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Official news on crawling and indexing sites for the Google index.

Updated: 2016-10-21T07:32:37.657-07:00


Using AMP? Try our new webpage tester


Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a great way to make content on your website accessible in an extremely fast way. To help ensure that your AMP implementation is working as expected , Search Console now has an enhanced AMP testing tool.


This testing tool is mobile-friendly and uses Google's live web-search infrastructure to analyze the AMP page with the real Googlebot. The tool tests the validity of the AMP markup as well as any structured data on the page. If issues are found, click on them to see details, and to have the line in the source-code highlighted. For valid AMP pages, we may also provide a link to a live preview of how this page may appear in Google's search results.


With the share button on the bottom right, you can now share a snapshot of the results that you're currently seeing with others. This makes it easier to discuss issues with your team, whether they're regular occurrences or one-time quirks that you need to iron out. Just click the share button and pass on the URL for this test snapshot. This share feature is now also available in the mobile-friendly testing tool.

We hope this tool makes it easier to create great AMP’d content while finding and resolving issues that may appear on your AMP pages. For any questions, feel free to drop by our webmaster's help forum.


Webmaster Forums Top AMP Questions


It has been busy here at Google Webmaster Central over the last few weeks, covering a lot of details about Accelerated Mobile Pages that we hope you have found useful. The topics have included:What is AMP?How to get started with Accelerated Mobile PagesHow can Google Search Console help you AMPlify your siteHow to best evaluate issues with your Accelerated Mobile PagesTop 8 things to consider when you AMPlify a siteHow to set up Analytics on your AMP pageHow to set up Ads on your AMP pageWe’ve also been seeing a few AMP questions coming to the Webmaster forums about getting started using AMP on Google Search. To help, we’ve compiled some of the most common questions we’ve seen: Q: I’m considering creating AMP pages for my website. What is the benefit? What types of sites and pages is AMP for?Users love content that loads fast and without any fuss - using the AMP format may make it more compelling for people to consume and engage with your content on mobile devices. Research has shown that 40% of users abandon a site that takes more than three seconds to load. The Washington Post observed an 88% decrease in article loading time and a 23% increase in returning users from mobile search from adopting AMP. The AMP format is great for all types of static web content such as news, recipes, movie listings, product pages, reviews, videos, blogs and more. Q: We are getting errors logged in Search Console for AMP pages; however, we already fixed these issues. Why are we still seeing errors?The short answer is that changes to your AMP pages take about a week to be updated in Search Console. For a more in-depth answer on why, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller shared a detailed post on Search Console latency challenges. Q: Our AMP pages are not showing up on Google Search. What should we do?Only valid AMP pages will be eligible to show on Google Search. Check the validity of your  AMP pages by using the AMP HTML Web Validator, the Chrome or Opera Extension or through a more automated process such as a cron job to make sure all new content is valid. While it’s good practise overall to include structured data in your AMP pages (we recommend JSON-LD), it's especially important for news publishers. News content that includes valid markup properties are eligible to be shown within the Top Stories section in Google Search results. To test your structured data, try using the structured data testing tool. If you have more questions that are not answered here, share your feedback in the comments below or on our Google Webmasters Google+ page. Or as usual, feel free to post in our Webmasters Help Forum. Posted by Tomo Taylor, AMP Community Manager [...]

Penguin is now part of our core algorithm


Google's algorithms rely on more than 200 unique signals or "clues" that make it possible to surface what you might be looking for. These signals include things like the specific words that appear on websites, the freshness of content, your region and PageRank. One specific signal of the algorithms is called Penguin, which was first launched in 2012 and today has an update.

After a period of development and testing, we are now rolling out an update to the Penguin algorithm in all languages. Here are the key changes you'll see, which were also among webmasters' top requests to us:

  • Penguin is now real-time. Historically, the list of sites affected by Penguin was periodically refreshed at the same time. Once a webmaster considerably improved their site and its presence on the internet, many of Google's algorithms would take that into consideration very fast, but others, like Penguin, needed to be refreshed. With this change, Penguin's data is refreshed in real time, so changes will be visible much faster, typically taking effect shortly after we recrawl and reindex a page. It also means we're not going to comment on future refreshes.
  • Penguin is now more granular. Penguin now devalues spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals, rather than affecting ranking of the whole site. 

The web has significantly changed over the years, but as we said in our original post, webmasters should be free to focus on creating amazing, compelling websites. It's also important to remember that updates like Penguin are just one of more than 200 signals we use to determine rank.

As always, if you have feedback, you can reach us on our forums, Twitter and Google+.


