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Google Webmaster Central Blog
Official news on crawling and indexing sites for the Google index.

  • AMP error report preview in Search Console

    More and more sites are implementing Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) for news content, so we've decided to provide a preview of error reports in Search Console to help you get ready for the upcoming official AMP launch and get early feedback from you. You can find these reports under Search Appearance - Accelerated Mobile Pages. The goal here is to make it easier to spot issues in your AMP implementation across the whole website. In order to get started with AMP on Google Search, you'll need to create matching, valid AMP pages where relevant, ensure that they use the NewsArticle schema.org markup, and link them appropriately.

    The AMP error report gives an overview of the overall situation on your site, and then lets you drill down to specific error types and URLs. This process helps you quickly find the most common issues, so that you can systematically address them in your site's AMP implementation (potentially just requiring tweaks in the templates or plugin used for these pages).

    Curious about AMP and how it might fit in with your site? Here's a demo preview of AMP in search, more on how AMP works, and a guide to getting started with AMP. If you think AMP would be a good fit for your website, implementing it might ultimately be as easy as installing a plugin in your CMS, so check with your provider. AMP hasn't officially launched in Google Search, so there's still time to get set up -- feedback & patience will be appreciated by your CMS & plugin providers. Stay tuned for more updates on the AMP Project blog.

    We're only getting started -- this is a first step at AMP error reporting. We'll be refining this report in the near future, and we'd love to get your feedback to help us. Let us know in the comments here how things work out for you.

    Posted by John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst, Google Zurich


  • New year, new look: Introducing our new Webmasters website
    It’s a new year and a perfect time to share with you our brand new Webmasters website.

    We spent a lot of time making this site right for you. We took our own advice by analyzing visitor behavior and conducting user studies to organize the site into categories you’ll find most useful. Thanks to our awesome community and Top Contributors for the valuable feedback during the process!
    Our new Google Webmasters website
    The site contains support resources to help you fix issues with your website, SEO learning materials to create a high-quality site and improve search rankings, and connection opportunities to stay up-to-date with our team and webmaster community. It also contains new features such as:
    • Webmaster troubleshooter: Need a step-by-step guide to move your site or understand a message in Search Console? The troubleshooter can help answer these and other common problems with your site in Google Search and Google Search Console.
    • Popular resources: Looking for popular Google Webmasters YouTube videos, blog posts and forum threads? Here’s a curated list of our top resources – these may differ across languages.
    • Events calendar: Want to meet someone from our team online for office hours or at a live event near you? We have office hours and events in multiple languages around the world. 
    Browse around and let us know in the comments below if you stumble onto something new!

    Posted by Mary Chen, Senior Webmaster Relations Specialist


  • Indexing HTTPS pages by default
    At Google, user security has always been a top priority. Over the years, we’ve worked hard to promote a more secure web and to provide a better browsing experience for users. Gmail, Google search, and YouTube have had secure connections for some time, and we also started giving a slight ranking boost to HTTPS URLs in search results last year. Browsing the web should be a private experience between the user and the website, and must not be subject to eavesdropping, man-in-the-middle attacks, or data modification. This is why we’ve been strongly promoting HTTPS everywhere.

    As a natural continuation of this, today we'd like to announce that we're adjusting our indexing system to look for more HTTPS pages. Specifically, we’ll start crawling HTTPS equivalents of HTTP pages, even when the former are not linked to from any page. When two URLs from the same domain appear to have the same content but are served over different protocol schemes, we’ll typically choose to index the HTTPS URL if:

    • It doesn’t contain insecure dependencies.
    • It isn’t blocked from crawling by robots.txt.
    • It doesn’t redirect users to or through an insecure HTTP page.
    • It doesn’t have a rel="canonical" link to the HTTP page.
    • It doesn’t contain a noindex robots meta tag.
    • It doesn’t have on-host outlinks to HTTP URLs.
    • The sitemaps lists the HTTPS URL, or doesn’t list the HTTP version of the URL
    • The server has a valid TLS certificate.


