Google Webmaster Tools Adds Fetch & Render By Device Type

Google Webmaster Tools - Facebook Featured Google has announced they have added a new feature to the Fetch as Googlebot tool in Google Webmaster Tools. Now, you can see how Googlebot renders the page. Instead of using the Fetch as Googlebot to just see an output of code and HTML, Google will show a visual representation of what Googlebot sees. It will also show you errors on what resources Googlebot was unable to access, preventing them from fetching and rendering everything on the page. Here is the new "fetch and render" button on the Fetch as Google feature: After you have a page to Fetch and Render, it will take a few m [...]


The Google Local Carousel Is Still Spinning Out Of Control

google-local-carousel Almost a year ago, Google threw everyone for a loop with the rollout of the Google Local Carousel. The SEO community scrambled to try to figure out how it worked, and theories started flying about how it would change search behavior. It was immediately evident that a location's Carousel photo would be all-important... It didn't take long to realize the biggest problem with the Carousel: business owners had no control over the photo that gets displayed. There was a lot of buzz about not being able to choose thumbnail photos, but the buzz died down as nothing was updated. At the end of last y [...]


Google Hits eBay With Manual Penalty In Search Results

ebay-600 What really happened to eBay dropping in Google’s search results this week? A source familiar with the situation tells Search Engine Land that Google hit eBay with a manual penalty this week. A manual penalty is when a human being at Google reviews a site and decides that it deserves some type of slap. Previously, it was assumed eBay was hit by the Panda 4.0 Update that rolled out this week, where a wide-range of sites were with with automatic penalties. That might also be the case — eBay might have been hit by Panda in addition to a manual penalty, which was reported earlier by [...]


Google Webmaster Tools To Add JavaScript Debugging Tool

Google Webmaster Tools - Facebook Featured Google has announced on the Google Webmaster Central blog that in the "coming days" they will be releasing a new tool to help debug your site's JavaScript issues. Specifically, Google is going to show you if they have issues crawling and indexing your site because of JavaScript implementation mistakes. Google said: We have been gradually improving how we do this for some time. In the past few months, our indexing system has been rendering a substantial number of web pages more like an average user’s browser with JavaScript turned on. During this process, they've run into several [...]


Google Drops Authorship Rich Snippets From Search Results. A Bug?

google-authorship-yes-image-1400675709 For the past 20 minutes, if you search anything on Google, the authorship images, where it shows a picture of the individual who wrote the content shown in the Google results, no longer shows up. Here is a picture of what a search results look like with authorship images (was documented yesterday): Here is what the search result looks like as of a few minutes ago: As you can see, Google has stopped showing the author's image in the search results. We have to assume this is a bug and this will be resolved soon, but as of now, the issue has been going on for the past 25 minut [...]


RetailMeNot Says On Google Ranking Drop: The Reports “Greatly Overstate” Our Organic Search Impact

retailmenot_logo_lg On Tuesday, Google pushed out their revised Panda Algorithm code-named Panda 4.0. Panda is designed to remove low-quality content from Google's search results. Yesterday, we published an early Winners & Losers report on which large sites were impacted the most both in a positive and negative way. RetailMeNot was one of the larger sites on the losers list, where Searchmetrics reported an approximate 33% loss in organic search visibility after Panda 4.0 was released. RetailMeNot was quick to issue a statement responding to these reports saying they "greatly overstate the impact on RetailM [...]


On MetaFilter Being Penalized By Google: An Explainer

Google Cop Big MetaFilter is a news and discussion site dating back to the early years of the web. Founded in 1999, it's attracting attention this week after coming forward about how a Google penalty has severely harmed its business, to the degree of having to let staff go. It serves as a poster child of problems with Google's penalty process, despite all the advances Google has made over the years. Google Hits Sites Large & Small If you just can't wait to get to the specifics of what happened to MetaFilter, scroll further down in this story now. But I'd encourage you to go through the background e [...]


Is eBay A Big Loser In Google’s Panda 4.0 Update? — Winners & Losers Data

sad-panda-featured Yesterday, Google began rolling out their Panda 4.0 update designed to punch low-quality content. That's generated both "winners" who have moved up in rankings as "losers" have dropped down -- and eBay might be one of the big losers. Searchmetrics gave us their initial winners and loser charts, based on rankings they continually monitor. These show that one of the biggest losers was eBay. According to the data, eBay lost a tremendous amount of traffic from Google, much of it from the ebay.com/bhp/ area of its site. Another huge loser was Ask.com, yes, the search engine, that lost a tre [...]


Google Begins Rolling Out Panda 4.0 Now

google-panda-xcu-600 Google's Matt Cutts announced on Twitter that they have released version 4.0 of the Google Panda algorithm. Google's Panda algorithm is designed to prevent sites with poor quality content from working their way into Google’s top search results. But didn't Google stop updating us on Panda refreshes and updates since they are monthly rolling updates? Yes, but this is a bigger update. Panda 4.0 must be a major update to the actual algorithm versus just a data refresh. Meaning, Google has made changes to how Panda identifies sites and has released a new version of the algorithm toda [...]


Official: Google Payday Loan Algorithm 2.0 Launched: Targets “Very Spammy Queries”

spam-600 Google has confirmed they have released a new algorithm update to their Payday Loan Algorithm update over this weekend. This algorithm specifically targets "very spammy queries" and is unrelated to the Panda or Penguin algorithms. A Google spokesperson told us: Over the weekend we began rolling out a new algorithmic update. The update was neither Panda nor Penguin -- it was the next generation of an algorithm that originally rolled out last summer for very spammy queries. This comes with at no surprise to most SEOs and Webmasters who watch the space. There was a tremendous of rumors and s [...]


