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Newsfeeds from around the industry
Google Webmaster Central Blog
Official news on crawling and indexing sites for the Google index.

  • Penguin is now part of our core algorithm
    Google's algorithms rely on more than 200 unique signals or "clues" that make it possible to surface what you might be looking for. These signals include things like the specific words that appear on websites, the freshness of content, your region and PageRank. One specific signal of the algorithms is called Penguin, which was first launched in 2012 and today has an update.

    After a period of development and testing, we are now rolling out an update to the Penguin algorithm in all languages. Here are the key changes you'll see, which were also among webmasters' top requests to us:

    • Penguin is now real-time. Historically, the list of sites affected by Penguin was periodically refreshed at the same time. Once a webmaster considerably improved their site and its presence on the internet, many of Google's algorithms would take that into consideration very fast, but others, like Penguin, needed to be refreshed. With this change, Penguin's data is refreshed in real time, so changes will be visible much faster, typically taking effect shortly after we recrawl and reindex a page. It also means we're not going to comment on future refreshes.
    • Penguin is now more granular. Penguin now devalues spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals, rather than affecting ranking of the whole site. 

    The web has significantly changed over the years, but as we said in our original post, webmasters should be free to focus on creating amazing, compelling websites. It's also important to remember that updates like Penguin are just one of more than 200 signals we use to determine rank.

    As always, if you have feedback, you can reach us on our forums, Twitter and Google+.

    Posted by Gary Illyes, Google Search Ranking Team


  • 8 tips to AMPlify your clients

    Here is our list of the top 8 things to consider when helping your clients AMPlify their websites (and staying ahead of their curiosity!) after our announcement to expand support for Accelerated Mobile Pages.

    1. Getting started can be simple

    If a site uses a popular Content Management System (CMS), getting AMP pages up and running is as straightforward as installing a plug-in. Sites that use custom HTML or that are built from scratch will require additional development resources.

    1. Not all types of sites are suitable

    AMP is great for all types of static web content such as news, recipes, movie listings, product pages, reviews, videos, blogs and more. AMP is less useful for single-page apps that are heavy on dynamic or interactive features, such as route mapping, email or social networks.

    1. You don’t have to #AMPlify the whole site

    Add AMP to a client's existing site progressively by starting with simple, static content pages like articles, products, or blog posts. These are the “leaf” pages that users access through platforms and search results, and could be simple changes that also bring the benefits of AMP to the website. This approach allows you to keep the homepage and other “browser” pages that might require advanced, non-AMP dynamic functionality.

    If you're creating a new, content-heavy website from scratch, consider building the whole site with AMP from the start. To begin with, check out the getting started guidelines.

    1. The AMP Project is open source and still evolving

    If a site's use case is not supported in the AMP format yet, consider filing a feature request on GitHub, or you could even design a component yourself.

    1. AMP pages might need to meet additional requirements to show up in certain places

    In order to appear in Google’s search results, AMP pages need only be valid AMP HTML. Some products integrating AMP might have further requirements than the AMP validation. For example, you'll need to mark up your AMP pages as Article markup with Structured Data to make them eligible for the Google Top Stories section.

    1. There is no ranking change on Search

    Whether a page or site has valid and eligible AMP pages has no bearing on the site’s ranking on the Search results page. The difference is that web results that have AMP versions will be labeled with an icon.

    1. AMP on Google is expanding globally

    AMP search results on Google will be rolling out worldwide when it launches in the coming weeks. The Top Stories carousel which shows newsy and fresh AMP content is already available in a number of countries and languages.

    1. Help is on hand

    There’s a whole host of useful resources that will help if you have any questions:

    Webmasters Help Forum: Ask questions about AMP and Google’s implementation of AMP
    Stack Overflow: Ask technical questions about AMP
    GitHub: Submit a feature request or contribute

    What are your top tips to #AMPlify pages? Let us know in the comments below or on our Google Webmasters Google+ page. Or as usual, if you have any questions or need help, feel free to post in our Webmasters Help Forum.

    Posted by Tomo Taylor, AMP Community Manager


  • How to best evaluate issues with your Accelerated Mobile Pages

    As you #AMPlify your site with Accelerated Mobile Pages, it’s important to keep an eye periodically on the validation status of your pages, as only valid AMP pages are eligible to show on Google Search.

    When implementing AMP, sometimes pages will contain errors causing them to not be indexed by Google Search. Pages may also contain warnings that are elements that are not best practice or are going to become errors in the future.

    Google Search Console is a free service that lets you check which of your AMP pages Google has identified as having errors. Once you know which URLs are running into issues, there are a few handy tools that can make checking the validation error details easier.

