Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A day in the life of webmaster support

It was an ordinary Wednesday morning when I decided to film my day at the Googleplex...

A recap of the day's events

10AM Meeting with the webmaster support team
Our team shares a doc containing our current agenda and the previous meetings' agenda, minutes, and action items. In this meeting, we discussed:
  • Feedback from blog post on Duplicate content due to scrapers. Some webmasters suggested that we could improve our detection. In order to improve quality, it would help to get feedback with specific examples. Susan Moskwa, one of our Webmaster Trends Analysts based in Kirkland, Washington, volunteered to post a blog comment to solicit more information.

  • Recent and upcoming releases

  • JuneTune online chat agenda

  • Two recent spam techniques mentioned in the blogosphere. Brian White, who leads one of the Webspam-fighting groups at Google, explained that one technique is new twist on old idea, both are already handled.
11AM Meeting with Matt Cutts
Matt provided feedback on:
1PM Lunch with Shyam, a Crawl engineer, and Jason, and AdSense engineer

2PM Meeting with Wysz to review slides for Google Trifecta

5PM Little "drive-by" to catch Reid, Evan, Charlene, Jessica, and Wysz while they're monitoring the discussion group

7PM Dinner with Matthias

p.s. A huge thanks to Wysz for his film editing skillz.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Matt Cutts on ranking, spam and the future of search

During a recent visit to the Mountain View Googleplex, I had the chance to interview Matt Cutts for our German Webmaster Blog. While enjoying the California sunshine we chatted about how to rank in Google, resources for webmasters and Matt's first encounter with spam. As these topics are not only interesting for a German audience, I want to share them with you as well. So watch the video and find out how difficult it can be for the head of webspam engineering to surf the Internet. :)

If you speak German you might want to check out the German translation of the interview.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Google Trifecta recording now available

Last Tuesday, Google hosted an online presentation about three free tools to help analyze and improve your sites. Dubbed "The Google Trifecta," this presentation explains the key features of Google Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics, and Google Website Optimizer, and how you can use them together.

To make the information from this presentation accessible to those who were unable to listen in last week or would like to review it again, we've put a recording of the session on YouTube for your viewing pleasure:

If you have any followup questions about the topics covered in the video, we welcome you to ask! Each of these products has a discussion group available for you to discuss the product with other users and Googlers. Please post in the appropriate group, so your question is seen by the right people:

Google Webmaster Help (Webmaster Tools)
Analytics Help
Website Optimizer Forum

Monday, July 14, 2008

Helping yourself to Webmaster Tools

Since not every webmaster can come to us, we are coming to you. Last November, we announced a pilot program whereby all Go Daddy users got free and easy access to all Webmaster Tools has to offer, right from their account management panels in Go Daddy. Now we're taking that program worldwide.

We are happy to announce the Google Webmaster Tools Access Provider Program. Qualifying hosting service providers from around the world can now make use of Google APIs to provide Webmaster Tools accounts to your customers at no cost . Providers can be recognized by the nifty Google Webmaster Tools Access Provider badge that they can display on their sites.

With Google Webmaster Tools now available in 26 languages, hosting companies worldwide are invited to come on board. For example, IPOWER, StartLogic, PowWeb, and Strato customers just joined our webmaster community and now have direct access to the great tools we offer.

How can you get in on this?

Webmasters: Watch to see if your hoster joins this program, so that the next time you create a new site, everything will be all set for you. Better yet, send your hosters a link to this post and tell them we're here to help them help you.

Hosters: Check out the Google Webmaster Tools Access Provider site and sign up today!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Requesting reconsideration using Google Webmaster Tools

If your site does not appear in Google Search results, you might be understandably worried. Here, we've put together some information to help you determine when and how to submit a reconsideration request for your site.

You can follow along as Bergy (the webmaster of in our video) tries to find out whether he needs to submit a reconsideration request for his Ancient Roman Politics blog. Of course, not all webmasters' problems can be traced back to Wysz (-:, but the simple steps outlined below can help you determine the right solution for your particular case.

Check for access issues

You may want to check if there are any access issues with your site - you can do this by logging in to your Webmaster Tools account. On the Overview page you'll be able to see when Googlebot last successfully crawled the home page of your site. Another way to do this is to check the cache date for your site's homepage. For more detailed information about how Googlebot crawls your site, you might want to check the crawl rate graphs (find them in Tools > Set crawl rate).

On the Overview page you can also check whether there are any crawling errors. For example, if your server was busy or unavailable when we tried to access your site, you would get a "URL unreachable" error message. Alternatively, there might be URLs in your site blocked by your robots.txt file. You can see this in "URLs restricted by robots.txt". If there are URLs listed there which you did not expect, you can go to Tools and select "Analyze robots.txt" - there you can make sure that your robots.txt file is properly formatted and only blocking the parts of your site which you don't want Google to crawl.

Other than the examples mentioned above, there are several more types of crawl errors - HTTP errors and URLs timed out errors, just to name a few. Even thought we haven't highlighted them here, you will still see alerts for all of them on the Overview page in your Webmaster Tools account.

Check for messages

If Google has no problems accessing your site, check to see if there is a message waiting for you in the Message Center of your Webmaster Tools account. This is the place Google uses to communicate important information to you regarding your Webmaster Tools account and the sites you manage. If we have noticed there is something wrong with your site, we may send you a message there, detailing some issues which you need to fix to bring your site into compliance with the Webmaster Guidelines.

Read the Webmaster Guidelines

If you don't see a message in the Message Center, check to see if your site is or has at some point been in violation of the Webmaster Guidelines. You can find them, and much more, in our Help Center.

Fix your site

If your site is in violation of the Webmaster Guidelines and you think that this might have affected how your site is viewed by Google, this would be a good time to submit a reconsideration request. But before you do that, make changes to your site so that it falls within our guidelines.

Submit a reconsideration request

Now you can go ahead and submit a request for reconsideration. Log in to your Webmaster Tools account. Under Tools, click on "Request reconsideration" and follow the steps. Make sure to explain what you think was wrong with your site and what steps you have taken to fix it.

Once you've submitted your request, you'll see a message from us in the Message Center confirming that we've received it. We'll then review your site for compliance with the Webmaster Guidelines.

We hope this post has helped give you an idea when and how to submit a reconsideration request. If you're not sure why Google isn't including your site, a great place to look for help is our Webmaster Help Group. There you will find many knowledgeable and friendly webmasters and Googlers, who would be happy to look at your site and give suggestions on how you could fix things. You can find links to both the Help Center and the Webmaster Group at