Webmaster Central and Best Practices – Adam Lasnik – Google India SearchMasters ’09
Articles,  Blog

Webmaster Central and Best Practices – Adam Lasnik – Google India SearchMasters ’09


>>LASNIK: So, I’m going to be chatting with
you for about the next hour and a half or so. But don’t worry it’s not going to be all
me, there will definitely be some time for questions and certainly time also throughout
the day for questions as well. Not to mention even during lunch, all of us from Google will
certainly be joining you and I look forward to not only answering your questions but getting
your feedback as well. So, let’s take a look here at the big picture, why does Google care
about webmasters in the first place? And the very blunt truth is without webmasters, without
your content we don’t have a search engine. And we depend upon not only great content
in the aggregate but great local content, content that is local to India, the country,
each individual state, and perhaps the most importantly local, within each community.
We want to make you, the webmasters happy because when you are happier and have a better
understanding of how Google works, how you can get more of your great content in Google,
then you are more apt to stick with it to make more of that content. And then, from
there, users themselves are also happier. Happier users stay on web pages and use the
internet more as we can guess which means most likely more traffic and more revenue
for you as well. It ends up being a bit of a virtuous circle or cycle. How do we connect
with webmasters? There are three core components here. The first is tools. We provide to you
through Webmaster Tools and Webmaster Central a set of resources that enable you to better
understand how Google sees your sites. To diagnose problems and to actually make your
site more targeted for your users. We provide for you information through our blog and through
our forum, to help dispel myths and to help give you best practices. And unless you worry
by the way that I’m just going to be giving you an overview today, I promise you that
I will be giving you some very specific tips that you can take home and use when we get
into the best practice section of my presentation today. And then one of the other core parts
of how we connect with you is through discussions. So, in fact, I’d already mentioned about our
webmaster help forum and our India search quality guides that are actively participating
now. When I started about three years ago, we had just one forum and about two, two of
us that were spending some time on it and a third person that would spent about an hour
a week. And now we have more than a dozen forums in different languages around the world,
and these are to the ones just for webmasters. And dozens of Google guides along with many,
many other search experts that are helping to answer questions to take feedback and bring
it back to the search quality Googlers. Among the best practices, the areas of best practices
that I’ll be talking to you about today include the following. Discovery, getting more of
your pages actually found by Googlebot and then placed into the Index. Accessibility,
which is I feel one of the weakest points worldwide on the Web and one of the most important
facets for you being successful with Google and with users. And promotion, now that you
have that content that’s been discovered by Googlebot, you’ve made your site accessible.
Okay, what now? How do you actually get traffic? Qualified traffic and users? There is also
sort of a fun bonus that I want to mention ahead of time now for you. And that is going
to be what we are calling the site clinic in just a couple of hours. And that’s where
we will ask, any of you that are interested in having your site evaluated, both the good
and the bad commented upon by those of us from Google in front of everybody. And we
are going to ask you to be brave and in exchange with that we will give you good actionable
feedback. And in order to volunteer for that, we will invite you towards the end of my presentation,
I believe, to take your business card or to write your URL on a piece of paper and place
that within the bins that we’ll have here at the front. We will then select one or more
of those and we will then discuss your site, the strong points and some constructive criticisms
afterwards. Throughout my presentation, you’ll see a number of photos. That’s because it
is my desperate attempt to actually make my PowerPoint look somewhat interesting and decent.
