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Climbing the Beanstalk
November 28, 2005

Welcome to the November 28, 2005 edition of "Climbing The Beanstalk", the monthly newsletter on search engines and search engine positioning from Beanstalk. With major updates on Google and Yahoo! and some announcements in regards to new offerings, the past month has been a biggie for the SEO community and webmasters in general. So let's get right to it shall we ...

Jack's House

We mentioned in our last newsletter that Beanstalk was going to be taking over marketing and management of Total Optimizer Pro, the outstanding SEO software that we use to give us a blueprint of what will be required to attain first page rankings on virtually every SEO campaign we work on. Well we've now officially taken it over. The only difference is that we reduced the price from $397 to $195. :)

A new site for the product will be launching soon as I find that the current site does not provide enough information to allow visitors to fully grasp the power behind this software. It doesn't create doorway pages or cloak or any of those "fun" things. What it does is gives you a full blueprint of what the current top 10 have done in regards to onsite and offsite optimization, thus showing you what you need to do to replace them.

The current site does not include screenshots and thus, if you'd like information on this product you are best to visit our review page at /resources/recommended/top.htm or you can visit the Total Optimizer Pro website directly to purchase this phenomenal SEO tool (keywords intentionally used in the link).

The Giants :

The Top Three ...

Google News - In the last newsletter we noted that Jagger 3 was coming. Well, a month later is has come and gone and it was a "doosy". Leaving many webmasters wondering what happened to the rankings they had held for years, this update was one of the most significant since the infamous Florida Update of November 2003. Addressing and altering the way everything is calculated from links to onsite optimization, this update had far-reaching effects on a number of sites. To help answer the questions you may have regarding the Jagger 3 update and how to optimize for the new Google we wrote and article on just this topic which is linked to below in our "Resources Of Interest" section.

In other Google news: Urchin, the until-now very expensive web analytics software is now free. When Google purchased Urchin back in March many were wondering why ... and now we know. On November 14th Google announced that the software, which until then ran in the hundreds of dollars, was now being offered free. The service is a solid web analytics tool (though I still prefer ClickTracks) and with the integration of AdWords analysis features it will help many webmasters and business owners better tune their AdWords campaigns. For more information on Google Analytics you can visit our blog post on just this subject at /blog/2005/11/free-urchin-web-analytics.html.

Google Base also launched this month. Basically Google Base is a resource for buying, selling, and advertising goods online - whether you have a website or not. While you won't find Google Base pages in the search results yet, the folks at Google have already noted that they are working towards getting them in there. It's a great tool and, as it's free, who couldn't recommend getting at least a few of your products and/or services added. It's simple and have I mentioned ... it's free. :) You can read more about the launch and find links to useful article and other information on our blog at /blog/2005/11/google-base.html.

And to cover Google even further, a backlink update appears to be starting with fluctuations in backlink counts appearing on many datacenters. Watch for a shift in the rankings closer to the end of the week though we don't predict anything major.

Yahoo! - In their latest update Yahoo! appears to be moving closer to Google with their algorithm. Every indication is that Yahoo! has adopted the practice of "aging" links. Essentially what they are doing is starting links off with very little weight and increasing the weight the longer the links are present. The exact duration of time until the links have their full weight in unknown however the best guesstimate is that it lies somewhere around 6 months.

MSN News - I find it rather interesting that MSN never seems to have any HUGE updates or the such to speak of, however their results always seems to be fairly solid. It appears that rather than updating in big algorithmic shifts, MSN has opted for continuously tweaking their algorithm to insure that there are no major upsets yet continuous to improve.

When Microsoft first launched MSN as it's own engine (i.e. not drawing it's results from another provider) I was highly skeptical however I have been impressed with MSN and commend them on thus far not shocking us with huge shifts but rather impressing us with solid results.

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 - Recently taken on by Beanstalk Search Engine Optimization, Inc. this excellent SEO tool has now re-launched and is available for purchase at less than half of what it was selling at. :)
  2. Who Powers Whom - We're often asked which engines get their results from which. AOL, for instance gets their results from Google but who else? You can find the answers on this Who Powers Whom page.
  3. Datacenter Quick Check - With all the buzz about the Google update, etc. I feel this tool is worth mentioning again. The McDar Quick Check allows you to check your rankings, backlinks, indexed pages and more across multiple Google datacenters at the same time. Very handy for checking what's going on during an update. Highly recommended to add to your Favorites.

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.

SEO For The New Google - This article (by Beanstalk's Dave Davies) covers the Jagger update and how to optimize your website for Google in the post-Jagger world.

Google-Mart (Link removed - no longer available) - A good article by Robert Cringely on where Google is headed. I've said it before and I'll say it again - understanding where Google is headed is even more important than where it is today. Tweaking your site for the current algorithm will get you rankings in the short term but combining this with an understanding of where it's going will keep you ranking highly for years to come.

Google Analytics Article - Veteran SEO Jim Hedger has published an excellent article on Google Analytics which is highly recommended reading for anyone interested in understanding how analytics work. While this many sound "geeky" it's really understanding what visitors do when they get to your site or, in other words, how you make money. Extremely important and a very well thought-out and written article.

Thank You

Thank you very much for subscribing to "Climbing The Beanstalk", the monthly 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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