Posted:
Webmaster level: all

In April, we launched App Indexing in English globally so deep links to your mobile apps could appear in Google Search results on Android everywhere. Today, we’re adding the first publishers with content in other languages: Fairfax Domain, MercadoLibre, Letras.Mus.br, Vagalume, Idealo, L'Equipe, Player.fm, Upcoming, Au Feminin, Marmiton, and chip.de. In the U.S., we now also support some more apps -- Walmart, Tapatalk, and Fancy.

We’ve also translated our developer guidelines into eight additional languages: Chinese (Traditional), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.



If you’re interested in participating in App Indexing, and your content and implementation are ready, please let us know by filling out this form. As always, you can ask questions on the mobile section of our webmaster forum.

Finally, if you’re headed to Google I/O in June, be sure to check out the session on the “Future of Apps and Search”, where we’ll share some more updates on App Indexing.

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Google uses a wide range of IP addresses for its different services, and the addresses may change without notification. Google App Engine is a Platform as a Service offering which hosts a wide variety of 3rd party applications. This post announces changes in the IP address range and headers used by the Google App Engine URLFetch (outbound HTTP) and outbound sockets APIs.

While we recommend that App Engine IP ranges not be used to filter inbound requests, we are aware that some services have created filters that rely on specific addresses. Google App Engine will be changing its IP range beginning this month. Please see these instructions to determine App Engine’s IP range.

Additionally, the HTTP User-Agent header string that historically allowed identification of individual App Engine applications should no longer be relied on to identify the application. With the introduction of outbound sockets for App Engine, applications may now make HTTP requests without using the URLFetch API, and those requests may set a User-Agent of their own choosing.


Posted:

Webmaster level: all

We're now offering webmasters an easy and free way to collect feedback from your website visitors with website satisfaction surveys. All you have to do is paste a small snippet of code in the HTML for your website and this will load a discreet satisfaction survey in the lower right hand corner of your website. Google automatically aggregates and analyzes responses, providing the data back to you through a simple online interface.


Users will be asked to complete a four-question satisfaction survey. Surveys will run until they have received 500 responses and will start again after 30 days so you can track responses over time. This is currently limited to US English visitors on non-mobile devices. The default questions are free and you can customize questions for just $0.01 per response or $5.00 for 500 responses.


Survey Setup and Code Placement Tips

To set up the survey code, you'll need to have access to the source code for your website.
  1. Sign into Google Consumer Surveys for website satisfaction to find the code snippet.
  2. You have the option to enter the website name and URL, survey timing, and survey frequency.
  3. Click on the “Activate survey” button when ready.
  4. Once you find the code snippet on top of the setup page, copy and paste it into your web page, just before the closing </head> tag. If your website uses templates to generate pages, enter it just before the closing </head> tag in the file that contains the <head> section.
If  you have any questions, please read our Help Center article to learn more.

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Webmaster level: Beginner - Intermediate

Government sites, from city to state to federal agencies, are extremely important to Google Search. For one thing, governments have a lot of content — and government websites are often the canonical source of information that’s important to citizens. Around 20 percent of Google searches are for local information, and local governments are experts in their communities.

That’s why I’ve spoken at the National Association of Government Webmasters (NAGW) national conference for the past few years. It’s always interesting speaking to webmasters about search, but the people running government websites have particular concerns and questions. Since some questions come up frequently I thought I’d share this FAQ for government websites.

Question 1: How do I fix an incorrect phone number or address in search results or Google Maps?

Although managing their agency’s site is plenty of work, government webmasters are often called upon to fix problems found elsewhere on the web too. By far the most common question I’ve taken is about fixing addresses and phone numbers in search results. In this case, government site owners really can do it themselves, by claiming their Google+ Local listing. Incorrect or missing phone numbers, addresses, and other information can be fixed by claiming the listing.

Most locations in Google Maps have a Google+ Local listing — businesses, offices, parks, landmarks, etc. I like to use the San Francisco Main Library as an example: it has contact info, detailed information like the hours they’re open, user reviews and fun extras like photos. When we think users are searching for libraries in San Francisco, we may display a map and a listing so they can find the library as quickly as possible.

If you work for a government agency and want to claim a listing, we recommend using a shared Google Account with an email address at your .gov domain if possible. Usually, ownership of the page is confirmed via a phone call or post card.

