I analyzed the past 6 months of Googlebot’s crawling activity on my website, specifically looking to see how often AMP pages, versus blog posts, versus pages are being crawled by Google on my site. What I found was pretty interesting. [Read more…]
Google’s Search Console appears to be having another possible data issue. Google Search Console is reporting no indexed pages in the Indexed Pages report. One particular website that I have verified in Google Search Console does, in fact, have pages indexed in the Google search results. However, viewing Google Search Console, they show that no pages are indexed in the Google search results. [Read more…]
Well, here’s one that has got me scratching my head. Actually, I’m trying to decide if I should be scratching my head or doing a face-palm thing. An old post from Microsoft, which was a pretty important announcement, is being redirected to another URL. But wait, it actually doesn’t redirect. And then when you click the link that they tell you to, because it’s been moved to another location, you get another notice that you’ll be redirected to the new location. Oh wait, it doesn’t redirect you. Confused yet? You should be. [Read more…]
If you’re a website owner, you have the opportunity to verify your website with Google and get access to the Google Search Console. Previously called Google Webmaster Tools, the GSC’s goal is to provide helpful information about your website. In most cases, you can get helpful insights into areas of your website that could be improved. Sometimes the information Google provides in GSC is helpful–and sometimes it’s not. Let’s look at an example of when Google has screwed up in GSC, providing us with inaccurate (or misleading information). Once example is the HTML improvements. [Read more…]
Update: April 20, 2017: As of April 20, 2017, this feature is fixed. I have verified this by using the tool to submit a URL to Google and getting it indexed fairly quickly (within minutes).
The Submit URL to Google feature, that I wrote about a while back, is broken today. Turns out that if you try to submit a URL to Google, you’ll get an error message that says “Oops! Something went wrong, please try again.” as shown below: [Read more…]
All the rage nowadays amongst SEOs is about Google’s featured snippets that show up in the search results. It’s that coveted “rank zero” that everyone wants to get. Not only can you rank on the first page, but if your content is good enough, then Google will pull (scrape) your site and feature part of your content at the top of the search results. [Read more…]
We all know by now that you don’t need to actually submit your URL to Google or “submit URL to Google”. Google’s crawlers typically are so good about crawling the web that you don’t need to tell them about a new URL or a new page. And, it’s been this way for years now. I’ve written about it time and time again. You don’t need to submit your website to the search engines, it’s actually free, and you certainly do NOT need to pay to submit your website. [Read more…]
The search engine Ask.com leaked its server log files, displaying all of its users’ aearch queries to the public. For a few hours today, you searched for a keyword on Ask.com, the public could see what you searched for.
If went to this URL here: http://ask.com/server-status
you could see the server status, and the log file. A refresh of the page would reveal the latest search queries at the search engine.
Notice that the ask.com URL is NOT HTTPs. In contrast, Google for several years has been secure, not even allowing site owners to see search queries.
One of the search queries I saw on the log file was “blue monster speakers sams club”.
This would be a way that someone could scrape the file and get a list of keywords the publicity is using. As you might recall, years ago there was a similar day at breach at AOL that also allowed the public to see search query data.
This post has been updated from the original. According to CNet (https://www.cnet.com/news/ask-com-server-log-leak-is-showing-your-searches/) they got the following statement from Ask:
“We have been working to address the inadvertent publishing of the Ask.com server status page and can report that this matter has now been globally resolved,” said an Ask spokesperson. “We can confirm user IP addresses were not accessible during this incident, only queries and the IP addresses of our internal servers. We regret this error and are committed to protecting the confidentiality and security of our users’ information.”
HT goes out to Paul, @fighto on Twitter, for alerting me to this.
For April Fool’s 2017, Google Maps has implemented a new feature that allows you to play Ms. Pacman on the roads. It’s Google Maps Ms. Pacman. Apparently, though, I cannot play it on the roads where I live. Turns out that there aren’t enough roads where I live, so I cannot actually play the game: [Read more…]
I’ve been watching this interesting Google bug for over a year now. Turns out that Google thinks that I posted every single post 7 hours prior to when I post. Whenever I make a new post here on my WordPress blog, and go find the post in Google’s search results, Google ALWAYS shows that I posted it 7 hours prior–even if I made the post 3 minutes ago. [Read more…]
Apparently I’m one of the top SEO bloggers, according to Google. If you search Google for this: list of SEO bloggers, you will see that Google is showing a list carousel of, well, SEO bloggers. And, according to Google, I’m number nine on the list (which puts me in the top 10). Take a look at the screen shot below, which shows the list of SEO bloggers in the search results: [Read more…]
Ever since Google started introducing Featured Snippets into their search results, I always thought of Google Featured Snippets as being informational and helpful. And, non-commercial. Well, today my opinion of featured snippets quickly changed when I saw the Google showing a featured snippet for this search query: banking equipment. [Read more…]
Have Chinese hackers stolen Google’s search engine secrets? Have they infiltrated the super-secret Google algorithm, allowing them to manipulate Google’s search results? According to a new book by Bill Gertz titled War and Peace in the Information Age, “Chinese cyber-intelligence services had developed technology and network penetration skills allowing them to control the results of Internet searches conducted on Google’s world-famous search engine. [Read more…]
Apparently, Google Answer boxes can appear in the search results when performing a site:domain.com type of search in Google. I find this kind of odd, as typically someone isn’t looking for an answer per se when they use the site: search operator at Google.
