Weekly SEO news: 5 May 2015
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

BlueNileResearch published an interesting study about the way searchers formulate their queries. This article will show you how to use this data to reach more customers.

In the news: the impact of Google's mobile algorithm update is small, buying an old domain name can cause major problems, Google changes your web pages for mobile searches in Indonesia, 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. How searchers formulate queries

BlueNileResearch published an interesting study about the way searchers formulate their queries. This article will show you how to use this data to reach more customers.

different searches on Google

1. There are two different approaches

Half of the searchers use fragment queries such as "fix coffee maker", while the other half uses more specific queries such as "why doesn't my coffee maker turn on" and "brand model coffee maker trouble shooting".

2. The phrasing varies wildly

While most searches use two-word queries, the chosen words vary a lot. Individuals search differently and they phrase their queries in distinct ways.

3. Many searchers phrase their query in form of a question

In the study, some searchers choose to ask a question while others choose to make a statement. 27% of searchers phrased their query in the form of a question (‘how, ‘why’, ‘where’, ‘what’, ‘which'). 73% used a non-question form.

4. 'How' questions are more popular than 'why' questions

When searchers entered a question in the search form, 'how' was used by 44% of searchers. The least popular question word was 'what'. It seems that searchers are looking for a solution ('How do I fix my coffee maker?') instead of a reason ('Why is my coffee maker not working?').


So what should you do to improve your SEO campaigns?

To get as many targeted visitors as possible, you have to developed distinct approaches for the individual ways people search.

As explained in the SEOprofiler manual, searchers go through three research phases. Searchers in the research phase want specific information. They want a quick solution and not detailed explanations. Create educating content that targets users in different research phases.

Think beyond keyword suggestion tools

Keyword suggestion tools can help a lot to get new keyword ideas for your business. However, you shouldn't rely solely on them. Be creative when you choose the keywords for your web pages.

Do not vision how searchers might choose to phrase a query. Phrases vary, often widely, from one searcher to the next.

People are different. The more pages your website has, the more likely it is that one of these pages caters the needs of a particular searcher. Create different pages on your website that describe different aspects of your products and services.

The tools in SEOprofiler help you to find good keywords for your business. They also help you to optimize your pages for these keywords. If you haven't done it yet, try SEOprofiler now:

Try SEOprofiler risk-free

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week
ZDNet buys domain name: immediately gets 2 year old trusted site banned in Google

"ZDNet recently bought a new domain name from the domain name aftermarket (a domain name auction), and almost immediately got their trusted, authoritative, 2 year old website banned in Google. [...]

Google banned the domain name and banned their site, although they thought that it contained great, authoritative, trusted content. So what wrong? [...]

What ZDNet failed to do was properly check out the domain name. They didn’t look at the history of the domain name. They didn’t look at the Internet Archive of the domain. They didn’t check out the backlinks of the domain name. It was the backlinks of the domain that gave it all away: it was linked from all sorts of other spammy websites, hosted in other countries."

GoogleGoogle mobile penalty study

"So far, in aggregate across the 59 sites we’re tracking, we’re seeing average daily mobile search traffic up 8% on mobile optimized sites and down 4% on non-mobile friendly sites.

Hardly the search traffic apocalypse forecasted by SEO geeks and The Google. And remember, mobile natural search traffic represents just a portion of overall legal webite traffic, so this blip doesn’t register meaningfully on anyone’s radar. [...] it looks like the only thing the Google mobile update has done is push a little more work to website developers."

Also see: Mobilegeddon is here and it is not as bad as expected

What happens when you search for “Google” on Bing?

"A box expands from the search query box asking “Will Bing beat Google?” and talks about how in blind tests, people are actually preferring the Bing results over Googles. [...]

While the “Will Bing Beat Google?” prompt in the search results seems to be displayed to all users, only US users can actually click through to the Bing It On challenge. Non-US searchers will end up being immediately redirected back to the Bing homepage, leaving those people wondering what happened and why."

GoogleGoogle strips down mobile web pages in Indonesia

"We’re starting a field test in Indonesia to provide streamlined search results and optimized pages when the user searches on slow mobile connections, such as 2G. Our experiments show that optimized pages load four times faster than the original page and use 80% fewer bytes. As our users’ overall experience became faster, we saw a 50% increase in traffic to these optimized pages. [...]

These [Google hosted] faster optimized pages help publishers and advertisers reach new audiences. In addition, a link to the original page will always be available, so users can still choose to view that version.

Clickbait email subject lines don’t work, return path study finds

"The analysis of more than 9 million messages sent by prominent global brands to more than 2 million consumers revealed that benefit-based subject lines featuring superlatives like “fastest” (which coincided with 5.30% higher read rates than comparable messages sent under different subject lines) were better at getting consumers’ attention. Read rates for urgency-based subject lines including 'limited time,' 'last chance,' and 'expiring' were also elevated.

Two classes of value-based subject lines yielded unexpectedly low performance: those promoting prices and discounts."

Search engine newslets

  • Discussion: was there a Google News algorithm update?
  • Discussion: was there another Google Panda update?
  • Bing adds their own version of recipes in search results.
  • Europe’s Google problem.
  • Google admits mistakes with news outlets as it announces new partnership.
  • Bing: new APIs, Bing solutions and developer resources.
  • Classic Google Maps, replaced by lite mode.
  • Missing titles on Google search result snippets.
3. Recommended resources

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4. Previous articles
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