Feel free to reference the slides as well. Written by Maile Ohye, Developer Programs Tech Lead
- Checklist and videos for mobile website improvement
Webmaster Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Unsure where to begin improving your smartphone website? Wondering how to prioritize all the advice? We just published a checklist to help provide an efficient approach to mobile website improvement. Several topics in the checklist link to a relevant business case or study, other topics include a video explaining how to make data from Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools actionable during the improvement process. Copied below are shortened sections of the full checklist. Please let us know if there’s more you’d like to see, or if you have additional topics for us to include.
Step 1: Stop frustrating your customers
- Remove cumbersome extra windows from all mobile user-agents | Google recommendation, Article
- Overlays, especially to download apps (instead consider a banner such as iOS 6+ Smart App Banners or equivalent, side navigation, email marketing, etc.).
- Survey requests prior to task completion.
- Provide device-appropriate functionality
- Remove features that require plugins or videos not available on a user's device (e.g., Adobe Flash isn't playable on an iPhone or on Android versions 4.1 and higher). | Business case
- Serve tablet users the desktop version (or if available, the tablet version). | Study
- Check that full desktop experience is accessible on mobile phones, and if selected, remains in full desktop version for duration of the session (i.e., user isn't required to select "desktop version" after every page load). | Study
- Correct high traffic, poor user-experience mobile pages
How to correct high-traffic, poor user-experience mobile pages with data from Google Analytics bounce rate and events (slides)
- Make quick fixes in performance (and continue if behind competition) | Business case
How to make quick fixes in mobile site performance and compare your site to the competition (slides)
To see all topics in “Stop frustrating your customers,” please see the full Checklist for mobile website improvement.
Step 2: Facilitate task completion
Step Three: Convert customers into fans!
- Optimize crawling, indexing, and the searcher experience | Business case
- Implement search-engine best practices given your mobile implementation:
- Optimize popular mobile persona workflows for your site
How to optimize popular mobile workflows using Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics (slides)
- Consider search integration points with mobile apps | Announcement, Information
- Brainstorm new ways to provide value
- Build for mobile behavior, such as the in-store shopper. | Business case
- Leverage smartphone GPS, camera, accelerometer.
- Increase sharing or social behavior. | Business case
- Consider intuitive/fun tactile functionality with swiping, shaking, tapping.
Written by Maile Ohye, Developer Programs Tech Lead
- Smartphone crawl errors in Webmaster Tools
Webmaster level: all
Some smartphone-optimized websites are misconfigured in that they don't show searchers the information they were seeking. For example, smartphone users are shown an error page or get redirected to an irrelevant page, but desktop users are shown the content they wanted. Some of these problems, detected by Googlebot as crawl errors, significantly hurt your website's user experience and are the basis of some of our recently-announced ranking changes for smartphone search results.
Starting today, you can use the expanded Crawl Errors feature in Webmaster Tools to help identify pages on your sites that show these types of problems. We're introducing a new Smartphone errors tab where we share pages we've identified with errors only found with Googlebot for smartphones.
Some of the errors we share include:
Server errors: A server error is when Googlebot got an HTTP error status code when it crawled the page.
Not found errors and soft 404s: A page can show a "not found" message to Googlebot, either by returning an HTTP 404 status code or when the page is detected as a soft error page.
Faulty redirects: A faulty redirect is a smartphone-specific error that occurs when a desktop page redirects smartphone users to a page that is not relevant to their query. A typical example is when all pages on the desktop site redirect smartphone users to the homepage of the smartphone-optimized site.
Blocked URLs: A blocked URL is when the site's robots.txt explicitly disallows crawling by Googlebot for smartphones. Typically, such smartphone-specific robots.txt disallow directives are erroneous. You should investigate your server configuration if you see blocked URLs reported in Webmaster Tools.
Fixing any issues shown in Webmaster Tools can make your site better for users and help our algorithms better index your content. You can learn more about how to build smartphone websites and how to fix common errors. As always, please ask in our forums if you have any questions.