Question 2: I’ve claimed the listing for our office, but I have 43 different city parks to claim in Google Maps, and none of them have phones or mailboxes. How do I claim them?

Use the bulk uploader! If you have 10 or more listings / addresses to claim at the same time, you can upload a specially-formatted spreadsheet. Go to www.google.com/places/, click the "Get started now" button, and then look for the "bulk upload" link.

If you run into any issues, use the Verification Troubleshooter.

Question 3: We're moving from a .gov domain to a new .com domain. How should we move the site?

We have a Help Center article with more details, but the basic process involves the following steps:
  • Make sure you have both the old and new domain verified in the same Webmaster Tools account.
  • Use a 301 redirect on all pages to tell search engines your site has moved permanently.
    • Don't do a single redirect from all pages to your new home page — this gives a bad user experience.
    • If there's no 1:1 match between pages on your old site and your new site (recommended), try to redirect to a new page with similar content.
    • If you can't do redirects, consider cross-domain canonical links.
  • Make sure to check if the new location is crawlable by Googlebot using the Fetch as Google feature in Webmaster Tools.
  • Use the Change of Address tool in Webmaster Tools to notify Google of your site's move.
  • Have a look at the Links to Your Site in Webmaster Tools and inform the important sites that link to your content about your new location.
  • We recommend not implementing other major changes at the same time, like large-scale content, URL structure, or navigational updates.
  • To help Google pick up new URLs faster, use the Fetch as Google tool to ask Google to crawl your new site, and submit a Sitemap listing the URLs on your new site.
  • To prevent confusion, it's best to retain control of your old site’s domain and keep redirects in place for as long as possible — at least 180 days.
What if you’re moving just part of the site? This question came up too — for example, a city might move its "Tourism and Visitor Info" section to its own domain.

In that case, many of the same steps apply: verify both sites in Webmaster Tools, use 301 redirects, clean up old links, etc. In this case you don't need to use the Change of Address form in Webmaster Tools since only part of your site is moving. If for some reason you’ll have some of the same content on both sites, you may want to include a cross-domain canonical link pointing to the preferred domain.

Question 4: We've done a ton of work to create unique titles and descriptions for pages. How do we get Google to pick them up?

First off, that's great! Better titles and descriptions help users decide to click through to get the information they need on your page. The government webmasters I’ve spoken with care a lot about the content and organization of their sites, and work hard to provide informative text for users.

Google's generation of page titles and descriptions (or "snippets") is completely automated and takes into account both the content of a page as well as references to it that appear on the web. Changes are picked up as we recrawl your site. But you can do two things to let us know about URLs that have changed:
  • Submit an updated XML Sitemap so we know about all of the pages on your site.
  • In Webmaster Tools, use the Fetch as Google feature on a URL you’ve updated. Then you can choose to submit it to the index.
    • You can choose to submit all of the linked pages as well — if you’ve updated an entire section of your site, you might want to submit the main page or an index page for that section to let us know about a broad collection of URLs.

Question 5: How do I get into the YouTube government partner program?

For this question, I have bad news, good news, and then even better news. On the one hand, the government partner program has been discontinued. But don’t worry, because most of the features of the program are now available to your regular YouTube account. For example, you can now upload videos longer than 10 minutes.

Did I say I had even better news? YouTube has added a lot of functionality useful for governments in the past year:
I hope this FAQ has been helpful, but I’m sure I haven’t covered everything government webmasters want to know. I highly recommend our Webmaster Academy, where you can learn all about making your site search-engine friendly. If you have a specific question, please feel free to add a question in the comments or visit our really helpful Webmaster Central Forum.

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Webmaster level: All
(Cross-posted on the Google Translate Blog)

Since we first launched the Website Translator plugin back in September 2009, more than a million websites have added the plugin. While we’ve kept improving our machine translation system since then, we may not reach perfection until someone invents full-blown Artificial Intelligence. In other words, you’ll still sometimes run into translations we didn’t get quite right.

So today, we’re launching a new experimental feature (in beta) that lets you customize and improve the way the Website Translator translates your site. Once you add the customization meta tag to a webpage, visitors will see your customized translations whenever they translate the page, even when they use the translation feature in Chrome and Google Toolbar. They’ll also now be able to ‘suggest a better translation’ when they notice a translation that’s not quite right, and later you can accept and use that suggestion on your site.

