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I am a search marketing geek. Work as APM for one of the leading companies in UK. Interested in socializing and helping others.

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October 12, 2011

Backlinks Reorganized - Internal Vs External

Now you can identify the backlinks to your website more easily, which links are actually from your site vs links from other sites.

Google Webmaster Tools used to identify the links in two categories:
  • Links from within your site (Internal Links), i.e., only those links that started with your site's exact URL &
  • Links coming from other sites (External Links)
Example:
For the site, www.example.com/users/catlover/, links from www.example.com/users/catlover/profile.html would be categorized as internal, but links from www.example.com/users/ or www.example.com would be categorized as external links.
This also implies for the 'www' and 'non-www' version for the website.

In the recent update, if you add either example.com or www.example.com as a site, links from both the www and non-www versions of the domain will be categorized as internal links. This also implies to include other subdomains, since many people who own a domain also own its subdomains—so links from cats.example.com or pets.example.com will also be categorized as internal links for www.example.com.


If you own a site that’s on a subdomain (such as googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com) or in a subfolder (www.google.com/support/webmasters/) and don’t own the root domain, you’ll still only see links from URLs starting with that subdomain or subfolder in your internal links, and all others will be categorized as external links. We’ve made a few backend changes so that these numbers should be even more accurate for you.

Note that, if you own a root domain like example.com or www.example.com, your number of external links may appear to go down with this change; this is because, as described above, some of the URLs we were previously classifying as external links will have moved into the internal links report. Your total number of links (internal + external) should not be affected by this change.
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September 21, 2011

Google+ Now Opens for All

Google+ is the first social service launched by Google that's actually successful.

Its 3-months since the inception of Google's social networking tool: Google Plus. Google+ is now available to anyone who has a Google account; it no longer requires invites.

Vic Gundotra, Google’s Senior Vice President of Engineering, posted the following message to the Google Blog announcing open sign-ups:

For the past 12 weeks we've been in field trial, and during that time we've listened and learned a great deal. We're nowhere near done, but with the improvements we've made so far we're ready to move from field trial to beta.

You can just visit Google home page for joining Google Plus (as in image below). Once you click the link, you will be re-directed to Google Plus registration page. Furthermore if you roll over the blue arrow, the following popup appears: “You’re invited to join Google+.”



Google Plus has improved a lot, more quickly than any other Google product ever launched.

Google added support for 

- Hangouts in the Android app and added the option to broadcast a Hangout (for limited users as of now). You can preview by clicking "Try Hangouts with extras": screensharing, sketchpad, Google Docs integration and named hangouts "for when you want to join or create a public hangout about a certain topic".

- The search box is now more useful because you can use it to find posts from your friends and from other Google+ users. Google also lets you restrict your results to people and save your search.

A Comscore report from August estimated that "in just one month, Google+ has captured 25 million visitors". Now when there is no restriction on the invites, the number will certainly grow.
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September 19, 2011

The New and Improved Google Plus (+1) Button

The +1 buttons are used by the visitors to recommend your content on Google Search along with their Google Profiles. Clicking the +1 button is a great way to highlight content for others when they search on Google. The +1 button comes with further more inprovements,



1) Share Links: The +1 button now lets visitors share links to your pages on Google+. If someone wants to start a conversation about your content, it’s easy for them to do so. Now, Google+ users can share webpages with their circles, directly from the +1 button. From there you can comment, choose a circle and share.

                              

2) Snipets: Now you can use +Snippets to customize the name, image and description that appear when your content is shared.

When you share content from the +1 button, you’ll notice that we automatically include a link, an image and a description in the sharebox. This is called as "+snippets,".

+Snippets let you put your best face forward by customizing exactly what appears when your content is shared.

For example, if you’re running a movie review site, you might want visitors to share posts containing the title, movie poster, and a brief synopsis:



3) Inline Annotations: The new inline annotations help increase engagement after users see a friend’s recommendation right on your page.