Posted by Pierre Far, Webmaster Trends Analyst
- Video: Creating a SEO strategy (with Webmaster Tools!)
Webmaster Level: Intermediate Wondering how to begin creating an organic search strategy at your company? What’s a good way to integrate your company’s various online components, such as the website, blog, or YouTube channel? Perhaps we can help! In under fifteen minutes, I outline a strategic approach to SEO for a mock company, Webmaster Central, where I pretend to be the SEO managing the Webmaster Central Blog.
Fifteen-minute video to help your create the SEO strategy at your company The video covers these high-level topics (and you can skip to the exact portion of the video that might be of interest): Creating a SEO strategy
- Using Webmaster Central as mock company
- Building an SEO strategy
- Understand searcher persona workflow
- Determine company and website goals
- Audit your site to best reach your audience
- Execute and make improvements
- Overcoming obstacles
Indexing apps just like websites
Webmaster Level: Advanced
Searchers on smartphones experience many speed bumps that can slow them down. For example, any time they need to change context from a web page to an app, or vice versa, users are likely to encounter redirects, pop-up dialogs, and extra swipes and taps. Wouldn't it be cool if you could give your users the choice of viewing your content either on the website or via your app, both straight from Google's search results?
Today, we’re happy to announce a new capability of Google Search, called app indexing, that uses the expertise of webmasters to help create a seamless user experience across websites and mobile apps.
Just like it crawls and indexes websites, Googlebot can now index content in your Android app. Webmasters will be able to indicate which app content you'd like Google to index in the same way you do for webpages today — through your existing Sitemap file and through Webmaster Tools. If both the webpage and the app contents are successfully indexed, Google will then try to show deep links to your app straight in our search results when we think they’re relevant for the user’s query and if the user has the app installed. When users tap on these deep links, your app will launch and take them directly to the content they need. Here’s an example of a search for home listings in Mountain View:
We’re currently testing app indexing with an initial group of developers. Deep links for these applications will start to appear in Google search results for signed-in users on Android in the US in a few weeks. If you are interested in enabling indexing for your Android app, it’s easy to get started:
- Let us know that you’re interested. We’re working hard to bring this functionality to more websites and apps in the near future.
- Enable deep linking within your app.
- Provide information about alternate app URIs, either in the Sitemaps file or in a link element in pages of your site.
For more details on implementation and for information on how to sign up, visit our developer site
. As always, if you have any questions, please ask in the mobile section of our webmaster forum
.Posted by Lawrence Chang, Product Manager
Easier recovery for hacked sites
Webmaster Level: All
We know that as a site owner, discovering your site is hacked with spam
is stressful, and trying to clean it up under a time constraint can be very challenging. We’ve been working to make recovery even easier and streamline the cleaning process — we notify webmasters
when the software they’re running on their site is out of date, and we’ve set up a dedicated help portal for hacked sites
with detailed articles explaining each step of the process to recovery, including videos.
Today, we’re happy to introduce a new feature in Webmaster Tools called Security Issues.
As a verified site owner
, you’ll be able to:
Find more information about the security issues on your site, in one place
- Find more information about the security issues on your site, in one place.
- Pinpoint the problem faster with detailed code snippets.
- Request review for all issues in one go through the new simpified process.
Now, when we’ve detected your site may have been hacked with spam or with malware, we’ll show you everything in the same place for easy reference. Information that was previously available in the Malware section of Webmaster Tools, as well as new information about spam inserted by hackers, is now available in Security Issues. On the Security Issues main page, you’ll see the type of hacking, sample URLs if available, and the date when we last detected the issue.
Pinpoint the problem faster with detailed code snippets
Request review for all issues in one go
We’ve also simplified requesting a review. Once you’ve cleaned your site and closed the security holes, you can request a review for all issues with one click of a button straight from the Security Issues page.
If you need more help, our updated and expanded help for hacked sites portal
is now available in 22 languages. Let us know what you think in the comments here or at the Webmaster Help Forum
.Posted by Meenali Rungta, Webspam Team and Hadas Fester, Webmaster Tools Team