Google Bestows Much Love Upon Webmasters

    August 25, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The revamped Google Webmaster Central has enough changes in place that it merits a second look for our readers.

The latest update to the Official Google Blog comes from a familiar name. Vanessa Fox, the Google product manager working with the company’s Webmaster Central, along with search evangelist Adam Lasnik, posted a recap regarding the service.

Webmasters who have been using Google Sitemaps to improve the indexing of their sites already know about the name change from Sitemaps to Webmaster Central Some may have missed the new blog for the service. Fox posts items like advice on handling Googlebot’s visits to a domain and other issues.

Googlers like Fox and webmasters can be found on the Webmaster Central group. The group hosts discussions on topics from crawling to Sitemaps to suggestions and feature requests.

Despite the name change, the Sitemaps remain the same. Fox restated this in the post:

For those of you who’ve already established a Google sitemap, have no fear: the Sitemaps protocol remains unchanged and Sitemaps submission mechanisms and reporting is still available from the Sitemaps tab. If you haven’t already added a Sitemap, you might want to learn more about it.

Fox also noted one significant change made to site indexing that webmasters have wanted for some time, by enabling webmasters to designate whether or not they want their sites indexed with or without the www prefix for domain names.

Although once upon a time it was customary for domains to always have that leading prefix, many now prefer to use something different or not use it when it comes to the indexing process. That preference, and lots of useful information, may be viewed through Sitemaps.

For example, one user wrote in to ask about indexing issues for affiliate sites:

I don’t know why my site is not being indexed fully, only about 4 out of 200 pages seem to be indexed.

I would like to know if “new” affiliate sites will “never” be indexed, or is this just “sandboxing”, should I wait for a few months to see if my site will ever be indexed?

Answers to this cited solutions like rooting out duplicate content, and using unique content to add value to the site. One respondent cited (tongue-in-cheek perhaps) a discussion on another forum on how a Google Dance – an update to its index – had messed up the well-laid plans of some affiliate marketers: “One was crying that he’d have to go live in a cardboard box under a bridge and it was all Google’s fault.”


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.