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 PR Problem Is Bing’s Opportunity

Google has a PR problem. No, I don’t mean PageRank. I’m talking about the original definition of PR – Public Relations. And, it’s maybe less Public Relations than it is Webmaster Relations. You see, Google hasn't done a good job of balancing content about problems with content about successes and improvements. They haven't really needed to -- with 70% market share of search, there wasn't a competitor in sight. But, as Bing gains market share (both in general and through their partnerships with FaceBook and Siri), Google is going to need to pay more attention to their communi [...]

Preview Google’s New Structured Data Dashboard Beta

google-webmaster-tools-video-1330350240 A couple weeks ago, we reported Google opened up invite requests to join a beta of the structure data dashboard. I signed up immediately and yesterday, I, along with other webmasters, received my welcome email to take a look at the report. To sign up, you can do so at over here - I am not sure if they are still welcoming beta testers. That being said, if you did sign up, you can see if you have access to the new Webmaster Tools structured data error reports by going to the "Optimization" section and checking within the "Structured Data" section. Personally, my report shows no errors, [...]

Google Advice On When To Submit Reconsideration Request & How To Clean Your Link Profile

google-webmaster-tools-video-1330350240 Google posted a new article today answering common questions about submitting reconsideration requests and managing your backlink profile. Google Search Quality representatives, Kaspar Szymanski and Uli Lutz, co-authored the article, going through the more common questions on this topic. Google says you should really only submit a reconsideration request when you receive a manual penalty but if you are unsure if you have a manual or algorithmic penalty, submitting the request "is fine," Google said. Other tips include: Only submit the reconsideration request after you take action [...]

Google Changes Ranking Advice, Says Build Quality Sites Not Links

google-penguin-featured Google has quietly updated the rankings article within the Google Webmaster Help documentation. The change is to keep Google consistent with their general change in messaging that content is what webmasters should focus on, not links. Previously, the article had a line that read: In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages. We've bolded the key part, which was changed on May 27th to say: In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by creating high-quality sites that users will want to us [...]

Google Webmaster Tools “Links To Your Site” Reporting Bug

google-webmaster-tools-featured Last week, we began seeing complaints of the Google Webmaster Tools "Links To Your Site" report showing 80% or less of the number of links that should be displayed. Yesterday, I noticed the issue myself, and today, Google confirmed this is a reporting bug. In short, tons of webmasters who analyze their links using Google Webmaster Tools have noticed a huge drop in the number of reported links to their sites. For example, my site, Search Engine Roundtable, had 3.8 million links reported last week, then yesterday dropped to 2.1 million links and now it is reporting 1.3 million links. S [...]

Google Webmaster Tools Adds Google Tag Manager Verification Support

google-webmaster-tools-video-1330350240 The Google Webmaster Central blog announced you can now use a new method to verify your site with Google Webmaster Tools. Now, you can use Google Tag Manager's container snippet code to verify your site with Google Webmaster Tools. To verify your unverified site with Google Tag Manager, go to the Webmaster Tools home page. Then, click Manage site for the site next to the site that you'd like to verify, and then select Verify this site. Click the Add a site button in the top right corner. Then, you will be taken to the Verification page; select Google Tag Manager as the verification me [...]

Google’s Cutts Talks Structured Data Beta, Mobile Site Speed Need, Penalty Notices To Get Example Links & More

matt-cutts-featured Last night at SMX Advanced, Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts was on stage to answer questions about Google search and webmaster topics with Danny Sullivan. We covered the session in live blog format and pulled out several key points. Of all my years watching Matt Cutts talk, I believe it has been over ten years now, I have never seen Matt reveal so much new information and announce so many new things in a single hour at a conference. Here are the highlights from last night, with links to those individual stories: Google Payday Loan Algorithm: Google Search Algorithm Update To [...]

Google Structured Data Dashboard Beta

google-webmaster-tools-video-1330350240 Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, announced at SMX Advanced a new beta application is testing within Google Webmaster Tools named the Structured Data Dashboard. The new dashboard will show webmasters more errors and reporting based on their schema, rich snippet and structured data implemented on a website. Matt said if you as a webmaster wants to sign up to beta test this, you can sign up at We currently have no more details on this dashboard but as soon as we get more information, we will share it with you. For more of our coverage on Matt's talk at SMX A [...]

Google Webmaster Notifications Now To Show Example URLs

google-webmaster-tools-video-1330350240 Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, announced at SMX Advanced that starting in the next day or so, Google Webmaster Tools notifications will now include example URLs of problem areas. For example, if you receive a manual penalty for unnatural links, Google will provide a few sample URLS. If you have other manual penalties, Google will show examples of where the penalties are or derived from. Google has been testing this for some time now, and Matt Cutts said we should expect this coming within months. Starting in the next day or so, future Webmaster Tools notifications will cont [...]

Google’s Hunger For Structured Markup

Google is keen for structured markup -- to put it mildly. In the not-too-distant past, I wrote about Google's Data Highlighter for event data, a tool which allows webmasters to indicate structured data for events without having to actually mark up the site's HTML code. It has the charming feature that the resultant extracted data is viewable by the webmaster only in Webmaster Tools in the Structured Data section; and, of course, the data is available to Google itself. As there is no actual structured markup ever placed on the page (i.e., no, microdata or any other markup), th [...]

Google Notifies Sprint Of Spam Penalty; Seeks Advice In Google Help Forums

google-spring-penalty The latest large brand to be hit with a user-generated content spam penalty notification is Sprint, the large US wireless communications company. Similar to Mozilla's penalty and BBC's penalty, Sprint was penalized for user-generated content spam on a portion of their site that was open to anyone to post links and content. Also similar to the BBC and Mozilla, Sprint went to the Google help forums to seek advice  because Google's warning message itself doesn't provide detailed information about what's wrong. The employee wrote: I received a message on 5/17/2013 that "Google has detected [...]

“Organization Markup” Supported As Non-Google+ Way To Put Logos In Knowledge Graph Box

Google logo Want to have your company logo appear in Google search results, similar to the way authors get to have their pictures displayed? Keep waiting. New "organization markup" support that Google has announced won't do that, but it might be useful for putting your logo in Google Knowledge Graph boxes. Author Images Many are familiar with authorship images that appear next to some stories, such as this example: That's where I did a search for "google bing," and one of my own articles came up in the top results. My picture appears next to the article because I've gone through the steps to identify [...]

No, Publishership Isn’t Coming Soon To Google Search To Join Authorship

Google logo There are expectations in some quarters that publishers will soon be able to have their logos showing up in Google in the way that authors can have their pictures appear. But, Google says there are "no plans" for some type of "publishership" to go live similar to the way it handles authorship. Expectations were raised after Kahena Digital and Standing Dog noted that publishers using rel=publisher can see how their logos would look in Google's Rich Snippets testing tool. However, Google told us generally that this has been working that way in the testing tool for months and that there are [...]

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, has content for the UK, and 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 [...]

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