8 tips to AMPlify your clients


Here is our list of the top 8 things to consider when helping your clients AMPlify their websites (and staying ahead of their curiosity!) after our announcement to expand support for Accelerated Mobile Pages. Getting started can be simpleIf a site uses a popular Content Management System (CMS), getting AMP pages up and running is as straightforward as installing a plug-in. Sites that use custom HTML or that are built from scratch will require additional development resources. Not all types of sites are suitableAMP is great for all types of static web content such as news, recipes, movie listings, product pages, reviews, videos, blogs and more. AMP is less useful for single-page apps that are heavy on dynamic or interactive features, such as route mapping, email or social networks. You don’t have to #AMPlify the whole siteAdd AMP to a client's existing site progressively by starting with simple, static content pages like articles, products, or blog posts. These are the “leaf” pages that users access through platforms and search results, and could be simple changes that also bring the benefits of AMP to the website. This approach allows you to keep the homepage and other “browser” pages that might require advanced, non-AMP dynamic functionality. If you're creating a new, content-heavy website from scratch, consider building the whole site with AMP from the start. To begin with, check out the getting started guidelines. The AMP Project is open source and still evolvingIf a site's use case is not supported in the AMP format yet, consider filing a feature request on GitHub, or you could even design a component yourself. AMP pages might need to meet additional requirements to show up in certain placesIn order to appear in Google’s search results, AMP pages need only be valid AMP HTML. Some products integrating AMP might have further requirements than the AMP validation. For example, you'll need to mark up your AMP pages as Article markup with Structured Data to make them eligible for the Google Top Stories section. There is no ranking change on SearchWhether a page or site has valid and eligible AMP pages has no bearing on the site’s ranking on the Search results page. The difference is that web results that have AMP versions will be labeled with an icon. AMP on Google is expanding globallyAMP search results on Google will be rolling out worldwide when it launches in the coming weeks. The Top Stories carousel which shows newsy and fresh AMP content is already available in a number of countries and languages. Help is on handThere’s a whole host of useful resources that will help if you have any questions: Webmasters Help Forum: Ask questions about AMP and Google’s implementation of AMPStack Overflow: Ask technical questions about AMPGitHub: Submit a feature request or contribute What are your top tips to #AMPlify pages? Let us know in the comments below or on our Google Webmasters Google+ page. Or as usual, if you have any questions or need help, feel free to post in our Webmasters Help Forum. Posted by Tomo Taylor, AMP Community Manager [...]

How to best evaluate issues with your Accelerated Mobile Pages


As you #AMPlify your site with Accelerated Mobile Pages, it’s important to keep an eye periodically on the validation status of your pages, as only valid AMP pages are eligible to show on Google Search. When implementing AMP, sometimes pages will contain errors causing them to not be indexed by Google Search. Pages may also contain warnings that are elements that are not best practice or are going to become errors in the future. Google Search Console is a free service that lets you check which of your AMP pages Google has identified as having errors. Once you know which URLs are running into issues, there are a few handy tools that can make checking the validation error details easier. 1. Browser Developer Tools To use Developer Tools for validation:Open your AMP page in your browserAppend "#development=1" to the URL, for example, http://localhost:8000/released.amp.html#development=1.Open the Chrome DevTools console and check for validation errors.Developer Console errors will look similar to this: 2. AMP Browser Extensions With the AMP Browser Extensions (available for Chrome and Opera), you can quickly identify and debug invalid AMP pages. As you browse your site, the extension will evaluate each AMP page visited and give an indication of the validity of the page. When there are errors within an AMP page, the extension’s icon shows in a red color and displays the number of errors encountered.When there are no errors within an AMP page, the icon shows in a green color and displays the number of warnings, if any exist.When the page isn’t AMP but the page indicates that an AMP version is available, the icon shows in a blue color with a link icon, and clicking on the extension will redirect the browser to the AMP version. Using the extensions means you can see what errors or warnings the page has by clicking on the extension icon. Every issue will list the source line, source column, and a message indicating what is wrong. When a more detailed description of the issue exists, a “Learn more” link will take you to the relevant page on 3. AMP Web Validator The AMP Web Validator, available at, provides a simple web UI to test the validity of your AMP pages. To use the tool, you enter an AMP URL, or copy/paste your source code, and the web validator displays error messages between the lines. You can make edits directly in the web validator which will trigger revalidation, letting you know if your proposed tweaks will fix the problem. What's your favourite way to check the status of your AMP Pages? Share your feedback in the comments below or on our Google Webmasters Google+ page. Or as usual, if you have any questions or need help, feel free to post in our Webmasters Help Forum.Posted by Tomo Taylor, AMP Community Manager [...]

How can Google Search Console help you AMPlify your site?



If you have recently implemented Accelerated Mobile Pages on your site, it’s a great time to check which of your AMP pages Google has found and indexed by using Search Console.

Search Console is a free service that helps you monitor and maintain your site's presence in Google Search, including any Accelerated Mobile Pages. You don't have to sign up for Search Console for your AMP pages to be included in Google Search results, but doing so can help you understand which of your AMP pages are eligible to show in search results.

To get started with Search Console, create a free account or sign in here and validate the ownership of your sites.

Once you have your site set up on Search Console, open the Accelerated Mobile Pages report under Search Appearance > Accelerated Mobile Pages to see which AMP pages Google has found and indexed on your site, as shown here:


The report lists AMP-related issues for AMP pages that are not indexed, so that you can identify and address them.

Search Console also lets you monitor the performance of your AMP pages on Google Search in the Search Analytics report. This report tells you which queries show your AMP pages in Search results, lets you compare how their metrics stack against your other results and see how the visibility of your AMP pages has changed over time.

To view your AMP page metrics, such as clicks or impressions, select Search Appearance > Search Analytics > Filter by AMP.

(Note: if you’ve only just created your Search Console account or set up your AMP pages and they have not been detected yet, remember that Google crawls pages only periodically. You can wait for the scheduled regular recrawl, or you can request a recrawl.)

Have you been using Search Console to monitor your AMP pages? Give us feedback in the comments below or on our Google Webmasters Google+ page. Or as usual, if you have any questions or need help, feel free to post in our Webmasters Help Forum.

UPDATE: To help ensure that your AMP implementation is working as expected, Search Console now has an enhanced AMP testing tool.


How to get started with Accelerated Mobile Pages



Interested in Accelerated Mobile Pages but not sure how to get started? AMPlifying your site for lightning speed might be easier than you think.

