Webmaster Tools Google update: the search giant makes some important changes to Google Webmaster Tools.
Things are ever changing in the SEO world. Today we’re reporting some recent search engine optimization news that involves updates and improvements to Google’s free Webmaster Tools. Keep reading for free SEO advice!
Webmaster Tools: Google now provides indexing trends
Google has added Index Status data to Webmaster Tools. The Search Guru has been tracking our clients’ index trends for some time through the Google site search operator, so we were extremely excited to see this new feature.
Index counts are provided weekly, updated on Sundays, and charted over the past year. Google claims these counts are accurate, unlike those obtained through site search.
The index data can be found under the Health category in Webmaster Tools. There are basic and advanced views. The basic view contains the total indexed pages for a site. The advanced view shows how many pages have ever been crawled, the number of pages not selected for indexing (due to redirects, canonicals, etc.), and the number of pages blocked by the robots.txt file.
Note that Google has said this data may be a couple of weeks behind real time counts, so it is best to use it for trends.
Webmaster Tools: Google offers up two types of link warnings
Recently, Google has begun to provide more helpful information to site owners by including more messages in Webmaster Tools. Earlier this year, Google began sending out link warnings if it detected lots of unnatural, spammy-looking links pointing to a site. The messages indicated that Google could lose trust in the site and recommended that steps be taken to remove the links. These messages were sent only in severe cases where a site did not seem to be adhering to Google’s quality guidelines (indicating potential participation in link schemes or link buying).
In July, Google began sending a new type of link warning to sites that had some suspicious looking links. The purpose was to inform webmasters that those specific links, not the entire site, would be distrusted and ignored. The problem is, the new warnings contained the same language as the old warnings and webmasters couldn’t discern whether their site was in serious trouble or not.
To eliminate confusion, Google now includes a yellow caution symbol by the original, stricter warning and it has clarified the language in the new, less strict warning. We recommend that if your site receives either type of warning that you do everything possible to have those spammy links removed.