Google Webmaster Central is a collection of tools and resources (including an official Google Webmaster Central Blog, a discussion area and help center) designed to help webmasters, marketers and others monitor their web sites on Google.

Google Adds Webmaster Tools Verification For Google My Business

google-maps-1920 Mike Blumenthal reports that you can now instantly verify your Google Local listings, formerly known as Google Place Listing and now known as Google My Business, through Google Webmaster Tools. Google's Jade Wang announced this in the Google forums saying, "starting today, if you’re verifying a page for your business, you may be instantly verified on Google My Business if you’ve already verified your business’s website with Google Webmaster Tools." You need to make sure you’re signed in to Google My Business with the same account you used to verify your site with Webmaster Tool [...]


Google Webmaster Tools Updates Robots.txt Testing Tool

Google Webmaster Tools - Facebook Featured Google announced they have updated their robots.txt testing tool in Webmaster Tools. The update brings you a few more features including: (1) Highlights which line in your robots.txt file is blocking a specific page. (2) Make test changes to the robots.txt tool and test it before you make the file live. (3) Google will also show you older versions of your robots.txt file to see past issues. Here is a screen shot showing off the highlighting feature: [...]


Google Officially Launches Webmaster Tools International Targeting

Google Webmaster Tools - Facebook Featured Google has officially announced the new feature we reported was in beta named International Targeting. The new International Targeting reports within Google Webmaster Tools helps webmasters debug common issues with their implementation of href-lang. The markup enables Google and other search engines to serve the correct language or regional version of pages to searchers. But often, webmasters implement the annotations/markup incorrectly. The new International Targeting reports within Google Webmaster Tools helps webmasters fix those common issues. The report helps webmasters identify two [...]


Google Notifying Publishers For Right To Be Forgotten Removals

Right To Be Forgotten Now that Google has been removing results from the European versions of Google in response to the EU's Right To Be Forgotten requirements, many webmasters are now receiving notifications of these removals. Last night, around 10 p.m. EST, I received a notification for a site I have verified Webmaster Tools access from. The notice read: Notice of removal from Google Search We regret to inform you that we are no longer able to show the following pages from your website in response to certain searches on European versions of Google: [URL(s) go here] For more information, see https://w [...]


Google Webmaster Tools Beta International Targeting Reports

Google Webmaster Tools - Facebook Featured Google is currently beta testing a new international targeting report within Google Webmaster Tools. The new International Targeting report is designed to help webmasters who have international sites and use lang markup understand common mistakes and learn what errors they need to fix, in order to better communicate the language settings across the webmaster's internationalized web site. The tool offers debug details on missing return links from specific language codes, to unknown language codes in general. Here are some screen shots of the beta tool that was shown by Google during their [...]


Screen Shot Of Google’s New Rejection Notices For Reconsideration Requests

Google Webmaster Tools - Facebook Featured At SMX Advanced last week, Google's head of search quality, Matt Cutts, announced that they will be revising their reconsideration requests rejection notices with more detailed responses in some cases. We've now located an example of the new rejection notices, as shared by @johnedwarddoyle with me on Twitter. The new notice has a new section at the bottom titled "A note from your reviewer." Then the Google reviewer was able to give specific advice that, at least in this case, would be extremely helpful to the webmaster with the manual action. Here is a picture of the reconsideration r [...]


Google Reconsideration Request Rejections May Include More Details

Google Webmaster Tools - Facebook Featured Google's Matt Cutts, the head of search spam, announced at SMX Advanced that they are updating how they handle reconsideration rejection requests with more details from Google Search Quality analysts. That means when a Google search quality representation reviews and responds to a reconsideration request with a rejection notice, that Google representative has a new box where they can enter more details. Hasn't Google provided more detailed responses to webmaster who have submitted these requests? Yes. Matt Cutts explained they have offered a couple link examples for link issues and gener [...]


Google To Warn Searchers When A Mobile URL Redirects To The Homepage

warning-yellow-tape-featured Don't annoy mobile searchers. That's the message behind a new warning that Google is showing in mobile search results on smartphones. On the Webmaster Central blog, Google alerted webmasters late yesterday that it will let smartphone searchers know if it thinks a website has a "faulty redirect" in place that sends the searcher to your home page, not the page they clicked on. We'd like to spare users the frustration of landing on irrelevant pages and help webmasters fix the faulty redirects. Starting today in our English search results in the US, whenever we detect that smartphone users [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


Actually, We Don’t Think Google Hates HARO Links

google-links-featured Despite the buzz going through the SEO industry today, we don't believe that Google is specifically targeting links that are earned via the popular Help a Reporter Out service. That's one of the claims from SEO consultant Bill Hartzer, in an article he published yesterday, Google Targets Help A Reporter Out, Press Release Links as Bad Links. In his article, Bill says he's cleaning up a client's links to remove a Google manual penalty. After submitting a reconsideration request, Bill says Google replied by pointing out three example links that continue to violate Google's guidelines. Two [...]