    1. Browser Developer Tools

    To use Developer Tools for validation:

    1. Open your AMP page in your browser
    2. Append "#development=1" to the URL, for example, http://localhost:8000/released.amp.html#development=1.
    3. Open the Chrome DevTools console and check for validation errors.

    Developer Console errors will look similar to this:

    2. AMP Browser Extensions

    With the AMP Browser Extensions (available for Chrome and Opera), you can quickly identify and debug invalid AMP pages. As you browse your site, the extension will evaluate each AMP page visited and give an indication of the validity of the page.

    Red AMP icon indicating invalid AMP document.

    When there are errors within an AMP page, the extension’s icon shows in a red color and displays the number of errors encountered.

    Green AMP icon indicating valid AMP document.

    When there are no errors within an AMP page, the icon shows in a green color and displays the number of warnings, if any exist.

    Blue AMP icon indicating AMP HTML variant if clicked.

    When the page isn’t AMP but the page indicates that an AMP version is available, the icon shows in a blue color with a link icon, and clicking on the extension will redirect the browser to the AMP version.

    Using the extensions means you can see what errors or warnings the page has by clicking on the extension icon. Every issue will list the source line, source column, and a message indicating what is wrong. When a more detailed description of the issue exists, a “Learn more” link will take you to the relevant page on ampproject.org.

    3. AMP Web Validator

    The AMP Web Validator, available at validator.ampproject.org, provides a simple web UI to test the validity of your AMP pages.

    To use the tool, you enter an AMP URL, or copy/paste your source code, and the web validator displays error messages between the lines. You can make edits directly in the web validator which will trigger revalidation, letting you know if your proposed tweaks will fix the problem.

    What's your favourite way to check the status of your AMP Pages? Share your feedback in the comments below or on our Google Webmasters Google+ page. Or as usual, if you have any questions or need help, feel free to post in our Webmasters Help Forum.


    Posted by Tomo Taylor, AMP Community Manager


  • How can Google Search Console help you AMPlify your site?

    If you have recently implemented Accelerated Mobile Pages on your site, it’s a great time to check which of your AMP pages Google has found and indexed by using Search Console.

    Search Console is a free service that helps you monitor and maintain your site's presence in Google Search, including any Accelerated Mobile Pages. You don't have to sign up for Search Console for your AMP pages to be included in Google Search results, but doing so can help you understand which of your AMP pages are eligible to show in search results.

    To get started with Search Console, create a free account or sign in here and validate the ownership of your sites.

    Once you have your site set up on Search Console, open the Accelerated Mobile Pages report under Search Appearance > Accelerated Mobile Pages to see which AMP pages Google has found and indexed on your site, as shown here:

    The report lists AMP-related issues for AMP pages that are not indexed, so that you can identify and address them.

    Search Console also lets you monitor the performance of your AMP pages on Google Search in the Search Analytics report. This report tells you which queries show your AMP pages in Search results, lets you compare how their metrics stack against your other results and see how the visibility of your AMP pages has changed over time.

    To view your AMP page metrics, such as clicks or impressions, select Search Appearance > Search Analytics > Filter by AMP.

    (Note: if you’ve only just created your Search Console account or set up your AMP pages and they have not been detected yet, remember that Google crawls pages only periodically. You can wait for the scheduled regular recrawl, or you can request a recrawl.)

    Have you been using Search Console to monitor your AMP pages? Give us feedback in the comments below or on our Google Webmasters Google+ page. Or as usual, if you have any questions or need help, feel free to post in our Webmasters Help Forum.

    Posted by Tom Taylor, AMP Community Manager


  • How to get started with Accelerated Mobile Pages

    Interested in Accelerated Mobile Pages but not sure how to get started? AMPlifying your site for lightning speed might be easier than you think.

    If you use a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress, Drupal, or Hatena, getting set up on AMP is as simple as installing and activating a plug-in. Each CMS has a slightly different approach to AMPlifying pages, so it’s worth checking with your provider on how to get started.

    On the other hand, if your site uses custom HTML, or you want to learn how AMP works under the hood, then check out the AMP Codelab for a guided, hands-on coding experience designed to take you through the process of developing your first pages. The Codelab covers the fundamentals:

    • How AMP improves the user experience of the mobile web
    • The foundations of an AMP page
    • AMP limitations
    • How AMP web components solve common problems
    • How to validate your AMP pages
    • How to prepare your AMP pages for Google Search

    Once you are done with the basics, why not geek out with the Advanced Concepts Codelab?

    Have you tried the Codelabs or added an AMP plugin to your site? Share your feedback in the comments below or on our Google Webmasters Google+ page. Or as usual, if you have any questions or need help, feel free to post in our Webmasters Help Forum.


    Posted by Tomo Taylor, AMP Community Manager


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