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Monthly Archives: March 2013
Webmaster level: All
Since we launched the Webmaster Academy in English back in May 2012, its educational content has been viewed well over 1 million times.
The Webmaster Academy was built to guide webmasters in creating great sites that perform well in Google search results. It is an ideal guide for beginner webmasters but also a recommended read for experienced users who wish to learn more about advanced topics.
To support webmasters across the globe, we’re happy to announce that we’re launching the Webmaster Academy in 20 languages. So whether you speak Japanese or Italian, we hope we can help you to make even better websites! You can easily access it through Webmaster Central.
We’d love to read your comments here and invite you to join the discussion in the help forums.
Posted by Giacomo Gnecchi Ruscone, Search Quality
Webmasters have several ways to keep their sites’ content out of Google’s search results. Today, as promised, we’re providing a way for websites to opt out of having their content that Google has crawled appear on Google Shopping, Advisor, Flights, Ho… Continue reading
Webmaster level: All
Verification details view: You can now see the methods used to verify an owner for your site. In the Manage owners page for your site, you can now find the new Verification details link. This screenshot shows the verification details of a user who is verified using both an HTML file uploaded to the site and a meta tag:
Where appropriate, the Verification details will have links to the correct URL on your site where the verification can be found to help you find it faster.
Requiring the verification method be removed from the site before unverifying an owner: You now need to remove the verification method from your site before unverifying an owner from Webmaster Tools. Webmaster Tools now checks the method that the owner used to verify ownership of the site, and will show an error message if the verification is still found. For example, this is the error message shown when an unverification was attempted while the DNS CNAME verification method was still found on the DNS records of the domain:
Shorter CNAME verification string: We’ve slightly modified the CNAME verification string to make it shorter to support a larger number of DNS providers. Some systems limit the number of characters that can be used in DNS records, which meant that some users were not able to use the CNAME verification method. We’ve now made the CNAME verification method have a fewer number of characters. Existing CNAME verifications will continue to be valid.
We hope this changes make it easier for you to use Webmaster Tools. As always, please post in our Verification forum if you have any questions or feedback.
Posted by Pierre Far, Webmaster Trends Analyst
Webmaster level: Intermediate
As more and more users worldwide with mobile devices access the Internet, it’s fantastic to see so many websites making their content accessible and useful for those devices. To help webmasters optimize their sites we launched our recommendations for smartphones, feature-phones, tablets, and Googlebot-friendly sites in June 2012.
We’re happy to announce that those recommendations are now also available in Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish. US-based webmasters are welcome to read the UK-English version.
We welcome you to go through our recommendations, pick the configuration that you feel will work best with your website, and get ready to jump on the mobile bandwagon!
Thanks to the fantastic webmaster-outreach team in Dublin, Tokyo and Beijing for making this possible!
Posted (but not translated) by John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst, Zürich Switzerland
Webmaster level: beginner
Everyone knows someone who just set up their first blog on Blogger, installed WordPress for the first time or maybe who had a web site for some time but never gave search much thought. We came up with a first steps cheat sheet for just these folks. It’s a short how-to list with basic tips on search engine-friendly design, that can help Google and others better understand the content and increase your site’s visibility. We made sure it’s available in thirteen languages. Please feel free to read it, print it, share it, copy and distribute it!
We hope this content will help those who are just about to start their webmaster adventure or have so far not paid too much attention to search engine-friendly design. Over time as you gain experience you may want to have a look at our more advanced Google SEO Starter Guide. As always we welcome all webmasters and site owners, new and experienced to join discussions on our Google Webmaster Help Forum.
Posted by Kaspar Szymanski, Search Quality Strategist, Dublin
Webmaster Level: All
We certainly hope you never have to use our new Help for hacked sites informational series. It’s a dozen articles and over an hour of videos dedicated to helping webmasters in the unfortunate event that their site is compromised.
Overview: How and why sites are hacked
If you have further interest in why cybercriminals hack sites for spammy purposes, see Tiffany Oberoi’s explanation in Step 5: Assess the damage (hacked with spam).
Tiffany Oberoi, a Webspam engineer, shares more information about sites hacked with spam
And if you’re curious about malware, Lucas Ballard from our Safe Browsing team, explains more about the topic in Step 5: Assess the damage (hacked with malware).
Lucas Ballard, a Safe Browsing engineer, and I pretend to have a totally natural conversation about malware
While we attempt to outline the necessary steps in recovery, each task remains fairly difficult for site owners unless they have advanced knowledge of system administrator commands and experience with source code. For helping fellow webmasters through the difficult recovery time, we’d like to thank the steady members in Webmaster Forum. Specifically, in the subforum Malware and hacked sites, we’d be remiss not to mention the amazing contributions of Redleg and Denis Sinegubko.
How to avoid ever needing Help for hacked sites
Just as you focus on making a site that’s good for users and search-engine friendly, keeping your site secure — for you and your visitors — is also paramount. When site owners fail to keep their site secure, hackers may exploit the vulnerability. If a hacker exploits a vulnerability, then you might need Help for hacked sites. So, to potentially avoid this scenario:
- Be vigilant about keeping software updated
- Understand the security practices of all applications, plugins, third-party software, etc., before you install them on your server. A security vulnerability in one software application can affect the safety of your entire site
- Remove unnecessary or unused software
- Enforce creation of strong passwords
- Keep all devices used to log in to your servers secure (updated operating system and browser)
- Make regular, automated backups of your site
Help for hacked sites can be found at www.google.com/webmasters/hacked. We look forward to not seeing you there!
Written by Maile Ohye, Developer Programs Tech Lead