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…]
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…]
This week, during the PubCon conference here in Las Vegas, Nevada, there was talk that Google Authorship could potentially make a comeback. As you might recall, back in June 2014, Google removed authorship photos from the search results. However, now, about 15 months later, Google’s Gary Illyes alluded to the fact that the rel=author tag could be used again by Google: [Read more…]
While I was looking at the search results for the title tag of a post that I recently posted today, I noticed that Google’s grammar is less than to be desired. You’d think with all those PhDs at Google the grammar would be better. Dear Google, please fix the bad grammar in your search results to you are not suggesting something that has bad grammar. Take a look at the following screen capture, where Google is suggesting something other than what I searched for:
I searched for “What Happened When I Removed the Blogroll from My Site“, the last post where I wrote about what happened when I removed my blogroll. [Read more…]
Here’s the message I received, July 28, 2015 from Google. Apparently it was so important that Google sent it via the Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) but they also sent it via email: [Read more…]
I was searching and looking through the SERPs of some of the people I hung out with last week at SMX Advanced in Seattle. I noticed a rather odd thing showing up in the search results for David Iwanow, where the word “none” is showing up several times in the SERPs (search results pages). Take a look:
This is the knowledge graph entry that shows up next to the search results. For David Iwanow’s entry, he has this showing up: [Read more…]
May is small business month, so as a follow-up to a blog post I wrote recently, I tracked this small business owner, Ira Zoot from TicketStub.com, and interviewed him. Mr. Zoot originally claimed that he, as a small business owner, has been crushed by Google. He’s been only for over 10 years, and, in the past several years Google has taken steps through various algorithm changes and other policies, to crush his business online. [Read more…]
On Thursday, April 16, 2015, Google announced that they are beginning to remove the domain name from the mobile search results. Rather than displaying a URL in the search results or a domain name, Google has begun to display a website name or a website name and a breadcrumb of the website’s page. Domain names generally have been removed from the mobile search results. This move by Google is wrong, and ultimately increases internet user vulnerability to potential fraud and deception. Furthermore, it undermines the whole entire Domain Name System as we know it. [Read more…]
An interesting post was written by a small business owner, sharing his experience about being crushed by Google. In the article, he claims that after working hard for 12 years building his online business, Google reduced the site’s traffic from 2000 visitors a day to a few hundred a day: all without warning. [Read more…]
ZDNet bought a new domain name from the domain name aftermarket (a domain name auction), and almost immediately got their trusted, authoritative, 2 year old website banned in Google. ZDNet wrote a scathing article on their site, blaming Google for the error, claiming that Google got it all wrong. But, that’s not the case. Google absolutely got it right, and was correct in banning the site in Google. Here’s how ZDNet bought a domain name, redirected their trusted, authoritative site to this new domain name, and then got their website banned in Google. [Read more…]
In Google Webmaster Tools, Google is reporting Bing’s search result URLs as actual backlinks to a website. Google has as history of sometimes making a mistake and indexing Bing’s search results, like I found a while back. But this is the first time that I have seen that Google is actually telling webmasters that there is a link to their website: and that link is a Bing search result URL. Google shows Bing search results URLs. Definitely something that I don’t think Google planned on. [Read more…]
By now, you probably heard about the April Fool’s prank that I came up with this year–and with the help of Jeff and Amanda on our Globe Runner team, I think we pulled it off. So much so that we had trouble keeping the website up and running that weekend. And on April 1st, we followed up with another post, welcoming the other team members who recently joined Globe Runner, Darth Vader and Elvis Presley. By the way, if you haven’t seen the post, it’s titled “Globe Runner Welcomes Matt Cutts as Director of Search“.
On the April 8, 2015 “This Week at Google” Twit.tv show with Leo Laporte and Jeff Jarvis, Matt Cutts commented my our April Fool’s prank. I’ve edited the video to pull out Matt Cutts’ comments so you don’t to have to listen to the whole entire hour-long show. [Read more…]
I am not sure if anyone has noticed, but today I was looking through the search results and am seeing a new tag in the search results called “April Fool’s Prank”. This appears to be similar to the “Mobile Friendly” tag, whereas Google is flagging certain sites that are “mobile friendly.” Here is a screen capture of the search results, where a recent post of mine about Matt Cutts shows up (look for it around the 2nd page of the SERPS for “Matt Cutts”:
If you look closely at the search results, you will see that my post that appeared recently on the Globe Runner site is tagged with “April Fool’s Prank”. [Read more…]
The Not Provided keywords are NOT being expanded to Google Webmaster Tools. In only what I can call an “April Fools prank posted days before April Fools”, Search Engine Watch posted this article that says that Google is expanding the Not Provided keywords to Google Webmaster Tools, taking away even more keyword data from site owners.