If you use a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress, Drupal, or Hatena, getting set up on AMP is as simple as installing and activating a plug-in. Each CMS has a slightly different approach to AMPlifying pages, so it’s worth checking with your provider on how to get started.

On the other hand, if your site uses custom HTML, or you want to learn how AMP works under the hood, then check out the AMP Codelab for a guided, hands-on coding experience designed to take you through the process of developing your first pages. The Codelab covers the fundamentals:

  • How AMP improves the user experience of the mobile web
  • The foundations of an AMP page
  • AMP limitations
  • How AMP web components solve common problems
  • How to validate your AMP pages
  • How to prepare your AMP pages for Google Search

Once you are done with the basics, why not geek out with the Advanced Concepts Codelab?

Have you tried the Codelabs or added an AMP plugin to your site? Share your feedback in the comments below or on our Google Webmasters Google+ page. Or as usual, if you have any questions or need help, feel free to post in our Webmasters Help Forum.


What is AMP?



Users today expect mobile websites to load super fast. The reality is that it can often take several seconds. It is no surprise that 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. To reduce the time content takes to get to a user’s mobile device we started working on the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project, an open source initiative to improve the mobile web experience for everyone.

Accelerated Mobile Pages are HTML pages that take advantage of various technical approaches to prioritize speed and a faster experience for users by loading content almost instantaneously.

Later this year, all types of sites that create AMP pages will have expanded exposure across the entire Google Mobile Search results page, like e-commerce, entertainment, travel, recipe sites and many more. Visit the “Who” page on for a flavour of some of the sites already creating AMP content and try the demo at ( to see AMP versions of pages labeled with (image) .

(image) (image)

In advance of AMP expanding in Google Search, over the next few weeks we’ll be posting pointers to help you #AMPlify your site. Follow along with the #AMPlify hashtag on G+ and Twitter.

Have you already built AMP pages for your site? Share your feedback in the comments below or on our Google Webmasters Google+ page. Or as usual, if you have any questions or need help, feel free to post in our Webmasters Help Forum.


A reminder about widget links


Google has long taken a strong stance against links that manipulate a site’s PageRank. Today we would like to reiterate our policy on the creation of keyword-rich, hidden or low-quality links embedded in widgets that are distributed across various sites. Widgets can help website owners enrich the experience of their site and engage users. However, some widgets add links to a site that a webmaster did not editorially place and contain anchor text that the webmaster does not control. Because these links are not naturally placed, they're considered a violation of Google Webmaster Guidelines. Below you can find the examples of widgets which contain links that violate Google Webmaster Guidelines: Google's webspam team may take manual actions on unnatural links. When a manual action is taken, Google will notify the site owners through Search Console. If you receive such a warning for unnatural links to your site and you use links in widgets to promote your site, we recommend resolving these issues and requesting reconsideration. You can resolve issues with unnatural links by making sure they don't pass PageRank. To do this, add a rel="nofollow" attribute on the widget links or remove the links entirely. After fixing or removing widget links and any other unnatural links to your site, let Google know about your change by submitting a reconsideration request in Search Console. Once the request has been reviewed, you'll get a notification about whether the reconsideration request was successful or not. Also, we would like to remind webmasters who use widgets on their sites to check those widgets for any unnatural links. Add a rel="nofollow" attribute on those unnatural links or remove the links entirely from the widget. For more information, please watch our video about widget links and refer to our Webmaster Guidelines on Link Schemes. Additionally, feel free to ask questions in our Webmaster Help Forums, where a community of webmasters can help with their experience.Posted by Agnieszka Łata, Trust & Safety Search Team and Eric Kuan, Webmaster Relations Specialist [...]

Showcase your site’s reviews in Search


Today, we’re introducing Reviews from the web to local Knowledge Panels, to accompany our recently launched best-of lists and critic reviews features. Whether your site publishes editorial critic reviews, best-of places lists, or aggregates user ratings, this content can be featured in local Knowledge Panels when users are looking for places to go.

Reviews from the web
Available globally on mobile and desktop, Reviews from the web brings aggregated user ratings of up to three review sites to Knowledge Panels for local places across many verticals including shops, restaurants, parks and more.

By implementing review snippet markup and meeting our criteria, your site’s user-generated composite ratings will be eligible for inclusion. Add the Local Business markup to help Google match reviews to the right review subject and help grow your site’s coverage. For more information on the guidelines for the Reviews from the web, critic review and top places lists features, check out our developer site.
Critic reviews
In the U.S. on mobile and desktop, qualifying publishers can participate in the critic review feature in local Knowledge Panels. Critic reviews possess an editorial tone of voice and have an opinionated position on the local business, coming from an editor or on-the-ground expert. For more information on how to participate, see the details in our critic reviews page.
The local information across Google Search helps millions of people, every day, discover and share great places. If you have any questions, please visit our webmaster forums.