I’ve spent my whole time at Google in Search Quality and I still haven’t learned how to
make a good PowerPoint. All the pictures you see will either be ones that I’ve taken or
will include a credit and I’ve taken them from one or more search engines on the Web
with a creative comments license that’s been attributed to them. This one is from Sparky
from Seattle. This one, and by the way is a very recent one when I was in Charminar,
my first time in India. And of course I wanted to do the touristy things, so, there is me
looking a bit like a tourist. Actually, a few other quick notes about me. Paul had already
had mentioned the number of things about my background particularly before Google. I am
certainly an overeducated geek. I was doing email before there was much of a public internet
in fact. An American very close network called Protégé Online Systems. And even then
I was a very vocal brat and I was telling them how to make forums and I helped them
establish their very first teen forum, perhaps one of the first online actually. Since then
I have hoped to establish in my own forums both in Google and outside beforehand. And
I’m also certainly a passionate Googler, so, I’ve been with Google as I’d mentioned for
three years. I’m very excited about many of the products that Google offers me. So, if
you do have questions in other products, I can’t answer officially but maybe I have some
thoughts on things ranging from Google Reader to Calendar and so on. Happy traveler and
artist, it’s my very first time in India. I have been fortunate enough to visit a lot
of the world. None of which prepared me for India. It has been an amazing experience so
far, everything from the actual real spicy food to the traffic, the colors and everything
in between. I wish my stay was longer, but after Chennai tomorrow I’d then end up going
to Tokyo, in Japan. My role at Google has already been defined a bit as a search evangelist;
my core role has been helping to strengthen the communications between Google and webmasters
in both directions. It’s also have been to help elevate the resources we have. All the
pillars of webmasters central to help you, help yourself as webmasters and SCOs. The
ultimate goal for us at Google and hopefully for those of you here as well is to improve
the quality of search. It’s not only about your individual sites; it’s about making the
Web better, making the Web better also for India. Just a brief few notes on how Google
supports you, and the core categories, Tools, not only Webmaster Tools but also Website
Optimizer which we will be talking about later today. With information, again, not only from
Webmaster Tools but also Analytics. You’ll see a lot of overlap with these different
resources that we offer you. I recommend that you use as many of them as you can because
each will give you slightly overlapping but distinctly useful information on the whole.
And, of course, also our help center and Google blog, and the discussions that I’ve already
talked about in our Help form. We’ve also done a number of live events. One of them,
for instance, was called June Tune held this last June. These have had up to 700 people
calling in on the phone or listening to our audio broadcast where we have scrambled to
answer literally hundreds of questions in writing and in speaking in the course of just
over an hour. The Googlers that are helping you and helping the Web, these are all in
the aggregate members of the Search Quality team and they include many, many people here
in India both in Bangalore and Hyderabad and beyond. The core responsibilities on the people
on this team that interact with webmasters are to analyze how the Web is and what is
there and what the challenges are. I believe that I’ve already given you a bit of an India
centric picture of the Web and Mobile and Broadband. To build the tools, they can help
make you better webmasters and bring your sites to the next level. To connect with you
to not only find out what tools you want but also to hear your feedback about your site
and so no, and lastly, to document this within our Help Center. This involves writers and
UI people, product managers and others. The people who work with webmasters specifically
on this team actually had to specifically apply or audition to be in that group of search
quality. It’s one of the most popular areas of Google Search quality. Our guiding principles,
we want and insist upon having fairness which includes sites of all sizes, advertisers and
those, those who advertise with Google, those who do not advertise with Google. I guess
this is a good time for me to make a brief comment about that specifically. We really
love our advertisers. And the important part here is we also really love those who do not
advertise with Google, who do not use AdWords and AdSense. These are completely separate
systems. Regardless of what rumors you may hear, there is no interplay between the servers
of search and the servers of AdSense and AdWords. They are different teams, different buildings,
different people, different systems. Effectiveness is one of the other core principles. We want
to make sure that the work we do with you is helping to not only–it help you but help
search, help the Web and last is scalability. Again all types of sites, all users, all languages.
And my goodness, have I learned how many languages you have here in India and the challenges
that we face in supporting more and more of them. And, of course, in all countries. Here
is a picture of the many people who are better looking than I am. This is many but not all
of the folks in Google Search Quality in India. Here is just a quick screenshot. I hope and
expect most of you would have the chance to explore the Master Central. That’s what it
looks like. I’ll give you the URL again later. And that’s about all the say on that slide.
