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 Webmaster Tools Adds Smartphone Specific Crawl Errors

google-webmaster-tools-featured Pierre Far, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, announced a new feature within Google Webmaster Tools that shows webmasters crawl errors specific to smartphone devices. The issue is: it is often hard for webmasters to detect and thus fix errors that happen on smartphone devices. Google decided to add a section to the crawl errors report that shows some of the more common errors Google sees webmasters make when smartphone users access the site. Google said that some of these errors may "significantly hurt your website's user experience and are the basis of some of our recently-announced rank [...]

6 Ways Google Webmaster Tools Can Improve Your SEO Strategy

Google Webmaster Tools - Facebook Featured Most search experts rely on Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) to analyze the technical aspects of a website. These experts focus on data like crawl stats, page errors and rich snippets. In addition to technical analysis, I recommend using GWT for basic on-page SEO improvements. Here are 6 easy ways to use Webmaster Tools to improve your on-page SEO. 1. HTML Improvements Under Search Appearance, you will find HTML Improvements. This report provides a snapshot of any issues with your site's meta descriptions and title tags, along with a record of any content that isn't indexable. In the SEO [...]

Google Seeking Feature Requests For Webmaster Tools

google-webmaster-tools-video-1330350240 Google's head of search spam Matt Cutts posted on his personal blog a request for webmasters to provide feedback and feature requests for Google Webmaster Tools. Matt and the Google search quality team is looking for new ideas on what would make Google Webmaster Tools more useful to you. Matt talked about how far Webmaster Tools has come but they want to continue to make it more useful. To submit feedback, go to Matt's blog and leave your feedback. Matt's disclaimer: To be clear, this is just some personal brainstorming–I’m not saying that the Webmaster Tools team will work on a [...]

Designing Analytics Dashboards From Google Webmaster Tools Keyword Data

Google Webmaster Tools - Facebook Featured Ever since Google made the move to encrypt all searches, marketers have been searching for alternative ways to glean keyword referral data -- and many have turned to Google Webmaster Tools (WMT) data as a replacement source. To be clear, the data from Google Webmaster Tools is limited. You can only see your top 2000 terms, your data only goes as far back as 90 days, and the information is related to user interaction with the SERPs rather than with your site. But, while you can't use WMT data as a true replacement data source for keywords, you can use it as a proxy. In my article on Ma [...]

Google Offering Online Site Reviews This Monday, November 18th

google-seo-featured Google's John Mueller announced that on this Monday's Google office-hours, Google will be offering "short website reviews" for webmasters who are looking for advice. To participate, you must add your website to this Google Moderator page. Then, if Google has time and wants to review your site, Google will review it live, this Monday, November 18th at 10am EDT via Google+ Hangouts. If you want to be live on the hangout yourself, you can add the event to your calendar and then wait for Google to launch the Google+ Hangout on air. The site reviews will last one-hour and seems like it wil [...]

Image Mismatch: The Latest Google Webmaster Tools Manual Action Penalty

google-penalty-square Google has a new manual action penalty within their guidelines named image mismatch. Image mismatch is when the images on your website do not match what is shown in the Google search results. Google words it as "your site’s images may be displaying differently on Google’s search results pages than they are when viewed on your site." It is when you are serving Google one image and the user another image, also known as a form of cloaking - but Google doesn't call it cloaking in their document. This morning, I covered the first manual action publicly received for this image mismatch not [...]

Google App Indexing: Google Can Index & Link To Content In Your Android App

android logo Google announced that they can now index the content within Android apps. The mechanism for doing so, they call, is app indexing. App indexing allows webmasters to connect pages from your web sites with specific content within your Android app. This enables Android smartphone users who have your app installed to open it directly from relevant mobile search results on Google. Here is a picture of it in action: For example, a webmaster who has a recipe website and an Android app can benefit from this. When a Google searcher on a mobile device is shown one of your recipes as a search [...]

Google Webmaster Tools Adds “Security Issues” Section

google-webmaster-tools-video-1330350240 Google has announced the addition of a new section within Webmaster Tools named "Security Issues." This new section is aimed at better communicating to website owners security issues, such as site hacks, malware, and so on and then giving a more detailed and concise method of fixing the problem and submitting a review request. In the new security issues section, you'll be able to: Find more information about the security issues on your site, in one place. Pinpoint the problem faster with detailed code snippets. Request review for all issues in one go through the new simplified process [...]

Ezine Articles & Press Releases Supplied As Bad Backlink Examples In WMT

Ezine Articles and Press Releases Bad Link Example Ezine Articles and press releases have long been utilized by SEO professionals for building backlinks. In late July 2013, news broke that links should be no followed in press releases. Right around this same time, Google also mentioned that if you are guest blogging for links this could be a violation of their guidelines. Apparently, the Google folks meant what they said. Now, Google has supplied example backlinks from Ezine Articles and a press release in Webmaster Tools. These are examples of links which Google felt were against its quality guidelines. You can see this notification below. [...]

Google: Webmaster Tools Reporting To Return To Normal Within In Coming Days

google-webmaster-tools-video-1330350240 Google's Webmaster Tools search query reports are very delayed right now, but Google tells us that they "expect reporting to return to normal in the coming days." This is a "bug" in how Google shows webmasters search queries that drive traffic a site. The reporting tool stopped showing data on September 23rd. This came shortly after Google stopped passing virtually 100% of referrer data to webmasters. Google implied the bug was unrelated and promised to fix it soon. I currently am able to see data from September 25th and going back, so this is a two day improvement from when the bug [...]

After Blocking Keywords In Referrers, Now Google Stops Sharing Through Google Webmaster Tools – A Bug?