More Safe Browsing Help for Webmasters


(Crossposted from the Google Security Blog.) For more than nine years, Safe Browsing has helped webmasters via Search Console with information about how to fix security issues with their sites. This includes relevant Help Center articles, example URLs to assist in diagnosing the presence of harmful content, and a process for webmasters to request reviews of their site after security issues are addressed. Over time, Safe Browsing has expanded its protection to cover additional threats to user safety such as Deceptive Sites and Unwanted Software.To help webmasters be even more successful in resolving issues, we’re happy to announce that we’ve updated the information available in Search Console in the Security Issues report.The updated information provides more specific explanations of six different security issues detected by Safe Browsing, including malware, deceptive pages, harmful downloads, and uncommon downloads. These explanations give webmasters more context and detail about what Safe Browsing found. We also offer tailored recommendations for each type of issue, including sample URLs that webmasters can check to identify the source of the issue, as well as specific remediation actions webmasters can take to resolve the issue.We on the Safe Browsing team definitely recommend registering your site in Search Console even if it is not currently experiencing a security issue. We send notifications through Search Console so webmasters can address any issues that appear as quickly as possible.Our goal is to help webmasters provide a safe and secure browsing experience for their users. We welcome any questions or feedback about the new features on the Google Webmaster Help Forum, where Top Contributors and Google employees are available to help.For more information about Safe Browsing’s ongoing work to shine light on the state of web security and encourage safer web security practices, check out our summary of trends and findings on the Safe Browsing Transparency Report. If you’re interested in the tools Google provides for webmasters and developers dealing with hacked sites, this video provides a great overview. Posted by Kelly Hope Harrington, Safe Browsing Team [...]

Helping users easily access content on mobile


In Google Search, our goal is to help users quickly find the best answers to their questions, regardless of the device they’re using. Today, we’re announcing two upcoming changes to mobile search results that make finding content easier for users. Simplifying mobile search results Two years ago, we added a mobile-friendly label to help users find pages where the text and content was readable without zooming and the tap targets were appropriately spaced. Since then, we’ve seen the ecosystem evolve and we recently found that 85% of all pages in the mobile search results now meet this criteria and show the mobile-friendly label. To keep search results uncluttered, we’ll be removing the label, although the mobile-friendly criteria will continue to be a ranking signal. We’ll continue providing the mobile usability report in Search Console and the mobile-friendly test to help webmasters evaluate the effect of the mobile-friendly signal on their pages. Helping users find the content they’re looking for Although the majority of pages now have text and content on the page that is readable without zooming, we’ve recently seen many examples where these pages show intrusive interstitials to users. While the underlying content is present on the page and available to be indexed by Google, content may be visually obscured by an interstitial. This can frustrate users because they are unable to easily access the content that they were expecting when they tapped on the search result. Pages that show intrusive interstitials provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible. This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller. To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly. Here are some examples of techniques that make content less accessible to a user:Showing a popup that covers the main content, either immediately after the user navigates to a page from the search results, or while they are looking through the page.Displaying a standalone interstitial that the user has to dismiss before accessing the main content.Using a layout where the above-the-fold portion of the page appears similar to a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath the fold. Examples of interstitials that make content less accessible An example of an intrusive popup An example of an intrusive standalone interstitial Another example of an intrusive standalone interstitial   By contrast, here are some examples of techniques that, used responsibly, would not be affected by the new signal:Interstitials that appear to be in response to a legal obligation, such as for cookie usage or for age verification.Login dialogs on sites where content is not publicly indexable. For example, this would include private content such as email or unindexable content that is behind a paywall.Banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space and are easily dismissible. For example, the app install banners provided by Safari and Chrome are examples of banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space. Examples of interstitials that would not be affected by the new signal, if used responsibly An example of an interstitial for cookie usage An example of an interstitial for age verification An example of a banner that uses a reasonable amount of screen space   We previously explored a signal that checked for interstitials that ask a user to install a mobile app. As we continued our development efforts, we saw the need to broaden our focus to interstitials more generally. Accordingly, to avoid duplication in our signals, [...]

Promote your local businesses reviews with markup


Since the launch of critic reviews last year, we have been focused on supporting more types of reviews, like restaurant reviews, cafes, or any other type of a local business. Recently we’ve announced the availability of critic reviews for local businesses. By incorporating structured data to their sites, publishers can promote their content on local Knowledge Graph cards and users can enjoy a range of reviews and opinions.

Critic reviews are available across mobile, tablet and desktop, allowing publishers to increase the visibility of their reviews and expose their reviews to new audiences, whenever a local Knowledge Graph card is surfaced. English reviews for businesses in the US are already supported and we’ll very soon support many other languages and countries.

Publishers with critic reviews for local entities can get up and running by selecting snippets of reviews from their sites and annotating them and the associated business with markup. This process, detailed in our critic reviews markup instructions, allows publishers to communicate to Google which snippet they prefer, what URL is associated with the review and other metadata about the local business that allows us to ensure that we’re showing the right review for the right entity.

Google can understand a variety of markup formats, including the JSON-LD data format, which makes it easier than ever to incorporate structured data about reviews into webpages! Publishers can get started here. And as always, if you have any questions, please visit our webmaster forums.