A few specific notes about two core parts of Webmaster Central. Our Tools and our Blog.
Here are a few of the things that you can do with Webmaster Tools. Some of which you
might not yet have tried. You can diagnose issues including crawl errors when Googlebot
actually couldn’t get to some of your pages. Robots.txt concerns. This means when we found
this are very–more often than you’d expect. Many times Webmasters will ask us, why did
you suddenly drop half of our site or even all of our sites? Did we do something wrong?
And what we find more often than you’d expect is that someone has uploaded an old robots.txt
file to their server when they were redoing some stuff where they had the under construction
version and it blocked a huge part of their site from Googlebot and other search engines.
Actually we have a diagnosis tool. They can pop up in a little red box saying, “Hey, do
you mean to be blocking us?” You can change settings. You can tell us what your canonical
domain is. You can also now–this is pretty recent, adjust the slider to tell us, “Please
crawl us more quickly or crawl my server slower, please.” You can get insights including Backlinks.
One of you had sent a question asking, “Why is it that when I do a site calling mysite.com,
I don’t get the same type of results, the same list as I do when I look in Webmaster
Tools? Which one is right?” And the answer is they’re both right but the site:–excuse
me; it’s just giving you a sampling. Our goal is to process requests on the main search
engine as quickly as we can to save resources, but when you on a practically comprehensive
in full list of your Backlinks, those pages that are linking to you. Use Webmaster Tools.
You can even download this as a CSV file and play with it there. And then lastly on tools.
You can make improvements. For instance, a relatively new–a tool we have will allow
you to improve your 404 air pages with relevant links for your users. That means happier users.
That means users that instead of clicking off somewhere else and going to a competitor,
I’m more likely to stay on your site. And you can also share your SiteMaps with us to
let us know which ones you have, Geo, HTML, video and so on. From the Webmaster–looking
a bit like a tourist. I actually have a few other quick notes about me. Paul had already
mentioned a number of things about my background particularly before Google. I am certainly
an overeducated geek. I was doing email before there was much of a public internet, in fact,
on American, very close in that work called Protégé Online Systems. And even then
I was a very vocal brat and I was telling them how to make forms and I helped them established
their very first teen forum. Perhaps one of the first online actually, since then I have
hoped to establish in my own forms both in Google and outside beforehand. And I’m also
certainly a passionate Googler. So I’ve been with Google as I’ve mentioned for three years.
I’m very excited about many of the products that Google offers me. So if you do have questions
in other products, I can’t answer officially but maybe I have some thoughts on things ranging
from Google Reader to Calendar and so on. Happy traveler and artist. It’s my very first
time in India. I have been fortunate enough to visit a lot of the world. None of which
prepared me for India. It has been an amazing experience so far, everything from the actual
real spicy food to the traffic, the colors and everything in between. I wish my stay
was longer but after Chennai tomorrow, I then end up going to Tokyo in Japan. My role at
Google has already been defined a bit. As a search evangelist, my core role has been
helping to strengthen the communications between Google and Webmasters in both directions.
It’s also been to help elevate the resources we have, all the pillars of Webmaster Central,
to help you help yourself as webmasters and as CEOs. The ultimate goal for us at Google,
and hopefully for those of you here as well, is to improve the quality of search. It’s
not only about your individual sites. It’s about making the web better, making the web
better also for India. Just a brief few notes on how Google supports you in the core categories,
tools, not only Webmaster Tools, but also Website Optimizer, which we’ll be talking
about later today. With information, again, not only from Webmaster Tools but also Analytics.
You’ll see a lot of overlap with these different resources that we offer you. I recommend that
you use as many of them as you can, because each will give you slightly overlapping but
distinctly useful information on the whole. And of course, also our help center and Google
blog, and the discussions I’ve already talked about in our help forum. We’ve also done a
number of live events. One of them, for instance, was called June Tune, held this last June.