What is a Google Answer Box?
A Google Answer box is Google’s attempt to give you information in their search results about search query (keyword) so you don’t have to click through to a website to get the answer. Google predicts the answer to your question, scrapes the data from a website, and makes it show up at the top of the search results. This is often referred to ranking 0 (zero) position, before the first result. In most cases, Google will show Google AdWords ads before the answer box.
Here is an example: [Read more…]
If you are an SEO (or an SEO Consultant like me), then you should be familiar with Google’s Disavow Tool. Essentially you can upload a text file list of URLs or domain names that are linking to your website, telling them to disavow or ignore those links or all links from a certain domain name. But most of the time, we’ll disavow those links in Google but totally forget about uploading the same disavow file to Bing, as well. You’ve done all the work finding the links to disavow, identifying bad and toxic links, so why not upload the list to Bing as well? [Read more…]
In the past week, you probably have noticed that there is referral traffic from Lifehacker.com that is showing up in Google Analytics. You could also be seeing traffic from one particular Reddit.com URL. This is, in fact, fake, spam, or “ghost” traffic that you should ignore. The only purpose of it is to get you to visit one of those sites, typically trying to get you to copy/paste the URL and visit the website. [Read more…]
A bug in the Google’s search engine is causing false, old dates to appear in front of websites listed in their search results. This, in turn, is causing drops in traffic. Some are also reporting ranking drops, as well. [Read more…]
Back in February 2016, I wrote about Google’s new project, called Accelerated Mobile Pages, and how you can install a WordPress Plugin called the Google AMP plugin. The whole idea is to provide a new web format so that mobile users can view content that loads really quickly, even with a slow internet (mobile) connection. Initially targeted towards news publishers like Practical Ecommerce, we’re seeing a lot more public adoption of this new web standard. Google AMP is not just for news publishers anymore. [Read more…]
Google just launched a new smart messaging app called Allo. This app is certainly interesting–but do we really need yet another messaging app? After all, Apple just introduced a whole lot of new features of their built-in iOS messaging (imessage) when they launched iOS 10 just last week. [Read more…]
I applaud Google for launching a Google Analytics demo account, which anyone (with a Google Account) can access. Now we can use a real, live, Google Analytics account to play around with and look at the data. Quite often, it’s difficult to learn all of the Google Analytics features because some websites (in your Google Analytics account) may not have that feature. So this is all good. But there’s only one problem: even Google’s own demo account includes referral spam. [Read more…]
In a long dispute between Google and the State of Mississippi’s Attorney General Jim Hood, Google’s most recent request for a rehearing has been denied. The Times Standard reported back in April that the appeals court had overturned a ruling against the Stage of Mississippi. Google has appealed that ruling, which has now been denied. [Read more…]
Google Search Console’s Search Analytics feature, the feature that allows you to see the keywords, impressions, clicks, and average position of your website’s pages, has not been updated since May 3, 2016. Usually, Google allows verified website owners to see their search query data up to the past two days (the data is delayed two days). However, this week, the Google Search Console Search Analytics data has not been updated since May 3, 2016. [Read more…]
Google is showing multiple domain names in its search results when the site: command is used if domains pointing to the main domain include the canonical tag. Let me explain by giving you an example. [Read more…]
In the Google search results, I’m still seeing some alternative characters show up at the beginning of the title tags in some results. Looks like the cases I have come across are all search engine spam results, but the fact that these characters are even being allowed is a mystery to me. Let’s look at an example: [Read more…]
There’s a new search engine out there that apparently has ditched the legacy .COM, .NET and .ORG TLDs (Top Level Domains) and only show New gTLDs in its search results. Using Google’s Custom Search Engine, Newgle has done what no other search engine has ever done before: only show search results from websites on New gTLD domain names. Newgle is a new search engine using Google Custom Search that takes the legacy TLDs out of the search results. [Read more…]
Google has added a share button to knowledge graph entries to encourage us to search more at Google. Whenever you search using a desktop (not mobile) device, and you see a knowledge graph entry on the right side of the search results, Google is displaying a share button, like this: [Read more…]
Google’s organic search engine algorithm is made up of a lot of different search engine ranking factors. When it comes to certain search queries, not all of those search engine ranking factors are applied. In other words, Google may apply certain parts of their algorithm to certain keyword queries and might disregard other parts for other keywords. In a recent post at the SEM Post, one Google employee indirectly verified that this is the case. [Read more…]
I don’t recall anytime recently when Google showed such a horrible, misguided, completely wrong search result lately. I am stunned that Google would even possibly show a result such as this. Or, perhaps this is a sign of yet another change to Google’s search engine algorithm? [Read more…]
Uh oh, Google just announced that a new mobile-friendly update is coming in May 2016. And, as such, I’m going to personally be the first one to call this Mobilegeddon II. Not because of the fact that the first mobile friendly update back in April 2015 was catastrophic–just because this is the second mobile friendly update for Google that they’ve announced ahead of time, and, well, the first one was called Mobilegeddon. [Read more…]
Adding Google AdSense to your website hurts the mobile user experience on your website and violates Google’s own suggested guidelines.
