Archive for December, 2012

8 Google Tools All Webmasters Should Know About

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Webmasters who rely on Google to drive traffic to their site should know about eight very important and very helpful tools. Here’s a brief overview of each one and how it can help make your job easier.

1. Google Webmaster Tools

Webmaster Tools will tell you everything you need to know about creating a Google-friendly website. With all the recent algorithm changes, it’s more important than ever to understand what “Google-friendly” means these days, and Webmaster Tools is the best place to find that information.

Here, you can:

  • Check for any issues with your site that Google may have detected.
  • View and analyze your search traffic to figure out how visitors are getting to your site.
  • Review Google site guidelines and optimize your site so it’s easier for Google to find.
  • Add sites and/or additional users/owners to your site or sites.
  • Look through the Webmaster FAQ’s to get answers to some of the most common questions Google receives.
  • Contact Google directly with questions or concerns.

Click Here for more detailed information.

2. Google Tag Manager

Every website manager should know how to use this tool. Google Tag Manager lets you update and manage your site tags yourself, just like Google Analytics Code, Adwords Remarketing, etc. – whenever you want to and at no cost. This is an excellent tool for marketing pros who want to be able to make quick tag changes without getting help from IT to do it.

Find it at: Click Here

3. Google MCC Account – My Client Center

My Client Center is designed specifically for running ads online with Google AdWords.

In My Client Center, webmasters/PPC person can easily review and manage all of your AdWords accounts from a single location. You’ll be able to track performance, add and delete accounts, manage budgets and set up alerts from one dashboard.

Check out My Client Center Click Here

4. Google Top Contributors

Top Contributors is a way to identify the top contributing, most knowledgeable individuals in Google forums. These people essentially work for Google for free, taking the time to answer questions posted in Help forums by Google users. These contributors are easily identifiable through the green badge that appears next to their screen name. If you see a badge next to a name, be sure to check out what was posted. It’s sure to be full of useful information. Top contributors are truly helpful people who are doing this on their own time to make Google a better experience for all users.

Instead of digging through forum after forum to find a knowledgeable contributor, head over to Top Contributors and find answers fast.

Find Top Contributors at: Click Here

5. Google Engage

Engage is another tool to help you run your AdWords campaign. This is a membership program that provides AdWords support, training and webinars. You’ll get sales and marketing tips that are great for small agencies that specialize in search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), website development and online advertising.

Learn more about Engage at: Click Here

6. Google Adwords Proposal

This is the place to go if you want to get your ads placed on Google. Just submit the web address you want to advertise and get a proposal back from Google. It’s a very cost-effective way to start advertising online since you only pay for the service when someone clicks on your ad. Best of all Google sets up the campaign for you automatically!

Learn more at: Click Here

7. Google Moderator

Google Moderator lets you submit questions online that can be answered in Webmaster Central Office Hours in Google+ or Video Questions – 2012, usually by Matt Cutts, himself. You submit a topic and let the audience send in the questions and ideas that interest them the most. There’s even a voting box to help draw attention to recent submissions and those that are generating lots of discussion.

It’s a good way to get feedback on new products or ideas. Best of all, it’s a free product available to anyone.

Explore Google Moderator at: Click Here

8. Google Data Highlighter for Event Data

This is a brand-new tool from Google that will help you provide structured data to Google without having to mark up your site’s HTML code. It gives you nice, rich snippets in Google results. With Data Highlighter, you can do just that – highlight the data you want to share with Google. It is as easy as it sounds and works just like the highlight function in word processing software, but better. Data Highlighter can actually learn your formatting and once it does, will begin automatically suggesting tags.

Data Highlighter is currently only available in English and only works on events like concerts, exhibitions and festivals, but that will change very soon. Keep an eye on this tool. It’s sure to come in very handy.

For more information on Data Highlighter for Event Data visit: <Click Here

SEO Thought Leaders I Followed in 2012 and Will Keep Following in 2013

Monday, December 31st, 2012

The world of SEO/SEM is constantly changing. In order to keep up, it’s important to find resources you can trust to give you the information you need, when you need it. I want to share with you the SEO leaders I followed this year and will continue to follow in 2013.

Each of these leaders offers tips, insights and analysis that cut to the heart of the matter and make sense of the changes affecting SEO almost as soon as they occur. If you have a minute, I highly recommend reading some of their posts or bookmarking their sites so you can follow along with them too.

Barry Schwartz

Barry Schwartz is a News Editor at Search Engine Land. He’s been covering search news for five years and maintains the Search Engine Roundtable – his own search blog. In addition to these two positions, he is also the CEO of RustyBrick, a New York web service firm specializing in customized online technology.

I follow Barry on Search Engine Roundtable where he provides insight into the hottest topics in searching such as search marketing tips and how search engines work, always keeping up with the latest changes in search functions and techniques. You can catch him in his weekly video cast, “Search Buzz Recap” for a quick update on the week’s most pressing search news.

I follow Barry Schwartz here.

