Category Archives: products and services

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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Search at I/O 16 Recap: Eight things you don’t want to miss

Cross-posted from the Google Developers Blog

Two weeks ago, over 7,000 developers descended upon Mountain View for this year’s Google I/O, with a takeaway that it’s truly an exciting time for Search. People come to Google billions of times per day to fulfill their daily information needs. We’re focused on creating features and tools that we believe will help users and publishers make the most of Search in today’s world. As Google continues to evolve and expand to new interfaces, such as the Google assistant and Google Home, we want to make it easy for publishers to integrate and grow with Google.

In case you didn’t have a chance to attend all our sessions, we put together a recap of all the Search happenings at I/O.

1: Introducing rich cards

We announced rich cards, a new Search result format building on rich snippets, that uses schema.org markup to display content in an even more engaging and visual format. Rich cards are available in English for recipes and movies and we’re excited to roll out for more content categories soon. To learn more, browse the new gallery with screenshots and code samples of each markup type or watch our rich cards devByte.

2: New Search Console reports

We want to make it easy for webmasters and developers to track and measure their performance in search results. We launched a new report in Search Console to help developers confirm that their rich card markup is valid. In the report we highlight “enhanceable cards,” which are cards that can benefit from marking up more fields. The new Search Appearance filter also makes it easy for webmasters to filter their traffic by AMP and rich cards.

3: Real-time indexing

Users are searching for more than recipes and movies: they’re often coming to Search to find fresh information about what’s happening right now. This insight kickstarted our efforts to use real-time indexing to connect users searching for real-time events with fresh content. Instead of waiting for content to be crawled and indexed, publishers will be able to use the Google Indexing API to trigger the indexing of their content in real time. It’s still in its early days, but we’re excited to launch a pilot later this summer.

3: Getting up to speed with Accelerated Mobile Pages

We provided an update on our use of AMP, an open source effort to speed up the mobile web. Google Search uses AMP to enable instant-loading content. Speed is important—over 40% of users abandon a page that takes more than three seconds to load. We announced that we’re bringing AMPed news carousels to the iOS and Android Google apps, as well as experimenting with combining AMP and rich cards. Stay tuned for more via our blog and github page.

In addition to the sessions, attendees could talk directly with Googlers at the Search & AMP sandbox.

5: A new and improved Structured Data Testing Tool

We updated the popular Structured Data Testing tool. The tool is now tightly integrated with the DevSite Search Gallery and the new Search Preview service, which lets you preview how your rich cards will look on the search results page.

6: App Indexing got a new home (and new features)

We announced App Indexing’s migration to Firebase, Google’s unified developer platform. Watch the session to learn how to grow your app with Firebase App Indexing.

7: App streaming

App streaming is a new way for Android users to try out games without having to download and install the app — and it’s already available in Google Search. Check out the session to learn more.

8. Revamped documentation

We also revamped our developer documentation, organizing our docs around topical guides to make it easier to follow.

Thanks to all who came to I/O — it’s always great to talk directly with developers and hear about experiences first-hand. And whether you came in person or tuned in from afar, let’s continue the conversation on the webmaster forum or during our office hours, hosted weekly via hangouts-on-air.

Posted by Posted by Fabian Schlup, Software Engineer

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App deep linking with goo.gl

Starting now, goo.gl short links function as a single link you can use to all your content — whether that content is in your Android app, iOS app, or website. Once you’ve taken the necessary steps to set up App Indexing for Android and iOS, goo.gl URLs will send users straight to the right page in your app if they have it installed, and everyone else to your website. This will provide additional opportunities for your app users to re-engage with your app.

This feature works for both new short URLs and retroactively, so any existing goo.gl short links to your content will now also direct users to your app.


Share links that ‘do the right thing’

You can also make full use of this feature by integrating the URL Shortener API into your app’s share flow, so users can share links that automatically redirect to your native app cross-platform. This will also allow others to embed links in their websites and apps which deep link directly to your app.

Take Google Maps as an example. With the new cross-platform goo.gl links, the Maps share button generates one link that provides the best possible sharing experience for everyone. When opened, the link auto-detects the user’s platform and if they have Maps installed. If the user has the app installed, the short link opens the content directly in the Android or iOS Maps app. If the user doesn’t have the app installed or is on desktop, the short link opens the page on the Maps website.

Try it out for yourself! Don’t forget to use a phone with the Google Maps app installed: http://goo.gl/maps/xlWFj.

How to set it up

To set up app deep linking on goo.gl:

  1. Complete the necessary steps to participate in App Indexing for Android and iOS at g.co/AppIndexing. Note that goo.gl deep links are open to all iOS developers, unlike deep links from Search currently. After this step, existing goo.gl short links will start deep linking to your app.
  2. Optionally integrate the URL Shortener API with your app’s share flow, your email campaigns, etc. to programmatically generate links that will deep link directly back to your app.

We hope you enjoy this new functionality and happy cross-platform sharing!

