Weekly SEO news: 3 December 2013
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

Getting high rankings hasn't become easier with Google's recent updates. Fortunately, it is still possible to get high rankings if you do the right things. Depending on your target keywords, you have to do different things to get high rankings.

In the news: webmasters discuss a Google Thanksgiving algorithm update, Microsoft plans to encrypt search data, it takes time to regain Google's trust, and more.

Table of contents:

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Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Different keywords require different SEO tactics

Getting high rankings hasn't become easier with Google's recent updates. Fortunately, it is still possible to get high rankings if you do the right things. Depending on your target keywords, you have to do different things to get high rankings.

1. Long keywords: on-page optimization has a high impact

If you target long keywords with little competition, the value of on-page optimization is very high:

On-page optimization vs link building

Say you want to be listed for the search term "the knoxville ornithologists club t-shirts" then it is enough to optimize one of your web pages for that search term because the competition for that search term is not high. You don't need many inbound links to get high rankings for that keyphrase.

If you target more competitive keywords, you need more backlinks to get high rankings in the search results.

2. More competitive keywords: on-page optimization remains important

On-page optimization is the basis for high rankings on Google and other search engines.

By optimizing a web page for a keyphrase, you tell search engines that the web page is relevant to that keyphrase. If more than one web page has been optimized for that keyphrase (which is usually the case) then the web page with the best inbound links will get the highest position in the search results.

For example, the website www.cnn.com has very many backlinks. Although cnn.com has so many backlinks, they do not rank for the keyword "the knoxville ornithologists club t-shirts" because the website has not been optimized for that keyphrase.

3. First things first: optimize your web page content, then work on the backlinks

If you want to get high rankings for a keyword, the first step is to optimize one of your web pages for that keyword. Then work on the links that point to the optimized web page to outrank other websites that have been optimized for the same keyword:

Competitive keywords: better SEO

4. The more pages you optimize the better

When you optimize your website, optimize different pages of your website for different keyphrases. Start with longer keyword phrases that don't have much competition and then proceed with more competitive keywords.

As soon as Google knows that your website is relevant to the topic, it will be much easier to get high rankings for more competitive keywords.

The more pages of your website you optimize for different but related keywords, the better.

5. It's not necessary to have more links than your competitors

It's not always necessary that you have more links than your competitors. You need better links.

Don't focus on quantity, focus on quality. Getting hundreds of links from a link farm won't help your website as much as a few dozen links from relevant web pages with authority.

If your website has both optimized web pages and good inbound links then it will be easy to outrank web pages that only have one of these factors.

The tools in SEOprofiler help you to optimize the content of your web pages. They also help you to improve the backlinks that point to your website. If you haven't done it yet, try SEOprofiler now:

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

GoogleDiscussion: did Google update the algorithm over Thanksgiving?
In an online forum, many webmasters report ranking changes:

"I have been getting almost 70% foreign traffic. That means no sales. [...]  India, Australia & US traffic here though. Is the UK switched off today for us Google? [...] Just have a big drop in traffic."

As Microsoft moves to encrypted search, webmasters could lose more keyword data

"Having Bing and Yahoo search referrals are really the only way that webmasters can get an idea of what keywords are bringing visitors into their site. Even though it is generally fairly low percentage of traffic for most websites, it is better than nothing.

However, Microsoft switching over to encrypted search on Bing would mean those webmasters could very likely end up not getting this data from Bing any longer."

John MuellerGoogle: it takes some time to regain our trust

"In an online discussion, a webmaster complained that his website didn’t get its rankings back after using the disavow links file.

Google’s John Mueller answered that it takes some time until Google trusts a website that spammed in the past."

Bing Places now available to local businesses in Germany and Spain

"Bing Places for Business is a free tool that allows you to easily and quickly create an online business profile that helps increase the discoverability of your business by millions of searchers. Bing Places is the latest product after location extensions that makes it easier for your business to be found by customers who look for a business like yours, local to them."

Boost your CTR for the holidays by picking your best creative
"Testing sacrifices some short term efficiency to ultimately improve your account in the long run. For that reason, there is an opportunity cost to leaving your tests running longer than they need to. [...]

As your tests are concluded, don’t restart them during your heavy season. Let your top ads shine throughout your peak season, but keep track of ad groups that are no longer testing (via labels) so that you can easily restart your tests once things settle down."

Search engine newslets

  • Yahoo: 2013 year in review.
  • Top Bing searches for 2013.
  • Mobile anchor ads now rolling out for Google AdSense publishers.
  • Bing tests show a big favicon on first results.
  • Google quietly debuts viewable impression CPM bidding in AdWords.
  • Google AdWords experiences temporary tracking problems.
  • Apple has twice the global “ad impression share” of Android.
  • Google AdWords poaching clients again?
  • This year, NORAD tracks Santa with the help of Bing.
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3. Recommended resources

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