I have been working on my own site, this site, to optimize it for page load speed. Using Google’s own Pagespeed Insights tool, I found that there is one particular section of the results, under User Experience, that gave me a score of 99 out of 100. That problem is Google AdSense. [Read more…]
About a day after I made my website Google AMP compatible, I am now seeing data in Google Search Console for Accelerated Mobile Pages. Turns out that the official WordPress Plugin, for some reason, is generating errors, though. Let’s take a look at the errors that are generated, and see if there is a way to fix them. [Read more…]
We just got word that Google’s AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) project is live. That means that if your website can serve up Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) versions of your content then you will probably see more traffic from mobile. Google will be encouraged to show your site more often in the mobile search results. So, how do you make your WordPress site compatible? Well, luckily there’s a WordPress Plugin for that! Here’s how to make your WordPress Site Google AMP compatible. [Read more…]
Well, this is disappointing. Either that, or the person reviewing the suggested changes I had to a spammy listing on Google Maps isn’t doing their job. I recently made a suggestion to what I consider a VERY spammy listing in Google Maps, which appears to violate a several of their guidelines. And even though I submitted a recommendation or edit, it was apparently reviewed. However, it got even worse, and still violates Google’s guidelines for keyword stuffed Google Maps listings. [Read more…]
It looks to me like Google has, just recently, remove the link: search operator on Google. If you search for any website’s links using Google, there aren’t any search results. So, for example, a search for link:google.com shows no results: [Read more…]
Brands that have purchased their own .BRAND TLD (Top Level Domain) shouldn’t worry about moving their websites. I recently asked Gary Illyes, the Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, about the effect on search when you move your website from a .COM domain name to a domain on your own .BRAND TLD. [Read more…]
The Google search results of a search query for my name shows information from the Knowledge Graph or Knowledge Base of data. I know that this data was originally pulled from Freebase, as I entered it several years ago when I was very active in editing and adding data to Freebase. I regularly monitor the search results for my name. Today, Google started asking me if the data if the info was up-to-date and if I had any suggestions. This is new, at least for me. Take a look at what this looks like: [Read more…]
Let’s think about Google’s current product offerings, what services they are offer us as business owners, online merchants, and website owners. You can submit your website to get crawled, but you can also pay for inclusion. Over the years, Google says that it’s free to get listed. But really, is it? You can get included, but the options are very limited. It seems as though that Google just won’t send you a lot of traffic to your website unless you pay for it. Is Google quietly embracing paid inclusion? [Read more…]
Google will soon publicly use the Google Chrome browser to give unsecure websites a Scarlet Letter. When visitors use Chrome to visit an unsecure website, it will be very clear that the site is unsecure. The site will be marked with a red X mark whereas a secure website will show a lock symbol. [Read more…]
As you probably know, I’m a Brand Ambassador for Majestic.com, and as such I deal with a lot of link issues on a daily basis. I recently had a conversation with someone who consistently uses Google’s link: search operator to look at the links to their website. They honestly thought that they had lost a lot of links lately. But, that’s not the case. [Read more…]
Do you remember the iWon.com website? It was a web portal that included a search engine, but you could “win” rewards and prizes for using their site, up to a certain number of times per day. The more you used the site the more you could win entries into the money that they were giving away each, and every day.
I never really spent a whole lot of time on their site, but I remember having an iwon free account and at least entering something every so often. But I never really did win anything. Or maybe I did? I honestly don’t remember. As I recall, the IAC search (IAC owns iWon.com) was pretty much using another search engine’s results (I believe it’s was Google’s search results). [Read more…]
Google’s Change of Address tool, accessed by website owners in the Google Search Console, is broken. It generally works for most website owners as it should. However, in my professional opinion it’s broken because it’s missing certain functionality that should be included. This missing functionality causes certain websites to not be able to use the tool. Therefore, in certain circumstances, Google’s Change of Address tool doesn’t work. It’s completely useless in it’s present state. [Read more…]
In a recent Search Engine Land article, Patrick Stox explains what HTTP/2 is, and what it means for SEOs. After all, Google has publicly stated that their search engine crawler, called Googlebot, is going to be supporting HTTP/2 soon. As you might recall, I moved this website to HTTPs a few days after Google announced that HTTPs is a search engine ranking factor. I even wrote a checklist for moving to HTTPs soon thereafter. So why is Google really pushing us (especially publishers) to move our websites away from HTTP and to move to HTTPs? And soon over to HTTP/2 in the future? [Read more…]
Someone is sending out email notices to domain name owners, telling them that their domain name has been suspended for “violation of the Google Inc. Abuse Policy”. The email then states that your website has been suspended. It appears to be a domain suspension notice from Google But it’s not. [Read more…]