Google Webmaster Blog – March Roundup

In this month’s roundup of Webmaster, we take a look at what Google have done to enhance the most popular feature in Webmaster Tools and how they have made it faster to search for Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) users.

Five Common Mistakes made in SEO

Many people make mistakes when planning their SEO strategy. Google have outlined the five most common ones to be aware of.

  1. Having no value proposition – You should not assume that your site will automatically rank in the number 1 position without knowing why it is helpful to searchers. You need to let Google know your company’s USP
  2. Segmented Approach – Make sure you work in tandem with all departments of your company, You need to be aiming for the same goals in SEO search and marketing campaigns.
  3. Quick Fixes – Avoid implementing quick fixes rather than researching news features or best practices that could simplify development in the long term.
  4. SEO Fads- Focus on the fundamental tasks/efforts that will bring lasting visitors as opposed to spending time obsessing about the latest trick.
  5. Slow Iteration- Aim to simplify where possible, aim to work in an environment where the infrastructure and/or processes make improving your site or even testing possible improvements difficult.

These five mistakes might seem very minor but they are the most common ones made in SEO plans and they can make a big difference to your companies website.

Up Coming Changes in Google’s HTTP Referrer

Google Webmaster have announced that Google web search will soon be using a new proposal to reduce latency, when a user of Google SSL search clicks on a search result with a modern browser, such as chrome.

Starting in April, the browsers with appropriate support will be using the referrer meta tag to automatically simplify the referring URL that is sent by the browser when visiting a page.

The main reason for Google doing this is to remove any unneeded re-direct. So users that are signed in can reach their destination faster.

Pagination with rel=’next and rel=’prev’

Paginated content is content that spans over several pages or URLS, Such as an article or an e-commerce site.

You can now provide a strong hint to Google that you would like to treat these pages as a logical sequence by using rel=’next’ and rel=’prev’ mark up, which will send users to the first page of the sequence and take them through in the order you requested.

Crawl Errors the Next Generation

Google have announced some enhancements in crawl errors, which is one of the most popular features on Google Webmaster tools. They are now split into two categories of errors, Site errors and URL errors.

Site Errors
A site error is an error that affects the whole site not just one URL.

Site Errors

URL Errors
URL error is specific to a certain page.

URL Errors

Google have now focused on giving you the 1000 most important and actionable errors in each category as opposed to 100,000 errors in one go, which can be overwhelming. This will help people sort through their errors quicker, with addressing the most important ones first.

Safely Share Access to your Site in Webmaster Tools

Google have announced that you will now be able to let other users log on to your Webmaster Tools. They have added a new feature which allows the site owner to grant limited access to others, to view your sites data and settings.

They hope the addition of full and restricted users make management of your site easier since you can now grant access within a limited scope to help prevent undesirable or unauthorised changes.

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