Weekly SEO news: 22 September 2015
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

In a post on Google's official blog, Google's search quality team announced that repeated spam will lead to stronger penalties. It is very important that you only use search engine optimization methods that play by the rules if you want to get high rankings that last.

In the news: position 2 can get more clicks than position 1, Bing retires the Link Explorer tool, the click-through-rate has no effect on the rankings of a page, and more.

Table of contents:

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Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Official Google statement: repeated spam leads to stronger penalties

In a post on Google's official blog, Google's search quality team announced that repeated spam will lead to stronger penalties. It is very important that you only use search engine optimization methods that play by the rules if you want to get high rankings that last.

Google: no spam

Why does Google penalize sites?

Google penalizes websites that try to game the ranking algorithms. For example, paid links, false redirects and hidden content on your web pages can cause problems.

If Google finds out that you're trying to cheat them, they will penalize your site. Some spam tricks work longer than others but so far, all spamming sites have been penalized sooner or later.

Can you recover from a penalty?

If your website has been penalized, you can send a 'reconsideration request' to Google:

"When your site has a manual action taken, you can confirm in the [Manual Actions] page in Search Console which part of your site the action was taken and why. After fixing the site, you can send a reconsideration request to Google. Many webmasters are getting their manual action revoked by going through the process."

Better do not try to repeat your spam after a reconsideration request

It seems that some webmasters continue to spam Google as soon as their reconsideration request was processed:

"However, some sites violate the Webmaster Guidelines repeatedly after successfully going through the reconsideration process. 

For example, a webmaster who received a Manual Action notification based on an unnatural link to another site may nofollow the link, submit a reconsideration request, then, after successfully being reconsidered, delete the nofollow for the link."

Google has made it clear that this will get a website in trouble:

"Such repeated violations may make a successful reconsideration process more difficult to achieve. Especially when the repeated violation is done with a clear intention to spam, further action may be taken on the site.

In order to avoid such situations, we recommend that webmasters avoid violating our Webmaster Guidelines, let alone repeating it."

What should you do now?

Avoid spamming at all costs. Only use search engine optimization methods that play by the rules. The tools in SEOprofiler help you to optimize your web pages with spam-free optimization methods.

If you haven't done it yet, create your SEOprofiler account now and find out how to get better rankings:

See plans & pricing

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week
Study: position 2 can get more clicks if it has rich snippets

"A new study from Blue Nile Research shows that search results enhanced with rich media such as star reviews and author images appearing farther down the page outperform standard links in position one. The target site received, on average, 61% of clicks when enhanced with rich media in position 2 compared to 48% of clicks to a non-rich media result in position 1, a lift of 13%."

GoogleGoogle no longer displaying 7-packs for local results in tablets

"Last month, Google was still displaying the old local 7-pack to searchers who were searching from a tablet.  But not any longer. Now doing a local search on a tablet device will trigger the same 3-pack that matches what we see in both mobile and desktop results. The 7-packs are no longer being shown at all."

Bing: Link Explorer being retired in Webmaster Tools

"Saying goodbye is never easy, but the time has come to do just that with a member of the Bing Webmaster Tools family: starting October 1st, 2015 we are shutting down Link Explorer. [...]

Link Explorer has been part of Webmaster Tools since the June 2012 release and provided an easy way to see a sample of links pointing to a given site — not just your own — making it a simple competitive link analysis tool."

Editor's note: OpenLinkProfiler.org is a good and free alternative that enables you to analyze the links of any website.

GoogleHow important is click-through rate in an SEO campaign?

"We don’t know for sure that CTR ever had a causal relationship with organic search ranking improvement. We do know, thanks to Góralewicz’s experiment, that it doesn’t guarantee rank improvement. These two facts lead us to a safe assumption that click-through rate is not a consistent ranking factor — so even if it does have a causal influence on rank, it’s inconsistent and unpredictable."

What it takes to recover from a Penguin hit

"To recover from a manual links penalty, a thorough disavow of the toxic links will usually suffice. However, this is only one part of a full Penguin recovery.

What many people don’t understand is that, unlike a recovery from a manual links penalty, a Penguin recovery will only take place if hard work also goes into rebuilding the link profile with good, natural links.

In my opinion, this is one of the reasons why we don’t really see many big brands fall victim to Penguin – it’s simply because a lot of them tend to get enough natural links which usually outweigh the bad links that they might have historically built in the past."

Editor's note: The Link Disinfection tool in SEOprofiler helps you to get rid of bad backlinks.

Search engine newslets

  • Super Mario Brothers infiltrate Google search results with an addictive Easter egg.
  • Russian search engine Yandex slaps link sellers.
  • Google adds new preview book button to knowledge panels.
3. Recommended resources

New version

SEOprofiler helps you to get high rankings on Google and more customers. It offers all the tools that you need:

  • automatic weekly website audits
  • tools for keyword research and analysis
  • competitive intelligence tools
  • automated ranking checks
  • website analytics
  • tools for spam-free link building
  • link disinfection tool
  • social media monitoring
  • white-label reports (web-based and PDF)
  • new: AdWords Profiler and Ranking Profiler
  • and much more.

Back to table of contents - Visit SEOprofiler.com
4. Previous articles
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