Matt Cutts

If you don’t know this name, you should! Matt Cutts is the head of the webspam team at Google. Matt freely provides a great deal of information about Google’s newest techniques and strategies to combat webspam and in a very matter-of-fact and straightforward manner. It makes him easy to understand and follow.

Anyone who relies on Google for their search engine results should keep up with Matt Cutts and what he is saying at any given point in time. He often provides insight that can help you navigate algorithm changes that Google implements and tips on how to maximize your SEO work.

You can follow Matt Cutts on Twitter and view his video Q&A’s on the Google Webmasters You Tube page.

Pete Meyers

When I really want to go deep into SEO and algorithm data analysis, Pete is the man for the job. He works at SEOMoz and does an excellent job of explaining extremely technical and hard-to-understand data for the layperson.

I follow Pete Meyers on Google+.

John Muller

John is a Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google. He provides great technical website tips and tricks to maximize your use of Google. I follow and look forward to his participation in the weekly Webmaster Central Hangout on Google+. This is a weekly Q&A session hosted by Matt Storms.

John Muller can be followed at his Google+ page.

Rand Fishkin

Rand Fishkin is the CEO of SEO software company; SEOmoz. SEOmoz is one of the top companies in the SEO world. What I follow most closely from Rand is his “Whiteboard Friday” blogs. Nearly every week Rand posts a blog, usually with video, on the biggest issues and questions facing SEOs everywhere. His answers are common-sense and easy to understand and give some great step by step instructions for improving your site and using SEO to its maximum advantage.

You can check out Whiteboard Friday here.

Or follow Rand Fishkin on Twitter.

AJ Kohn

I started following AJ on Google+ this year. He’s the owner of Blind Five Year Old, an online marketing firm specializing in search. AJ is a whiz at SEO marketing and strategy and his posts on Google+ provide some great information. He was one of the first SEO’s to offer a case study on Authorship and how it relates to boosting site authority but he posts much more on his profile page. You might find yourself with a sudden urge to travel or try new foods when following AJ, since he posts so many tempting images on his page.

Visit AJ Kohn’s Google+ Profile here

Danny Sullivan

Danny Sullivan is the editor of SearchEngineLand.com, a site that covers Google, SEO, PPC and all aspects of SEM. The wide variety of topics and great insights are just two of the reasons I follow Danny and SearchEngineLand.com.

Find him at Search Engine Land

Will Reynolds

Will is the founder of SEER Interactive, a search engine marketing agency and one of the greatest presenters on internet marketing out there today. For proof of this, just check out this presentation from Mozcon 2012 here.

I follow him on Google+

There you have it! These are some of the top minds in SEO today. Taken together, they provide everything from tips on how to navigate SEO changes to theoretical discussions on the future of SEO. It’s a well-rounded group and I’m excited to see what they come up with in 2013.

How about you? Did I miss anyone? Is there anyone you think I should add to the list? I’d love to hear your comments and recommendations. Sound off below!

Understanding Google’s “Owner Removal Incomplete” Message

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

On November 30, Google started sending out “Owner Removal Incomplete” messages to webmasters around the world, causing confusion and panic. If you received one of these messages, Don’t Worry! The notification is actually a great security measure of Google’s. It doesn’t mean someone has hacked into your server and tried to delete accounts. It just means that you may have some loose ends that need to be secured.

What the Message Means

The message is simply a reminder to you that you’ve removed someone’s access in Webmaster Tools, but you did not remove their verification elements (or token as it says in the message from Google) on the website. Google flagged this as a security concern because it is still possible for the person to gain access to your site until all of their verification elements have been fully removed from your server.

You may be thinking, “But I didn’t try to remove anyone’s access!” If this sounds like your situation, it’s likely that you had some older verification elements left on your server that you were unaware of and these are the elements that got flagged by Google. They could be quite old and probably forgotten about.

What’s a Verification Element?

Verifications elements, files and tokens are meta tags, HTML files or DNS records that exist on your server. Archived files contain them, so it’s possible that a former employee’s name is still associated with a file somewhere, which prompted Google to send the message.

How Do I Fix This?

To fix this possible security issue, you’ll need to delete all of these verification elements/codes/tokens from your server then go back to Webmaster Tools and unverify the email ID associated with that element/code/token from the list of account owners.

Finding the Verification Element

To find the HTML filename, meta tag codes or DNS record you’ll need to go into Webmaster Tools. From there, follow these steps.

  1. Click on “Manage Site Owners”. This is located near the top of the right hand side of the page next to “Add a New User”.
  2. Under Action, click “Unverification pending.”
  3. You’ll receive a pop-up that shows you the HTML file name associated with the suspect email:  *google-file-name.html.
  4. Go to your FTP and delete the HTML file name that appears on the pop-up.

Once you’ve deleted all of the suspect verification elements, make sure you unverify the email ID associated with the verification token. Do this in Webmaster Tools in the list of account owners.

You should now stop getting the “Owner Removal Incomplete” message.

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