These would had up to 700 people calling in on the phone or listening to our audio broadcast
where we have scrambled to answer literally hundreds of questions in writing and in speaking.
And, of course, with just over an hour. The Googlers that are helping you and helping
the Web, these are all in the aggregate members of the Search Quality team. And they include
many, many people here in India, both in Bangalore and Hyderabad, and beyond. The core responsibilities
of the people on this team that interact with webmasters are to analyze how the web is,
and what is their and what the challenges are. I believe that I have already given you
a bit of an India-centric picture of the Web and Mobile and Broadband. To build the tools,
they can help make you better webmasters and bring your sites to the next level. To connect
with you, to not only find out what tools you want but also to hear your feedback about
your sites and so on. And lastly, to document this within our help center. This involves
writers and UI people, product managers, and others. The people who work with webmasters
specifically on this team actually had to specifically apply or audition to be in that
group of Search Quality. It’s one of the most popular areas of Google Search Quality. Our
guiding principles. We want and insist upon having fairness, which includes sites of all
sizes, advertisers, and those who advertise with Google, those who do not advertise with
Google. I think this is a good time for me to make a brief comment about that specifically.
We really love our advertisers. And the important part here is we also really love those who
do not advertise with Google, who do not use AdWords and AdSense. These are completely
separate systems. Regardless of what rumors you may hear, there is no interplay between
the servers of search, and the servers of AdSense and AdWords. They are different teams,
different buildings, different people, and different systems. Effectiveness is one of
the other core principles. We want to make sure that the work we do with you is helping
to not only it help you but help the search, help the Web. And the last is scalability.
Again, all types of sites, all users, all languages. And my goodness, have I learned
how many languages you have here in India, and that the challenges that we face in supporting
more and more of them, and of course in all countries. Here’s a picture of the many people
who are better looking than I am. This is many but not all of the folks in Google search
quality in India. Here’s just a quick screenshot I hope and expect most of you have had the
chance to explore at Master Central. That’s what it looks like. I’ll give you the URL
again later. And that’s about all the say on that slide. A few specific notes about
two core parts of Webmaster Central, our two–our tools and our blog. Here are a few of the
things that you can do with Webmaster Tools, some of which you might not yet have tried.
You can diagnose issues including crawl errors when Google blog actually couldn’t get to
some of your pages. Robots.text concerns. This means we’ve found this all very, more
often than you’d expect. Many times webmasters will ask us, “Why did you suddenly drop half
of our site, or even all of our sites? Did we do something wrong?” And what we find,
more often than you’d expect, is that someone has uploaded an old robot.txt file to their
server when they were redoing some stuff, where they had the under-construction version.
And it blocked a huge part of their site from Googlebot or in other search engines. So we
actually have a diagnosis tool. They can pop-up in a little red box saying, “Hey, do you mean
to be blocking us?” You can change the settings. You can tell us what your canonical domain
is. You can also now, it’s just pretty recent, adjust the slider to tell us: “Please crawl
us more quickly or crawl my server slower, please.” You can get insights including Backlinks.
One of you had sent a question asking: “Why is it that when I do a site call on mysite.com,
I don’t get the same type of results, the same list, as I do when I look in Webmaster
Tools? Which one is right?” And the answer is they’re both right. But the site calling–excuse
me–is just giving you a sampling. Our goal is to process request on the main search engine
as quickly as we can to save resources. But when you are on a practically comprehensive
and fullest of your Backlinks, those pages that are linking to you use Webmaster Tools.
