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Google Webmaster Central Blog – February 2013 Round Up

Matt Cutts posted an article on 22nd February, aimed at webmasters of all skill and experience levels. In this article, Matt explains how selling links which pass PageRank is non-adhering to Google guidelines and if discovered by Google, your website rankings and PageRank could be affected.

All the latest from the Google Webmaster Central Blog for last month

Google emphasise the importance of using only legitimate and quality link building tactics with the main aim of improving their search engine and giving search engine users fair and honest results which have not been manipulated by illegitimate practises.

If you have received a warning message regarding selling links which pass PageRank and therefore could be intended to manipulate Google search listings and PageRank, your website could be at risk and is an indication that it has lost trust in the Google index. If this is your situation, there is still something you can do about it.

Cutts states “To address the issue, make sure that any paid links on your site don’t pass PageRank. You can remove any paid links or advertorial pages, or make sure that any paid hyperlinks have the rel=”nofollow” attribute. After ensuring that no paid links on your site pass PageRank, you can submit a reconsideration request and if you had a manual webspam action on your site, someone at Google will review the request. After the request has been reviewed, you’ll get a notification back about whether the reconsideration request was granted or not.”

Google take this issue very seriously and highly recommend not selling links which pass PageRank in order to prevent lower PageRank for your site, loss of trust, lower search rankings or in the worst case, complete removal from Google’s search results.

Read the full article here: A reminder about selling links that pass PageRank.


In this video blog which is aimed at beginner to intermediate webmasters, Maile Ohye explains how to make the most out of search queries in Webmaster Tools. In this simple and informative presentation, webmasters can learn some of the basic tools needed to maximise your websites performance and ensure that clicks bring in qualified traffic to your site.

This video describes the vocabulary of Search Queries, such as:

  • Impressions – a measure of the number of times an ad is displayed, whether it is clicked on or not. Each time an ad displays it is counted as one impression.
  • Average position (only the top-ranking URL for the user’s query is factored in our calculation).
  • Click – The amount of times a search user acually clicks on your ad.
  • CTR (click through rate) – A way of measuring the success of an online advertising campaign for a particular website as well as the effectiveness of an email campaign by the number of users that clicked on a specific link.

The video also reviews an approach to investigating Top queries and Top pages:

  • Prepare by understanding your website’s goals and your target audience (then using Search Queries “filters” to support your knowledge).
  • Sort by clicks in Top queries to understand the top queries bringing searchers to your site (for the given time period).
  • Sort by CTR to notice any missed opportunities.
  • Categorise queries into logical buckets that simplify tracking your progress and staying in touch with users’ needs.
  • Sort Top pages by clicks to find the URLs on your site most visited by searchers (for the given time period).
  • Sort Top pages by impressions to find valuable pages that can be used to help feature your related, high-quality, but lower-ranking pages.

To view the video click here: Make the most of Search Queries in Webmaster Tools.