Crawl errors and site-errors in Webmaster Tools

Crawl errors - Site errorsIn my last article I looked at moving your site to another location and how to send to that message to Google, namely in the gear menu in Google’s Webmaster Tools (hereafter: GWT). Here I am going to look at left hand menu under “Crawl” and “Crawl errors”. Crawl errors happen when Googlebot couldn’t visit the content of the page or site. There are many reasons why Googlebot couldn’t load the page. However there are specific errors for news sites, I am not going to look at them because they only affect Google News.

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Change of Address in Google’s Webmaster Tools

Change of Address in Google Webmaster ToolsYou can use this function in Google Webmaster Tools (hereafter: GWT) if you move to a new Top Level Domain or a new domain-name. For example you are re-branding your business or organisation and you move to a newly branded domain. The new domain does need to be verified for your account in GWT before you can use this tool. Furthermore all the content needs to be active on the new-domain and the 301′s permanent redirects need to be in place. In short, before using this tool the move to the new domain has to be functional.

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Google Webmaster Tools: Configuration – URL Parameter

Banner URL parameter tool in Google's webmaster toolsThe URL parameter is a pretty advanced feature in Google Webmaster Tools (here after: GWT) and, thereby, it is easy to make big mistakes. And by making these mistakes it is possible that Google does not index parts of your web site. Because Google does not index these (large) parts the content from those web pages might not appear in the search results and, thereby, you lose search traffic to your web site. Therefore, it is important to understand what the consequences are from actions in the URL parameter feature. In other words, the URL parameter feature is a powerful function and thereby it gives great responsibilities. The predecessor of the URL parameter tool was Parameter handling which was replaced with the current tool on July 2011.

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Google Webmaster Tools: Configuration – Sitelinks

Banner Google Webmaster Tools: Configuration - SitelinksSitelinks are links directly under the search results in Google Search for a specific search query. Normally they are presented when the search query is the domain name but it does not have to be that way in every situation. The sitelinks is a fully automatic process (algorithm). That is, just like the search results, sitelinks are selected based on computer programs called algorithm, and, thereby, it is not a manual action made by a Google employee. In principle every web site is opt in to the sitelinks and the algorithm determines if sitelinks should be presented or not.

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Google Webmaster Tools: Configuration – Settings

Google Webmaster Tools: Configuration -SettingsIn my last article I looked at the home page in Google’s Webmaster Tools (here after: GWT). On this home page you can look at all the messages that Google send to you on verified web sites. If you click through these messages are repeated for the specific web site. Therefore I will not look at the messages here again. Furthermore I will not look at the dashboard because the dashboard is a summary of the information in GWT. However I will continue with the “Configuration” tab and the section “Settings”. In this category you find: Settings, Sitelinks, URL parameters, Users and Associates. Once you set this configuration, in general, you don’t have to set it again. Furthermore GWT is a help-tool for webmaster and many of these configurations you set yourself on your web site/server. In general, it is better to set it on the site/server instead of in GWT because besides Google it does help your visitors to navigate and get a better experience on your site/server.

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Google Webmaster Tools: The Home Page

Google Webmaster Tools: Home Page (banner)I will look at the home page in Google Webmaster Tools (here after: GWT) first because GWT has too many functions to handle in one article. On the home page of GWT you see a screenshot of the sites that are verified on your Google account, all messages, preferences and author stats (under “Labs”). Like I already explained in my last article Google uses GWT to communicate with webmasters. The most direct way are the messages. Although Google does send emails when messages are submitted it is good practise to check your GWT to if there are messages because people have reported fake-emails. So it is a good way to verify that the messages are really coming from Google and nobody else.

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Bing Webmaster Tools

Bing Webmaster Tools: Banner

Bing is a search engine from the software giant Microsoft. Although Bing rolled out to many English speaking countries it is still in beta for other languages. Like Google (in my last article I looked at Google Webmaster Tools and compared it to Google Analytics to get a good view about Google Webmaster Tools) Bing does have an interest in sharing information to webmasters. Indeed the core of Bing is to bring good search results to their users and it does help that your web site is crawlable. Therefore, like Google, Bing introduced the free service Bing Webmaster Tools. Bing updated its webmaster tools on 6 June 2012 (they used the codename Phoenix if you want to search the web for additional information). On this update they enhance the functions and many users reported that Bing Webmaster Tools is better then Google Webmaster Tools with regard to user interface and data provided. And I have to say that they might be right. Of course there are more reasons to use Bing but these are the most obvious ones.

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Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster ToolsGoogle offers site owners or webmasters a free very handy web application to understand Google’s search engine better. Although the data or information is specific for Google Search it does help to get a better understanding about how search engines see your site in general. This free service, the Webmaster Tools, from Google was launced on 4 august 2006. Before it was called Google Sitemaps but the functions where very limited.

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Google+ Page Optimisation

Start a Google+ Page

Google+ is a brand new social media. Google clearly announcement that they would make Google+ the social layer for their products, like there search engine. Although the social layer for Google Search isn’t rolled out yet internationally, one can argue without much doubt that Google will make Google+ international somewhere in the future. In my last article I discussed how Google+ is integrated into Google Search and how powerful the it to have a Google+ page or profile with regard to the search engine. That is, the power of Search Plus Your World that Google Search rolled out. In this article I will look at what is important to optimise your page, or at least to make a good start with a page. In other words, to make a Google+ page that is attractive to users and to search engines. Like with a web page on your web site you can optimize a Google+ page. However because Google+ is social media the search results for different people differ. In other words, search results especially for Google+ differ a lot from person to person. Thereby, it is impossible to say if your page ranks number one or not. That said, there are signals that the search engine uses to serve search results to their users. Although Google did not make the signals public people did try with crowd sourcing to look which signals matter most. In this article I will look at:

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Personalization for local businesses

Search plus your local business

Search engines use signals on the internet to rank different web pages for their search results. An example of a signal is a link from a web page to another web page. This link signal is that one web page recommends the other web page. However due to the rise of social media the number of signals increased. A short description of social media is a web application for mobile as for desktop based on user generated content. On social platforms like Facebook or Twitter users share and value web pages, articles, product reviews, video’s, pictures and much more. For example if someone appreciated a picture on Facebook they can press the Like button. Furthermore other users see how many times this picture has been liked. Search engines see this linking as a signal how popular the content is. However search engines, if they have access to the content, can see which users liked the content. This information is being used by search engines to provide better search results. Furthermore search engine know that for some searches people are better off with localized search results.

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