Category Archives: Search Engine News

Strange Titles on Google

Strange Titles on Google

Image: Google search for social media traffic

Last week I was reading an article at Search Engine Roundtable about Google pulling website titles from Google maps and according to a comment on the post Googler, John Mueller has said this:

“We may choose to replace titles which are repeated on a number of pages or which otherwise appear to be suboptimal”

So is this the reason why I am seeing the phrase Social Media Traffic – at the start of my page title tag when I search Google for that particular phrase? I am not too sure.

My actual meta page title tag for the page coming up is this:

“Just How Much Traffic Can You Get From Social Media Websites?”

Google are currently showing this:

“Social Media Traffic – Just How Much Traffic Can You Get From Social Media Websites?

You check the Google cache for the page here and there is no mention of the extra phrase at the start of the page title tag.

Pretty strange right? My thoughts are, if it gets me a higher CTR then I am all for it.

Posted in Search Engine News By David Eaves a UK search engine optimisation specialist.

3 Reasons Why Digital Point’s PageRank Got Penalised

I have just been looking at what keywords people have been typing in to find this blog and someone searched for:

“digital point forum pr has been reduced”

So I’m guessing this searcher is curious to know why Digital Point Solutions and Digital Point Forums have both had their PageRank scores dramatically reduced:

Here are 3 good reasons why Google might have spanked their PageRank scores.

1. The buying and selling of signature links amongst its users – Buying and selling links that pass PageRank is against the guidelines, this alone could warrant a PR penalty.

2. The link sales forum – Plenty of guideline breaking links get sold in that forum every day, again this could warrant a penalty.

3. DP COOP – The Digital Point Coop link exchange network is still active and spamming Google’s search results to this day.

And that’s just for starters, I’m sure if I looked into it further I could find a few more.

Posted in Search Engine News By David Eaves a UK search engine optimisation specialist.

What The Allinanchor Command Is Really For

I remember about 3 years ago when you could actually use the allinanchor search command on Google as an SEO tool.

The allinanchor command basically shows you the search results according to links only, so content is not a factor. 3 years ago you could do a regular search and then do an allinanchor and work out things like this website isn’t ranking as high as it should do because it hasn’t got enough anchor text links or it hasn’t got the right keywords in the content.

Unfortunately at sometime around February 2006 the command seemed to stop working. Now I don’t believe Google actually disabled the tool, because if they did I think it just wouldn’t do anything. Allinanchor searches on Google will still bring up results, it is just the vast majority of the time they are no different to the regular results.

I believe the command stopped working because the algorithm changed, on page factors are no where near as important as they used to be and lets face it most of the time when people get a lot of links on something they are optimised on page for it.

So what can you use the allinanchor search command for?

OK so here it is, the allinanchor command is a Google Sandbox detection tool. If you want to get a rough estimate of where a sandboxed site should be ranking according to the links it has then use the allinanchor command.

Here is an example, one of the brand new sites that I am working on KoshCreative.co.uk is currently ranking nowhere in the 1st few hundred results for its main phrase design agency even though it has lots of links with that anchor text. If I do a allinanchor search on Google UK for design agency, I can see the site coming up on page 6 – Link

I believe that the position result is roughly where the site would be ranking according to the links it has if it were not in the sandbox.

With a little testing I think you could make a pretty good Google sandbox detection tool by using this command. If any of you know anyone who could make something like this up for me I might be willing to pay to try it out.

Posted in Search Engine News By David Eaves a UK search engine optimisation specialist.

Is Google Trends For Websites Just A Big Google SEO Ploy?

search result on google for searchengineland.com

Image above: search result on google for searchengineland.com

Have any of you started to notice the new Google trend URL page results showing up in the SERPs? Here are a few examples:

It is only a few days since Google launched the Google trends for websites and already Google is often ranking in the top 10 with the Google trend URL pages that are indexed.

IMO: this is not a bad thing: for most URLs the pages really do offer good information. The information provided on the Google trend pages is far more useful then the information provided by many of the other competing URL sites, you know aboutus.org etc.

Also IMO: I am guessing this is a mistake on Google’s part and that they will robots.txt out the Google trend pages.

Update: Kevin Gibbons from SEOptimise has noticed exactly the same thing, click on the link below to visit his post:

Google Trends indexing website URL’s & ranking for brand queries

Update:As I suspected they would do, Google have robots.txt out the pages now. I guess it is a good job I am here to keep my eye on these things for them.

Posted in Search Engine News By David Eaves a UK search engine optimisation specialist.

Google’s Only Rank For Your Own Name Penalty

Up until about 2-3 months ago I was only aware of two real Google penalties. The outright ban, where a site will be completely removed from the Google index and the minus 40-60 penalty.

About 2-3 months ago I started talking to a local company about helping them with their SEO. It looked like they wanted to do something and they were just thinking things over. Next the guy called me up and said that all of his Google rankings had disappeared and that the only thing his site was coming up for was the name. The site came up no.1 for his two word company name and no.1 for the domain. However all of the other positions the site had with the homepage, albeit not good ones had disappeared. Even when I tried searching for some unique text off the homepage in quotes it did not come up. So I asked the guy a couple of questions, you know – have you made any changes recently that could have caused this to happen? etc. The guy said that the only thing he could think of was that he had placed a load of area names on the bottom of the homepage in tiny text so that no body could see. I said “bingo, that is why the site is penalised, you put hidden text on”. He got rid of the hidden text, I told him what to say to Google on the reinstatement request and his site was back to where it was previously within a week.