To get started:
  1. Add the Website Translator plugin and customization meta tag to your website
  2. Then translate a page into one of 60+ languages using the Website Translator
To tweak a translation:
  1. Hover over a translated sentence to display the original text
  2. Click on ‘Contribute a better translation’
  3. And finally, click on a phrase to choose an automatic alternative translation -- or just double-click to edit the translation directly.
For example, if you’re translating your site into Spanish, and you want to translate Cat not to gato but to Cat, you can tweak it as follows:


If you’re signed in, the corrections made on your site will go live right away -- the next time a visitor translates a page on your website, they’ll see your correction. If one of your visitors contributes a better translation, the suggestion will wait until you approve it. You can also invite other editors to make corrections and add translation glossary entries. You can learn more about these new features in the Help Center.

This new experimental feature is currently free of charge. We hope this feature, along with Translator Toolkit and the Translate API, can provide a low cost way to expand your reach globally and help to break down language barriers.

Posted:
Webmaster level: All
(Cross-posted on the Custom Search Blog)

Using Custom Search Engine (CSE), you can create rich search experiences that make it easier for visitors to find the information they’re looking for on your site. Today we’re announcing two improvements to sorting and filtering of search results in CSE.

First, CSE now supports UI-based results sorting, which you can enable in the Basics tab of the CSE control panel. Once you’ve updated the CSE element code on your site, a “sort by” picker will become visible at the top of the results section.


By default CSE supports sorting by date and relevance. In the control panel, you can specify additional “sort by” keys that are based on the structure of your site’s content, giving users more options to find the results that are most relevant to them. For example, if you’ve marked up pages for product rich snippets, you could enable sorting based on price as shown below:


Second, we’re introducing compact queries for filtering by attribute. Currently you can issue a query like
[more:pagemap:product-description:search more:pagemap:product-description:engine]
which will only show pages with a ‘product-description’ attribute that contains both ‘search’ and ‘engine’.

With a compact query, you can issue the same request as:
[more:p:product-description:search*engine]

We hope these new features help you create richer and more useful search experiences for your visitors. As always, if you have any questions or feedback please let us know via our Help Forum.

Posted:
Webmaster Level: All

Update on February 2, 2012: The new Google+ badge is now out of preview and available to all users on all sites.

When we launched Google+ pages in November, we also released Google+ badges to promote your Google+ presence right on your site. Starting today in developer preview (and soon available to all your users), we're adding more options for integrating the Google+ badge into your website. You can configure a badge with a width that fits your site design and choose a version that works better on darker sites. You'll also see that Google+ badges now include the unified +1 and circle count that we added to Pages last month.


If you’re still considering whether to add a Google+ badge on your website, consider this: We recently looked at top sites using the badge and found that, on average, the badge accounted for an additional 38% of followers. When you add the badge visitors to your website can discover your Google+ page and connect in a variety of ways: they can follow your Google+ page, +1 your site, share your site with their circles, see which of their friends have +1’d your site, and click through to visit your Google+ page.

The Google+ Badge makes it easy for your fans to find and follow you on Google+. With these additional options, we hope it's even easier to create a badge that fits your website.

Follow the conversation on Google+.

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Webmaster Level: Intermediate

One of the biggest bottlenecks on any conversion funnel is filling out an online form – shopping and registration flows all rely on forms as a crucial and demanding step in accomplishing the goals of your site. For many users, online forms mean repeatedly typing common information like our names and addresses on different sites across the web – a tedious task that causes many to give up and abandon the flow entirely.

Chrome’s Autofill and other form-filling providers help to break down this barrier by remembering common profile information and pre-populating the form with those values. Unfortunately, up to now it has been difficult for webmasters to ensure that Chrome and other form-filling providers can parse their form correctly. Some standards exist; but they put onerous burdens on the implementation of the website, so they’re not used much in practice.

Today we’re pleased to announce support in Chrome for an experimental new “autocomplete type” attribute for form fields that allows web developers to unambiguously label text and select fields with common data types such as ‘full-name’ or ‘street-address’. With this attribute, web developers can drive conversions on their sites by marking their forms for auto-completion without changing the user interface or the backend.


