Thursday, April 30, 2009

Google Webmaster Help Forums in more languages

Traditionally when we launch a new communication channel, we also give the shareholders a chance to introduce themselves. We did so when we opened webmaster help communities for European webmasters almost two years ago, and also more than a year ago, when we were able to expand and add groups in three more languages. Last December we were very happy to announce the re-launch of two of our Help Forums in a new and cool look and feel.

Today, we're happy to announce that we keep on increasing the global dialogue with webmasters, opening an Arabic and a Czech/Slovak Webmaster Help Forum. Furthermore, we would like to highlight the support we offer in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. While we've offered support to Chinese webmasters for a little more than a year, the Japanese and Korean forums are only a few weeks old. Keeping with tradition, the guides monitoring our new forums would like to introduce themselves to the global webmaster family:

Arabic Webmaster Help Forum
مرحبا! My name is Adel and I'll be monitoring the Arabic Webmaster Help Forum. I'm originally from Beirut, Lebanon. After finishing computer science studies, I joined Google, some 18 months ago.

Besides working on search quality in Arabic and building a community on our forum, I enjoy traveling and listening to really loud heavy metal music; sometimes I get to do both at the same time! ;-)

I am looking forward to a lot of questions regarding Arabic Google Search and of course ranking and indexing issues on your sites to come. I hope I'll see you there soon!
- Adel

Czech/Slovak Webmaster Help Forum

Zdravím! I am Marcel, the Google Guide on the Czech/Slovak Webmaster Help Forum. I am originally from Slovakia. After graduating in New Media and Industrial Design, it took me some time and traveling around the globe before moving to Dublin and eventually joining Google some 3 years ago.

Ever since, I've been working in different teams. I was lucky to be part of the AdSense team where I participated in launching AdSense for Content for Czech and Slovak. Since my transition to Search Quality, I enjoy working on improving the quality of our natural search results in Czech, Slovak, and Polish.

Besides my work I have a few more passions, such as listening to live music in Irish pubs, challenging my colleagues in occasional Soulcalibur skirmishes on Playstation and testing burger places all over the world :-) If you want to discuss any of these topics or maybe something about your sites, please join the community. I am looking forward to meeting you there :-)
- Marcel

Chinese Webmaster Help Forum

你好! Hi from the Chinese Webmaster Help Forum team! The Chinese Webmaster Help Forum has received great support from webmasters since its launch in March 2008. In March 2009, the Chinese Webmaster Help Forum moved to a new system with many more user-friendly features for better information sharing. It has become a good platform for webmasters to share their knowledge of Google search and Webmaster Tools and to communicate with Google.

The Chinese Forum now has 6 Google Guides: Xiang (降龙十巴掌), Eric (趙錢孫李), Marina (小馬過河), Chris (城镇), Hyson (草帽路飞), and Fa (法人戴表). We are from many different provinces of mainland China. When not spending time in the forum, we enjoy playing ping-pong and foosball in the office. A few of us are huge video game fans. You may learn more about us when you participate in the forum :)

A big thank you to everyone who has taken part in forum discussions! We hope to see both familiar faces and newcomers join in the Chinese Webmaster Help Forum!
- Xiang (降龙十巴掌), Eric (趙錢孫李), Marina (小馬過河), Chris (城镇), Hyson (草帽路飞), and Fa (法人戴表)

Japanese Webmaster Help Forum

こんにちは! Hello from the Japanese Webmaster Help Forum team! Our names are Nao ( なお ), Kaede ( 楓 ), Haru ( ハル ), and Kyotaro. We are the four guides working in Google Search Quality for Japanese. We've just launched our forum on March 6th.

All of us were born in Japan and grew up here. Nao has also lived in Greece, the Netherlands, and New York. Haru is from the west side of Japan, which is known for its talkative culture and traditional Japanese comedy. Maybe you will read Haru's unique communication on our forum :)

As for our interests, we love eating and drinking! Between posting on the forum, we enjoy Google's excellent lunches and sweets a lot. After working, of course, we sometimes go out for a drink with our team members :) Kaede knows all the nice bars in Tokyo.

Nao and Kyotaro love Sumo wrestling. We've watched two tournaments this year with Googlers from other locations. Haru, of course, loves watching comedies!