AMP your content - A Preview of AMP'ed results in Search


It's 2016 and it's hard to believe that browsing the web on a mobile phone can still feel so slow with users abandoning sites that just don't load quickly. To us — and many in the industry — it was clear that something needed to change. That was why we started working with the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project, an open source initiative to improve the mobile web experience for everyone. Less than six months ago, we started sending people to AMP pages in the “Top stories” section of the Google Search Results page on mobile phones. Since then, we’ve seen incredible global adoption of AMP that has gone beyond the news industry to include e-commerce, entertainment, travel, recipe sites and so on. To date we have more than 150 million AMP docs in our index, with over 4 million new ones being added every week. As a result, today we’re sharing an early preview of our expanded AMP support across the entire search results page --not just the “Top stories” section. To clarify, this is not a ranking change for sites. As a result of the growth of AMP beyond publishers, we wanted to make it easier for people to access this faster experience. The preview shows an experience where web results that that have AMP versions are labeled with . When you tap on these results, you will be directed to the corresponding AMP page within the AMP viewer. AMP in Search Preview Try it out for yourself on your mobile device by navigating to Once you’re in the demo, search for something like “french toast recipe” or music lyrics by your favorite artist to experience how AMP can provide a speedier reading experience on the mobile web. The “Who” page on has a flavor of some of the sites already creating AMP content. We’re starting with a preview to get feedback from users, developers and sites so that we can create a better Search experience when we make this feature more broadly available later this year. In addition, we want to give everyone who might be interested in “AMPing up” their content enough time to learn how to implement AMP and to see how their content appears in the demo. And beyond developing AMP pages, we invite everyone to get involved and contribute to the AMP Project. We can’t wait to hear from you as we work together to speed up the web. And as always, if you have any questions, please visit our webmaster forums. Posted by Nick Zukoski, Software Engineer [...]

More security notifications via Google Analytics


Over a year ago, we launched Safe Browsing alerts in Google Analytics to warn users about websites identified as compromised and being used for distributing malware or phishing attacks. Since launch, we’ve alerted more than 24,000 Google Analytics property owners whose websites had been compromised by 3rd parties.Today, we’re happy to announce that we’ll be expanding our set of alerts in Google Analytics by adding notifications about sites hacked for spam in violation of our Webmaster Guidelines. In the unlikely event of your site being compromised by a 3rd party, the alert will flag the affected domain right within the Google Analytics UI and will point you to resources to help you resolve the issue.                                       An example of a Google Analytics alert for a compromised site.Website security is still something to take very seriously. In September of last year, we shared that we’d seen a 180% increase in sites getting hacked for spam compared to the previous year. Our research has shown that direct contact with website owners increases the likelihood of remediation to over 75%. This new alert gives us an additional method for letting website owners know that their site may be compromised.What can you do to prevent your site being compromised?Prevention plays an important role in keeping your site, and your users, safe. We’ve recently published tips and best practices to protect your content on the web, we recommend them to any site, large or small.Verify your site on Search Console.Aside from receiving alerts in Google Analytics or via Search results labels when your site is compromised, we recommend taking the extra step to verify your site in Search Console.The Security Issues feature will alert you when things don’t look good and will pin-point the issues we’ve uncovered on your properties. We have detailed a recovery journey in our hacked step-by-step recovery guide to help you resolve the issue and keep your website and users safe.We’re always looking for ideas and feedback—feel free to use the comments section below. For any support questions, visit and our support communities available in 14 languages.Posted by Giacomo Gnecchi Ruscone, Search Outreach and Anthony Medeiros, Google Analytics [...]

Search at I/O 16 Recap: Eight things you don't want to miss


Cross-posted from the Google Developers Blog Two weeks ago, over 7,000 developers descended upon Mountain View for this year’s Google I/O, with a takeaway that it’s truly an exciting time for Search. People come to Google billions of times per day to fulfill their daily information needs. We’re focused on creating features and tools that we believe will help users and publishers make the most of Search in today’s world. As Google continues to evolve and expand to new interfaces, such as the Google assistant and Google Home, we want to make it easy for publishers to integrate and grow with Google. In case you didn’t have a chance to attend all our sessions, we put together a recap of all the Search happenings at I/O. 1: Introducing rich cards We announced rich cards, a new Search result format building on rich snippets, that uses markup to display content in an even more engaging and visual format. Rich cards are available in English for recipes and movies and we’re excited to roll out for more content categories soon. To learn more, browse the new gallery with screenshots and code samples of each markup type or watch our rich cards devByte. 2: New Search Console reports We want to make it easy for webmasters and developers to track and measure their performance in search results. We launched a new report in Search Console to help developers confirm that their rich card markup is valid. In the report we highlight “enhanceable cards,” which are cards that can benefit from marking up more fields. The new Search Appearance filter also makes it easy for webmasters to filter their traffic by AMP and rich cards. 3: Real-time indexing Users are searching for more than recipes and movies: they’re often coming to Search to find fresh information about what’s happening right now. This insight kickstarted our efforts to use real-time indexing to connect users searching for real-time events with fresh content. Instead of waiting for content to be crawled and indexed, publishers will be able to use the Google Indexing API to trigger the indexing of their content in real time. It’s still in its early days, but we’re excited to launch a pilot later this summer. 3: Getting up to speed with Accelerated Mobile Pages We provided an update on our use of AMP, an open source effort to speed up the mobile web. Google Search uses AMP to enable instant-loading content. Speed is important---over 40% of users abandon a page that takes more than three seconds to load. We announced that we’re bringing AMPed news carousels to the iOS and Android Google apps, as well as experimenting with combining AMP and rich cards. Stay tuned for more via our blog and github page. In addition to the sessions, attendees could talk directly with Googlers at the Search & AMP sandbox. 5: A new and improved Structured Data Testing Tool We updated the popular Structured Data Testing tool. The tool is now tightly integrated with the DevSite Search Gallery and the new Search Preview service, which lets you preview how your rich cards will look on the search results page. 6: App Indexing got a new home (and new features) We announced App Indexing’s migration to Firebase, Google’s unified developer platform. Watch the session to learn how to grow your app with Firebase App Indexing. 7: App streaming App streaming is a new way for Android users to try out games without having to download and install the app -- and it’s already available in Google Search. Check out the session to learn more. 8. Revamped documentation We also revamped our developer documentati[...]