Again about 2-3 months ago I started to work on this new site and I came up with a temporary solution to get some link juice into the category pages. This was totally my fault and looking back it was really bad and stupid. This is the only time I have ever got a client penalised by any search engine. The site had about 130 categories and I placed an SEO friendly drop down menu on the homepage and the rest of the pages to the 130 categories. I saw some progress with the rankings initially, but around a week later the site got hit with the exact same penalty, this time it was not just the homepage that got hit, it was all of the pages where I had placed the drop down menu. It was ranking for the company name with and without Ltd, the domain and that was it. I was scared as hell, I had to tell this guy that I had got his site penalised. I spoke to the owner about it and he was so cool you have no idea, it is a good job I choose my clients carefully. Now technically I had done nothing wrong, but it looked seriously spammy – I showed it to a friend and he said “no wonder you got penalised, you’ve got hidden text, hidden links and keyword stuffing” (not technically right, but that is what it looked like). I am still waiting for the developers to finish the new site on this one. Once the site is finished I will ask the owner to send a reinstatement request, hopefully Google will forgive me for being so aggressive.

Weather this is a new penalty or not I do not know. It is different to the minus penalty because when pages are hit they do not show up anywhere, no matter what. It is different to the outright ban because affected sites stay in the index and rank for their own names. Have any of you ever seen a penalty like this? It can definitely be applied for hidden text, it could possibly be applied for hidden links or keyword stuffing.

Posted in Search Engine News By David Eaves a UK search engine optimisation specialist.

Is The Googlebot Neglecting Regular Pages?

Googlebot

Image Credit: google bot

So it’s been nearly two weeks since I re-launched this site and Google has still yet to pick the two new services pages. About a year or so ago the Googlebot would have picked those pages up in a couple of days easily.

The blog is getting crawled fine and I am sure that this post will be indexed within a couple of hours of me posting. It just seems to be regular web-pages that are getting neglected by Google. This could possibly be because the Googlebot is paying too much attention to blogs etc.

It is not just this site’s regular web-pages that do not get crawled as fast any more. I work on many websites and generally Google does not seem to be picking stuff up as fast.

Posted in Search Engine News By David Eaves a UK search engine optimisation specialist.

Yahoo! Gets With The IP Delivery

yahoo_logo.jpg I am pleased to report that this morning when I attempted to go to http://www.yahoo.com I was redirected to the UK version http://uk.yahoo.com.

It was just the other week when I was complaining about this not working properly and I think Brian mentioned it in his Yahoo! rant somewhere.

I have got a couple of clients who rank fairly well on the UK Yahoo! for some pretty decent phrases who up until now have only been getting a couple of hundred uniques a week from it. It will be interesting to see if this improves things. I know for a fact that Yahoo.com can send some good traffic, it is just the UK version that up until now has never really sent any.

I do not know if this is working in other countries or not yet, it could just be UK IP addresses that are getting redirected.

Update: Flyerguy over at Webmaster World has confirmed that German IP addresses that visit Yahoo.com are now being redirected to http://de.yahoo.com. It looks like the changes could have been made worldwide.

Posted in Search Engine News By David Eaves a UK search engine optimisation specialist.

The Times: Linking To The BBC Will Boost Your Google Ranking

The Times LogoO.K. I am going to pick on The Times because it is funny. On Sunday they published an article entitled Searching to get to the top of Google.

Most of the article is O.K. and it is nice to see SEO getting mentioned in a major newspaper, however some of their facts are a little off.

On the 3rd page of the article it says the following:

“As well as using appropriate vocabulary, a website also needs to be well-networked to gain traction. Links to esteemed websites such as the BBC or a national newspaper act as advocates for its content, boosting its ranking with Google.”

There is a common miss-conception that linking to authoritative websites can boost a website’s rankings in the search engines and I have spoken to many people who have thought this before. This is of course not true, linking to a website can improve it’s rankings, linking out from one cannot.

This has got to be great linkbait for the BBC and the all of the National newspapers, I can just see all the Sunday Times readers going out and linking them now.

Posted in Search Engine News By David Eaves a UK search engine optimisation specialist.

The Biggest Google Sitelink Update Ever

Just done a search on Google and this site has received the Google sitelinks that I have been longing for (yes I am a huge nerd). It looks to have been a big update, the biggest ever in fact and tons of new sites have got them:

Google Sitelink Update

Site architecture and age seems to play an important roll in getting sitelinks, very few sites that are less then 6-8 months old have got them.

Here are a few links to help you understand sitelinks:

What are Google Sitelinks – Search Engine Land

Explaining Google Sitelinks – Problogger

Google Sitelinks and Brand Domination – SEOmoz

Congratulations to everybody who has got the sitelinks.

Update: The update is not currently showing up on Google US, so you will have to visit Google UK to see the changes.

Posted in Search Engine News By David Eaves a UK search engine optimisation specialist.

Google: Bush Still a Failure

George Bush: Still a Failure

Image Credit: george bush

I don’t know if this is new one or not but I just stumbled across George Bush ranking on Google for a new phrase ‘who is a failure‘.

Up until about a year or so ago his page ranked on Google for the phrase ‘miserable failure‘ because a group of bloggers Google bombed it. Tony Blair’s web page was also hit and used to rank for the phrase liar.

Both of these Google bombs were fixed by Google: George Bush’s web page no longer ranks for miserable failure and Tony Blair’s page no longer ranks for liar.

Whether someone has started a new Google bomb or not I do not know, check it out by clicking on the link below:

Search result on Google for ‘Who is a Failure’

Here are a few links to help you understand Google Bombs:

Google Bomb Info. – Wikipedia

Google Bomb / Google Bombing – Search Engine Dictionary

Google Bombing – Simply Clicks

Update: Danny has posted about this over at Search Engine Land and the page has been ranking for this phrase for while. He believes that this has not been caused by a Google bomb and he does not think that the “Google link bomb fix” will change anything.

Posted in Search Engine News By David Eaves a UK search engine optimisation specialist.