You can even download this as a CSV file and play with it there. And then lastly on tools,
you can make improvements. For instance, a relatively new tool we have will allow you
to improve your 404 error pages with relevant links for your users. That means half of your
users. That means users that instead of clicking off somewhere else and going to a competitor
are more likely to stay on your sites. And you can also share your SiteMaps with us to
let us know which ones you have, GEO, HTML, video, and so on. From our Webmaster Central
blog, you can get the best–the best practice tips and info, learn about ways to add useful,
more useful content to your sites, and also read about the latest enhancements in tools
and so on. So, how do you help Google find your pages? Let me first tell you what is
probably not a good way. We have a service that’s called the add-your-URL page. I’m guessing
that in the vast majority of cases, Google already has one or more of your pages index,
but you just want more of the index so you want them ranked higher. This tool then is
not for you. That is only one Google does not know about your site at all, a new domain.
The ones that you probably, the methods you probably want to be looking at are SiteMaps.
These are two–you have two different kinds here: HTML and XML. The HTML is the user-facing,
user-friendly one that is essentially a page or a small set of pages on your site that
list every core page on your site. And let me tell you for busy and impatient users,
this is a great option. They just want it quickly. They know what page they want. They
want to be able to just do a Control F on the page and find it. They don’t want to use
the search on your site or navigate. Don’t disappoint your users. Have that available
for them. And that also can help Google because it’s–you have a set of links compacted on
one or a few pages. It can help Googlebot find more easily some of your pages especially
when it is paired with an XML site then. You can learn more about our XML sitemaps at sitemaps.org.
And I am very pleased to say this is not just a Google initiative. This is an initiative
sponsored by many of the major search engines which includes Yahoo and Microsoft. We all
look at the same SiteMap file. This file tells–tells Google and the other search engines, “Hey,
these are all the pages that I want you to know about on my site. Here’s how often they’re
changing. Here is the priority of these pages as well.” And here you see, as a very short
example of what sitemap page may look like. Unfortunately, thanks to my great PowerPoint
skills, I’ve hidden some of the commentary on quality links. And I believe what I was
getting at in that point was these SiteMaps will not substitute for you having great content
and links from authoritative and trusted relevant sites. So they will help in discovering but
will not elevate your site or your pages in importance. So, with that said, I wanted to
touch a bit more about links. What are good links, what are not such good links and so
on? The properties of good links, or in a way, they’re very much like friends. You do
not–they are attracted naturally. This again comes from good contents, and from having
people naturally say, “Hey, I like this page.” They tend to be from trustworthy, relevant
and choosy sources, and I’ll talk a little bit more of the choosy part in a moment. They
are similar to votes. They are given consciously, intentionally and personally. So now that
you know a bit about what are good links, how do you get them? I’ve mentioned about
creating that notable site. Okay, fine, fine, the original content now that we know it.
But another option is to participate thoughtfully in communities. Now the people who are more
lazy than you will misconstrue this and they will say, “Yeah, I know how to participate.
I’m just going to go and post in a bunch of blogs saying, “Hi, check out my site. Thank
you.” You’ve all seen it. And we all hate it. And let me tell you, Google is onto that.
While it may have once offered some leg up, I will tell you that we are very good at being
able to recognize, this is not a quality link. This desperate one is not a quality link.
So okay that’s–that’s the “bad quality” participation. Good quality participation is taking what
you are an expert in. If you’re on a travel site and you know a lot about cruises and
you’re actually passionate about cruises, participate in discussions. When someone says,
“Hey, I don’t even know is it worth upgrading to one of the outside rooms. It’s a lot more.”