Now, when a person visits a page that someone they know has +1’d, they can see a name and face reminding them to pay special attention to your content. Here’s how it looks:



To add inline annotations, you need to update your +1 button code. Visit the configuration tool , select ‘inline’ from the ‘Annotation’ menu, and grab a new snippet of code. 



 

The new features (sharing and +snippets) are rolling out globally over the next week. You can try the new +1 button now, by joining Google+ Platform Preview. Once you're part of the Preview, just visit a site with the +1 button (like Rotten Tomatoes) and +1 the page. 
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August 10, 2011

Twitter Rolls Out 'Photo' & 'Location' Sharing Service

Twitter added a native image sharing option and location sharing in the new Twitter interface, to all users.

You can now start seeing a camera and location sharing button, at the far left of the status update box, beckoning to upload an image and share the location of your tweet. You can upload images to your tweets directly, and can mention its location as well.




You can choose an image from your desktop under 3 MB and it will get embedded to your Twitter status like below. If you feel like you’ve made a mistake you can just click on the X to delete and pick another image.


This is how it looks,



Ever had something you wanted to share ("fireworks!", "party!", "ice cream truck!", or "quicksand...") that would be better with a location? By turning on this feature, you can include location information like neighborhood, town, or exact point when you tweet.

When you tweet with a location, Twitter stores that location. You can switch location on/off before each Tweet and always have the option to delete your location history

You can upload images (3MB) of any dimension and Twitter will automatically scale the image so that it fits properly on the display pane of new Twitter interface.

Watch the following video or head over to the help center to learn more about Twitter’s own photo upload feature:



No doubts Twitter wants to engage deeply with its audience and is now more serious on providing features people enjoy using.
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July 28, 2011

Limited Pilot, an integration between Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics

There has always been a concern about webmasters about choosing which Google services to use regarding visitors/users - Google Analytics or Webmaster Tools.

The answer to above concern, for many webmasters is both. The data in Google Analytics is about what happens after a user chooses to visit your site; whereas, Webmaster Tools reports are more focused on data from before the user makes that choice.

Google has now integrated Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools, via a limited pilot, for Search Engine Optimization reports in Google Analytics, based on Search Queries data from Webmaster Tools.



This includes query information, clicks, impressions, clickthrough rate, and average position. You’ll also be able to use Google Analytics advanced data filtering and visualizations with this data.

In addition to including Search Queries data found in Webmaster Tools, these Search Engine Optimization reports also take advantage of Google Analytics’ advanced filtering and visualization capabilities for deeper data analysis. For example, you can filter for queries that had more than 100 clicks and see a chart for how much each of those queries contributed to your overall clicks from top queries.

NOTE
To enable these Search Engine Optimization reports, you should sign up for the pilot and you must be both a Webmaster Tools verified site owner and a Google Analytics administrator. Each additional user who would like to view them also needs to individually sign up for the pilot.

The sign up sheet for the pilot is closed for now.
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July 26, 2011

How is Schema.org relevant to you as a webmaster

The major search engines (Google, Yahoo & BING) has created a common set of schemas for structured data markup on web pages.

The main aim of Schema.org is to help search engines better understand the websites.

"Schema.org provides a collection of shared vocabularies webmasters can use to mark up their pages in ways that can be understood by the major search engines: Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo!"


Example of a rich snippet: a search result enhanced by structured markup. In this case, the rich snippet contains a picture, reviews, and cook time for the recipe.

With schema.org, site owners can improve how their sites appear in search results not only on Google, but on Bing, Yahoo! and potentially other search engines as well in the future.