Posted by Fabian Schlup, Software Engineer

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App deep linking with goo.gl

Starting now, goo.gl short links function as a single link you can use to all your content — whether that content is in your Android app, iOS app, or website. Once you’ve taken the necessary steps to set up App Indexing for Android and iOS, goo.gl URLs will send users straight to the right page in your app if they have it installed, and everyone else to your website. This will provide additional opportunities for your app users to re-engage with your app.

This feature works for both new short URLs and retroactively, so any existing goo.gl short links to your content will now also direct users to your app.


Share links that ‘do the right thing’

You can also make full use of this feature by integrating the URL Shortener API into your app’s share flow, so users can share links that automatically redirect to your native app cross-platform. This will also allow others to embed links in their websites and apps which deep link directly to your app.

Take Google Maps as an example. With the new cross-platform goo.gl links, the Maps share button generates one link that provides the best possible sharing experience for everyone. When opened, the link auto-detects the user’s platform and if they have Maps installed. If the user has the app installed, the short link opens the content directly in the Android or iOS Maps app. If the user doesn’t have the app installed or is on desktop, the short link opens the page on the Maps website.

Try it out for yourself! Don’t forget to use a phone with the Google Maps app installed: http://goo.gl/maps/xlWFj.

How to set it up

To set up app deep linking on goo.gl:

  1. Complete the necessary steps to participate in App Indexing for Android and iOS at g.co/AppIndexing. Note that goo.gl deep links are open to all iOS developers, unlike deep links from Search currently. After this step, existing goo.gl short links will start deep linking to your app.
  2. Optionally integrate the URL Shortener API with your app’s share flow, your email campaigns, etc. to programmatically generate links that will deep link directly back to your app.

We hope you enjoy this new functionality and happy cross-platform sharing!

Posted by Fabian Schlup, Software Engineer

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App Indexing in more languages

Webmaster level: all

In April, we launched App Indexing in English globally so deep links to your mobile apps could appear in Google Search results on Android everywhere. Today, we’re adding the first publishers with content in other languages: Fairfax Domain, MercadoLibre, Letras.Mus.br, Vagalume, Idealo, L’Equipe, Player.fm, Upcoming, Au Feminin, Marmiton, and chip.de. In the U.S., we now also support some more apps — Walmart, Tapatalk, and Fancy.

We’ve also translated our developer guidelines into eight additional languages: Chinese (Traditional), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

If you’re interested in participating in App Indexing, and your content and implementation are ready, please let us know by filling out this form. As always, you can ask questions on the mobile section of our webmaster forum.

Finally, if you’re headed to Google I/O in June, be sure to check out the session on the “Future of Apps and Search”, where we’ll share some more updates on App Indexing.

Posted by Erik Hendriks, Software Engineer

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App Engine IP Range Change Notice

Google uses a wide range of IP addresses for its different services, and the addresses may change without notification. Google App Engine is a Platform as a Service offering which hosts a wide variety of 3rd party applications. This post announces changes in the IP address range and headers used by the Google App Engine URLFetch (outbound HTTP) and outbound sockets APIs.

While we recommend that App Engine IP ranges not be used to filter inbound requests, we are aware that some services have created filters that rely on specific addresses. Google App Engine will be changing its IP range beginning this month. Please see these instructions to determine App Engine’s IP range.

Additionally, the HTTP User-Agent header string that historically allowed identification of individual App Engine applications should no longer be relied on to identify the application. With the introduction of outbound sockets for App Engine, applications may now make HTTP requests without using the URLFetch API, and those requests may set a User-Agent of their own choosing.

Posted by the Google App Engine Team

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Introducing website satisfaction by Google Consumer Surveys


Webmaster level: all

We’re now offering webmasters an easy and free way to collect feedback from your website visitors with website satisfaction surveys. All you have to do is paste a small snippet of code in the HTML for your website and this will load a discreet satisfaction survey in the lower right hand corner of your website. Google automatically aggregates and analyzes responses, providing the data back to you through a simple online interface.

Users will be asked to complete a four-question satisfaction survey. Surveys will run until they have received 500 responses and will start again after 30 days so you can track responses over time. This is currently limited to US English visitors on non-mobile devices. The default questions are free and you can customize questions for just $0.01 per response or $5.00 for 500 responses.


Survey Setup and Code Placement Tips

To set up the survey code, you’ll need to have access to the source code for your website.

  1. Sign into Google Consumer Surveys for website satisfaction to find the code snippet.
  2. You have the option to enter the website name and URL, survey timing, and survey frequency.
  3. Click on the “Activate survey” button when ready.
  4. Once you find the code snippet on top of the setup page, copy and paste it into your web page, just before the closing </head> tag. If your website uses templates to generate pages, enter it just before the closing </head> tag in the file that contains the <head> section.

If  you have any questions, please read our Help Center article to learn more.

Posted by Marisa Currie-Rose

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