Friday, July 13, 2012

Help Desk Hangouts: SEO Webmaster Academy

Editor’s note: Each week on the Google+ Your Business page, we’re putting you in touch with Googlers and users who can help you as a business owner get the most out of our products and features.

In our latest Help Desk Hangout On Air, we talked about SEO with the masterminds of Google’s Webmaster Academy. Our experts, Alexi, Michael, and Matt, walk you through how Google Search works, how you can set your site up for success, and more. They also answered your questions in real time. Miss the event? You can watch the whole thing on the Google and Your Business YouTube channel.

Check out the video description on the YouTube page for a minute-by-minute breakdown.

Some of the questions we answered during the Hangout:

My site used to rank really well, but now it doesn’t. What happened?
There could be several reasons that your site is not be ranking in search the same way that it did in the past. Three common reasons why this may happen are that your site has a technical problem which is preventing Googlebot from accessing it, your site violates our quality guidelines, or your site is simply ranking differently due to changes to our algorithm, which is updated hundreds of times per year. The first thing we’d recommend to diagnose your issue is to check your site in Google Webmaster Tools, a free service that gives you information about how your site is performing in Google. If we’ve detected a problem with your site, we may have sent you a message there. For a more detailed checklist to help you diagnose a change in ranking, visit our Help Center.

I'd love to learn more about the Knowledge Graph and what, if anything we should be doing as SEOs & Webmasters.

The Knowledge Graph is a way for users to see additional relevant information on searches for certain people, places and things on the right hand side of the results page. This information helps users get to answers quickly; in many cases, they may find answers to questions they hadn’t even thought to ask. It also helps people discover more about the topic they’re interested in by showing people, places or things that are closely related to their searches. For example, if you search for an artist like Leonardo da Vinci, you’ll see a short biography, some of his most famous works, and other frequently searched-for artists. Currently, there isn’t any functionality in Webmaster Tools to be included in the Knowledge Graph. Right now this is not about individual businesses but rather about generally known facts about the world.

How do you rank item detail pages where there may be many websites which have the same item for sale (with a standard "technical description")? Who rises to the top when the content is basically static?

Great question! Many merchant and affiliate sites use product descriptions taken straight from the manufacturer or from the end merchant site. While sometimes this can be appropriate, we typically recommend looking for ways you can add your own value to that page - can you provide some original reviews or recommendations about the item? If you are adding value of your own you’ll be providing a better experience for users. If you are concerned about this, check out our material on duplicate content and watch this video about our Webmaster Guidelines.

Where can I go for more information, help, or to prove my own knowledge?

Our experts mentioned a bunch of incredible resources available to you. Here are a few links to get you started:

As mentioned in the recording, our Help Desk Hangouts will be occurring every other week moving forward. Be sure to join us for our next Hangout at 11 a.m. PDT on Wednesday, July 25th. Look out for the topic announcement on the Google+ Your Business page.

No comments:

Post a Comment