Google: The European Court Is Really Telling You To Be More “Relevant”

Google legal So, it finally happened. After years of people telling me that "Europe" will do nothing about Google and me saying that one day "Europe" will probably bite back, it did. "Europe" bit off a whole chewy chunk of Google and all other search engines in just one surprise and relatively unexpected verdict. The hysteria surrounding the case has reached all corners of the press. "Freedom of speech destroyed," they say. "Criminals are already asking for removal of their information," they say. Even Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia is distraught. But yes, this is a big deal. It has certainly left some mem [...]


Google Search Results Snippet Overlay Descriptions May Use DMOZ Description

google-snippet-dmoz About a year ago, Google introduced a new feature in the search results that give you quick overlays on the search result so that you can learn more about the site you are about to click on before you click on it. Early on, the results of the data in the snippet came from Wikipedia but it seems now Google is sourcing some of their information from DMOZ. Alex Chitu spotted that a search for [google blog] returns the Google Blog but when you click on the arrow down, it shows a description from DMOZ. DMOZ is not the most updated source of information, which is why it is interesting t [...]


The Myths & Realities Of How Of The EU’s New “Right To Be Forgotten” In Google Works

EU Google Depending on what you read, a "Right To Be Forgotten" court ruling in the European Union this week means that now anyone can ask for anything to be removed from Google, which will soon collapse under an overwhelming number of requests. In reality, it's far more limited than it sounds, though the ruling does raise serious concerns. Here's a Q&A on how things really will work, as best we can tell. NOTE: Since this article was written, Google now has created a process for removals. See our follow-up story: How Google’s New “Right To Be Forgotten” Form Works: An Explainer Is i [...]


Google Readies For Flood Of Removal Requests After EU “Right To Be Forgotten” Ruling

bell-request-service-600 The floodgates have opened. According to a Reuters story, following Tuesday's European Court ruling establishing a  Europe-wide "right to be forgotten" (RTF), Google is preparing for an anticipated "flood" of removal requests across the 28 country jurisdiction. The ruling provided a right to individuals to request (and ultimately compel) removal of unflattering or undesired information about themselves from search results, even if the underlying content is legal and maintained online by a publisher. The European Court offered no tests or procedural guidance to determine what sorts of lega [...]


Research In India Claims To Show How Search Rankings “Could” Impact Elections

mobile seo myths Psychologist and researcher Robert Epstein has published research (embedded below) that he contends shows how search rankings "have the potential to profoundly influence voters without them noticing the impact." He calls this capacity the "Search Engine Manipulation Effect" or "SEME." The study tested how search rankings affected the perceptions and candidate preferences of "2,000 undecided voters throughout India." India just concluded national elections. The research found that rankings could affect undecided voter opinion significantly: "votes in India can easily be pushed toward one [...]


Those Google Ranking Shifts Are Not A Google Update, Google Denies Any Algorithmic Changes

google-algorithm-search-featured Over the past week or so, there has been a lot of various signals across the search community that Google's algorithms and rankings were updating; so much so that people were bracing themselves for a major Penguin or Panda-like algorithm announcement from Google. Google never made the announcement, and so I asked Google if anything was going on. Google told me that nothing was going on, that there is nothing going on at their end that would result in what is being reported by the community. Where are the reports? On May 2nd, I noticed a lot of discussion in the SEO forums about an update [...]


Google’s Matt Cutts Regrets Not Acting Faster On Paid Links & Content Farms

matt-cutts-google-regrets In Google's Matt Cutts latest video, he answers a question I personally asked about what he regrets, what decision he regrets making in the past related to webspam. My question specifically was: Was there a key moment in your spam fighting career where you made a mistake that you regret, related to spam? Matt answered it in than four minutes explained he regrets not acting sooner on (1) paid links and (2) content farms. Google's Paid Links Regret Matt explained that several years ago at a search conference in San Jose, a well-known SEO told him that paid links are too common and there [...]


Official Google Advice On Internationalizing Your Home Page

search-globe-websites-featured Google has published their official advice on the Google Webmaster Central blog on how to handle your home page when your web site serves multiple languages and countries. Zineb Ait Bahajji and Gary Illyes, Google Webmaster Trends Analysts, wrote the post together trying to break out the possibilities into three categories: (1) Having one home page that shows all users, no matter of language or location that same home page. (2) Bringing users to a landing page asking them to pick their desired home page. (3) Automatically redirecting users to the proper home page based off of vario [...]


Google’s Matt Cutts: Over Time Backlinks Will Become Less Important

matt-cutts-google Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, said in a video that backlinks, over time, will become a little less important. Matt did say that backlinks in the Google ranking algorithm still have many years left in them. Matt explained that Google is focusing a lot now on working on ways to determine if a web page is meets the expectations of an expert user. They do this currently by looking at the links to the page, the reputation of the site and pages and the quality of the content on that particular page. When Google is better at understanding actual language, natural language, which you [...]


SEO Smackdown: Download Time – Machine Speed Vs. Human Speed

Download speedometer: humans vs. technology

Perceived download time is more important to searchers than actual download time. So why do SEOs focus on technocentric optimization strategies?


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