And you can say, “Well, you know, here are some considerations. There maybe a difference
in your seasickness level, and actually we found on this particular cruise lines being
on one of the outside rooms is really worth the money.” These kinds of tips that you can
offer both on your site and responsibly on other sites, this makes you the respected
expert. This gets you links, something else that–okay, once you have that great site
and you have that respect division. I’ve seen again and again, where webmasters shoot themselves
in the foot by not making their pages easy to link to. So my sister is, I guess like
many women, she’s into shoes. I wanted to send her a link to this really cool pair of
shoes because she was heading off to a wedding. And there was no actual link, any address
where I could send her. All I could do is say, “Amanda, go to this site.” And then you
click on the dress shoes, then you click on women, then you see when you scroll over on
this value scroll three or four over, oh, come on. If I can barely tell my sister and
if I can’t link to it, how is that getting page rank? How is that being shared? They’re
just shooting themselves in the foot. And that applies a lot to Flash sites. Don’t focus
on beauty, focus on function. And then lastly a couple–a couple of quick comments on links
that aren’t worth it, I’ve already hit upon that a bit. If you have to beg or trade or
buy or bargain, no, when we as Google see someone that is selling links, you can darn
well bet that those links are not going to be worth even one rupee at all. If you find
a directory that accepts absolutely anyone, any site, how useful do you think that really
is? If you’re a user and you see a directory and the sites are completely not vetted, it’s
not useful for users, it’s not useful for you as a link. If you run or on of your clients
runs a directory, let me tell you a tip, make it exclusive. Make it so that not that you
have to pay necessarily but that you accept only the best, the most important and relevant
sites, then that can be worth something. Great contents; it is original. Someone asked in
the questions that were submitted beforehand. “Hey, what do you think about article basis?”
If an article can be found on this article based on your site, and on 4,200 other sits
around the web, how special do you think that is? No, it is not. Because that is content
you can find anywhere. If it is copied from Wikipedia, if it is simply the reviews copied
from Amazon, it really is not worth much. And when I say that it is not worth much to
users, it is not worth much for Linkjuice. Compelling, you know it when you see it. People
are likely to link to it and share it. And my favorite part, accessible. That is when
not only users can access it but also Googlebot and Search Engines. So here–here are some
thoughts on accessibility for you. Your site is accessible when both users and Googlebots
can load all the pages that you want them to load, can navigate successfully from page
to page, can see what’s on each page, and can understand the content. All of those are
critical components in having more of your site in Google, having it show up more in
search results and having users being able to use and link to your content. Users should
be able to Bookmark. I already talked about that with the shoes. One thing that people
should keep in mind, too, when you Bookmark that title of that page is what gets put in
that person’s Bookmark. If that title is simply dress shoes, that’s awful. It doesn’t tell
when you go back and you look at those Bookmarks, what company was that. Was it an article about
dress shoes? Was it my favorite company? I don’t know. It doesn’t–that bookmark is–is
useless. So this is yet another reason and I’ll talk more about that that you want your
Title Tags to be excellent. This is one of the Title Tags and I’m jumping ahead of myself.
Focusing on optimizing responsibly your Title Tags is one of the best things you can do.
And you might laugh and say, “Oh, gosh. That’s just for like newbie SCO people.” No, this
is one of those tricks that helps. You want to also be able to transact on your site.
Can someone without JavaScript buy a product on your site? Can they submit a form on the
contact us. When I was doing some informal audits of American Government websites, I
was really impressed that one of the sites actually openly said, “We as your government
officials want to hear from you. Please send us your questions and feedback.” I thought,
“Wow, that’s great.” And then just to test for accessibility, I turned my JavaScript
off on my browser. I couldn’t submit the form. I wrote the–I wrote the letter, couldn’t
send it. That–that is–imagine, not everyone has JavaScript on and a lot of people don’t
have Flash on their browser, on their phone and so on. You are missing out. You are missing
on sales. You are missing traffic, the sustainable traffic when your site is not accessible.
This with accessibility is the one word you want to absolutely click and tattoo on your
head and that is text. Again, it sounds so simple; Googlebot loves text, natural, original
text. If you can trust this with putting your company’s name in a logo, okay, maybe you
can use an Alt text, we can understand that. It’s still better to have the core information
in text. If you have a chart, talk about it in text. If you have a site that features
some videos and you have a video page for a message from you CEO, don’t just have that
video message from your CEO in that page, talk about what that video means in text.