Just add an attribute to the input element, for example an email address field might look like:

<input type=”text” name=”field1” x-autocompletetype=”email” />

We’ve been working on this design in collaboration with several other autofill vendors. Like any early stage proposal we expect this will change and evolve as the web standards community provides feedback, but we believe this will serve as a good starting point for the discussion on how to best support autofillable forms in the HTML5 spec. For now, this new attribute is implemented in Chrome as x-autocompletetype to indicate that this is still experimental and not yet a standard, similar to the webkitspeech attribute we released last summer.

For more information, you can read the full text of the proposed specification, ask questions on the Webmaster help forum, or you can share your feedback in the standardization discussion!

Posted:
Webmaster Level: All
(Cross-posted on the Inside Search Blog)

With the latest improvements to the way authorship annotations look in search and the addition of authorship to Google News, authors have been really excited about getting more visibility, and users benefit from seeing the name, photo, and way to connect with the person who created the content.

Authors have also been giving us a lot of feedback on what else they'd like to see, so today we're introducing “Author Stats” in Webmaster Tools that shows you how often your content is showing up on the Google search results page. If you associate your content with your Google Profile either via e-mail verification or a simple link, you can visit Webmaster Tools to see how many impressions and clicks your content got on the Google search results page. Check out what Matt Cutts would see for his content:

To see your information, go to google.com/webmasters and login with the same username you use for your Google+ Profile. On the left hand panel, you can see “Author Stats” under the “Labs” section. This is an experimental feature so we’re continuing to iterate and improve, but we wanted to get early feedback from you. You can e-mail us at authorship-pilot@google.com if you run into any issues or have feedback.

If you’re a content creator interested in learning more about authorship, check out our Help Center.

Posted:
Webmaster Level: All

At Google, we help grow your audience by connecting you with new users. We introduced the +1 button so your site would stand out on search and your users could easily share your content on Google+. But, sometimes you want to join the conversation and post content directly to where people are sharing.

Today we’re introducing Google+ for Business, a collection of tools and products that help you grow your audience. At the core of this is Google+ Pages, your site’s identity on Google+.

Google+ Pages: Have real conversations with the right people

To get your site on Google+, you first need to create a Google+ Page. On your page, you can engage in conversations with your visitors, direct readers back to your site for the latest updates, send tailored messages to specific groups of people, and see how many +1’s you have across the web. Google+ Pages will help you build relationships with your users, encouraging them to spend more time engaging with your content.

Google+ Pages are at the heart of Google+ for Business

Hangouts
Sometimes you might want to chat with your users face-to-face.  For example, if you run a food blog, you may want to invite a chef to talk about her favorite recipe, or if you manage a fashion review site, beauty specialists might want to hold how-to sessions with makeup tips. Hangouts make this easy, by letting you have high-quality video chats with nine people with a single click. You can use Hangouts to hold live forums, break news or simply get to know people better, all in real time.

Hangouts let you meet your customers, face-to-face

Circles
Circles allow you to group followers of your Page into smaller audiences. You can then share specific messages with specific groups. For example, you could create a Circle containing your most loyal readers and offer them exclusive content.
The Google+ badge: Grow your audience on Google+

To help your users find your page and start sharing, there are two buttons you can add to your site by visiting our Google+ badge configuration tool:

The Google+ icon, a small icon that directly links to your Page.

The Google+ badge, which we’re introducing in the coming days. This badge lets people add your page to their circles without leaving your site, and allows them to get updates from your site via Google+.



Extend the power of +1, stand out in Google search
You can also link your site to your Google+ page so that all your +1s -- from your Page, your website, and search results -- will get tallied together and appear as a single total. Potential visitors will be more likely to see the recommendations your site has received, whether they’re looking at a search result, your website, or your Page, meaning your +1’s will reach not only the 40 million users of Google+, but all the people who come to Google every day. You can link your site to your Page either using the Google+ badge or with a  piece of code. To set this up, visit our Google+ badge configuration tool.

