Google Now Indexes Pages via RSS / Atom Feeds on your Site

Friday, October 30, 2009

Google uses numerous sources to find new webpages, from links we find on the web to submitted URLs. We aim to discover new pages quickly so that users can find new content in Google search results soon after they go live. We recently launched a feature that uses RSS and Atom feeds for the discovery of new webpages.

RSS/Atom feeds have been very popular in recent years as a mechanism for content publication. They allow readers to check for new content from publishers. Using feeds for discovery allows us to get these new pages into our index more quickly than traditional crawling methods. We may use many potential sources to access updates from feeds including Reader, notification services, or direct crawls of feeds. Going forward, we might also explore mechanisms such as PubSubHubbub to identify updated items.

In order for us to use your RSS/Atom feeds for discovery, it's important that crawling these files is not disallowed by your robots.txt. To find out if Googlebot can crawl your feeds and find your pages as fast as possible, test your feed URLs with the robots.txt tester in Google Webmaster Tools.

Measure Your Display Ad’s Impact with AdWords Campaign Insights

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Following the view-through reporting campaign it rolled out recently, Google AdWords is launching a new ad campaign impact measurement tool called Campaign Insights. Campaign Insights will let you measure how well your display ad campaign is working beyond just clicks.

According to the Inside AdWords blog, Campaign Insights is a unique measurement tool that gives you reliable data about how a particular ad campaign was able to raised brand awareness or active user interest on a particular product or service that you are promoting. It measures the incremental lift in both online search activity and website visits brought by display ad campaign, beyond the usual click and conversion indicators.

Campaign Insights analyzes large quantities of data and compare two data sets – large group of users who saw and ad against a large group that did not see the the same ad to see whether there is a big difference in searches and visits to an advertiser’s websites. It will then determine whether the incremental change directly attributable to the display ad campaign is enough to establish how well a display ad campaign is effectively working beyong clicks.
Campaign Insights is currently available for display ad campaign in the US and UK. It will be a useful tool for you if you’re running display ad campaigns over the Google Content Network.

Google does not use the keywords meta tag in web ranking

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Recently we received some questions about how Google uses (or more accurately, doesn't use) the "keywords" meta tag in ranking web search results. Suppose you have two website owners, Alice and Bob. Alice runs a company called AliceCo and Bob runs BobCo. One day while looking at Bob's site, Alice notices that Bob has copied some of the words that she uses in her "keywords" meta tag. Even more interesting, Bob has added the words "AliceCo" to his "keywords" meta tag. Should Alice be concerned?

At least for Google's web search results currently (September 2009), the answer is no. Google doesn't use the "keywords" meta tag in our web search ranking. This video explains more, or see the questions below.

Google Now Highlights Forum Posts in Search Results

Thursday, October 1, 2009

For some types of queries, the best results come often come from online forums. What’s the best place to eat in San Francisco? What type of RAM should I buy? Where do I find a flux capacitor? Recognizing this, Google has added a new feature to its search results, highlighting several relevant forum posts on sites that have a large number of posts on a specific topic.

In the image above, my query was “best Intel motherboard” Google has recognized that contains a forum with several relevant topics, showing it below the main result, together with the dates when those topics were created.

In certain situations, this could save us plenty of time, as you can jump directly to a forum post without searching for it on the actual site. Being able to see the date of topic creation is handy too, as you can quickly filter out old info. I’d like to see a setting that enables you to see more forum results, though; four forum topics often isn’t enough.