Weekly SEO news: 12 December 2017
Welcome to the latest issue of our newsletter!

Here are the latest website promotion and Internet marketing tips for you.

We hope that you enjoy this newsletter and that it helps you to get more out of your website. Please forward this newsletter to your friends.

Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Better alternatives to old school SEO methods - part 2

Search engine optimization has changed a lot in the past few years. Things that used to work great in the past do not work anymore. Other techniques that delivered great results in the past will get your website penalized today.

In our new article series, we'll talk about outdated SEO techniques and why you should avoid them. We'll also show you better alternatives.


Not recommended: over-optimized anchor texts in your internal links

Internal links are links from one page of your own website to other pages of your own website. Anchor-texts are the clickable words that are used for the link.

The internal links of your website are important. They define the hierarchy of your website and they help your website visitors and search engines to find what they are looking for. Good website navigation design helps website visitors and search engines to understand the structure of your website.

In the past, some people tried to make their pages extra-relevant by using the keywords for which they want to get high rankings over and over again in their internal links. The idea was that a web page must be very relevant to a keyword if many other pages of the website link to that page with that keyword.

This might have worked in the past, but it does not work anymore. Google and other search engines will get suspicious if you over-use particular keyword-rich links on your website.

Over-optimizing the internal links on your website will raise a red flag. If your internal links look spammy and manipulative, search engines might penalize your website.


The better alternative

Good website navigation is very important because it helps website visitors and search engines to understand your website structure. The internal links of your website do have an influence on the search engine rankings of your website.

However, you should make sure that you use your internal links correctly. Here are some things that you should consider when you create the navigation of your website:

  • It should be distinct, simple, consistent and familiar. The navigation should be separated from the main content of your website. It should be easy to find and it should not use unusual types of navigation. If your website visitors have to think about how to find a page, you will lose them. You should use the same navigation model on all pages.
  • It should be clear and descriptive. Use simple and obvious terms that are easy to understand. Use descriptive captions and avoid generic captions such as 'Products' or 'Services'. You can and should use keywords that are related to your business in the captions as long as they make sense.
  • It should be concise, ordered and structured. Remove less important elements to make the remaining element more prominent. Put the most important items first in your navigation. Find the best way to organize the content of your website and reflect that in the structure of your website navigation.
  • Don't bury information. All pages on your website should be available with a maximum of four clicks from any other page of your site. A good method to achieve that goal is to limit the categories on your website to three levels.

Among many other things, the website audit tool in SEOprofiler helps you to find out how many clicks people need to find the pages on your website:

the click depth on your website

Focus on an easy-to-use and logical website navigation. You can use keywords in your internal links as long as the links make sense and are easy-to-understand. Do not try to manipulate the links. Natural links that make sense for human website visitors work best.

Get better rankings

There are many things that you can do to get better rankings on Google and other search engines. If you use up-to-date SEO methods that play by the rules, you will get results that last. The tools in SEOprofiler help you to do that:

Try SEOprofiler now

2. Internet marketing news of the week

GoogleGoogle’s new custom intent audiences and you

"Custom intent audiences offer advertisers the opportunity to use the GDN to find people who want to buy the specific products you offer — based on data from your campaigns, website and YouTube channel."

Google tests mobile search interface with few organic results

"Justin Briggs has been in this Google test bucket where he is seeing Google mobile search results with very few organic results, mostly two organic listings, sometimes up to five but never more. In addition, there is no 'next page' button, it just says "see more results" which would dynamically load more results. [...]

This is not surprising because (a) Google is always testing things and (b) I doubt most people scroll past the first few results anyway on mobile."

GoogleGoogle responds to blog bribes: it can lead to search penalties

"Over the past few days, the community has been buzzing about an article on The Outline named How brands secretly buy their way into Forbes, Fast Company, and HuffPost stories. [...]Don’t buy or sell links. If [Google] spots this activity, [they] may take action in search results against both the buyer and the seller ."

Related: How brands secretly buy their way into Forbes, Fast Company, and HuffPost stories.

What Google’s Featured Snippet search update means for marketers

"Marketers need to continue thinking about the entities fundamental to their business that can help them rank in the knowledge graph. This means that a restaurant, for example, needs to list its menu and locations — so that that Google will then know its menu items and the eatery will shows up in the results if a consumer searches for 'pancakes.'"

+++ SEARCH +++ ENGINE +++ NEWS +++ TICKER +++

  • Google's John Mueller: standalone AMPs are their own canonicals.
  • Yahoo parent sues Mozilla for replacing it with Google as Firefox default search.
  • Paranoid about Google and Amazon spying on you? You're just paying attention.
  • Is holiday paid search more competitive in 2017 than 2016?
  • AMP: A case for websites serving developing countries.
  • YouTube is jacking up ad prices after a string of brand-safety issues.

3. Previous articles