Being such a global player, Google often have to build sites in different languages and this presents its own unique set of challenges. The Webmaster Tools team takes us through the pitfalls of multilingual site construction.
Another tool that Google is improving is Rich snippets which is very useful in determining whether a particular web page has the information you are looking for or not. Google has now introduced this service for software applications as well, usefully putting this information right in the search results. Another major bugbear for webmasters that Google has addressed recently is reconsideration requests. In days gone by if your site didn’t feature in Google search results or featured poorly, it wasn’t always possible to find out why. Google sought to address this with reconsideration requests. They have now gone further and webmasters should now get feedback on their reconsideration requests, giving them more information on the reason for the poor performance of their site. Finally some techy pagination tips from the Google meisters on how to consolidate indexing properties.
Google’s update affects how they categorize internal and external backlinks. Previously only links that started with your exact URL would be categorized as internal links. Now Google has relaxed the parameters to allow subdomains and the like to count as internal links. Your total number of links should remain unaffected by this change.
Google give us the lowdown on how they deal with PDF files when they pop up in their trawler nets and how we can influence how they are indexed.
So you’re going global, and you need your website to follow. Should be a simple case of getting the text translated and you’re good to go, right? Probably not. The Google Webmaster Team frequently builds sites that are localized into over 40 languages, so here are some things that they take into account when launching their pages in both other languages and regions. Even if you think you might be immune to these issues because you only offer content in English, it could be that non-English language visitors are using tools like Google Translate to view your content in their language. This traffic should show up in your analytics dashboard, so you can get an idea of how many visitors are not viewing your site in the way it’s intended.
Rich snippets are a cool way for users to rate a product and Google has already used them for things like shopping and recipes. Now they are applying them to software applications, placing that information right in the search results for everyone to see.
Google gives more feedback to webmasters on poorly performing websites. In the past it has always been difficult for webmasters to find out why their websites were underperforming or not figuring at all. Google originally tried to deal with this by offering their reconsideration service, whereby a webmaster could ask Google to reconsider a website that was performing badly. Google initially just sent a confirmation of reception; then they started sending a second message confirming that they had processed the request. They have now started sending a more detailed reply as to how the request fared. All good news for webmasters.
Much as they did with rel=”canonical” and duplicate content, Google are now letting you use the HTML link elements rel=”next” and rel=”prev” to indicate the relationship between component URLs in a paginated series. This should allow webmasters to let Google know how they would like the crawlers to consolidate the indexing properties of a series of pages for instance and also to let Google know which page they want users sent to (typically the first page of a series).