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Webmasters Articles

A Markup That Could Have Big Implications for SEO
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RDFa, which stands for Resource Description Framework in attributes, is a W3C recommendation, which adds a set of attribute level extensions to XHTML for embedding rich metadata within web documents. While not everyone believes that W3C standards are incredibly necessary to operate a successful site, some see a great deal of potential for search engine optimization in RDFa.

Google Cranks Up Number of Sitemaps Allowed
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Google has at some point quietly increased its sitemaps limit from 1,000 to 50,000. In a discussion on a Google Webmasters forum thread back in April of last year, Google employee Jonathan Simon said that each sitemap index file can include 1,000 sitemaps.

Just recently, however, David Harkness posted to that same thread, pointing to official Google documentation for sitemap errors, which says under the "Too many Sitemaps" error:

Get Your Breadcrumbs in Google for More Links in Results
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Last summer it was discovered that Google was testing breadcrumbs in search results (breadcrumbs being the hierarchical display commonly used in site navigation. For example: Home Page>Product Page>Product A Page). Then in mid-November, Google announced that it was rolling out the use of breadcrumbs in search results on a global basis. What this means for webmasters is that if you can get your breadcrumbs into Google’s results, you essentially have more links on the results page. You have a separate link for each page in the breadcrumb trail.

Duplicate Content Owners Catch a New Break from Google
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Google announced that it now offering cross-domain support of the rel="canonical" link element. If you are unfamiliar with this link element, Google’s Matt Cutts discussed it with us here. Basically, it’s a way to avoid duplicate content issues, but until now, you couldn’t use it across domains.

Google Ditches PageRank in Webmaster Tools
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Google has quietly gotten rid of PageRank in Webmaster Tools. Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Roundtable points to a thread featuring an explanation from Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Susan Moskwa.

Google Tool Shows Where the Eyeballs Go on Your Site
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Google has launched a new Google Labs experiment called Browser Size, which is a tool aimed at helping webmasters see how others view their site. Google’s official description of the tool says:

Ever wondered what parts of your site can’t be seen without scrolling? Browser Size shows you what portion of users can see a give spot on the screen. This is not screen resolution but the area available to the browser – as gathered from www.google.com users.

Here is what it looks like:

Google May Change Your Page Titles
· 10

In case you were not aware, Google "reserves the right" to change the titles of your pages in search results. Google’s Matt Cutts has released a video discussing why and how they go about doing this.

Cutts says Google wants to show the titles that it thinks are most useful. "For example, suppose the title of your page is ‘Untitled’ or if there is no title. If that’s the case, we try to show a relevant, useful title."

Google Makes it Easier to Tell Where Results Originate From
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Google has begun including geographical region information on some search results. The information is used when supplied by webmasters, and appears in the green address line on the results that include it.

Google to Alert Webmasters of New Software Versions
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Google is going to start letting webmasters know when the software they run on their site is outdated. Through Webmater Tools, Google will begin alerting users of new versions of software when they are released.

Google Aims to Put the “Friend” in Friend Connect

Google has launched some new features for Google Friend Connect, aimed at letting site owners make their GFC experience more personalized and letting their visitors get to know each other.

A representative for Google tells WebProNews that 9 million sites are using Google Friend Connect, and pages with GFC get over half a billion unique visitors a month. Two people join every second, she says.

Why Your Email Address May Show up in Google Search Results

Matt Cutts has provided some useful information for webmasters in the last few videos that have been uploaded to Google’s Webmaster Central YouTube channel. It should be noted that this channel is designed to answer questions and provide useful tips for webmasters regarding their site’s performance in Google. The topics are not always breaking news. Some you may know, but there are always other people out there that don’t know the information.

Google Launches New Webmaster Tools
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Google has launched a couple of new Labs features for Webmaster Tools. One is "malware details" and the other is "fetch as googlebot."

Google is providing snippets of code from pages it considers malware, in order to help webmasters eliminate the malware on their sites quickly.

Hulu Launches 2 New Labs Features
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Hulu has added a couple of new features to Hulu Labs. These are Hulu Desktop for Linux and Hulu Publisher Tools.

Why Your Robots.txt Blocked URLs May Show up in Google
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Matt Cutts has appeared in yet another Google Webmaster Video, and this time he has a whiteboard with him so he can illustrate what he’s talking about. What he’s talking about this time are uncrawled URLs in search results.

Cutts says Google gets a lot of complaints from webmasters who say the search engine is violating their robots.txt files, with which they intend to keep Google from crawling certain pages. Sometimes those URLs still end up in search results.

Google Gives Webmasters Way to Display PDFs, PPTs, and TIFFs
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Google has released a new product called the Google Docs Viewer. This is a way to display PDFs, Powerpoints and TIFF documents directly in a web browser without requiring a download.

Google Alters Site Verification in Webmaster Tools
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Google has made some changes to the way Webmaster Tools users verify their websites.

Before, the user’s verification meta tag was based (partially) on the email address of their Google account, which meant that if they changed the email address in their account settings, their meta tags would also change, and they’d become unverified for any sites that used the old tag. Google has made a new version of the verification meta tag, which is unrelated to the email address to prevent this from happening.

Google Busts the Duplicate Content Myth
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While Google’s Matt Cutts has certainly provided a wealth of helpful tips via the company’s Webmaster Central YouTube channel, he is not the only one to do so.

Google Introduces Web Elements to AdSense Publishers
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Google has introduced what they call "Web Elements," which let users add their favorite Google products to their website. The company spins it as a way for AdSense publishers to "spice up their site" and help increase their revenue. This was first announced back at the Google Developer Conference.

Google Gives Webmaster Advice for User-Generated Content Sites
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Google has made some recommendations for "best practices" for sites that allow users to create their own sites. They give the examples of their own Google Sites and Blogger. So in other words, if you run some type of site that allows users to make their own pages, you may want to pay attention.

Get Your Videos Indexed in Google Results
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Google wants webmasters who offer video content to be able to get their videos displayed in search results more easily. The company has announced that that it now supports Facebook Share and Yahoo SearchMonkey RDFa, which are both markup formats that allow webmasters to specify information that is important to video indexing.

Google on Notification of Webmaster Guideline Violations
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One thing that Google is pretty good at is providing resources for webmasters to learn from. The regular videos from Matt Cutts in which he answers user-submitted questions are no different. It just happens to be this very topic that is addressed in the latest upload.

Question: Whenever Google detects a violation of its Webmaster Guidelines, can we expect a feature to be added in Google Webmaster Central where it could help the webmasters learn what the issue was?