Vanessa Fox

Vanessa Fox

Vanessa Fox is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. She built Google Webmaster Central and went on to found software and consulting company Nine By Blue and create Blueprint Search Analytics< which she later sold. Her book, Marketing in the Age of Google, (updated edition, May 2012) provides a foundation for incorporating search strategy into organizations of all levels. Follow her on Twitter at @vanessafox.


Bing Launches Way to “Disavow” Links, But Why?

For years, Google’s webmaster guidelines have noted that attempts to manipulate Google’s algorithms with artificial external link profiles (paid links, link schemes and the like) are violations and that Google may take action (by removing the site from the index or lowering its ranking).  This year, Google starting alerting site owners with “unnatural links”, recommending […]


Google Webmaster Tools Expands Query Data to 90 Days

Today, Google has expanded the historical search query data to 90 days. The number of queries reported has increased as well: the report will now list the top 2,000 for each day of the selected date range (vs. the previous top 1,000). This is great news, as this is data not available anywhere else and […]

Bing SEO

No, Bing Doesn’t Support Pagination Attributes to Consolidate Pages In A Series

Last week, the Bing Webmaster blog published a post about how Bing handles rel=”next” and rel=”prev” attributes. On the surface, it seemed as though Bing was announcing that it now supported these tags in the same way Google does. Last September, Google announced support of the rel=”prev” and rel=”next” attributes to designate paginated content, which enables […]


Google Webmaster Tools Crawl Errors: How To Get Detailed Data From the API

Earlier this week, I wrote about my disappointment that granular data (the number of URLs reported, the specifics of the errors…) was removed from Google webmaster tools. However, as I’ve been talking with Google, I’ve discovered that much of this detail is still available via the GData API. That this detail was available through the […]

Google SEO

Implementing Pagination Attributes Correctly For Google

Google’s latest blog post provides details and a video from Maile Ohye about how they handle the pagination attributes within a page’s source code. You can use these attributes to indicate pages in a series (such as a multi-page article or set of product listings), which enables Google to cluster the pages into a single entity […]


Google Webmaster Tools Revamps Crawl Errors, But Is It For The Better?

Google has just revamped the crawl errors data available in webmaster tools. Crawl errors are issues Googlebot encountered while crawling your site, so useful stuff! I originally started this article by writing that in most cases, these changes are for the better and in only a few (really maddening) cases, useful functionality has been removed. […]


Is SEO Killing America?

Last week at the Tools of Change conference, Clay Johnson, author of the new book The Information Diet gave a keynote talk titled “Is SEO Killing America“. Sigh.  If you’ve been involved in search for any length of time, your first reaction may be, this again? Haven’t we done this before? Once or twice? Clay’s […]


Did Super Bowl Advertisers Take Advantage of Search Interest?

Over the past couple of days, numerous stats and figures have been published about how Super Bowl advertisers took advantage (or not) of social media this year. But commercials also drive people to search engines, which in turn (when things go right) can lead potential customers to advertiser web sites where rather than talk about […]


When Is the Super Bowl Start Time? The NFL Finally Gets It Right

Super Bowl 46 kicks off on February 5, 2012 at 6:30pm EST on NBC. Amazingly enough, I found this information by searching on Google and clicking on the second result: Amazing because every year, football fans flock to search engines searching for the start time, and until now, organizations like the NFL, the playing […]


Google Webmaster Tools Adds Useful Download Options

Google webmaster tools data is helpful stuff, but has been somewhat tough to download and use. Last month, Google made things a bit easier by providing a Python script for downloading search query data (as this report isn’t available as of yet through the API). Now, they’ve added new download options that significantly add to […]


Panda Update 3.0 Live & Panda “Flux”

On around September 27th, Google launched what’s being called 2.5 of its Panda algorithm. On October 5th, Google’s Matt Cutts tweeted: “Weather report: expect some Panda-related flux in the next few weeks, but will have less impact than previous updates (~2%).” Panda-related flux? Indeed, this seems to be the case, with site owners reporting Panda-related […]


Pew Internet: Diving Into How We Access Local News

In studies of the evolution in how Americans seek out news, the trends tend to be that we use search and other online methods for staying informed. The consistent exception is how we access local news. Despite the proliferation of hyperlocal blogging (my own neighborhood’s West Seattle Blog being an excellent example of how hyperlocal blogs […]

Google News

Google News Launches “Standout” Tag for Featured Content

Today at the Online News Association conference, Google introduced a new link rel attribute that news organizations can use to mark their best work. You can mark up to seven pieces of content per week. Google News will use this information as a signal for labeling news stories as “featured” on the Google News home […]


Google Provides New Options for Paginated Content

At SMX Advanced earlier this year, a hot topic was the use of the rel=”canonical” attribute in conjunction with pagination. Maile Ohye of Google noted that the rel=”canonical” attribute was not intended to cluster multiple pages (articles, product lists, etc.) to page one of that series (although it can be used to cluster multiple pages […]


Google Retires The Googlebot-News Bot

Today, Google announced that they will no longer be crawling news sites with Googlebot-News and instead will crawl news sites with Googlebot, the same bot that crawls sites for web search. However, you can still block your content from being indexed in Google News by disallowing Googlebot-News in robots.txt or using a meta robots tag. […]


Google Panda Update 2.4: Panda Goes International, In Most Languages

Google has just announced that their “Panda” rankings changes, first launched in the United States in late February and rolled out to English language indices internationally in April, have now launched internationally in all languages other than Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Their post notes that for non-English indices,  this change impacts 6-9% of queries (vs. […]