Details on Schema.org

1) Schema.org contains a lot of new markup types.
There are more than 100 new types as well as ported over all of the existing rich snippets types. If you’ve looked at adding rich snippets markup before but none of the existing types were relevant for your site, it’s worth taking another look. Here are a few popular types:
  •     Creative works: CreativeWork, Book, Movie, MusicRecording, Recipe, TVSeries
  •     Embedded non-text objects: AudioObject, ImageObject, VideoObject
  •     Event
  •     Organization
  •     Person
  •     Place, LocalBusiness, Restaurant
  •     Product, Offer, AggregateOffer
  •     Review, AggregateRating

Or, view a full list of all schema.org types. The new markup types may be used for future rich snippets formats as well as other types of improvements to help people find your content more easily when searching.

2) Schema.org uses microdata.
Historically, we’ve supported three different standards for structured data markup: microdata, microformats, and RDFa. We’ve decided to focus on just one format for schema.org to create a simpler story for webmasters and to improve consistency across search engines relying on the data. There are arguments to be made for preferring any of the existing standards, but we’ve found that microdata strikes a balance between the extensibility of RDFa and the simplicity of microformats, so this is the format that we’ve gone with.

3) Existing rich snippets markup formats are still supported.
If you’ve already done markup on your pages using microformats or RDFa, we’ll continue to support it. One caveat to watch out for: while it’s OK to use the new schema.org markup or continue to use existing microformats or RDFa markup, you should avoid mixing the formats together on the same web page, as this can confuse our parsers.

4) Test your markup using the rich snippets testing tool.
It’s very useful to test your web pages with markup to make sure we’re able to parse the data correctly. As with previous rich snippets markup formats, you should use the rich snippets testing tool for this purpose. Note that while the testing tool will show the marked up information that was parsed from the page, rich snippets previews are not yet shown for schema.org markup. We’ll be adding this functionality soon.

Suggested Reading:

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July 25, 2011

How to add Google +1 Button to your website

Google +1 is about getting recommendations from the people you trust. As potential visitors see recommendations from their friends and contacts beneath your Google search results, you could see more, and better qualified, traffic coming from Google. The search results can then be more helpful.

Adding +1 buttons to your pages is a great way to help your content stand out in Google search. By giving your visitors more chances to +1 your pages, your search results and search ads could show up with +1 annotations more often, helping users see when your pages are most likely to be useful.

To get started, visit the +1 button tool on Google Webmaster Central. You’ll be able to configure a small snippet of JavaScript and add it to the pages where you want +1 buttons to appear. You can pick from a few different button sizes and styles, so choose the +1 button that best matches your site’s layout.


In the common case, a press of the button +1’s the URL of the page it’s on.

From the Google Blog -

If your site primarily caters to users outside of the US and Canada, you can install the +1 button code now; the +1 button is already supported in 44 languages. However, keep in mind that +1 annotations currently only appear for English search results on Google.com. We’re working on releasing +1 to searchers worldwide in the future.

If you have users who love your content (and we bet you do), encourage them to spread the word! Add the +1 button to help your site stand out with a personal recommendation right at the moment of decision, on Google search.

Reference Link
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2011/06/add-1-to-help-your-site-stand-out.html



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July 19, 2011

G.Co, Google’s Official URL Shortcut Just For Google Websites


Google joins the internet biggies Twitter (T.Co) , Overstock (O.co) and Amazon (A.Co, Z.Co and K.Co) today in taking over the G.Co domain name.

G.CO, the new URL shortcut will only link to official Google products and services like GMail, Documents and Photos. Whenever you see a short "g.co" link, you can trust that it will always take you to a Google product or service.

The public URL shortener, goo.gl is available to shorten up URLs across the web.

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July 15, 2011

New Instant Preview Tool In The Labs Section Of Webmaster Tools

Google launched 'Instant Previews' in Webmasters Tools last year to help users better understand if a particular result was relevant for a their search query.

Since launch, the Instant Previews team has been keeping an eye on common complaints and problems related to how pages are rendered for Instant Previews.