We are really excited and happy to see many users joining our forum and sharing tips with each other. Looking forward to seeing you there!
- Nao ( なお ), Kaede ( 楓 ), Haru ( ハル ), and Kyotaro

Korean Webmaster Help Forum

안녕하세요! Hello everyone, my name is Joowon and I work in Google Search Quality for Korean. I was born in Germany and lived in Korea for a few years before moving to Hawaii, California and New York to attend high school and college. After all that traveling, I'm only fluent in Korean and English, with a bit of proficiency in Japanese. Some of the interests I've developed over the years are design, wine, cooking, yoga, and sustainability issues.

Currently I'm back in Seoul and enjoying the dynamic atmosphere here, with lots of interesting people and great food. The Korean Webmaster Help Forum was launched only a few weeks ago, and I'm very much looking forward to talking to all of you. See you in the forum!
- Joowon

Hello world! ;) I am Andrew and I am part of the Search Quality team in Seoul. I grew up in a port city in the southern part of Korea. Ironically, I don't eat seafood because it looks scary to me :( Many of my friends and colleagues love to make jokes about that, but I still don't eat any seafood yet. Playing drums, traveling and photography are my main interests. Currently I'm a drummer of "Spring Fingers", the first band of Google Korea, and we'll have our first concert at the end of April!

I love playing around with web technologies/APIs and find it very exciting to exchange information and ideas on the web. The Korean Webmaster Help Forum was recently launched and I hope to see you there!
- Andrew

If you're curious about our Webmaster Help Forums in other languages, please feel free to peak in. Here's a list of our currently monitored Webmaster Help Forums: Arabic, Chinese, Czech/Slovak, Dutch, Danish, English, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Research study of Sitemaps

We've been tracking the growth of Sitemaps on the web. It's been just 2 years since Google, Yahoo and Microsoft co-announced the Sitemaps directive in robots.txt, and it is already supported in many millions of websites including educational and government websites! At the WWW'09 conference in Madrid, Uri Schonfeld presented his summer internship work studying Sitemaps from a coverage and freshness perspective. If you're interested in how some popular websites are using Sitemaps, and how Sitemaps complement "classic" webcrawling, take a look:

At Google, we care deeply about getting increased coverage and freshness of the content we index. We are excited about open standards that help webmasters open up their content automatically to search engines, so users can find relevant content for their searches.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Tips on requesting reconsideration

Do you think your site might be penalized because of something that
happened on it? As two leaders of the reconsideration team, we recently made
a video to help you discover how to create a good reconsideration request,
including tips on what we look for on our side. Watch the video and then
let us know if you have questions in the comments!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

One-line sitelinks

Webmaster Level: All

You may be familiar with sitelinks, the links that show up underneath the first search result and which lead to specific pages deeper within the site. Sitelinks enable users to jump directly to important parts of a site, which is often useful for large, complex websites. Sitelinks have the additional advantage of giving users an overview of a website's content by highlighting some of the popular parts of the site. For webmasters, sitelinks are also beneficial because they help to expose parts of your site that users may not know about. For instance, a search for NASA provides links to a gallery of images, a page about Space Shuttle and ISS missions, and so on:

Until now, sitelinks have only ever appeared on the first search result, and so at most one site could have sitelinks per query. We're now launching an expansion of sitelinks: a single row of links can now appear for results that didn't show sitelinks before, even for results that aren't in the first position. This means multiple results on one query can now have sitelinks. Up to four sitelinks can show up right above the page URL, instead of the usual two columns below the URL of the first result. Here's an example where the first three results each have one-line sitelinks:

These one-line sitelinks have many of the same benefits as the full two-column sitelinks, but on a smaller scale: they show users some relevant sub-pages in the site and give an idea of what the site is about. Comparing the sitelinks that appear for each result can even illustrate the difference between the sites. Just like regular sitelinks, one-line sitelinks are generated algorithmically and the decisions on when to show them and which links to display are entirely based on the expected benefit to users.

For webmasters, this new feature means it's possible that your site will start showing sitelinks for a number of queries where it previously didn't. We expect this will increase the visibility of and traffic to your site, while also improving the experience of users. If, however, you absolutely would prefer not to have a particular sitelink show up, remember that you can always block a page from appearing as a sitelink for 90 days through Webmaster Tools. In fact, as part of our ongoing efforts at improving the Webmaster Tools experience, we're speeding up our response time to blocked pages, so you should see a blocked page get dropped as a sitelink even faster than before. If you need a quick refresher on how to use the sitelink blocking tool, take a look at this previous blog post. Currently you can only block sitelinks on your site's home page, but we're working on expanding this capability so you'll soon be able to remove them from any other page as well.

We hope you find these improvements to sitelinks and Webmaster Tools helpful for both your site and your visitors!