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.

The Ultimate Guide to Multilingual and Multiregional SEO

When you begin to get into multilingual and multiregional SEO, you know that you have taken a step forward as an SEO expert. Why? Well, because you are probably dealing with a large, complex site that demands the expertise of someone who knows what they are talking about. If you are dealing in multilingual or multinational SEO, then you are managing a complex website strategy that serves multiple locations and languages -- not just one. Lucky for you, most everything you need to know about multilingual and multiregional SEO is listed in this post. So, even if you are a first-timer, you now [...]


Google Expands List of “Generic” Top Level Domains and Makes Them Geotargetable

Typically, the country-code top level domain (ccTLD) is just that -- a country code. For instance, example.co.uk has content for the UK, and example.com.au has content for Australia. Usually, registration of these domains is restricted. You have to prove that you are operating the site from the designated country. However, some countries have opened up registration to everyone. And of course, some top level domains, such as .com, are inherently generic. Google uses the location of a site in its ranking algorithms. A searcher in the UK is more likely to see sites from the UK in results. But [...]


Using the X-Default Hreflang Tag For Multinational SEO: Default Language Opportunities

Common Second Languages Globally

Google & Yandex announced the new x-default hreflang tag earlier this month, and in doing so closed the final gap in executing ‘perfect’ SEO platforms for multinational brands. There is, however, the question of what language content to use as your default, and how you can bring a little quantifiable information to play to determine your best, overall, choice.


Google Adds A New Webmaster Annotation For Multilingual & Multinational Sites

Google-Webmaster-tools Google's Pierre Far, Webmaster Trends Analyst, announced on the Google Webmaster Central blog a new annotation designed to help communicate redirects and languages to Google for multilingual and multinational web sites. The annotation is designed to work with homepages of multinational and multilingual sites that are configured to point users to localized pages, either via redirects or by changing the content to reflect the user's language. When this happens, you can now communicate to Google of this action through the new rel-alternate-hreflang annotation. The rel-alternate-hreflang ann [...]


The SEO Guide To Getting Started With Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Tools can be a powerful ally. But, if you make a mistake or put this power in the wrong hands, it can mean trouble for your search engine optimization. In this post, I provide a basic SEO Guide to Webmaster Tools to help get you started if you aren't taking full advantage of WMT yet. It is very important to point out that some of these things are more detrimental than others. Also, there could be multiple articles written about each of these tools and reports. This SEO guide to Webmaster Tools is a simple overview with a little insight. [caption id="attachment_153210" al [...]


Google Adds Publisher Opt-Out Tool For Shopping, Flights, Hotels & Local Search

stop-signs-featured Don't want your content to be included in many of Google's vertical search services, such as Google Shopping or Google+ Local? Google's got a new tool for that, a result of its agreement earlier this year with the US Federal Trade Commission over anti-trust charges. Announced on the Google Webmaster Central Blog, the new tool is located within Google Webmaster Central and allows publishers to keep their content out of: Google Shopping Google+ Local Google Flights Google Hotels Google Advisor (financial product search) Oddly, several of these services only allow you to be inc [...]


Google Webmaster Tools Improves Verification Reporting & Process

google-webmaster-tools-video-1330350240 Google announced they have added three improvements to the Google Webmaster Tools verification system. View Verification Methods Now, you can not only see who the verified users on your sites are, but the verification method they used to achieve that status. Where appropriate, the verification details will have links to the correct URL on your site where the verification can be found. Here is a screen shot: Removing Verifications Method Prior To Un-verifying Users You simply cannot just delete a verified user without deleting or removing their verification method first. You now need [...]


Google Sends BBC News A Manual Link Penalty Notification

bbc Google has sent the world's largest broadcast news organization, BBC News, an unnatural link notification last Saturday. The Search Engine Roundtable reports Nick, a BBC News representative, posted in the Google Help Forums about the notification. Nick was seeking advice from Google or SEOs on how he may find those unnatural links so the BBC can remove them and submit a reconsideration request. Nick wrote: I am a representative of the BBC site and on Saturday we got a 'notice of detected unnatural links'. Given the BBC site is so huge, with so many independently run sub sections, wit [...]


Google Launches Help Center For Hacked Sites

Google hacked sites help center Google has just launched a help center for hacked sites, complete with step-by-step instructions and videos that outline each part of the process. The videos feature Maile Ohye, Developer Programs Tech Lead at Google (and her Googler colleagues), who told me "we wanted to connect our capability to detect and alert site owners of their hacked sites with improved resources to help them recover." For some time, Google's been letting site owners know when their sites have been hacked, but this new help center takes the next step and walks through how to fix the site and get the warnings remove [...]


Google Charts “Manual Actions” Against Spam In Search For First Time

spam-featured How often does Google take "manual action" against websites for spam, where a human being reviews a site and decides it deserves some type of penalty? For the first time, Google's released a chart showing this, going back nearly 10 years. The chart is part of Google's new "How Search Works" area, and it stretches back from August 2004 to today (click to enlarge the chart): "Legacy" indicates manual actions that Google took that weren't classified into a more specific category, Google told me. Until around the end of 2007, most everything was either over "unnatural links" or "legacy" -- I.E [...]


