Weekly SEO news: 6 October 2015
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

There are two common technical errors that can be the reason why your website does not get high rankings on Google. If you're not actively monitoring your website, it might be that you are not aware of these errors on your site.

In the news: the latest search engine statistics, Google AdWords targets users by email address, the next Penguin update, 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. The two most common technical errors that harm your rankings

There are two common technical errors that can be the reason why your website does not get high rankings on Google. If you're not actively monitoring your website, it might be that you are not aware of these errors on your site.

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The following two technical errors are common errors that prevent Google from indexing your web pages correctly:

1. Wrong implementation of the rel=canonical attribute

The rel=canonical attribute can help you to avoid duplicate content problems. Unfortunately, it can also lead to major problems.

For example, some websites add a rel=canonical attribute that points to the index page to all web pages. Other sites use a rel=canonical attribute that points to pages that use the 'noindex' attribute.

In both cases, the web pages won't be indexed by Google. Only use rel=canonical with duplicated pages and do not use this tag instead of 301 redirects.

If you're not 100% sure that you know what you're doing, do not use rel=canonical at all. The potential benefits are much smaller than the damage that you can do to your website if you use the rel=canonical attribute incorrectly.

2. Broken redirects after a website redesign

Most websites use 301 redirects after a website redesign. If done correctly, these redirects can help you to keep your rankings on Google.

If done wrong, 301 redirects cause a lot of ranking problems. Even if your 301 rankings worked in the past, they might have stopped working in the meantime.

Code changes on your website, new website plugins or broken databases can be the reason for 301 redirects that lead to non-existing pages.

Broken links can destroy years of natural link building. You should make sure that all links on your website are intact.

To check the canonical attributes and redirects, use the website audit tool in the web-based website-promotion tool SEOprofiler. The audit tool automatically checks all links and redirects on your pages and it will warn you if something does not work.

It will also inform you about other website errors that can have a negative influence on the rankings of your web pages. If you haven’t done it yet, create your SEOprofiler account now:

See plans & pricing

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week
The latest desktop search engine rankings

"Google Sites led the U.S. explicit core search market in August with 63.8 percent market share, followed by Microsoft Sites with 20.6 percent (up 0.2 percentage points) and Yahoo Sites with 12.7 percent. Ask Network accounted for 1.8 percent of explicit core searches, followed by AOL, Inc. with 1.2 percent."

GoogleGoogle AdWords: target customers by email address

"Customer Match allows you to upload a list of email addresses, which can be matched to signed-in users on Google in a secure and privacy-safe way. From there, you can build campaigns and ads specifically designed to reach your audience."

Google patent: answer boxes, trigger terms and enriched search results

"To generate an answerbox, Google might rely upon a certain word or phrase to initiate the showing of that answerbox, something the patent refers to as a trigger term. These trigger terms may appear as text in pages that contain the content that they return. [...]

When Google identifies trigger terms in queries and response with an answer box result, it may provide a specialized display that is referred to in this patent as 'enriched content.'"

GoogleGoogle: using a Google service doesn't help you stay penalty free

"Google's John Mueller addressed a myth in a Google+ hangout saying that just because you are on a Google service, such as Blogger, it doesn't mean Google won't penalize your web site.

John said there are plenty of Blogger sites that are doing things against Google's guidelines and many, I am sure, were penalized. So don't think you can host your site on Blogger and violate Google's guidelines and get away with it."

Google confirms the real time Penguin algorithm is coming soon

"This version of the Penguin algorithm will be real-time, at least that is the goal, [Google's Gary Illyes] said.

That means that as soon as Google discovers that a link is removed or disavowed, the Penguin algorithm will process it in real time, and you would be able to recover from a Penguin penalty incredibly quickly. However, you could end up with a Penguin penalty just as quickly."

Search engine newslets

  • How does your business rank on DuckDuckGo — and should you care?
  • Google changes remove URL tool to stress it is temporary.
  • Enhancing the Google Display Network with new innovations.
  • CNN.com: Google's algorithm for happiness.
  • Google tests a new fixed search bar.
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.

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4. Previous articles
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