    Although our systems prefer the HTTPS version by default, you can also make this clearer for other search engines by redirecting your HTTP site to your HTTPS version and by implementing the HSTS header on your server.

    We’re excited about taking another step forward in making the web more secure. By showing users HTTPS pages in our search results, we’re hoping to decrease the risk for users to browse a website over an insecure connection and making themselves vulnerable to content injection attacks. As usual, if you have any questions or comments, please let us know in the comments section below or in our webmaster help forums.


    Posted by Zineb Ait Bahajji, WTA, and the Google Security and Indexing teams


  • Updating Our Search Quality Rating Guidelines

    Developing algorithmic changes to search involves a process of experimentation. Part of that experimentation is having evaluators—people who assess the quality of Google’s search results—give us feedback on our experiments. Ratings from evaluators do not determine individual site rankings, but are used help us understand our experiments. The evaluators base their ratings on guidelines we give them; the guidelines reflect what Google thinks search users want.

    In 2013, we published our human rating guidelines to provide transparency on how Google works and to help webmasters understand what Google looks for in web pages. Since that time, a lot has changed: notably, more people have smartphones than ever before and more searches are done on mobile devices today than on computers.

    We often make changes to the guidelines as our understanding of what users wants evolves, but we haven’t shared an update publicly since then. However, we recently completed a major revision of our rater guidelines to adapt to this mobile world, recognizing that people use search differently when they carry internet-connected devices with them all the time. You can find that update here (PDF).

    This is not the final version of our rater guidelines. The guidelines will continue to evolve as search, and how people use it, changes. We won’t be updating the public document with every change, but we will try to publish big changes to the guidelines periodically.

    We expect our phones and other devices to do a lot, and we want Google to continue giving users the answers they're looking for—fast!


    Posted by Mimi Underwood, Sr. Program Manager, Search Growth & Analysis


  • TC Summit 2015: Celebrating our Webmaster Top Contributors!

    Two weeks ago, we were extremely lucky to host the 2015 edition of the Top Contributor Summit (#TCsummit), in San Francisco and on Google’s campus in Mountain View, California.

    Google Top Contributors are an exceptional group of passionate Google product enthusiasts who share their expertise across our international help forums to support millions of Google users every year. Google’s Top Contributor Summit is an event organised every two years, to celebrate these amazing users. This year we had the pleasure to welcome 526 Top Contributors, from all around the world.

    Under the motto “Learn, Connect, Celebrate”, Top Contributors had the chance to learn more about our products, get insights on the future of Google, connect with Googlers and Top Contributors from various products and, finally, to celebrate their positive impact on our products and users.

    Footage of the 2015 Top Contributor Summit

    We also had the chance to hold Webmaster-specific sessions, which gave Googlers the unique opportunity to meet 56 of our Webmaster Top Contributors, representing 20 countries and speaking 14 different languages.


    Group photo of the Webmaster Top Contributor community and the Google Webmaster Relations team

    Throughout the day, we had in-depth sessions about Google Webmaster guidelines, Search Console and Google Search. We discussed the most common issues that users are bringing up in our international webmaster forums, and listened to the Top Contributors’ feedback regarding our Search tools. We also talked about the Top Contributor program itself and additional opportunities for our users to benefit from both Google and the TCs’ support. Product managers, engineers and search quality Googlers attended the sessions to listen and bring the feedback given by Top Contributors and users on the forum back to their teams.


    Webmaster Top Contributors during the in-depth sessions about Google Webmaster guidelines, Search Console and Google Search

    At Google, we are grateful to have the incredible opportunity to meet and connect with some of the most insightful members of the webmaster community and get their feedback on such important topics. It helps us be sure that Google keeps focusing on what really matters to webmasters, content creators, and users.

    To learn more about our Top Contributor Program, or to give us your own feedback, visit our Top Contributor homepage or join our Webmaster help forum.


    Diogo Botelho and Roberta Remigi, Webmaster Relations team


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