Tie your sites together with property sets in Search Console


Mobile app, mobile website, desktop website -- how do you track their combined visibility in search? Until now, you've had to track all of these statistics separately. Search Console is introducing the concept of "property sets," which let you combine multiple properties (both apps and sites) into a single group to monitor the overall clicks and impressions in search within a single report.


It's easy to get started:

  1. Create a property set
  2. Add the properties you're interested in
  3. The data will start being collected within a few days
  4. Profit from the new insights in Search Analytics!

Property Sets will treat all URIs from the properties included as a single presence in the Search Analytics feature. This means that Search Analytics metrics aggregated by host will be aggregated across all properties included in the set. For example, at a glance you'll get the clicks and impressions of any of the sites in the set for all queries.

This feature will work for any kind of property in Search Console. Use it to gain an overview of your international websites, of mixed HTTP / HTTPS sites, of different departments or brands that run separate websites, or monitor the Search Analytics of all your apps together: all of that's possible with this feature.

Don't just listen to us, here's what we heard from one of the beta-testers:

It was one of my most important demands since the beginning of Webmaster Tools / Search Console. And I love the way it is given to us. I see that the remarks of beta-testers have also been understood by Google engineers. So thank you so much! -- Olivier Andrieu (Abondance)

We'll be rolling this out over the next couple of days. If you have multiple properties verified in Search Console, we hope this feature makes it easier for you to keep track. If you have any questions, feedback, or ideas, please come and visit us in the webmaster help forum, or read the help documentation for this new feature!

P.S. Want to become a beta-tester for future features? Just sign up to become a beta-tester and we'll get in touch.


Introducing rich cards


Rich cards are a new Search result format building on the success of rich snippets. Just like rich snippets, rich cards use structured markup to display content in an even more engaging and visual format, with a focus on providing a better mobile user experience.Evolution of search results for queries like [peanut butter cookies recipe]: with rich cards, results are presented in carousels that are easy to browse by scrolling left and right. Carousels can contain cards all from the same site or from multiple sites.For site owners, this is a new opportunity to stand out in Search results and attract more targeted users to your page. For example, if you have a recipe site, you can build a richer preview of your content with a prominent image for each dish. This visual format helps users find what they want right away, so you're getting users who specifically want that especially delicious cookie recipe you have.We’re starting to show rich cards for two content categories: recipes and movies. They will appear initially on mobile search results in English for We’re actively experimenting with more opportunities to provide more publishers with a rich preview of their content.We’ve built a comprehensive set of tools and completely updated our developer documentation to take site owners and developers from initial exploration through implementation to performance monitoring.Explore rich card types and identify where your content fitsBrowse the new gallery with screenshots and code samples of each markup type.Test and tweak your markupWe strongly recommend using JSON-LD in your implementation. Find out which fields are essential to mark up in order for a rich card to appear. We’ve also listed additional fields that can enhance your rich cards.See a preview in the revamped Structured Data Testing Tool of how the rich card might appear in Search (currently available for recipes and movies).Use the the Structured Data Testing Tool to see errors as you tweak your markup in real time.Keep track of coverage and debug errorsCheck how many of your rich cards are indexed in the new Search Console Rich Cards report. Keep an eye out for errors (also listed in the Rich Cards report). Each error example links directly to the Structured Data Testing tool so you can test it.Submit a sitemap to help us discover all your marked-up content.Find opportunities for growthIn the Rich Cards report, you'll see which cards can be enhanced by marking up additional fields. Monitor performanceA new “Rich results” filter in Search Analytics (currently in a closed beta) will help you track how your rich cards and rich snippets are doing in search: you’ll be able to drill down and see clicks and impressions for both. Q: Can I keep my existing rich snippets markup?A: Yes, you can! We’ll keep you posted as the rich result ecosystem evolves. Q: What about the Structured Data report in Search Console?A: The Structured Data report will continue to show only top-level entities for the existing rich snippets (Product, Recipe, Review, Event, SoftwareApplication, Video, News article) and for any new categories (e.g., Movies). We plan to migrate all errors from the Structured Data report into the Rich Card report. Q: What if I use the wrong markup?A: Technical and quality guidelines apply for rich cards as they do for rich snippets. We will enforce them as before. Learn more about rich cards in the Search and the mobile content ecosystem session at Google I/O (watch the recording on YouTube) or in our developer documentation. If you have more questions, find us in the dedica[...]

A new mobile friendly testing tool


Mobile is close to our heart - we love seeing more and more sites make their content available in useful & accessible ways for mobile users. To help keep the ball rolling, we've now launched a new Mobile Friendly Test.

The new tool is linked from Search Console's mobile usability report or available directly at


The updated tool provides us with room to continue to improve on its functionality, and over time, we expect it to replace the previous Mobile Friendly Test. Additionally, of course this tool also works well on your smartphone, if you need to double-check something there!

We'd like to invite you to take it for a spin, try your website and other sites that you're curious about! Let us know how you like it - either here in the comments or in our webmaster help forums.


