Before you landgrab, or grab, you should have batch explored so that your country is set up to protect its self from retals. Landgrabbing is an essential part of Earth: Empires because each strat will always do better with more land. This is especially true for an indy. Capturing land from an enemy country also hinders there growth, thus giving you more of ab advantage. There are quite a few different ways to search and retrieve land so here are some tips that cover the most common ways to go get land.
Always research your target to protect yourself. Check the news to see if it retals and/or suicides other countries. Look at the spy op, check its military units. Is it an all jetter? Does it have enough cash to buy up to retal me? Does it have a ton of missiles to use against me? These are all questions one should ask there self before grabbing a target. All jetters usually have thin land, which means a big loss of land is headed your way if they retal you. If you have a ton of cash, you can try to out buy what it can buy, and get defensive allies to help yourself as well. For readiness, if it is untagged you can defuse its missiles in the spy operations. Be safe, be smart, and keep your land!
Your alliance should have an enemy list of alliances, or there should be alliances you are allowed to LG. It can show a list of countries that have been put on farm, and/or kill. This is an easy place to find all our enemies for you. Simply find a country that looks fat for your liking with an op all ready uploaded to your site, and waa la, easy land!
Diminishing returns (DR) occurs when a country has been attacked many times during the day. If a country has been attacked (GS, BR, AB, SS, PS, missiled) 5 or more times during the day, your land returns for SSes or PSes will be greatly diminished. If they weren't attack, you will get big numbers. You can see the DR affect as you hit a country more than once. You may get 101 acres, then a DR hit that returns 81 acres, then the next DR hit 65 acres, etc. DR wears off when a country plays its turns and gains land. Hitting a DRed country is risky because if they decide to retal you, they will get a huge return compared to your overall gain.
Ingame News Search
Personally, I have never used the news search ingame because I have always had my alliance's hosting site to look at news. The ingame search has many sorting options that will help narrow down to the best results of what you are looking for. Sorting features include time, clan, number of hits, etc.
Hosted Alliance Site News Search
Regardless of the site your alliance is hosted on, there should be a link somewhere in the navigation for you to click on and retrieve news. Looking through the news will help you determine if a certain target's land is good for the pickin'. There are text boxes to enter in either a country number, country name or clan tag. Country number shows you the country's information with options to click on spy ops, and news history. Country name first shows you a number of countries with the key word in there names. So you click on a country and it brings you to the same screen as the country number search. When you enter in a clan, it shows you a list of possible clans to click on, and then when you click on a clan it shows you all the countries tagged to it.
Farming (not to be confused with building farms for producing bushels) is simply sending multiple attacks at a country in an effort to steal more of its land. In alliance-based servers, farming is normally simple for the larger alliances, because there are always smaller clans or even individual countries playing alongside the larger, more-established alliances. Although the general minimal number of attacks considered to be farming has been agreed to be four by most alliances, some alliances may consider consider more than two attacks to be farming. In individual-based servers, farming is generally much harder to get away with, usually because there isn't as much help to be received by allies, due to the unavailability of clans.
GDI farming is the result of less untags playing, and the rest playing under GDI. An country joins GDI to protect themselves from countries 50% bigger or smaller than them. That means a country outside of that range needs to declare war before land grabbing them. If you want to GDI farm, MAKE SURE THEY ARE UNTAGGED as declaring war on countries tagged can end with them retalling you. Also, make sure you are not 12 times there NW, or else when you declare you will still be too big. Example: 2.41m NW country can not attack a 200k NW country (200k x 12 = 2.4m NW). One last precaution, make sure another country is not already farming it so that you get the best returns possible since you will be at war with this country for 3 days and that being at war increases your expenses.
Bottom feeding is the art of grabbing a country that is almost 12x smaller than your country so that your risk of being retalled is slim to none. The positive side of bottom feeding is that you will get more land a turn farming them into DR than exploring 19 acres a turn. The down side is that it takes many more attacks, much more money, and military to get the same amount of land if you were to attack a country of similar size.
Mid-feeding is the art of grabbing a country that is almost the same size as you. The possiblity of you getting retalled is very high. The positive side of mid-feeding is that you will get large amounts of land per hit. The more similar in land and NW the more you will gain per hit. The down side is that it takes a larger military to land grab and the higher risk of being retalled.