So text is–as I’ve been getting out here is the universal language. Flash, a text in
Flash in JavaScript may not work for accessibility. Now, Google has been getting better. You may
have read that we actually entered into a partnership with the Adobe to better understand
the text and links within Flash. But we’re not perfect. We still have a long ways to
go.
So with all this talk about accessibility. What are some specific ways in which you can
test the accessibility of your sites? Look at it in a mobile browser, whether that is
a small phone with a really small screen browser or an iPhone with a bigger screen or a Blackberry.
I have a Blackberry for instance and I love it. But I’ve been stunned at just how rudimentary
their browser is. And how many challenges that I face when I simply want to find out
a movie time, when I want to find out a company’s address because I left my paper at home. If
I cannot get such a basic simple info from my cell phone, this is what we call website
fail. Try also with a text-only browser perhaps like Lynx or in your browser setting turn
images and JavaScript off. Can you get the information you want? Can you engage in transactions
that you need to do? By transactions, I mean, submit an email of–on a form, send a request,
buy something and so on. The last part of this test of accessibility is to have a friend,
spouse, and colleague, give it a try and say, “Hey, honey, I’ve just been upgrading my website.
Can you please try and see if you can find where my upcoming sale in this quarter for
my company? Can you find where our latest stock report is?” And if he or she can’t find
that, particularly on their phone or on their browser, you have a problem. So from accessibility,
the next step is to understanding. And before we get to this, this is the mascot, the early
mascot of Google. You may not have known that but in a lot of our early internal documentation
and internal code names, we love the lemur. That actually is a picture I took of a lemur
in Sweden that had jumped over my head and was asking for a picture, or at least it looks
that way. So now that you made your sites accessible, how do you make it understandable?
Title tags we’ve already mentioned and I’ll give an example in a bit. Photos, use of tags,
these are the tags within your image, image tag in HTML that explain what that image is
about and why it’s important. That helps Google and for users that are on slow connections
or have images turned off, it really helps them as well. And as I already discussed particularly
with regards to multimedia pages absolutely add thoughtful context in a form of a commentary
or description and text and so on. So I actually was having a hard time finding some titles
that I absolutely loved, but I want to at least to make sure you understand when I’m
talking about titles, that is exactly what shows up in Google. That’s just yet another
reason why your Title Tag is so important. What makes for a good title? They are specific
to the page, not just to your company. They mention, however, the company and organization
and they are phrase-based, not a full sentence and please, not just a huge string of keywords.
In fact, actually, that’s a sort of a good larger piece of advice. Strings of keywords,
generally not good. They’re not good on your page. They’re not good hidden from your page.
Okay, meta keywords, that’s not going to hurt you. That’s fine. But your meta description
and your title, strings of keywords in all users and they don’t do anything for you for
Googlebot. Google has gotten really, really good across languages, at understanding synonyms
and essentially understanding concepts. So don’t get caught in a keyword trap. An example
in my mind of what a good title would be, would be for instance, restaurant name, serving
true–in the Hyderabad area, lunch menu. So that tells what it is with the company, I
have a company and the restaurant name. Where it is? A very short description of what they’re
doing and perhaps also, okay this is the lunch menu or daily specials. So medium length,
descriptive not obnoxious. So images, how can you make the most of those? I’ve already
talked about using Alt text. Here’s the good example, Googlebot with flowers. A bad example
would be photo of Googlebot with red eyes and silver body, blah, blah, blah, blah. The
first one is more succinct, it tells you just really in a short bit of what it’s about.
To give you another example if you have a chart. A good, good title, a good Alt tag
for that would be chart demonstrating doubling and housing price is in the Bay area from
2000 to 2004. That is great because it gives people the gist of that, of that graphic.
In this case, we didn’t really have to say photo because it’s pretty clear, it’s a photo
and by saying Googlebot with flowers it’s pretty obvious, it’s not a chart or a logo.
