Category Archives: feedback and communication

The new Search Console: a sneak peek at two experimental features

Search Console was initially launched with just four reports more than a decade ago. Today, the product includes more than two dozen reports and tools covering AMP, structured data, and live testing tools, all designed to help improve your site’s performance on Google Search.
Now we have decided to embark on an extensive redesign to better serve you, our users. Our hope is that this redesign will provide you with:
  • More actionable insights – We will now group the identified issues by what we suspect is the common “root-cause” to help you find where you should fix your code. We organize these issues into tasks that have a state (similar to bug tracking systems) so you can easily see whether the issue is still open, whether Google has detected your fix, and track the progress of re-processing the affected pages.
  • Better support of your organizational workflow – As we talked to many organizations, we’ve learned that multiple people are typically involved in implementing, diagnosing, and fixing issues. This is why we are introducing sharing functionality that allows you to pick-up an action item and share it with other people in your group, like developers who will get references to the code in question.
  • Faster feedback loops between you and Google – We’ve built a mechanism to allow you to iterate quickly on your fixes, and not waste time waiting for Google to recrawl your site, only to tell you later that it’s not fixed yet. Rather, we’ll provide on-the-spot testing of fixes and are automatically speeding up crawling once we see things are ok. Similarly, the testing tools will include code snippets and a search preview – so you can quickly see where your issues are, confirm you’ve fixed them, and see how the pages will look on Search.

In the next few weeks, we’re releasing two exciting BETA features from the new Search Console to a small set of users — Index Coverage report and AMP fixing flow.

The new Index Coverage report shows the count of indexed pages, information about why some pages could not be indexed, along with example pages and tips on how to fix indexing issues. It also enables a simple sitemap submission flow, and the capability to filter all Index Coverage data to any of the submitted sitemaps.
Here’s a peek of our new Index Coverage report:

The new AMP fixing flow

The new AMP fixing experience starts with the AMP Issues report. This report shows the current AMP issues affecting your site, grouped by the underlying error. Drill down into an issue to get more details, including sample affected pages. After you fix the underlying issue, click a button to verify your fix, and have Google recrawl the pages affected by that issue. Google will notify you of the progress of the recrawl, and will update the report as your fixes are validated.

As we start to experiment with these new features, some users will be introduced to the new redesign through the coming weeks.
Posted by John Mueller and the Search Console Team

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Webmaster Forums Top AMP Questions

It has been busy here at Google Webmaster Central over the last few weeks, covering a lot of details about Accelerated Mobile Pages that we hope you have found useful. The topics have included:

We’ve also been seeing a few AMP questions coming to the Webmaster forums about getting started using AMP on Google Search. To help, we’ve compiled some of the most common questions we’ve seen:

Q: I’m considering creating AMP pages for my website. What is the benefit? What types of sites and pages is AMP for?

Users love content that loads fast and without any fuss – using the AMP format may make it more compelling for people to consume and engage with your content on mobile devices. Research has shown that 40% of users abandon a site that takes more than three seconds to load. The Washington Post observed an 88% decrease in article loading time and a 23% increase in returning users from mobile search from adopting AMP.

The AMP format is great for all types of static web content such as news, recipes, movie listings, product pages, reviews, videos, blogs and more.

Q: We are getting errors logged in Search Console for AMP pages; however, we already fixed these issues. Why are we still seeing errors?

The short answer is that changes to your AMP pages take about a week to be updated in Search Console. For a more in-depth answer on why, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller shared a detailed post on Search Console latency challenges.

Q: Our AMP pages are not showing up on Google Search. What should we do?

Only valid AMP pages will be eligible to show on Google Search. Check the validity of your  AMP pages by using the AMP HTML Web Validator, the Chrome or Opera Extension or through a more automated process such as a cron job to make sure all new content is valid.

While it’s good practise overall to include schema.org structured data in your AMP pages (we recommend JSON-LD), it’s especially important for news publishers. News content that includes valid markup properties are eligible to be shown within the Top Stories section in Google Search results. To test your structured data, try using the structured data testing tool.

If you have more questions that are not answered here, share your feedback in the comments below or on our Google Webmasters Google+ page. Or as usual, feel free to post in our Webmasters Help Forum.

Posted by Tomo Taylor, AMP Community Manager

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Posted in AMP, feedback and communication, search results, webmaster community | Comments Off

An update on the Webmaster Central Blog

We’ve got a new URL!

You may have noticed the Google Webmaster Central blog has a new address: webmasters.googleblog.com.

That’s because starting today, Google is moving its blogs to a new domain to help people recognize when they’re reading an official blog from Google. These changes will roll out to all of Google’s blogs over time.

The previous address will redirect to the new domain, so your bookmarks and links will continue to work. Unfortunately, as with a custom domain change in Blogger, the Google+ comments on the blogs have been reset.

Thanks as always for reading—we’ll see you here again soon at webmasters.googleblog.com!

Posted by John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst, Zürich

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TC Summit 2015: Celebrating our Webmaster Top Contributors!

Two weeks ago, we were extremely lucky to host the 2015 edition of the Top Contributor Summit (#TCsummit), in San Francisco and on Google’s campus in Mountain View, California.

Google Top Contributors are an exceptional group of passionate Google product enthusiasts who share their expertise across our international help forums to support millions of Google users every year. Google’s Top Contributor Summit is an event organised every two years, to celebrate these amazing users. This year we had the pleasure to welcome 526 Top Contributors, from all around the world.

Under the motto “Learn, Connect, Celebrate”, Top Contributors had the chance to learn more about our products, get insights on the future of Google, connect with Googlers and Top Contributors from various products and, finally, to celebrate their positive impact on our products and users.

Footage of the 2015 Top Contributor Summit

We also had the chance to hold Webmaster-specific sessions, which gave Googlers the unique opportunity to meet 56 of our Webmaster Top Contributors, representing 20 countries and speaking 14 different languages.


Group photo of the Webmaster Top Contributor community and the Google Webmaster Relations team

Throughout the day, we had in-depth sessions about Google Webmaster guidelines, Search Console and Google Search. We discussed the most common issues that users are bringing up in our international webmaster forums, and listened to the Top Contributors’ feedback regarding our Search tools. We also talked about the Top Contributor program itself and additional opportunities for our users to benefit from both Google and the TCs’ support. Product managers, engineers and search quality Googlers attended the sessions to listen and bring the feedback given by Top Contributors and users on the forum back to their teams.


Webmaster Top Contributors during the in-depth sessions about Google Webmaster guidelines, Search Console and Google Search

At Google, we are grateful to have the incredible opportunity to meet and connect with some of the most insightful members of the webmaster community and get their feedback on such important topics. It helps us be sure that Google keeps focusing on what really matters to webmasters, content creators, and users.

To learn more about our Top Contributor Program, or to give us your own feedback, visit our Top Contributor homepage or join our Webmaster help forum.

Diogo Botelho and Roberta Remigi, Webmaster Relations team

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New first stop for hacked site recovery

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

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