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?
Well, unfortunately Bing doesn’t allow you to upload a file. You have to disavow one URL at a time or one domain at a time. Manually copy and paste all of those URLs, one by one. I just recently disavowed several thousand URLs and even more domains on one link cleanup project. I’m not exactly going to take the time to add one URL or domain at a time in order to disavow them at Bing. It’s just not worth the hours it would take to do that. Well, luckily for me (and you), I’ve come up with a solution of how you can disavow all of those URLs or domains at Bing in an automated fashion–you don’t have to copy/paste them one at a time. You do, however, need to prepare a file first–and there’s a method to the madness. But about 5-10 minutes of your time will potentially save hours of manual copying and pasting. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to disavow a list of URLs. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll easily be able to change this so you can disavow the list of domains instead.
First, you’ll need access to Bing Webmaster Tools, and you’ll need to verify the domain that you’re wanting to disavow links for.
Next, gather a few tools:
– List of domains or URLs to disavow. Usually in a text file (I prefer notepad, but any text editor will do)
– Microsoft Excel
– Text Editor
– Microsoft Word
– iMacros add-on for Firefox or Chrome
Essentially, what you’re going to do here is use the iMacros tool in Firefox or Chrome to perform the task of disavowing each URL in a list. If you have thousands of URLs in the list, you’ll be able to easily create the macro and then once created you’ll simply run it and disavow all those links in Bing.
Once you install iMacros, you’ll need to start recording a macro. So, close all of the tabs in the browser that you have open and start iMacros. Go to Bing Webmaster Tools and click on the Configure My Site then Disavow Links section. You’ll see something similar to the screen capture at the top of this post.
Next, open the iMacros sidebar and select #Current.iim. On the Rec tab, click Record. Or, you can just click Save Macro As and save it with a unique filename. You will need to be able to edit it once you’ve made your list of actions, though.
You’re ready to record your first macro. So, with all of your tabs closed except for one, go to the Bing Disavow Links page.
Then, with the recording still going, enter the first URL you’d like to disavow, and select Disavow.
You can now stop the recording.
Then, click on Manage and Edit Macro. You’ll see something like this:
This is where you edit the macro that you’ll run. For now, save the macro and we’ll come back to it later.
What you’ll need now is the text editor, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Word open. So, open those now. The text editor should have the list of URLs in it, and you’ll probably want to open up a blank text editor window, as well.
Here is the sample code, of one of the actions, that you’ll want to start with:
VERSION BUILD=9030808 RECORDER=FX TAB T=1 URL GOTO=https://www.bing.com/webmaster/configure/disavow/links?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.billhartzer.com%2F TAG POS=1 TYPE=INPUT:TEXT FORM=NAME:NoFormName ATTR=NAME:inputDisavowUrl CONTENT=http://urlimdisavowing.com/page.html TAG POS=1 TYPE=INPUT:BUTTON FORM=NAME:NoFormName ATTR=NAME:disavowUrlButton
What we’ll need to do is use Microsoft Excel to add part of the fourth line of code to the actual URL you’re disavowing.
Copy the list of URLs into Microsoft Excel, making sure that you have a column before the list, like this:
So, when building your Microsoft Excel file, you’ll need to do add this in the column before the list:
TAG POS=1 TYPE=INPUT:TEXT FORM=NAME:NoFormName ATTR=NAME:inputDisavowUrl CONTENT=
Then, you’ll have the column that contains your list.
Then, add this in the column after your list:
You can make this wait 3 seconds, or even longer. I typically put in a “wait” so that it doesn’t tick off Bing. If you have a lot of URLs (I have like 2000+ in my last disavow I did for someone), you might want to make it shorter of a wait–but 3 seconds should be okay.
Then, in the next column, add this:
TAG POS=1 TYPE=INPUT:BUTTON FORM=NAME:NoFormName ATTR=NAME:disavowUrlButton
That’s the button click to press the disavow URL button. You’ll need it in the macro, as well.
Essentially, what we’re doing now is putting this into Microsoft Excel so we can copy and paste the huge list of URLs or domains we want to disavow. Then, we’ll need to create each line for the macro itself.
Next, copy and paste all of the data that you put into Microsoft Excel. You’ll find that there are going to be “tabs” in there. You’ll need to strip those out first before you copy and paste this into Microsoft Word.
Paste the data from Microsoft Excel into a text editor (I prefer Notepad on my Macbook Pro).
In Notepad, once you’ve pasted the data, you’ll see that there are tabs in there. You need to get rid of those tab characters and replace them with something else. So do a search and replace for the tab character (you’ll need to copy/paste it into the proper search field) and replace it with “zz” (without the quotes). That will allow you to search and replace the zz again in Microsoft Word in the next step.
Copy and paste all of that code and put it into Microsoft Word.
With the code in Microsoft Word, you’ll need to paste it into a new page.
Don’t change any of the code… go ahead and do a search and replace for “zz” and replace it with ^p (that’s the Shit+6 character and the letter p). That will replace the “zz” with a line break.
Next, you’ll want to replace one more thing so that the macro will work. You’ll need to get rid of one line break in particular, the one before the URL.
Still in Microsoft Word, search for this:
inputDisavowUrl CONTENT= ^p
and replace it with this:
which is the same code without the ^p (Shift+6 P)
Copy all of that code out of Microsoft Word and put it into the macro. You’ll need to keep the URL GOTO line, as that’s the page where it’s going to do all of the disavowing. But, the rest of the code should be added after that.
Then, save and close the macro.
Run the macro with all of your tabs closed, and that should add all of those URLs on the disavow list.
Note that if you have more than 2500 URLs then you’re going to need to split it up into a few different macros or run them separately. I haven’t tested the speed, so I do recommend allowing at least 3 seconds between adding each URL. If it gets hung up, then you will need to stop it and then see where you left off. If that’s the case, then you’ll need to edit the macro so that you don’t re-enter URLs on the list.
Of course, if you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
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…]