Bringing Google+ to the rest of Google

Our ultimate vision for Google+ is to transform the overall Google experience -- weaving identity and sharing into all of our products. Beginning today, we’re rolling out a new experimental feature to a small group of eligible publishers, Google+ Direct Connect -- an easy way for your audience to find your Google+ Page on Google search.  If you’ve linked your Page to your site and you qualify, when someone searches for your website’s name with the ‘+’ sign before it Direct Connect will send them directly to your Page. For example, try searching for ‘+YouTube’ on Google. Users will also be prompted to automatically add Pages they find through Direct Connect to their circles.

Direct Connect suggestions start populating as you type on Google.com

Just the beginning

We want to help you get your site on Google+ as soon as possible, so we’re opening the field trial for Google+ Pages to everyone today. Creating a Google+ Page only takes a few minutes. To get started, you’ll need a personal Google+ profile. If you don’t have a Google account, it’s very quick and easy to join. And if you’re looking for inspiration, check out some of the sites that are already starting to set up their Pages:

Partner LogosBurberryHMMacysPepsiABC NewsAmazonAssassins_CreedATTBreaking_NewsOrangeDC_ComicsDellNBC_NewsGol_Linhas_aerasKiaLOrealMarvelNYTimesPiagetShadyTmobileToyotaUniqloVirgin

To learn more about how Google+ works for your site, check out the Google+ Your Business site. We’re just getting started, and have many more features planned for the coming weeks and months. To keep up to date on the latest news and tips, add the Google+ Your Business page to your circles. If you have ideas on how we can improve Google+ for your site, we’d love to hear them.

Posted:
Webmaster level: All

Custom Search Engines (CSEs) enable you to create Google-powered customized search experiences for your sites. You can search over one or more sites, customize the look and feel to match your site, and even make money with AdSense for Search. Now it’s even easier to get started directly from Webmaster Tools.

If you’ve never created a CSE, just click on the “Custom Search” link in the Labs section and we’ll automatically create a default CSE that searches just your site. You can do some basic configuring or immediately get the code snippet to add your new CSE to your site. You can always continue on to the full CSE control panel for more advanced settings.

Once you’ve created your CSE (or if you already had one), clicking the “Custom Search” link in Labs will allow you to manage your CSEs without leaving Webmaster Tools.

We hope these new features make it easier for you to help users search your site. If you have any questions, please post them in our Webmaster Help Forum or the Custom Search Help Forum.

Posted:
Webmaster level: All

For the past few months, you might have used +1 buttons to help visitors recommend your content on Google Search and on their Google Profiles. We’ve just announced a few changes that make +1 even more useful.

First, the +1 button now lets visitors share links to your pages on Google+. If someone wants to start a conversation about your content, it’s easy for them to do so. Second, you can use +Snippets to customize the name, image and description that appear when your content is shared. Finally, new inline annotations help increase engagement after users see a friend’s recommendation right on your page.

Here are a couple of tips to help you take full advantage of these improvements:

+Snippets
The +1 button opens up your site to a valuable new source of traffic with sharing on Google+. +Snippets let you put your best face forward by customizing exactly what appears when your content is shared.

For example, if you’re running a movie review site, you might want visitors to share posts containing the title, movie poster, and a brief synopsis:



You may already be using this markup to build rich annotations for your pages on Google Search. If not, marking up your pages is simple. Just add the correct schema.org attributes to the data already present on your pages. You’ll set a name, image, and description in your code:

<body itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article">
<h1 itemprop="name">This is the article name</h1>
<img itemprop="image" src="thumbnail.jpg" />
<p itemprop="description">This is the description of the article.</p>
</body>

Example code containing each of the +Snippet attributes


For more details on alternate markup types, please see our technical documentation.

Inline annotations
Now, when a person visits a page that someone they know has +1’d, they can see a name and face reminding them to pay special attention to your content. Here’s how it looks:


Inline annotations let people see which of their friends +1’d your content


To add inline annotations, you need to update your +1 button code. Visit the configuration tool, select ‘inline’ from the ‘Annotation’ menu, and grab a new snippet of code.

Both sharing from +1 and inline annotations are rolling out fully over the next few days. To test these improvements right now, join our Platform Preview group.

Update later the same day, August 24, 2011: If you have any thoughts or feedback you'd like to share, continue the conversation on Google+.

Posted:
Webmaster level: All

Want to test the latest +1 features? Today we’re introducing a new option for webmasters who want to be the first to know about changes to the +1 button. Enroll in the Google+ Platform Preview, available globally, to test updates before they launch to all users on your site. When you’re logged into the account you’ve enrolled with and you visit a page with the +1 button, you’ll see the latest preview release.