This is absolutely a prank article, and you should not believe it. [Read more…]
Well, um, this is embarrassing. Especially at a time when Google is pushing the mobile version of websites, wanting all of us to make sure that our websites are mobile friendly by April 21st. A recent search this morning revealed that the mobile version of Google.com is ranking well in Google’s own search results. I searched for the title of a blog post I wrote on Saturday night about a lawsuit. And, low and behold, Google’s mobile version (of Google Plus) is ranking #3 for that search query. Take a look:
I was just granted access to the new Google Webmaster Tools Search Impact report, which is going to be available in Google Webmaster Tools. The Search Impact report is currently in Alpha (not even in Beta yet), but it offers a lot more insight into what’s going on with your website. If you’ve been granted access it should show up at the URL above. It will eventually show up for everyone who has a Google Webmaster Tools account, and you’ll be able to analyze more search data about your site. Here is a sneak peak of what the Search Impact report looks like and what you’ll be able to do and see with this report. [Read more…]
If you are using structured data on your website, or marking up your website’s code using schema.org code, it could ultimately cost you page views and visits from Google. By allowing marking using structured data on your website, you are allowing Google to use the data in any way they see fit–and Google is taking full advantage of that. [Read more…]
Google has removed the Google Carousel from the search results. A search for keyword phrases such as Dallas Hotels, Chicago Hotels, and New York Hotels, popular searches that previously showed the Google Carousel, now shows a different type of search result, which is similar to the traditional map pack. This has been phased out, and there is no Google Carousel anymore for any of the local searches. Google removed carousel. For good. Does this mean that the Google Carousel failed?
So, instead of showing photos of the hotels at the top of the search results that, when clicked, caused a branded search to occur and another set of search results to appear, more “traditional” type of search results are now showing. The search results for cityname + hotels shows specific hotels, but the PPC ads are prominent along with the organic, natural search results. [Read more…]
Google has decided to shut down its operations in Spain, and will no longer include any Spanish publishers in Google News. Google’s reasoning behind this is the new Spanish law that requires every Spanish publication to charge services like Google News for showing even the smallest snippet from their publications, whether they want to or not. [Read more…]
While searching Google today for a random search query, I noticed that the first search result was kind of odd. The Instragram post was a travel photo and it had nothing to do with the query that I just searched for. But that’s actually what didn’t surprise me. I’m not surprised by Google showing off-topic results for certain search queries. What shocked me was that apparently Google says that the post was made on Jan 17, 1970.
Yep, you got that right. Take a look at the screen capture:
Google has started displaying new mobile friendly tag in the search results to show which sites are mobile-friendly and which sites are not. So, if your site is mobile-friendly, and someone is searching on a mobile device, and your site shows up in the search results, it will get a special tag in the search results.
Google just updated or “refreshed” the knowledge graph data within the past 24 hours. I have knowledge graph data showing up for a search for my name, Bill Hartzer, and I’ve been constantly watching the data, as it was previously incorrect: and it appears that they just updated the information within the past few hours.
Here is what the previous knowledge graph data/sidebar in the Google search results looked like for my name:
The new Inbox by Gmail, launched just recently, does not work with email accounts set up through Google Apps. My company, for example, uses our Gmail accounts for our email. And, I use Gmail even on my phone for email. So, I was kind of excited to try the new Inbox by Gmail. But, when I got the invite from Google, I downloaded the app, and got the following after installing it:
Don’t worry, it’s not your fault or your organization’s fault. Inbox by Gmail won’t work with Google Apps.
Wow, this is something that I found rather funny… Google just announced Inbox by Gmail, a new type of service that handles all of your appointments, calendar, and emails (and some other stuff) in one place. OK, so that’s really cool. If it works. I’d like to be one of the first to try it. [Read more…]
Starting yesterday, Google started showing Knowledge Graph results from Freebase in the search results for my name, Bill Hartzer. What’s interesting to note is that this is the first time that I’ve seen a direct example of Google using Freebase data. We’ve known for quite some time that Google owns Freebase, but for the first time I have proof that Google’s pulling data from Freebase. [Read more…]
There’s been a lot of chatter lately about whether or not sites should move their sites from HTTP to HTTPs. In fact, there apparently was a study done that said that apparently proved that you should not move from HTTP to HTTPS because there’s no benefit. Well, all I can do is continue to report my specific results for this site, on www.BillHartzer.com, and show you my data. [Read more…]
Over the weekend, Jim Hedger noticed that there were huge fluctuations in the numbers of links that were being reported in Google Webmaster Tools. He’s reportedly seen as much as 500,000 links reported, and then at a later time it was less than 1,000 links. Based on my own site’s link data, I’m now seeing over 200,000 links being reported.
From my past experiences, I’ve come to find out that Google Webmaster Tools, in the past, would not show more then 100,000 links, even for websites that I’ve worked on that have over 8 million links. So, doing a link cleanup project on a site with 8 million links: Google Webmaster Tools was pretty much useless. [Read more…]
I rarely disagree with advice given by authors of articles that appear on Search Engine Land, but in this case, I wholeheartedly, and undeniably, disagree with some recent advice about HTTP and HTTPs sites. In a recent article, Daniel Cristo recommended that “if you’re running a blog, brochure site, news site, or any sort of information site where users don’t provide you with any personal information, I would recommend not using HTTPS.” He provides several reasons, which are completely false and unjustified, and generally gives advice that I disagree with. [Read more…]
In Google Webmaster Tools, there is a useful report called the Search Queries report. This report shows your website’s impressions in Google organic search, the clicks to your website, and the average position (of your ranking). Typically, I review this repor from time to time, but I don’t necessarily look at it as often as I look at Google Analytics. What should you do if your impressions and clicks go down drastically? Perhaps like this:
While reviewing Google Analytics for a few websites today, it appears that Google Analytics has a problem with deciding whether or not Google Plus is a website–or if it is a social media website. In Google Analytics, some of the traffic to your site will be reported as a referral, while other traffic, seemingly a random number, will be reported as social traffic.
Let’s take a look at a random site that I have Google Analytics access to, and look at referrals from Google Plus. In this case, I filtered the “All Traffic” down to only plus.google.com: [Read more…]