Weekly SEO news: 12 November 2019
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. Bing announces penalty for inorganic site structures

Bing has announced a new penalty to address 'inorganic site structure' violations. The new penalty will apply to malicious attempts to obfuscate website boundaries, which covers some old attack vectors (such as doorways) and new ones (such as subdomain leasing).

SEO: do not cross this line

Why has Bing introduced this new penalty?

Search engine algorithms differentiate between URLs that belong to the same website and URLs that don't. For example, internal links (same site) and external links (cross-site) have different values. Search engine algorithms also use site-level signals (among many others) to infer the relevance and quality of content.

That's why pages on a very trustworthy, high-quality website tend to rank more reliably and higher than others, even if such pages are new and didn't accumulate a lot of page-level signals.

It seems that many webmasters tried to cheat these algorithms with private blog networks, doorway pages, duplicate content, subdomain or subfolder leasing. Bing penalizes all of these techniques.

Bing decided to consider 'subdomain leasing' a violation of their 'inorganic site structure' policy when it is clearly used to bring a completely unrelated third-party service into the website boundary, for the sole purpose of leaking site-level signals to that service. In most cases, the penalties issued for that violation would apply only to the leased subdomain, not the root domain.

There are manual penalties and algorithmic penalties

Bing's Frédéric Dubut said that Bing manually reviews websites and that algorithms targeting these behaviors will roll out over time:

The penalty does not apply to the whole website:

You are responsible for the content on your website

Bing reminds website owners that they are responsible for the content that is hosted on their domain. This is particularly true when subdomains or subfolders are operated by different entities.

According to Bing, the overall domain reputation will be affected if a disproportionate number of websites end up in violation of our webmaster guidelines. Taking an extreme case, if you offer free hosting on your subdomains and 95% of your subdomains are flagged as spam, Bing will expand penalties to the entire domain, even if the root website itself is not spam.

Another unfortunate case is hacked sites. Once a website is compromised, it is typical for hackers to create subfolders or subdirectories containing spam content, sometimes unbeknownst to the legitimate owner. When Bing detect this case, they generally penalize the entire website until it is clean.

Don't try to cheat search engine algorithms

It might be tempting to exploit loopholes in search engine algorithms. Unfortunately, exploiting loopholes will always lead to a website penalty when search engines close the loophole. If you want to get lasting results, use search engine optimization techniques that play by the rules:

Optimize your website now

2. Internet marketing news of the week

John MuellerGoogle: we primarily  use spam reports to improve our algorithms
"John Mueller said on Twitter that Google primarily uses spam reports to improve Google’s algorithms. For example, they won’t remove a page from search just because of inappropriate structured data on the page."

A deep dive into BERT: How BERT launched a rocket into natural language understanding

"Get the full backstory of the algorithm's evolution and how BERT has improved human language understanding for machines."

John MuellerGoogle: we don’t index JavaScript content that requires user interaction

"Google’s John Mueller said in a webmaster hangout on YouTube that Google won’t index dynamically created content if it requires an interaction from the website visitor. [...] We wouldn’t be able to index that content."

Google: don't break the rules even if others are successful with it

"Google’s John Mueller said on Twitter that you should not break Google’s guidelines even if a competitor does it without getting penalized."

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

  • Google: improve your web pages if your robots.txt file is ranking for normal queries.
  • Google does not use UX (such as dwelling time/time on page, etc.) as a ranking factor.
  • Microsoft announces new version of Edge browser with many privacy features.
  • Facebook and Google urged to ban political ads before UK election.
  • Lasers can hack voice assistants.
  • Google Maps for Android adds carousel of search shortcuts.
  • Google Maps is testing a floating scrolling bar of category searches.
  • Unexplained spike in GMB views?
  • Microsoft is repositioning Bing as a company search engine.
  • Google's John Mueller: internationalization is hard.
  • EU's Vestager says Google's antitrust proposal not helping shopping rivals.
  • The secret and frustrating life of a Google contract worker.

3. Previous articles