Google Provides More Clarity Around Sneaky Redirects Against Their Guidelines

google-search-quality-guidelines Google announced on their Webmaster blog that they have updated two of their guideline documents to improve the clarity around what sneaky redirects are against Google Webmaster Guidelines. Google has expanded their guidelines to ensure webmasters are aware that using sneaky redirects through mobile site detection and redirection, is not allowed if the content is not the same. An excerpt from Google's revised guidelines indicate a situation where "desktop users receive a normal page, while mobile users are redirected to a completely different spam domain," as not in accordance with Google's [...]


Report: Google To Block Paid Search Keyword Data With Not Provided; Like Organic “Not Provided”

keywords-not-provided-featured There are reports we are receiving from a few sources, including AJ Ghergich who posted it on his blog, that Google will soon stop passing keyword data to analytics software, even for AdWords advertisers. We expected changes to not provided in the near future, and based on these reports, the likelihood of advertisers being stripped of keyword data is high. When Google moved to secure search in October 2011, it was a major setback to publishers, who began losing data about the keywords used to reach their sites. That opened up Google to claims of hypocrisy, in that advertisers continued t [...]


Google: News Sites May Have Seen A Decline In GoogleBot Crawling In March

google-news-600 Google's Matt Cutts tweeted that news related sites, such as this one, may have noticed a drop in the crawl statistics within Google Webmaster Tools. If you did notice that drop, Matt says you do not need to worry. Google News added if-modified-since support in March, which would be the reason for the crawl changes. Matt added that "Google News doing smarter crawling now" and thus being more efficient. I've checked the crawl stats for seroundtable.com, a Google News publisher, and indeed, the crawl stats have declined significantly in March 2014: To learn more about how GoogleBot [...]


Google Webmaster Tools Index Status Showing Data For HTTPS Protocol

google-webmaster-tools-video-1330350240 Google has announced they've added "more precise" data for the Index Status reports in Google Webmaster Tools. Specifically, Google is now reporting each indexed URLs for each protocol, specifically both for HTTP and HTTPS, as well as for verified subdirectories. Google said this change "makes it easy for you to monitor different sections of your site." For example, the following URLs each show their own data in Webmaster Tools Index Status report, provided they are verified separately: If you mix and match HTTP and HTTPS content on different pages, you will notice a change in your I [...]


IE8 Users Don’t Get Forwarded To Google Secure Search

Internet Explorer At the moment, users of IE8, still the most popular version of the Internet Explorer browser worldwide, are being sent to unsecure search on Google. The move to send users to Google regular servers instead of secure servers is related to Google seeming to work through how it deals with people still using the older browser. Webmasters may notice referrer data from IE8 visitors coming from Google turning on and off as a result of this work. Users of other IE versions are still sent to secure search. With this current switch, the full set of referrer data including the keyword used in the quer [...]


How A Single Guest Post May Have Gotten An Entire Site Penalized By Google

google-penalty-600 Google made it clear earlier this year that those doing guest posts "for SEO purposes" might be subject to penalties. But the latest chapter in its war on guest posts feels a bit crazy: an entire site put into Google's penalty box because of a single guest post that Google didn't like. Your Entire Site Has Been Penalized By Google The situation involves DocSheldon.com, run by Doc Sheldon, a long-time SEO. Sheldon recently discovered that he'd been issued a penalty against his entire site, as he shared in an open letter to Google: As you can see from the penalty report above, Google decide [...]


Nearly A Year Later, Google’s Penalty Notices Remain Confusing

confusion-maze-direction-600 Nearly a year after Google's Matt Cutts told us penalty notifications will get clearer, including more actual examples of what a problem is, it seems as if the notifications have gotten harder to understand. I spend a lot of time following penalties issued by Google through examples given to me via email, penalties publicizes on blogs and then examples posted in the Google webmaster forums, where people are confused. And in the past week, two good examples of experienced people and companies being confused have come up. Experienced SEO Company Confused Over Penalty Last week, an experien [...]


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