If you join now, you’ll be able to test the first set of updates we’ve released to Platform Preview: hover and confirmation bubbles.

If you hover your mouse over a +1 button, you’ll see a bubble letting you know what will happen when you click:



After you click, you’ll receive confirmation that the +1 has been applied:



This will give your site’s users an extra reminder of the account they’re using to +1, as well as the fact that their +1 is public.

If you have any questions, please join us in the Webmaster forum. To receive updates about the +1 button, please subscribe to the Google Publisher Buttons Announce Group. And for advanced tips and tricks, check our Google Code site.

Posted:
Webmaster level: Advanced

Two years ago we released the Page Speed browser extension and earlier this year the Page Speed Online API to provide developers with specific suggestions to make their web pages faster. Last year we released mod_pagespeed, an Apache module, to automatically rewrite web pages. To further simplify the life of webmasters and to avoid the hassles of installation, today we are releasing the latest addition to the Page Speed family: Page Speed Service.

Page Speed Service is an online service that automatically speeds up loading of your web pages. To use the service, you need to sign up and point your site’s DNS entry to Google. Page Speed Service fetches content from your servers, rewrites your pages by applying web performance best practices, and serves them to end users via Google's servers across the globe. Your users will continue to access your site just as they did before, only with faster load times. Now you don’t have to worry about concatenating CSS, compressing images, caching, gzipping resources or other web performance best practices.

In our testing we have seen speed improvements of 25% to 60% on several sites. But we know you care most about the numbers for your site, so check out how much Page Speed Service can speed up your site. If you’re encouraged by the results, please sign up. If not, be sure to check back later. We are diligently working on adding more improvements to the service.

At this time, Page Speed Service is being offered to a limited set of webmasters free of charge. Pricing will be competitive and details will be made available later. You can request access to the service by filling out this web form.

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Webmaster level: All

One of the 10 things we hold to be true here at Google is that fast is better than slow. We keep speed in mind in all things that we do, and the +1 button is no exception. Since the button’s launch, we have been hard at work improving its load time. Today, we’re proud to announce two updates that will make both the +1 button and the page loading it, faster.

First, we’ve begun to roll out out a set of changes that will make the button render up to 3x faster on your site. No action is required on your part, so just sit back, relax, and watch as the button loads more quickly than before.

In addition to the improvements made to the button, we’re also introducing a new asynchronous snippet, allowing you to make the +1 experience even faster. The async snippet allows your web page to continue loading while your browser downloads the +1 JavaScript. By loading these elements in parallel, we’re ensuring the HTTP request to get the +1 button JavaScript doesn’t lead to an increase in your page load time. For those of you who have already implemented the button, you’ll need to update the code to the new async snippet, and then you should see an overall improvement in your page load time.

To generate the new async snippet, use our +1 Configuration Tool. Below, you’ll find an example of the code, which should be included below the last <g:plusone> tag on your page for best performance.


If you haven’t already implemented the +1 button on your site, we’re excited for your first experience to be a fast one. This is a great opportunity to allow your users to recommend your site to their friends, potentially bringing in more qualified traffic from Google search. To those that already have the button, we hope that you enjoy the improvements in speed. Our team will continue to work hard to enhance the +1 button experience as we know that “fast is better than slow” is as true today as it’s ever been.

If you have any questions, please join us in the Webmaster forum. To receive updates about the +1 button, please subscribe to the Google Publisher Buttons Announce Group. For advanced tips and tricks, check our Google Code site.

Posted:
Webmaster Level: All

Webmasters have long been asking for better integration between Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics. Today we’re happy to announce a limited pilot for Search Engine Optimization reports in Google Analytics, based on Search Queries data from Webmaster Tools.

In addition to including Search Queries data found in Webmaster Tools, these Search Engine Optimization reports also take advantage of Google Analytics’ advanced filtering and visualization capabilities for deeper data analysis. For example, you can filter for queries that had more than 100 clicks and see a chart for how much each of those queries contributed to your overall clicks from top queries.


