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Climbing the Beanstalk
April 28, 2005

Welcome to the April 28, 2005 edition of "Climbing The Beanstalk", the bi-weekly newsletter on search engines and search engine positioning from Beanstalk. Over the past two weeks there have been a number of notable events, the biggest being on Google with their most recent update. This newsletter will contain information on these events and predictions for what the near future will undoubtedly hold for SEOs and webmasters.

Jack's House

In order to keep yourself updated daily on the events that affect those seeking high rankings on the major engines you'll want to visit Beanstalk's SEO blog. Updated daily (Monday to Friday) the blog contains the biggest events of the day, tips on methods to ease your efforts, and sometimes just some interesting/entertaining tid-bits we find in our travels of press releases and SEO resources.

A Request To Our Clients

Beanstalk has a small favor to ask of our clients both past and present. Due to our policy of never publishing our association with any sites that we optimize, nor posting links on any of our client sites to our own we have found that potential clients cannot confirm that we do produce the results we say we will. For this reason we would like to ask that when you have a few minutes please fill out the SEO review form on SEOPros at http://www.topseos.com/seo-rating.php. Whether you enter your domain name or simply enter www.rathernotstate.com is entirely up to you. All we are hoping for is for a few clients to submit their feedback so that we can have a resource to send prospective clients to where they can read up on our efforts and successes.

For those of you that do take the time to fill out this form, thank you very much. It should only take a couple minutes.

The Giants :

The Top Three ...

Google News - Well it finally happened. About 3 weeks later than predicated but Google has finally updated their backlinks and PageRank. This all occured on the 21st. At this time there has been no major movement in the rankings based on this update. Generally speaking Google will update the rankings and often their algoritm about a week to 10 days after the PageRank and backlink updates. The did their update on a Friday and it's likely that they'll do the ranking and algorithm update tomorrow (Friday the 29th) or sometime over the weekend. why? Because then they can punish all those evil SEOs by making them sit at their computers all weekend going through the new results. :) I know that's how I spent much of last weekend when the PageRank update took place.

The PageRank update itself didn't have much that was surprising in it. Once again it got harder to get a higher pageRank that it had been previously. Google has once again raised the bar on PageRank requiring more and higher quality links to your site to establish a solid ranking. Fortunately it's been raised accross the board so anything that affects your website will also affect your competitors.

Many sites reported a drop in PageRank if they weren't undergoing a proactive link building campaign before the last update. Again, their competitors also lost ground if they didn't so it's left us with an essentially level playing field.

What this means is that you can't judge your sites value based on PageRank as much as you can judge it based on your rankings (an obvious enough statement). If you view your PageRank by itself and have a 4/10 it may not look too good however be sure to view your competitors and see what they have. Likely they have dropped or remained the same keeping it a level playing field.

What you'll want to keep your eyes out for is the upcoming algorithm and results update. After all, PageRank doesn't give you anything more then "bragging rights", high search engine positioning is what brings you traffic.

Yahoo! - While there hasn't been much int he way of ranking shofts on Yahoo! since their April 1st update there's a very interesting competition going on with a joint venture between Yahoo! and Sir Richard Branson (you probably know him best as the "Rebel Billionaire" who funded the SpaceShipOne, the first privately funded manned spacecraft to enter the Earth's orbit twice in one week).

Through a new contest named "Think Big" launched by Yahoo Search Maketing, formerly Overture, Sir Richard Branson of Virgin will be awarding one lucky business owner with 10 million free add impressions throughout the Yahoo network.

The overall goal of the contest is to show all of the search advertising options that are available to you through Yahoo Search Marketing.

MSN News - There was no big news from MSN over the past couple weeks. They continue to provide solid results and sites conforming to the SEO best-practices will continue to rank highly for the forseeable future provided that they undergo solid link building efforts, preferably non-reciprocal link building.

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 is always a favorite of ours. A tool we use virtually every day to analyze competitors and to find quality links. Highly recommended for anyone competing for moderate-high comptition phrases.
  2. The Overture Search Term Suggestion Tool. Allows you to view the nubmer of searches in the previous month for targeted phrases. While it will only give you results for Overture it gives webmasters a great idea as to which phrases stand to produce the most traffic and some alternative phrases you may wish to target as well.
  3. WordTracker is much like the Overture Search Term Suggestion Tool however it pulls it's information from different engines, differentiates between singular, plural, and misspellings (a drawback to the Overture tool) and goes further to analyze the competition for selected phrases accross multiple engines.

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.

Viewing The Search Landscape - Article by Andrew Goodman (for SearchEngineWatch)
A great analysis of the most recent statistics on which engines are being used and the differences that can occur in search patterns in different countries.

Google Updates PR: Is This Still Meaningful? - Article by Chris Richardson (for WebProNews)
An interesting article on the importance (or lack thereof) in PageRank.

WebProWorld Forum
Probably one of the best SEO Forums online. While I visit many forums daily this is the one that has the best discussions (though a bit heated at times so watch out for the geeks wielding their mice like knights of old wielded their maces. ;)

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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