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.

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 [...]


Google’s Matt Cutts Implies MyBlogGuest Publishers Will Receive Penalties

matt-cutts-featured Google has taken action on a large guest blog network that we believe is MyBlogGuest.com. In fact, the owner of MyBlogGuest.com, Ann Smarty confirmed last night she received a penalty. Yesterday, there was confusion over if those publishers who participated in MyBlogGuest.com would also be penalized. I suspected they would be and it seems that is the case. We have Matt Cutts, Google's head of search spam, tweeting that it is likely and we have several publishers from the network claiming they have manual action notifications in their Webmaster Tools accounts as of yesterday. Here is Matt [...]


Manual Spam Action Revoked! A Case Study

road-to-recovery-featured Checklists of how to get out of a Google penalty abound. Five things you should do, five things you shouldn't do, etc. But the number one thing you shouldn't do is ignore it. I want to tell you the story of a two-year long penalty, the steps we took and how something we never thought would work… finally did. No Impact On Organic Traffic The client was a purveyor of a highly competitive retail product -- one of the top in the world, with over 10 million visits per month. Back in July 2012, the client received the first notice that there were "unnatural links pointing to the site." But the c [...]


Google Reviewing “Not Provided,” Withholding Keywords From Organic But Not Paid Search Clicks

not-provided-featured When Google moved to secure search in October 2011, it was a blow to publishers, who began losing data about the search terms used to reach their sites. It also opened Google up to claims of hypocrisy, in that advertisers continued to receive the terms. Now, Google says it's reexamining the issue and seeking a better solution. Will clicks on non-paid listings go back to passing along search term data again? Will ad clicks have that withheld? Google didn't say either way, and there could be other possibilities, as well. Google Looking For Solution The news came out of a keynote convers [...]


Google Targets Two Polish Link Networks While Continuing To Target German Link Networks

google-poland-600 Google lead of search spam Matt Cutts posted on Twitter that Google has taken action on two link networks operated in Poland this week. Matt wrote that Google is "not done with Germany yet, but we just took action on two Polish link networks." The Google Poland Webmaster Blog posted a reminder today about unnatural links and how to submit a reconsideration request. Matt Cutts didn't drop a hint on which Polish link networks were specifically targeted, like he has done in the past. But he did specifically say Google did take action on two link networks within Poland. Here is Matt's twe [...]


Google Adds, Then Pulls, Advice Not To Block Ad Landing Pages From Its Crawler

recall-featured On Wednesday/Thursday of last week, Google added a new guideline to their Webmaster Guidelines to "not block a destination URL for a Google Ad product" via your robots.txt file. 24-hours later, Google reversed that guideline and put the webmaster guidelines back to exactly how they were Wednesday morning. Here was the addition and then what they removed: Make efforts to ensure that a robots.txt file does not block a destination URL for a Google Ad product. Adding such a block can disable or disadvantage the Ad. We asked Google why did they make the change and then later, when we noticed t [...]


Google’s Latest Manual Action Penalty: Spammy Structured Markup

google-web-spam Google recently began sending a new manual action spam notification to webmasters for "spammy structured markup" also known as rich snippet spam. This comes after Google dropped 15% of the rich snippets, setting the bar higher for what sites are able to display rich snippets in the search results. The new manual action message from Google reads as follows: Spammy structured markup Markup on some pages on this site appears to use techniques such as marking up content that is invisible to users, marking up irrelevant or misleading content, and/or other manipulative behavior that violat [...]


Google Warns German Webmasters That Paid Links Violate Google’s Guidelines

links-danger-risk-featured Google head of search spam Matt Cutts posted on Twitter this morning another stern warning to German webmasters about a link penalty looming for them. Matt Cutts tweeted: A reminder (in German) that paid links that pass PageRank violate our guidelines: http://t.co/u1MpvL7kh4 — Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) February 3, 2014   The blog post is written in German on the German Webmaster blog, which basically says Google reserves the right to issue penalties for unnatural links. It then goes through the process of explaining the types of unnatural links and how to submit a reconsiderati [...]


Google Webmaster Tools Crawl Errors Reports Now Showing Errors On Final Redirect URL

subdomains-google-webmaster-tools-13960 Google's John Mueller announced on the Google Webmaster blog this morning that the Google Webmaster Tools team has updated the crawl errors report to show errors on the final URL of the redirect, as opposed to the origin URL of the redirect. What this means is that Google is now showing the errors on the final destination URL instead of the redirecting URL. This should make it easier for webmasters to diagnose issues in their crawl error report, because it makes it easier for the webmaster to locate the page with the error. In the past, Google would have reported the error observed a [...]


5 Not-So-Common Reconsideration Request Errors

SEO I've been struggling with a particularly difficult link cleanup project lately. On the occasion of my 100th reconsideration request (4th for this particular client), I thought it might be helpful to share five not-so-common problems that you might run into during your own link cleanup project. [Editor's note: Since this post was originally published, it's received praise from two Googlers: webmaster trends analyst John Mueller and webspam head Matt Cutts! Which just goes to show how important it is that you continue reading!] 1. Don't Block Your Pages With Robots.txt One good solution to [...]


How To Use Excel To Easily Spot SERP CTR Trends

SEO

Get better insights from your SERP Impressions Vs Clicks report with Excel wizardry for SEO content teams.


WMT: Google Gets Personal With SEOs?

wmt Christmas morning, I got something I never expected: a personal email from Google. And it truly felt like a gift! Right out of bed, I had my 3 cans of Red Bull and checked my messages, as usual. Initially, I wasn't surprised to see that I had an email from Google. I figured it was an automated message about profile linking or something like that. But I was wrong. The email was actually from one of Google's Webmaster Trends analysts. He was contacting me about a rankings situation -- in smartphone rankings -- for one of my brand's domains! But don't confuse this with Google's recent ann [...]


Google Webmaster Tools Search Queries Adds Mobile Stats & No Longer Rounds Data

google-webmaster-tools-featured John Mueller, Google's Webmaster Trends Analyst, announced on the Google Webmaster Blog that they are no longer rounding the search query data within the Google Webmaster Tools Search Queries report. John said, "data in the search queries feature will no longer be rounded / bucketed," and you will start to notice these changes in Webmaster Tools in the next few days. Here are before and after shots of the data, as you can see the new report shows 15,026,995 impressions and the old one showed 14,000,000 impressions: Google also announced a way to better see your mobile site sta [...]


Google Launches Improved URL Removal Tool For Third-Party Content

Google Webmaster Tools - Facebook Featured Google has released an improved URL removal tool that the company says was specifically designed to improve the ability to remove third-party content from its search engine. John Mueller, a Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, announced the change on the Google Webmaster Central blog. Google's long had this tool, so what's new? We checked with Google directly and were told: The tool is now smarter since it checks the URL that you enter and lets you know what options you have. It first checks the URL then guides you toward a more specific flow that's best for the type of removal you want [...]


Google Webmaster Tools Upgrades Structure Data Markup Errors Report

Google-Webmaster-tools Google's Webmaster Trends Analyst Mariya Moeva announced, on the Google Webmaster blog, a new update to Google Webmaster Tools where they now show items with errors in the Structured Data dashboard. This can help webmasters better debug issues they are having with their structured data markup. Google is showing the item-level error, but the top-level structured data element, not the deeper, nested items that are tagged in the HTML code. Here is the errors overview report: When you click on one, it shows you the errors over time with a graph. Google added a note that their "data [...]


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