To enable these Search Engine Optimization reports, you should sign up for the pilot and you must be both a Webmaster Tools verified site owner and a Google Analytics administrator. Each additional user who would like to view them also needs to individually sign up for the pilot.

Posted:
Webmaster level: Intermediate

When we introduced the +1 button in March, Google search took a small step in an important direction. Search results can be more helpful, and more personal, when recommendations from the people you trust are there to guide your way.

The +1 button can help publishers, too. As potential visitors see recommendations from their friends and contacts beneath your Google search results, you could see more, and better qualified, traffic coming from Google.

Since we announced +1, we’ve gotten lots of requests from Google search users and webmasters alike for +1 buttons in more places than just search results. That’s why today we’re making the +1 button available to sites across the web. Sometimes you want to recommend a web page after you’ve visited it. After all, how do you know you want to suggest that great article on Spanish tapas if you haven’t read it yet?

We’ve partnered with a few sites where you’ll see +1 buttons over the coming days:

Partner LogosAddThisMashableHuffington PostRotten TomatoesNordstromO'ReillyReutersWashington PostBest BuyTechCrunchBloomberg

You'll also start to see +1 buttons on other Google properties such as Android Market, Blogger, Product Search and YouTube.

Adding +1 buttons to your pages is a great way to help your content stand out in Google search. By giving your visitors more chances to +1 your pages, your search results and search ads could show up with +1 annotations more often, helping users see when your pages are most likely to be useful.


To get started, visit the +1 button tool on Google Webmaster Central. You’ll be able to configure a small snippet of JavaScript and add it to the pages where you want +1 buttons to appear. You can pick from a few different button sizes and styles, so choose the +1 button that best matches your site’s layout.


In the common case, a press of the button +1’s the URL of the page it’s on. We recommend some easy ways to ensure this maps as often as possible to the pages appearing in Google search results.

If your site primarily caters to users outside of the US and Canada, you can install the +1 button code now; the +1 button is already supported in 44 languages. However, keep in mind that +1 annotations currently only appear for English search results on Google.com. We’re working on releasing +1 to searchers worldwide in the future.

If you have users who love your content (and we bet you do), encourage them to spread the word! Add the +1 button to help your site stand out with a personal recommendation right at the moment of decision, on Google search.

To stay current on updates to the +1 button large and small, please subscribe to the Google Publisher Buttons Announce Group. For advanced tips and tricks, check our Google Code site. Finally, if you have any questions about using the +1 button on your websites, feel free to drop by the Webmaster Help Forum.

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Webmaster Level: All

This article is cross-posted on the Google Code Blog.

Today we’re launching the most requested feature for Page Speed, Page Speed for Chrome. Now Google Chrome users can get Page Speed performance suggestions to make their sites faster, right inside the Chrome browser. We would like to thank all our users for your great feedback and support since we launched. We’re humbled that 1.4 M unique users are using the Page Speed extension and finding it useful to help with their web performance diagnosis.

Google Chrome support has always been high on our priority list but we wanted to get it right. It was critical that the same engine that powers the Page Speed Add-On for Firefox be used here as well. So we first built the Page Speed SDK, which we then integrated into the Chrome extension.

Page Speed for Chrome retains the same core features as the Firefox add-on. In addition, there are two major improvements appearing in this version first. We’ve improved scoring and suggestion ordering to help web developers focus on higher-potential optimizations first. Plus, because making the web faster is a global initiative, Page Speed now supports displaying localized rule results in 40 languages! These improvements are part of the Page Speed SDK, so they will also appear in the next release of our Firefox add-on as well.

If your site serves different content based on the browser’s user agent, you now have a good method for page performance analysis as seen by different browsers, with Page Speed coverage for Firefox and Chrome through the extensions, and Internet Explorer via webpagetest.org, which integrates the Page Speed SDK.

We’d love to hear from you, as always. Please try Page Speed for Chrome, and give us feedback on our mailing list about additional functionality you’d like to see. Stay tuned for updates to Page Speed for Chrome that take advantage of exciting new technologies such as Native Client.

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Webmaster Level: Beginner to Intermediate

As you’re working to increase your traffic with Webmaster Tools, did you know that you’re also able to monetize this traffic with Google AdSense?