So you want to also use descriptive filenames. When it comes out of your scanner or your
camera, the filename is like img62595.jpeg. That’s not really useful for users when they’re
taking a look off-line, that’s not useful for Google. So rename it and don’t worry too
much about this, this is not critical but it can be helpful if you make a short renaming
that says, like in two or three, or four words what that picture is. And you also, as I’ve
mentioned before we’re on to describing, give context in actual text around the image. Again,
don’t be obnoxious. If you have a photo gallery, you don’t need five paragraphs on each photo,
especially keywords stuff. But, if you have a page that is only photos, it’s going to
be hard to rank that if there is no text. And then, I think that most of you probably
are thoughtful about this, but a friend of mine when she was starting her business uploaded
full resolution photos right out of a five mega pixel camera and without, without compressing
in a jpeg format and that was just hellish for people to load. So just make a double
check that you’ve optimize that. So, I’ve actually, it looks like I’ve jumped ahead
to myself a little bit. Here is also another example where using smart page titles is helpful,
particularly when you have a page that is mostly photos, mostly videos, that page title
also help us understand for video search, image search, etc. what those are, what those
may be about. And so now getting very much towards the end, I’d like to leave you with
some specific next steps. To make your pages discoverable, please ensure that your site
has both an HTML and a XML sitemap, and one of the cool things about XML sitemaps by the
way is not only does the main Google search engineers that, but our fine fellow here Rajat
who is going to talk to you about the custom search engine will also remind you that the
CSC also takes advantage of that same SiteMap. When we’re talking about sitemaps, also remember
there are many different types, there’s a video, geo and so on. And you can get all
of this information within our Webmaster Central. Help your users access and understand your
contents by creating the distinct and descriptive Title Tags, annotating images with appropriate
Alt text and then all of your media with thoughtful surrounding context and summarizing text.
On Webmaster Central, please visit and bookmark the Webmaster Central homepage which is www.google.co.in/webmasters.
Sign up for Webmaster Tools and verify your site. And I know that many of you may think,
“Okay, okay, I’ve already done that.” But I’m not going to pick on specific people,
but from the survey, I know there are actually many of you have not yet done that. And I
know it’s because you are waiting to hear about it, about it today and are going to
go home and do it tonight. And then subscribe to our Official Webmaster Blog. We now have
an option were you can actually get emails from it, of course that you guys are certainly
welcome and able to use it and our Assess Reader with it as well. We are one of the
few, the proud Google Blogs that has open comments, and so, well, we ask that you don’t
post unrelated issues or questions on each item. We very much welcome your questions
and feedback that are specific to each post that we make and we really do read all the
comments. When we don’t address them directly within the comments and you don’t get a reply,
please don’t take that personally. We are very often using those questions, excuse me–to
answer related–as we the Googlers. But there have been amazing experts really, really smart
Webmasters, SCO’s, who have also volunteered their time and helped other people. And by
the way, as a little bit of a selfish secret, you may have already realized one of the best
ways to establish your expertise, your thoughtfulness and your intelligence when it comes to Google
search is to also be an active, smart participant in our forum because you get that profile
ink, don’t be thinking about that in terms of juice or pay drink or any that stuff, that’s
not the issue here. That link is saying, is what people will notice, “Wow, you know that
one guy, that one woman, they’ve been so thoughtful and helpful to me. Maybe I should just hire
them. Maybe I could have them build my site.” So whether it’s on our forum or other forums,
being that thoughtful expert is so, so useful. As I think many of you have already figured
out. And lastly on that forum, there is a perennial set of threads called Introduce
Yourself. And also, this is one of my favorites, were you just mention your name, what site
you’re with and this is a great way to become involved as part of that community. And with
that set, I will close with this picture that I actually–I don’t know who took it but I
have to give credit to a few of my fellow Googler folks. Gayle Lockman, Bob Day and
Sean Egan who aren’t with us this afternoon–this morning but they built this out of logos and
I just, I thought it was really cool.

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