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’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

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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 [...]


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 [...]


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