Deeper Integration of Search Console in Google Analytics


(Cross-posted from the Google Analytics Blog.) Google Analytics helps brands optimize their websites and marketing efforts for all sources of traffic, and Search Console is where website owners manage how they appear in Google organic search results. Today, we are introducing the ability to display Search Console metrics alongside Google Analytics metrics, in the same reports, side by side - giving you a full view of how your site shows up and performs in organic search results.For years, users of both Search Console and Google Analytics have been able to link the two properties (instructions) and see Search Console statistics in Google Analytics, in isolation. But to gain a fuller picture of your website’s performance in organic search, it’s beneficial to see how visitors reached your site and what they did once they got there.With this update, you’ll be able to see your Search Console metrics and your Google Analytics metrics in the same reports, in parallel. By combining data from both sources at the landing page level, we’re able to show you a full range of Acquisition, Behavior and Conversion metrics for your organic search traffic. This feature out is rolling out over the coming few weeks, so not everyone will see it immediately.
New Search Console reports combine Search Console and Google Analytics metricsNew InsightsThe new reports allow you to examine your organic search data end-to-end and discover unique and actionable insights. Your Acquisition metrics from Search Console, such as impressions and average position, are now available in relation to your Behavior and Conversion metrics from Google Analytics, like bounce rate and pages per session.Below are some new capabilities resulting from this improved integration: • Find landing pages that are attracting many users through Google organic search (e.g., high impressions and high click through rate) but where users are not engaging with the website. In this case, you should consider improving your landing pages.
 • Find landing pages that have high site engagement but are not successfully attracting users from Google organic search  (e.g., have low click through rate). In this case, you might benefit from improving titles and descriptions shown in search.
 • Learn which queries are ranking well for each organic landing page.
 • Segment organic performance by device category (desktop, tablet, mobile) in the new Devices report.
New Landing Page report showing Search Console and Google Analytics metrics

 Additional Information Each of these new reports will display how your organic search traffic performs. As data is joined at the landing page level, Landing Pages, Countries and Devices will show both Search Console and Google Analytics data, while the Queries report will only show Search Console data for individual queries. The same search queries will display in Google Analytics as you see in Search Console today.As mentioned in our Search Console Help Center, some data may not be displayed, to protect user privacy. For example, Search Console may not track some infrequent queries, and will not display those that include personal or sensitive information.Also, while the data is displayed in parallel, not all Google Analytics features are available for Search Console data - including segmentation. Any segment that is applied to the new combined reports will only apply to Google Analytics data. You may als[...]

How we fought webspam in 2015


Search is a powerful tool. It helps people to find, share, and access an amazing wealth of content regardless of how they connect or where they are located. As part of Google’s search quality team, we work hard to ensure that searchers see high quality search results—and not webspam. We fight spam through a combination of algorithms and manual reviews to ensure that sites don’t rise in search results through deceptive or manipulative behavior, especially because those sites could harm or mislead users.Below are some of the webspam insights we gathered in 2015, including trends we’ve seen, what we’re doing to fight spam and protect against those trends, and how we’re working with you to make the web better.2015 webspam trendsWe saw a huge number of websites being hacked – a 180% increase compared to the previous year. Stay safe on the web and take preventative measures to protect your content on the web.We saw an increase in the number of sites with thin, low quality content. Such content contains little or no added value and is often scraped from other sites.2015 spam-fighting effortsAs always, our algorithms addressed the vast majority of webspam and search quality improvement for users. One of our algorithmic updates helped to remove the amount of hacked spam in search results.The rest of spam was tackled manually. We sent more than 4.3 million messages to webmasters to notify them of manual actions we took on their site and to help them identify the issues.We saw a 33% increase in the number of sites that went through spam clean-up efforts towards a successful reconsideration process.Working with users and webmasters for a better webMore than 400,000 spam reports were submitted by users around the world. After prioritizing the reports, we acted on 65% of them, and considered 80% of those acted upon to be spam. Thanks to all who submitted reports and contributed towards a cleaner web ecosystem!We conducted more than 200 online office hours and live events around the world in 17 languages. These are great opportunities for us to help webmasters with their sites and for them to share helpful feedback with us as well.The webmaster help forum continued to be an excellent source of webmaster support. Webmasters had tens of thousands of questions answered, including over 35,000 by users designated as Webmaster Top Contributors. Also, 56 Webmaster Top Contributors joined us at our Top Contributor Summit to discuss how to provide users and webmasters with better support and tools. We’re grateful for our awesome Top Contributors and their tremendous contributions!We’re continuously improving our spam-fighting technology and working closely with webmasters and users to foster and support a high-quality web ecosystem. (In fact, fighting webspam is one of the many ways we maintain search quality at Google.) Thanks for helping to keep spammers away so users can continue accessing great content in Google Search.Posted by Kiyotaka Tanaka and Mary Chen, User Education and Search Outreach [...]

