Google’s New Launches and more New Launches

Lorna Gill Posted by Lorna Gill

I thought instead of writing small posts on each update rolled out by Google, I will write a longer post discussing the latest updates came out during the last week. Among the four new launches, the hottest one for us is “Google can now execute AJAX & JavaScript for Indexing” which was confirmed by Matt Cutts on his twitter update that Google is now able to execute AJAX/JS to index some dynamic comments.

This change has focused on the content available on social networking websites like Facebook or Disqus and others which load their content via AKAX/JS. This means GoogleBot and Google Spiders are now smarter in reading comments or posts indexed in social networking websites.

Last week labnol.org reported that Google has started indexing Facebook Comments which was then officially confirmed by Googlewebmastercentral  blog. Pawel from Google confirmed this report yesterday that they recommend “GET for fetching resources a page needs and this is by far our preferred method of crawling”. But because of the rising popularity of JavaScript and AJAX most pages require POST requests to get the entire content of the page. While crawling POST requests Google spiders and Bots would index pages with missing information or they would look broken without the information returned from POST.

This change in my opinion is best for SEO who are looking to optimise their content using social media platforms.  Read an example and best practice given by Greg on Search Engine Land.

The second interesting update is the aftermath of Google’s privacy issue debate. Google is letting the consumers know about why certain search and Gmail ads appear to them. Google launched a new section called Ad Preference Centre where users can manage the preference for targeted ads.


Users will now see a display at the top of ad results which says “why these ads?” or “why this ad?”


Which will show the explanation of why that particular ad was targeted to them, either because of the current search or pervious searches. They can further control the advertisers they want to receive ads from or even ban them.

However this option is only available to signed-in users and as for advertisers if a user opts out of personalised ads on search or Gmail, these ads will still reach them but their targeting might be a little less precise as reported on official adwords blog.

 

For more information check Search Engine Lands example and Good to Know on how to manage data on Google and across the web.

The next kid in the block is howtogomo.com a very cool Google initiative educating marketers on how website appears on a mobile screen. Howtogomo.com offers case studies, best practices and an emulator where you can see how your site looks on a smartphone. This initiative by Google in-lines with Google’ intent to accelerate the pace of mobile sites and landing page adoption. Earlier this march Google reported that 79% of its top advertisers don’t have mobile-optimized sites while a recent study by Acquity Group found that 37% of the Internet 500 Retailers now have one.

And the last but not the least (as Google tend to surprise every other night) update from Google is Google Alert on Duplicate Content Issues. This tool alerts the site owner when a particular URL does not appear because Google sees it as a duplicate of a URL on a different domain.

This new feature alerts site owners when their “algorithms select an external URL instead of one from their website”.
Most common reasons given by Search Engine Land are below:

Site owner-specified – if you’ve moved your domain or have implemented the rel=canonical attribute to indicate that a page on another domain is canonical, then this alert is simply confirmation that Google is indexing as you’ve specified.

Site owner-specified – if you’ve moved your domain or have implemented the rel=canonical attribute to indicate that a page on another domain is canonical, then this alert is simply confirmation that Google is indexing as you’ve specified.

 

Regional sites – if you have the same content on multiple regional sites (for instance, the same English content on a .com (for US), a .co.uk, and a .com.au), Google may cluster pages with identical content across sites and use relevance signals to determine which to display per query.

Incorrect canonicalization – in this case, a page may inadvertently use the rel=canonical attribute to specify a page on a different domain as canonical.

Misconfigured server – a hosting misconfiguration (this in particular happens sometimes with shared hosting) may cause a two different domains to display the same content)
Hacked site – sites are sometimes hacked to point to other domains.

 

Scraped content – the blog says that “in rare situations”, Google may select a URL from a site that has scraped your content.

These alerts are only available in message centre. This is an incredible feature for sign owners who would not know why their certain pages do not appear in in search results. It would be interesting to how it improves the publishing of content for sight owners. If your website has been alerted by any of the given reasons, please share your insights and possible reasons with us.

About the author

Lorna Gill
Lorna Gill
Lorna is responsible for acquisition marketing at Adthena, communicating their award-winning product and generating demand. She has developed her career in fast-paced, start-up environments, including two tech track 100 companies and is passionate about translating technical information into stories that excite and delight.