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Climbing the Beanstalk
June 14, 2005

Welcome to the June 14, 2005 edition of "Climbing The Beanstalk", the bi-weekly newsletter on search engines and search engine positioning from Beanstalk. The past couple weeks have provided for some interesting changes in the search engine world. Google has brought us some major updates and that's not all ...

Jack's House

Beanstalk, in response to requests from our blog readers, has now added an RSS feed to enable you to receive our blog daily through RSS readers. If you're looking for a good RSS reader simply visit http://blogspace.com/rss/readers where they have the best of them and accurately ranked for your convenience.

For more information on RSS, readers, and why you might like to use them simply visit the Beanstalk SEO blog at /blog/2005/06/beanstalk-rss.html.
* please note: this is a link to the single blog post on RSS. If you would like to keep updated daily you can bookmark our SEO blog homepage (the bookmark button is at the top right).

The Giants :

The Top Three ...

Google News - Since our last newsletter there have been some MAJOR changes at Google. Many of you will have noticed your site fluctuating in an update which has been code-named "The Bourbon Update".

This last update consists of 3.5 parts according to Googleguy. Apparently only 2.5 parts have been applied at this time which means there's an additional update coming.

This latest round of updates targets search engine sp@m and while, as with any update, there are some innocent victims it appears to do so successfully. While it is unlikely that all search engine sp@m will ever be truly eliminated, this update does a good job of addressing some of the main offenders.

Beanstalk's clients have fared well thus far through the update as have the client's of other SEO's provided that those SEO's are not focused on tricking engines but rather take a full-scale approach to SEO and address all the key areas required for high rankings from link building to content.

Your site will do well on the new Google if you have solid, well-worded incoming links, provide unique, relevant content and plenty of it, and do not use tactics such as hidden text and link sp@mming.

Yahoo! - There was only the usual shuffling going on at Yahoo! over the past couple weeks with sites fluctuating slightly up-and-down but no major changes appear to have been applied. That's not to say the folks over at Yahoo! have been napping.

Yahoo! CEO Terry Semel noted that Yahoo! is considering launching their own web browser that would rival current leader Internet Explorer and up-and-comer Firefox. As we noted in our blog on just this topic, we predict a browser from Yahoo! that looks and feels very similar to Firefox. He's undoubtedly correct. With the enormous publicity that Firefox has received recently and Microsoft's dublication of it's tabbed browsing feature in the latest MSN toolbar it only makes sense that Yahoo! would learn from their mistakes and add these features in the beginning.

We don't believe that this new browser will be anything more than a hiccup for both IE and Firefox. Yahoo! resources could most certainly be better spent elsewhere.

MSN News - Aside from the standard ups-and-downs on MSN search the biggest news out of Redmond is the addition of tabbed browsing in the new MSN toolbar. The addition of this feature is a clear admission by Microsoft that they are scared of the ever-increasing popularity of the Firefox browser which, if you've been keeping up with the Beanstalk blog, you're well aware is increasing in popularity daily.

MSN search is still driven largely by incoming links though they appear to be getting a stronger handle on dealing with paid links, multiple links from a single site, and non-related reciprocal link exchanges. This is helping them clean up their results and is a warning sign to those who use unfavorable SEO practices that it's time to clean up your sites.

Useful Tools

We highly recommend checking our these great SEO tools. If you're a do-it-yourselfer they will save you countless hours and headaches:

  1. Total Optimizer Pro - We've mentioned this one before and it's definitely worth mentioning again. In the last newsletter we noted that the latest version of this tool was launched that added a far higher degree of onsite competitor analysis than their previous version which only addressed linking factors (and very well).

    This tool is definitely one to add to your SEO arsenal.

  2. GRKda - This keyword density analyzer doesn't provide as much information as Total Optimizer Pro however it is offered at the lower price of $99. If you can't afford the $350 price tag of Total Optimizer Pro but would like a tool to analyze your keyword density and the densities of your main competitors this tool definitely does the trick.

    There are also a number of online resources where you can do this free however if you're like me, you don't like the idea of giving your own URL and your targeted keywords to other SEO's and webmasters. This may just be me being paranoid but that doesn't mean they're not out to get me. :)

    If you're not worried about other webmasters finding out what you're doing, targeting, and your URL you can also use a free online tool to determine your keyword density and the of your competition by visiting http://www.keyworddensity.com/.

  3. Advanced Web Ranking - In the last newsletter I noted that we were testing Advanced Web Ranking as an alternative to WebPosition. We have decided not only to recommend this software as a lower priced alternative but will be adding it to our own arsenal. The reporting is far superior and for those of you who aren't Beanstalk clients (thus getting the reports sent to you free each month) the cost is far lower than WebPosition.

Resources Of Interest

We're always surfing and always on the lookout for useful information on top of the testing and analyzing we do on our own. Below you will find links to some of the more useful information we have found recently including forum posts and articles.

Anatomy Of An Internet Search Engine
The most recent article publish by Beanstalk helps to explain how search engines work by comparing their core functions to those of the human body. This article should help you to get a better understanding of what is required to attain and maintain high rankings.

Web CEO
Always looking for new information and tools on SEO, we recently took the free SEO course offered by Web CEO. Aside from being flattered to find 11 of our articles on their recommended reading list, we found the course useful for those just starting out.

While experienced SEO's may not gain much new knowledge from the course (admittedly they're not the target audience), for those of you just getting your feet wet this course can help you get a good understanding of some of the fundamentals.

High Rankings Newsletter For those of you who have subscribed to the Beanstalk newsletter for a while you may have taken this advice already. Sign up for the High Rankings Newsletter. This newsletter is published by Jill Whalen, an excellent SEO who is willing to share her knowledge openly (well ... relatively ;). She's one of the few SEO's that the Beanstalk staff are told to pay attention to when she publishes her newsletter or comments on issues in forums.

The newsletter is free and provides valuable information for SEO's and webmasters.

Thank You

Thank you very much for subscribing to "Climbing The Beanstalk", the bi-weekly search engine positioning newsletter. If you have any questions about the areas covered or if there are any areas of search engine positioning that you would like to see covered in future articles/newsletter please don't hesitate to contact us. We want to write what you want to know.

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