When we see issues with preview images, they are frequently due to:

  • Blocked resources due to a robots.txt entry
  • Cloaking: Erroneous content being served to the Googlebot user-agent
  • Poor alternative content when Flash is unavailable

To overcome these problems, Google has a new Instant Preview tool in the Labs section of Webmaster Tools.


Here, you can input the URL of any page on your site, then the 'Instant Preview' tool will fetch the page from your site and try to render it both as it would display in Chrome and through our Instant Preview renderer.

Google says -
"Please keep in mind that both of these renders are done using a recent build of Webkit which does not include plugins such as Flash or Silverlight, so it's important to consider the value of providing alternative content for these situations. Alternative content can be helpful to search engines, and visitors to your site without the plugin would benefit as well.

Below the renders, you’ll also see automated feedback on problems our system can detect such as missing or roboted resources."

For further queries and feedback check Webmaster Forum
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July 14, 2011

New Inbox Styles from Gmail



Gmail now comes with new inbox styles to help you manage your mail in the way that works best for you - Classic, Priority Inbox, Important first, Unread first & Starred first.



  • Classic - This is the default inbox style most people are used to. In the Classic inbox, messages are ordered chronologically, with your most recent email at the top.
  • Priority Inbox - Important and unread messages appear at the top of your inbox, then starred messages, then everything else. Each section can be customized further, so you can create your own inbox style.
  • Important first - This style puts important mail at the top of the page (both read and unread messages). Everything else is in its own section at the bottom of your inbox. You may have noticed that we turned on importance arrows for everyone a few weeks ago; this inbox style separates messages with these arrows from those without.
  • Unread first - Simple: unread mail at the top; everything else at the bottom.
  • Starred first - Starred messages at the top; everything else at the bottom.

After you've settled on a style you like and used it for about a week, these tabs will go away, You can always change your inbox style from the drop down menu next to the Inbox label or from the Settings page.



Haven't tried yet. Think again.
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Remove Unwanted Or Old URLs Easily From Google Search


There is always the need to updated the web-pages, and remove those which are no longer required from Google search index.

Previously, in order to remove the URL, the webpage's URL must first be blocked by a site owner before the page can be removed from Google's search results.

As you have already verified the ownership of your site in the Webmasters Tools, the above mentioned requirement can be eliminated, to remove unwanted pages (e.g. pages accidentally made public) from Google's search results.

Removals persist for at least 90 days
When a page’s URL is requested for removal, the request is temporary and persists for at least 90 days. We may continue to crawl the page during the 90-day period but we will not display it in the search results. You can still revoke the removal request at any time during those 90 days. After the 90-day period, the page can reappear in our search results, assuming you haven’t made any other changes that could impact the page’s availability.

Permanent removal
In order to permanently remove a URL, you must ensure that one of the following page blocking methods is implemented for the URL of the page that you want removed:

  • indicate that the page no longer exists by returning a 404 or 410 HTTP status code
  • block the page from crawling via a robots.txt file
  • block the page from indexing via a noindex meta tag

This will ensure that the page is permanently removed from Google's search results for as long as the page is blocked. If at any time in the future you remove the previously implemented page blocking method, we may potentially re-crawl and index the page. For immediate and permanent removal, you can request that a page be removed using the Remove URL tool and then permanently block the page’s URL before the 90-day expiration of the removal request.


For more information about URL removals, see “URL removal explained
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Webmaster Tools Site Verifcation Plugin For Wordpress


For webmasters with self-hosted WordPress blogs, there’s now a Webmaster Tools site verification plugin for Wordpress that completely automates our verification process! You can install it directly from the “Install Plugins” control panel built into your WordPress blog, or you can download the ZIP file from the WordPress plugin site. This plugin can only be used by self-hosted WordPress blogs; it can’t be installed on blogs hosted on wordpress.com.

With verified ownership of your site in Webmaster Tools, you can receive specific statistics and information (e.g. relevant search queries, malware notices) about your site directly from Google.


Ref Link: WordPress Plugin for Webmaster Tools verification
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