Not Provided Last week, Google moved to send all searches through Google SSL Search, setting up the ultimate end of keyword data passed along via referrers non-advertisers. Now, Google's official alternative channel for this information -- Google Webmaster Tools -- has also stopped sharing the data, most likely due to a bug. A Bug Or An Intentional Move? Google Webmaster Tools has had outages before, so maybe this is just a temporary bug. But if so, it's terrible timing. NOTE: See the postscript below that suggests this is indeed a bug. We've added that to the headline and the lead of the story. Go [...]

“100% Not Provided Is Not The End Of SEO” Insider Opinions On Google’s Move To Withhold Data

Not Provided Earlier this week, Google revealed it would be encrypting all search data, rendering website owners unable to see search term information previously offered through the "referrer" system. While Google had encrypted the data two years ago for searches performed by users signed in to their Google account, and then earlier this year for any searches from the Chrome omnibox, the decision to withhold all data - regardless if a user is signed in or not - left many SEO insiders surprised it happened so suddenly. To take a pulse of the industry, we've published reactions to the "100% not provide [...]

Post-PRISM, Google Confirms Quietly Moving To Make All Searches Secure, Except For Ad Clicks

keywords-not-provided-featured In the past month, Google quietly made a change aimed at encrypting all search activity -- except for clicks on ads. Google says this has been done to provide "extra protection" for searchers, and the company may be aiming to block NSA spying activity. Possibly, it's a move to increase ad sales. Or both. Welcome to the confusing world of Google secure search. Two Years Ago: Secure Searching For Logged-In Users In October 2011, Google began encrypting searches for anyone who was logged into Google. The reason given was privacy. Google said it wanted to block anyone who might potentially be ea [...]

Google Webmaster Tools Now Provides Broader & More Diverse Link Data

google-webmaster-tools-featured Google announced today that the link data within Google Webmaster Tools is much broader, more diverse cross-section of links. What does that mean? Well, instead of showing you links in alphabetical order, exported in "lexicographical order" - Google is now showing you sample links "uniformly from the full spectrum of backlinks rather than alphabetically." Google says this means you links will be more diverse, showing you links from different top-level domains (TLDs) as well as from different domain names. The max number of links Google will export from Google Webmaster Tools still is [...]

Google’s Plan To Withhold Search Data & Create New Advertisers

Not Provided How do you convince a bunch of publishers to buy ads on your service? If you're Google, how about withholding data from those publishers about how people are finding their sites, as a way to drive them into your ad system? I don't think Google planned for this to happen. But that's the end result, in what could be called the "Not Provided" scheme. "Dark Google" Nearly Two Years Old In October 2011 -- nearly two years ago now -- "Dark Google" was born. Google began holding back information it previously gave to publishers for free, "referrer data" that let publishers understand the exact term [...]

Google To Extend “Top Search Queries” Data In Webmaster Tools From 90 Days To One Year

google-webmaster-tools-featured Data telling publishers the top terms being used to find their web sites will be available for up to one year in Google Webmaster Tools, rather than the current 90 days, Google has said. The news came in response to an article today on Search Engine Land covering a conflict between Google limiting the time period such data was available in Google Webmaster Tools but setting no such limit for publishers who imported that data into Google AdWords accounts. From that article, Google’s Inadvertent Plan To Withhold Search Data & Create New Advertisers, Google said: We plan to provid [...]

Google Gets 5,000 Reconsideration Requests Per Week

google-webmaster-tools-video-1330350240 Google's head of search spam Matt Cutts announced in a recent video answer that Google receives about 5,000 reconsideration request per week through Google Webmaster Tools. In January 2013, Google said it had taken manual action on 400,000 different websites and averaged about 5,000 reconsideration reports each week. As you can imagine, that is a lot of reports for Googlers to review, and Google has told us they review each and every reconsideration request and respond to almost every one. I suspect this is why Google launched the manual actions viewer recently. Now, the only way to s [...]

Demystifying Link Disavowals, Penalties & More

disavow-links-featured [caption id="attachment_169618" align="alignright" width="269"] Google Webmaster Hangout[/caption] Findings from a recent Google Webmaster Hangout on Air (video) demystify link disavowals, penalties and more. Read on for the official word from John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst from Google and friend to webmasters everywhere. First, Some Background Last month, I introduced Five Steps To Clean Up Your Links like A Techie. The commenters on the post had a lot of good questions, and I wanted to begin this month with a few clarifications. First, the development of that list was meant [...]

Google: We Prefer To Assess Reconsideration Requests On Links Within Webmaster Tools However…

google-webmaster-tools-video-1330350240 What do webmasters do when receiving a manual action from Google telling them they have a penalty because of paid or bad links pointing to their site? Google told us back in June that we should use Google’s “links to your site” report within Webmaster Tools to analyze bad links pointing to our sites. In fact, earlier that month, a Google engineer who works in search quality named Aaseesh Marina told an SEO named Marie Haynes that using Google Webmaster Tools "Links to Your Site" section would be enough to discover the bad links pointing to your site and to submit a reconsideration [...]

Understanding Google’s Latest Assault On Unnatural Links

google-war-links-featured Without much fanfare or publicity, Google quietly updated the Link Schemes/Unnatural Links document inside the Webmaster Tools section of their site last month. If not for the excellent work of Barry Schwartz, many of us would have missed it. (I have a page change tool app set up for that exact URL, and it didn't catch it for several days.) Since this news hit the mainstream linking/SEO community, there's been no shortage of reporting on the changes themselves, with nearly 6,000 results for the exact match search phrase "google updates link schemes." The Web is certainly a remarkable e [...]

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