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 “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 [...]

Google Says “Snag” Has Taken Manual Spam Actions Viewer Offline

google-webmaster-tools-logo If you're not seeing the "Manual Actions" feature in Google Webmaster Tools, you're not alone. Many webmasters have taken to Twitter and other social networks to say that the link has been removed from their accounts, and Google has updated its original announcement to say that a "snag" will delay full launch for a couple days: Unfortunately we've hit a snag during our feature deployment, so it will be another couple days before the feature is available to everyone. We will post another update once the feature is fully rolled out. The Manual Actions viewer is a tool that lets webmasters do a [...]

Google’s New Mobile Guidelines Focus On Delivering Content In Less Than A Second

google-one-second-mobile-featured One second. That's about how long it took you to read the two words above, and it's also the focus of Google's latest advice for webmasters when it comes to developing mobile websites. The company has published new guidelines that emphasize why sites should deliver above-the-fold content in less than a second. The emphasis there is on the "above-the-fold" aspect; Google isn't suggesting that entire mobile web pages should be delivered that quickly. "...the whole page doesn’t have to render within this budget, instead, we must deliver and render the above the fold (ATF) content in u [...]

Google Releases Seven Videos On Typical Manual Spam Actions

google-webmaster-tools-youtube Earlier today, Google launched manual spam actions to Google Webmaster Tools where you can see if your site currently has a manual spam action. To help those who have received some of these manual action notifications, Google created seven videos for the most common manual action notifications. The videos include user-generated spam, hidden text and/or keyword stuffing, pure spam, thin content with little or no added value video, unnatural Links to site video, unnatural links from your site and unnatural Links to site - impacts links. I've watched the videos and Google, mostly Matt Cutt [...]

Google Launches Manual Spam Actions Viewer, Streamlines Reconsideration Process

spam-viewer-featured Google is adding a new feature in Webmaster Tools that will leave no doubt when a site's search rankings are affected by a manual webspam action. It's called the Manual Actions viewer, and it's available today under the "Search Traffic" tab. The new tool complements the email notifications that Google already sends when it takes manual action against a website, giving site owners a way to check their site's status on their own at any time. Google says fewer than two percent of domains in its index are manually removed due to spam, so the vast majority of webmasters won't find anything wh [...]

Five Steps To Clean Up Your Links Like A Techie

An Unnatural Link Warning from Google Webmaster Tools You've been in business for many years. You may have done it all on your own, or you may have enlisted the aid of unscrupulous SEO "services" to built links for you. Either way, you may be wondering whether you need to conduct a link clean up. This column contains a five-step process outlining how to determine if you have a problem, how to analyze it, and then how to clean it up. But first: Unnatural Links Warning = Problem If you get this message, you have a problem. Skip to step two. [caption id="attachment_166889" align="aligncenter" width="505"] An Unnatural Link Warning from Googl [...]

Google To Take Action Against Fake Search Results Injected Into Browser History

google-penalty-square Google made a clear stance late Friday on the Google Webmaster blog that they will not tolerate webmasters pushing deceptive search results to searchers through the use of browser history spamming techniques. The technique uses a method of detecting a click on the browser's back button. When clicked, a user is not sent back to the page they came from, i.e. the search results, but rather a page that looks like search results. Google explained, a "users click the "back" button on their browser, they land on a new page that they've never visited before." This only happens when the user is " [...]

Google Webmaster Tools Restructures Navigation & Adds Search Appearance Overlay

google-webmaster-tools-video-1330350240 Google announced they've updated the navigation within Google Webmaster Tools and have also added a new "search appearance" pop up that should help novice webmasters. New Webmaster Tools Navigation The new navigation was redesigned and structured to be in the order of "the stages of search," said Mariya Moeva, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst. The structure should make it easier and more logical for webmasters to work with. Google explains what each section contains: Crawl Section is where you will see information about how Google discovers and crawls content. In here are your crawl stats [...]

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