Helping webmasters re-secure their sites


(Cross-posted from the Google Security Blog.) Every week, over 10 million users encounter harmful websites that deliver malware and scams. Many of these sites are compromised personal blogs or small business pages that have fallen victim due to a weak password or outdated software. Safe Browsing and Google Search protect visitors from dangerous content by displaying browser warnings and labeling search results with 'this site may harm your computer'. While this helps keep users safe in the moment, the compromised site remains a problem that needs to be fixed.Unfortunately, many webmasters for compromised sites are unaware anything is amiss. Worse yet, even when they learn of an incident, they may lack the security expertise to take action and address the root cause of compromise. Quoting one webmaster from a survey we conducted, “our daily and weekly backups were both infected” and even after seeking the help of a specialist, after “lots of wasted hours/days” the webmaster abandoned all attempts to restore the site and instead refocused his efforts on “rebuilding the site from scratch”.In order to find the best way to help webmasters clean-up from compromise, we recently teamed up with the University of California, Berkeley to explore how to quickly contact webmasters and expedite recovery while minimizing the distress involved. We’ve summarized our key lessons below. The full study, which you can read here, was recently presented at the International World Wide Web Conference.When Google works directly with webmasters during critical moments like security breaches, we can help 75% of webmasters re-secure their content. The whole process takes a median of 3 days. This is a better experience for webmasters and their audience.How many sites get compromised?Number of freshly compromised sites Google detects every week.Over the last year Google detected nearly 800,000 compromised websites—roughly 16,500 new sites every week from around the globe. Visitors to these sites are exposed to low-quality scam content and malware via drive-by downloads. While browser and search warnings help protect visitors from harm, these warnings can at times feel punitive to webmasters who learn only after-the-fact that their site was compromised. To balance the safety of our users with the experience of webmasters, we set out to find the best approach to help webmasters recover from security breaches and ultimately reconnect websites with their audience.Finding the most effective ways to aid webmasterGetting in touch with webmasters: One of the hardest steps on the road to recovery is first getting in contact with webmasters. We tried three notification channels: email, browser warnings, and search warnings. For webmasters who proactively registered their site with Search Console, we found that email communication led to 75% of webmasters re-securing their pages. When we didn’t know a webmaster’s email address, browser warnings and search warnings helped 54% and 43% of sites clean up respectively.Providing tips on cleaning up harmful content: Attackers rely on hidden files, easy-to-miss redirects, and remote inclusions to serve scams and malware. This makes clean-up increasingly tricky. When we emailed webmasters, we included tips and samples of exactly which pages contained harmful content. This, combined with expedited notification, helped webmasters clean up 62% faster compared to no tips—usually within 3 da[...]

No More Deceptive Download Buttons


(Cross-posted from the Google Security Blog.) In November, we announced that Safe Browsing would protect you from social engineering attacks - deceptive tactics that try to trick you into doing something dangerous, like installing unwanted software or revealing your personal information (for example, passwords, phone numbers, or credit cards). You may have encountered social engineering in a deceptive download button, or an image ad that falsely claims your system is out of date. Today, we’re expanding Safe Browsing protection to protect you from such deceptive embedded content, like social engineering ads.Consistent with the social engineering policy we announced in November, embedded content (like ads) on a web page will be considered social engineering when they either:Pretend to act, or look and feel, like a trusted entity — like your own device or browser, or the website itself. Try to trick you into doing something you’d only do for a trusted entity — like sharing a password or calling tech support.Below are some examples of deceptive content, shown via ads:This image claims that your software is out-of-date to trick you into clicking “update”. This image mimics a dialogue from the FLV software developer -- but it does not actually originate from this developer.These buttons seem like they will produce content that relate to the site (like a TV show or sports video stream) by mimicking the site’s look and feel. They are often not distinguishable from the rest of the page.Our fight against unwanted software and social engineering is still just beginning. We'll continue to improve Google's Safe Browsing protection to help more people stay safe online.Will my site be affected?If visitors to your web site consistently see social engineering content, Google Safe Browsing may warn users when they visit the site. If your site is flagged for containing social engineering content, you should troubleshoot with Search Console. Check out our social engineering help for webmasters. Posted by Lucas Ballard, Safe Browsing Team [...]

Continuing to make the web more mobile friendly


Getting good, relevant answers when you search shouldn’t depend on what device you’re using. You should get the best answer possible, whether you’re on a phone, desktop or tablet. Last year, we started using mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal on mobile searches. Today we’re announcing that beginning in May, we’ll start rolling out an update to mobile search results that increases the effect of the ranking signal to help our users find even more pages that are relevant and mobile-friendly.

If you've already made your site mobile-friendly, you will not be impacted by this update. If you need support with your mobile-friendly site, we recommend checking out the Mobile-Friendly Test and the Webmaster Mobile Guide, both of which provide guidance on how to improve your mobile site. And remember, the intent of the search query is still a very strong signal — so even if a page with high quality content is not mobile-friendly, it could still rank well if it has great, relevant content.

If you have any questions, please go to the Webmaster help forum.


Updating the smartphone user-agent of Googlebot


Update, 20/04/2016: This change is now liveAs technology on the web changes, we periodically update the user-agents we use for Googlebot. Next month, we will be updating the smartphone user-agent of Googlebot:Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 6.0.1; Nexus 5X Build/MMB29P) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/41.0.2272.96 Mobile Safari/537.36 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; + (Googlebot smartphone user-agent starting from April 18, 2016)Today, we use the following smartphone user-agent for Googlebot:Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 8_3 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/600.1.4 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/8.0 Mobile/12F70 Safari/600.1.4 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; + (Current Googlebot smartphone user-agent)We’re updating the user-agent string so that our renderer can better understand pages that use newer web technologies. Our renderer evolves over time and the user-agent string indicates that that it is becoming more similar to Chrome than Safari. To make sure your site can be viewed properly by a wide range of users and browsers, we recommend using feature detection and progressive enhancement. Our evaluation suggests that this user-agent change should have no effect on 99% of sites. The most common reason a site might be affected is if it specifically looks for a particular Googlebot user-agent string. User-agent sniffing for Googlebot is not recommended and is considered to be a form of cloaking. Googlebot should be treated like any other browser.If you believe your site may be affected by this update, we recommend checking your site with the Fetch and Render Tool in Search Console (which has been updated with the new user-agent string) or by changing the user-agent string in Developer Tools in your browser (for example, via Chrome Device Mode). If you have any questions, we’re always happy to answer them in our Webmaster help forums.Posted by Katsuaki Ikegami, Software Engineer [...]