The main topics of conversation on Google Webmaster this month have been speed, customisation and translation.
Around a year ago Google introduced ‘instant pages’ on Google Chrome. They have been monitoring the feedback through Google Webmaster and this month announced that they have saved over a thousand years of user’s time. They are very happy with these results and will therefore be increasing how often they trigger the feature.
On May 8th Google announced 2 improvements to sorting and filtering results in their custom search engine (CSE). You can now specify additional ‘sort by’ keys based on the structure of your sites content. In addition to that you can now also make compact queries for filtering by attribute.
In December 2011 Google Webmasters announced annotations for sites that target users in many languages and optionally, countries.
The annotations describing a group of equivalent pages were implemented using rel-alternate-hreflang link elements in the HTML of each page in the cluster.
This month they’re adding support for specifying the rel-alternate-hreflang annotations in Sitemaps.
Refer to the full article for full details on how Google are working to improve the internationalisation of multilingual sites.
Finally this month, staying on the international theme, Google has just introduced a new experimental feature that lets you customise and improve how the Website Translator translates your site.
Since the launch of the Website Translator plug-in in 2009 more than a million websites have added the plug-in.
Google claims that once you have added the meta tag to your site, visitors will see your customised translations whenever they translate the page; even if they translate through Chrome or Google Toolbar. Consumers will also be able to ‘suggest a better translation’ when they notice that something is not quite right; which in turn you can later accept and use the suggestion on your site.