5,093 reputation
1821
bio website johnmu.com
location Switzerland
age
visits member for 4 years, 5 months
seen 23 hours ago

Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google Switzerland. I work together with the web-search engineers and the webmaster-support team to help webmasters to make awesome content that search engines can understand and recommend.

I primarily post in the Google Webmaster Help forums (in English & German). You can also catch me on Google+, occasionally even in live hangouts :-).


1d
comment Is it safe to let anyone add my site in Google Webmaster Tools?
Another aspect is that as a verified owner, you can link the website to a YouTube channel (to make it official), to a Google+ page, and to apps uploaded in Google Play.
1d
comment Is it safe to let anyone add my site in Google Webmaster Tools?
Regarding URL removals, in Webmaster Tools, as a verified owner, you can request complete removal of your website at any point, even if the website is still live. As a verified owner, Webmaster Tools assumes you know what you're doing.
1d
comment Is it safe to let anyone add my site in Google Webmaster Tools?
I'd definitely avoid letting random people verify ownership of your site in Webmaster Tools, lots of things can be broken... Adding people with "read-only" access is less problematic, but even there they'd be able to see your search query data (which might be a competitive advantage), and see if URL removal requests were submitted.
1d
comment How do search engine crawlers deal with imported HTML using link rel import tags?
FWIW if you block import.html via robots.txt, then that would also prevent its content from being picked up for indexing at all (even when pulled in via JavaScript like this). You can test this with "Fetch as Google" using the rendered option, in Webmaster Tools.
2d
comment What's the smallest page size for Googlebot to not go “Soft 404”?
If Google is getting soft-404s wrong for your site, send me some sample URLs and I'll forward them to the team here. You shouldn't need to artificially tweak the response size.
Dec
18
comment Does Googlebot support SPDY?
With regards to potential future functionality, this kind of thing is something they would definitely consider, if they can see that it would have a significant impact. For example, if they see many servers that are overloaded with requests, where combining requests could allow better crawling, then maybe this would be an option. On the other hand, if it's only an option on servers that are already well-crawled, then it probably doesn't make that much sense.
Dec
18
comment Does Googlebot support SPDY?
I ended up talking with someone from the Googlebot team about this. At Google, we don't have these things documented (the list of things Googlebot doesn't do it pretty big), so I can't really point to anything as a reference.
Dec
17
comment Prevent Googlebot from seeing or indexing common keywords such as “read full story”
FWIW the content keywords report in Webmaster Tools is based on crawling, not indexing/ranking/relevance. Just because something's mentioned there doesn't mean that Google sees it as being relevant for the site. You don't need to optimize for that report.
Dec
10
comment How do I find when an URL was first indexed by Google?
Like others have mentioned, you can't get this information. If you have access to the server logs, you could see when it was first crawled, but even that doesn't mean that it was indexed then.
Dec
10
comment Can we use regex in robots.txt file to block URLs?
I'd caution from using too fancy directives in your robots.txt file; these are really, really hard to debug later on. Try to keep things as simple as possible. Also remember that robots.txt is case-sensitive, so you may need to add alternate versions of the directives depending on your site.
Dec
2
comment Where should I put the sitemap of mobile version of my site?
Keep in mind that mobile sitemaps (like you're using here) are meant for featurephone content (WAP, WML, etc), not for smartphone content. The solution for smartphone sites is in the answer below.
Oct
22
comment How Do I Contact a Domain Owner Who Doesnt Use Email? (Private Registration)
It's fine to NX requests for domains that you don't serve on your DNS, Google won't mind. I wouldn't silently drop those requests though, since that makes it hard to understand what you're trying to say (it'll just look like your DNS is flakey).
Sep
24
comment Is there a way to bulk submit URLs to Fetch as Google?
You could also just create a sitemap file (or text URL-list file) and submit that.
Sep
24
comment Base64 encoded images and availability of their metadata for googlebot
As linked above, we currently don't index these as images separately. That might change in the future, but at least for the moment you'd want to use separate image URLs if you want those images indexed in Image Search.
Sep
16
comment backlinks to our site are being ignored by google thus affecting our SEO
You need to make sure that you have the right version verified in Webmaster Tools (usually this means your site is indexed as example.com but you verified www. example.com - or vice versa). Also, keep in mind that if you're selling the websites together with the link (and it's not a link that customers placed on their own), then you should be using the rel=nofollow to prevent them from passing PageRank.
Sep
16
comment Why doesn't Google Webmaster Tools show the search queries that led to clicks?
It needs more datapoints, more impressions & clicks.
Aug
27
comment When to tell Google Webmaster Tools that domain has moved
@dasickle Ah, yes, we just recently added a check for redirects before using the feature (well, at least for the homepage -- for the whole site we'd have to recrawl everything, which can take a lot of time). It sounds like we should have waited until you had it set :)
Aug
27
comment Should I include the current language code in <link rel=“alternate” hreflang=“” />?
The main reasons are that it makes it easier to reuse the same block of annotations on all pages of the set, as well as making sure that canonicalization issues don't cause unnecessary problems. For example, if /en.htm?sessionid=123 doesn't mention that /en.htm is the English version, we may assume that the "sessionid=123" part is important (but not confirmed by the other pages).
Aug
26
comment Moving from http to https - Google webmaster tools | Bing webmaster tools
Google Webmaster Tools treats https:// and http:// as separate sites; you should definitely add them separately if you use them both (or are migrating from one to the other). You should also update the sitemap file to point to the new URLs.
Aug
12
comment Indexing internationalized pages
FWIW we currently also only index one language version per URL, so if you serve different language content on the same URL, Google would only index one of those versions (whichever is served by default, probably). Use separate URLs per langauge & region! support.google.com/webmasters/answer/189077?hl=en has more on how hreflang works.