, geographic location, or man-made structure, Bing helps you understand the world around you by providing at-a-glance answers about the people, places and things you care about."

Google alters AdWords rules to ban phone numbers in ad text, require call extensions starting in April

"Google has quietly announced a change in its AdWords rules that means businesses can no longer include their phone number in the advertisement’s text starting next month. The company has updated its policy, which now states that its call extension feature, must be used."

Search engine newslets
  • Prototype Bing app for Windows Phone shows many improvements.
  • Expanding Universal Analytics into public beta.
  • Easier management of website verifications.
  • Yahoo toolbar serving up questionable affiliate links as coupons.
  • YouTube hits a billion monthly users.
  • My Google trust issues.
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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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