Welcome to our 2nd weekly roundup of search engine optimisation news! You’ll be happy to hear (I’m sure) that we’ve made it past one post in our series this time round, which is considerably better than last year’s effort.

There’s been lots of articles this week that have interested us in the PushON office, and here’s just a handful:

JCPenney Stung by Google Penalty
The news that’s been most interesting over the past week is how JCPenney have been penalised within Google’s search results thanks to some rather suspect link buying practises. The New York Times ran a story explaining that over the key holiday sales periods, JCPenney appeared number 1 within Google’s search results for a large number of high-volume queries. Although this isn’t interesting in itself, it’s how they got there which has lead Google to take action against the website.

After buying countless low-quality links (which is against Google’s guidelines), the search engine giant has taken “corrective action” to reduce the amount of search engine visibility JCPenney now has for a number of key terms they were previously ranking so highly for.

Read more at: The New York Times

Categorising Keywords During Keyword Research
Aside from the JCPenney news that’s had everybody talking this week, there have actually been some really good and insightful articles – starting with Richard Baxter over on the SEOmoz website. Richard shows how you can “make your research considerably more effective” by categorising your keywords, grouping them, and filtering them via an iterative process. The article shows some examples and typical results that can be achieved through this method, and it’s definitely worth a read.

Read more at: SEOmoz Blog

Bing and Google Experience Increases in Search Volumes
The “2010 U.S. Digital Year in Review” was released last Tuesday, and Matt McGee on Search Engine Land highlighted some of the key information. To start with, Bing experienced a year-on-year search volume increase of 29% – which is quite significant progress, but Google also achieved some good results with a 13% increase.

Read more at: Search Engine Land

Internal Site Structure Considerations for Better SEO
I’m always interested to see what helpful nuggets of information can be found when Joost launches a new blog article. A post on internal site structure published last week examines some of the key considerations that can be made to a website’s internal site structure to gain SEO benefit.

Read more at: Yoast

Google vs Wolfram|Alpha
Remember Wolfram|Alpha? Well although people initially were let down that it didn’t do what Google did, it is now being seen for what it’s actually good for – mathematical and statistical knowledge. With more than 10 trillion data points, Wolfram|Alpha is now apparently the “largest integrated data set in the world” – which is quite impressive. The website currently experiences around 20 queries per second (2 million a day) and continues to become more impressive in terms of the accuracy of the data that is returned.

In the recent Guardian article about Wolfram|Alpha, my favourite tidbit has to be:

When one of the most popular queries was “penis size”, one researcher at Wolfram Research duly spent a day and a half compiling authoritative global data on that.

Read more at: The Guardian

Seen something interesting over the past week? Let us know in the comments so we can have a read!