Google AdSense is a program that enables webmasters like you to display relevant ads on your websites and earn revenue. It’s free to use and gives you access to Google’s vast network of advertisers. After a quick and easy set up, AdSense is designed to help you start showing ads on your site that fit in with your audience, while allowing you to earn money from the unique content you’ve created.

A key factor in understanding the opportunities you have with AdSense is understanding the traffic you have coming to your site. Webmaster Tools and other Google tools, such as Google Analytics, provide you with the insight to identify who your visitors are and where they’re coming from. You’re working to bring more people to your site and optimize your most successful pages to boost overall traffic. You can use this information with Google AdSense to display ads that are targeted to your traffic and better suited to match the content on your most successful pages. For example, you can use Webmaster Tools to identify how often your pages appear within Google search results. Knowing these to potentially be your most visible pages, you can use AdSense to display optimized ads on these pages.

Take a look below to see what different AdSense ads can look like.

Text Ad - Medium Rectangle (300x250)Video Ad - Medium Rectangle (300x250)
Text AdVideo Ad

Image Ad - Leaderboad (728x90)
Image Ad - Leaderboard

Why use Google AdSense?
  • Earn revenue from relevant and engaging advertising that enhances the user experience of your site.
  • You’re in control, protecting your brand by customizing the size, location, and type of ads that appear.
  • Gain insight with the powerful integration of Google Analytics and AdSense, helping you easily identify trends and factors that influence the earning potential of your website.
  • Simple and easy to set up. Just add a few lines of code to your site and you’re ready to start showing ads.
  • No risk. No obligation. There’s no minimum term of commitment. And it’s free.
Google AdSense automatically delivers ads that are targeted to your content and audience. AdSense also allows you to create Custom Channels that help advertisers target certain pages of your website, or even specific sections of these pages. As a Webmaster Tools user you have an advantage in understanding which Google search results guide traffic to your pages. You can use this information to provide more accurate descriptions of your custom channels for advertisers, allowing you to show even more relevant ads to your users. In turn, you can earn more revenue by displaying these more relevant and high quality ads.

Sign up and monetize your website with Google AdSense.
You can also learn more about Google AdSense in the AdSense Help Forum.

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Webmaster Level: All

Last year, as part of Google’s initiative to make the web faster, we introduced Page Speed, a tool that gives developers suggestions to speed up web pages. It’s usually pretty straightforward for developers and webmasters to implement these suggestions by updating their web server configuration, HTML, JavaScript, CSS and images. But we thought we could make it even easier -- ideally these optimizations should happen with minimal developer and webmaster effort.

So today, we’re introducing a module for the Apache HTTP Server called mod_pagespeed to perform many speed optimizations automatically. We’re starting with more than 15 on-the-fly optimizations that address various aspects of web performance, including optimizing caching, minimizing client-server round trips and minimizing payload size. We’ve seen mod_pagespeed reduce page load times by up to 50% (an average across a rough sample of sites we tried) -- in other words, essentially speeding up websites by about 2x, and sometimes even faster.

Comparison of the AdSense blog site with and without mod_pagespeed


Here are a few simple optimizations that are a pain to do manually, but that mod_pagespeed excels at:
  • Making changes to the pages built by the Content Management Systems (CMS) with no need to make changes to the CMS itself,
  • Recompressing an image when its HTML context changes to serve only the bytes required (typically tedious to optimize manually), and
  • Extending the cache lifetime of the logo and images of your website to a year, while still allowing you to update these at any time.
We’re working with Go Daddy to get mod_pagespeed running for many of its 8.5 million customers. Warren Adelman, President and COO of Go Daddy, says:
"Go Daddy is continually looking for ways to provide our customers the best user experience possible. That's the reason we partnered with Google on the 'Make the Web Faster' initiative. Go Daddy engineers are seeing a dramatic decrease in load times of customers' websites using mod_pagespeed and other technologies provided. We hope to provide the technology to our customers soon - not only for their benefit, but for their website visitors as well.”
We’re also working with Cotendo to integrate the core engine of mod_pagespeed as part of their Content Delivery Network (CDN) service.

mod_pagespeed integrates as a module for the Apache HTTP Server, and we’ve released it as open-source for Apache for many Linux distributions. Download mod_pagespeed for your platform and let us know what you think on the project’s mailing list. We hope to work with the hosting, developer and webmaster community to improve mod_pagespeed and make the web faster.