Weekly SEO news: 13 August 2013
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

Some days ago, Bing's Duane Forrester published a list of things that influence the position of a website in Bing's results. Although the list was for Bing, it is very likely that the same factors also influence the position of a website on Google.

In the news: Google announces the manual action viewer for webspam and explains typical web spam actions, Matt Cutts talks about links in widgets, the perfect length for a business description in Google Places, 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 Bing statement: 25 things that help and hurt SEO
Some days ago, Bing's Duane Forrester published a list of things that influence the position of a website in Bing's results. Although the list was for Bing, it is very likely that the same factors also influence the position of a website on Google.

15 things you should pay attention to

According to Duane Forrester, the following 15 elements have a positive influence on the rankings of your web pages (if used correctly):

  1. Title tags
  2. Meta Descriptions
  3. Clean URLs
  4. Images and Alt descriptions (also called alt tags)
  5. H1 tags
  6. Rel=Canonical
  7. Robots.txt
  8. Sitemaps
  9. Social sharing options
  10. Unique content
  11. Depth of content
  12. Matching content type to visitor expectations (text, images, video, etc.)
  13. Usability Page load times (to a certain point – faster is great, but not at the expense of usability and usefulness)
  14. Crawlability (AKA discoverability, so can we actually get to all your content)
  15. News – if you are actually a new site, submit for inclusion

All of these elements can contribute to the rankings of your website. However, you should make sure that you use these elements correctly. If you stuff the H1 tags on your website with keywords, this will have a negative effect on your website's rankings. You have to understand why an H1 tag is important to a reader, and learn how to write optimized content for them. Just 'having' a tag in place doesn’t mean that your tags are doing everything they can for you.

How to check this quickly and easily

Check your website with the website audit tool in SEOprofiler to find out if everything is correct. The website audit tool checks titles, image alt tags, duplicate content, click depth, and many more things that make sure that search engines will index your web pages correctly.

After performing a website health check with the website audit tool, use the Top 10 Optimizer in SEOprofiler to analyze the different elements on your web pages. For example, the Top 10 Optimizer will tell you whether your H1 tags are overoptimized or not. The Top 10 Optimizer analyzes many different elements that have a direct influence on the search engine positions of your web pages.

10 things you should avoid

There are several things that can have a negative influence on the rankings of your web pages:

  1. Meta Keywords (fill them in if you like, keep it short and relevant, but not a big ranking factor)
  2. Duplicate URLs
  3. Overly long URLs (no set number, but you’ve all seen these)
  4. Cloaking (comes down to your intent, but risky business for sure)
  5. Link buying
  6. Selling links
  7. Link and like farms
  8. Three way links
  9. Content duplication content
  10. Auto following in social media

Just like Google, Bing doesn't want to get cheated. Do not participate in linking schemes and do not buy links, likes or followers.

Use white-hat SEO methods that play by the rules. If you use white-hat SEO methods, you don't have to worry about spam filters and penalties. In addition, you will get high rankings that last.

When it comes to ranking factors, Google and Bing aren't that different. The influence of the factors on the rankings is slightly different but the basic factors are the same. If you want to get high rankings on Google and Bing/Yahoo, optimize your web pages with the help of the tools in SEOprofiler.

With the website audit tool, you can get a detailed website health check for just $1. If you haven't done it yet, create your SEOprofiler account now:

Free trial Test full version for $1

Create a free trial account now or get a website health check for only $1.

2. Search engine news and articles of the wee

Google announces manual action viewer for web spam

"On Google’s webmaster blog, Matt Cutts, head of Google’s webspam team announced changes in the reporting of manual web spam:

'The manual action viewer in Webmaster Tools shows information about actions taken by the manual webspam team that directly affect that site’s ranking in Google’s web search results.'"

Google PlusOfficial Google information: typical manual webspam actions explained
"In addition to Google’s manual webspam action viewer, Google has created seven videos that explain the most common manual action notifications. If your website has a manual penalty, the videos can help you to get the penalty lifted."

Google's Matt Cutts: use nofollow in widget links

In a video on YouTube, Google's Matt Cutts says that you should use nofollow if the widgets that you use on your website contain links.

He also said that widget links don't necessarily carry the same weight as a true editorial link.

Google PlacesHow long should your business description be in the Google Places for business dashboard?

"The description should be short and sweet. It should be an elevator pitch that convinces a reader and potential customer with brevity. If it is too long, it pushes your (hopefully) good reviews down the page making them less visible to a reader and requiring them to scroll to see them.

So the recommended length? You should use just enough words needed to describe what you do in a compelling way."

Google publishes mobile page guidelines (you have one second)

"Research has shown that any delay longer than a second will cause the user to interrupt their flow of thought, creating a poor experience. [...]

It is not easy to meet the one second time budget. Luckily for us, the whole page doesn’t have to render within this budget, instead, we must deliver and render the above the fold (ATF) content in under one second, which allows the user to begin interacting with the page as soon as possible. Then, while the user is interpreting the first page of content, the rest of the page can be delivered progressively in the background."

Related: Making smartphone sites load fast

Search engine newslets

  • Introducing Google’s newest innovation: Gspam.
  • comScore reports $49.8 million in Q2 2013 desktop-based U.S. retail e-commerce spending.
  • Claim your Bing Places for business listing.
  • Yelp outs businesses with fake reviews.
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3. Recommended resources

How to get a website health-check quickly and easily

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 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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