Google Releases Interactive Infographic: “How Search Works”

How Search Works Ever wondered how Google Search works, finds pages from across the web and decides how to list them in response to a search? If so, Google's got a new resource designed to answer questions. Called "How Search Works," the new area announced today is an interactive infographic that explains more about the search process, including how Google deal with spam issues. The new area was inspired by Google's The Story Of Send, an interactive infographic that Google released last year to explain how it handles email. "We were looking at this site [The Story Of Send], Matt Cutts [Google's chief [...]


Google Sends Hundreds Of Thousands Of Webmaster Notifications Each Month & 90% Are Black Hat Related

google-webmaster-tools-featured Google's Matt Cutts shared some new statistics in a recent video about the types of notifications Google sends out via Google Webmaster Tools. Google sends approximately "hundreds of thousands" of messages each month to webmasters. The categories of those messages break down as follows: 90% of those messages are black hat related 4% are notifications of content that have little or no value add 3% are hacking notifications 2% are about link buying 1% are about link selling Here is the video: The last time we had an update on the number or categories of types of notifica [...]


Google’s Cutts On How To Locate Unnatural Links Pointing To Your Web Site

google-links-featured Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, released a video today explaining how a webmaster can locate which links pointing to their website is "unnatural." As you know, Google has been sending unnatural link warnings to Webmasters for about a year now. Webmasters should act when they receive this email; they should remove the unnatural links. What happens if you really do not know which links pointing to your site are unnatural? Google's Matt Cutts gives you two ways to discover these links. (1) You can sort your links to your site within Webmaster Tools by most recent links. (2) [...]


Confirmed: Google Removes “Not Selected” From Webmaster Tools

google-webmaster-tools-video-1330350240 Google has confirmed the reports of the removal of the "not selected" filter within Google Webmaster Tool's Index Status report. Google's John Mueller said it was removed because it "was causing more confusion than actually helping webmasters with their sites." That may be true, but many webmasters found the data useful. In fact, there were times when John from Google said himself that "not selected" data can be useful in some situations. Here is the comment from Google's John Mueller, a Webmaster Trends Analysts in Google Zurich. Yep, this was removed on purpose since it was causing [...]


Sudden Change In The Number Of Links Reporting In Google Webmaster? Don’t Panic.

google-webmaster-tools-video-1330350240 Over the past week or so, we've been hearing reports of the number of links being reported within Google Webmaster Tools drastically changing from what it was days before the change. Last week, we received some reports of Google increasing the number of links being reported in the tool. This week, we are seeing dozens of reports of the link count dropping significantly. Some suspect Google has a data display issue specifically with reporting on home page links, while others are not sure. Google's John Mueller, who I believe is currently on vacation, responded to the concerns in one Googl [...]


Will [Not Provided] Ever Reach 100% In Web Analytics?

not-provided-featured With the news today that Chrome is moving to secure search, marketers may be wondering about the larger picture of using search data in Web analytics. The searches people do that lead them to a site is valuable data to an organization. What other data source do we have that gives us direct access to our customers' wants and needs? Sure, we can ask them, but customers can lie. Or choose not to answer. By looking at exactly what visitors have searched for, we can learn a lot about who our customers are, what they really want, and if we're providing it to them. Search marketers have valued [...]


Google Introduces Data Highlighter Tool For Structured Data Markup

google-webmaster-tools-video-1330350240 Google announced on the Google Webmaster Central blog a new tool that makes it incredibly easy for site owners to markup their pages with structure data. The Data Highlighter tool. The Data Highlighter is a browser based point-and-click tool that lets authorized site owners add rich snippet / structured data markup to their web pages. Prior, the only way to add structured data markup to your web pages was to go into the HTML code and add it there. No longer do you need to know HTML to add this markup data - you can now use the Data Highlighter tool. The Data Highlighter tool is currently [...]


90% Of Google Webmaster Messages Are Regarding Black Hat Issues

google-webmaster-tools-logo In a recent video by Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts said that 90% of the messages sent out via Google Webmaster Tools are related to black hat issues. Whereas only 3% of those messages were specifically about unnatural links. This video response comes in response to many webmasters thinking that of the 700,000 messages Google sent out in the first two months of this year were mostly related to link notifications. However, Matt Cutts said no. He said only 25,000 of the 700,000 were link related but about 600,000 of the 700,000 were black hat related. Here is the video: [...]


Updated: Google Webmaster Tools Security Bug Re-Opens Access To Old Accounts [Now Fixed]

google-oops-mistake-featured A security bug in Google Webmaster Tools has given users access to old accounts and websites that they're no longer supposed to be able to access. The problem was discovered Tuesday and reported on several SEO blogs and news outlets -- including (first, I believe) by Dave Naylor -- and was discussed pretty heavily by search marketers on Twitter. We asked Google late Tuesday afternoon to comment on the bug reports, but have not received a reply. What's happening in some, not all, Webmaster Tools accounts is that users are finding themselves with sudden access to accounts that they once ha [...]


Filing A Google Reconsideration Request? For Best Results, Use The Same Language As Your Site

google-webmaster-tools-featured Does Google not support reconsideration requests in Italian or other non-English languages? Yes, it does, and might even give detailed advice. But if you want that, you have to ask in your native language. The situation came up recently in a blog post by Gianluca Fiorelli. It covered how an Italian site owner received a weird response from Google after submitting a couple reconsideration requests. The response said: We’ve found that the majority of your site’s content is in a language we do not currently support. It was strange because we know Google responds to reconsideration r [...]


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