5 Awesome Things About Google Webmaster Tools

5 Awesome GWMT Tools

My Favorite GWMT Features

Most website owners I meet know about Google Analytics and have set it up (or some other Analytics package) on their website, but not everyone also sets up Google Webmaster Tools (often referred to as GWMT). This is a shame because they are missing out on an important conduit of information from Google about their website. In fact, I’ll go so far and say you are blind if you don’t have GWMT set up for your website.

While Analytics is all about your traffic, GWMT focuses on how your site is crawled and indexed. GWMT is also the place where Google notifies you of any penalties and when malware is detected on your site.

  
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Duplicate Content on Dynamic Websites

This post originally appeared in 2012. I’ve updated it to include more approaches on handling duplicate and similar content. May 8, 2014

A while back, I wrote about how Bing had duplicate content in its index even with the use of some tools that should have removed it. Here I cover the topic of duplicate content on dynamic websites. As you probably know, duplicate content is a common technical SEO problem, and it is frightening easy to get it on dynamic websites.

Duplicate Content isn't Cute

Duplicate Content isn’t Cute

First some definitions

  • Dynamic Websites are websites that are generated in all or in part at the time of access. This is often done by assembling information retrieved from a database. WordPress is an example of a dynamic website. All the content is stored in a database and it is presented as needed in multiple forms.
  • Duplicate Content here refers to duplicate content within a site (not duplicate content across domains). In this case, duplicate content is when more than one page has the same content. Or, put another way, there are multiple URLs that lead to the same page. SEOs also classify pages with very similar content as duplicate content, I touch on this briefly below, but it really deserves a separate post.

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Google+ Facing a New Era

On April 24, 2014 Vic Gundotra tendered his resignation. Widely regarded as the driving force behind Google+, his leaving raises a lot of questions about the future of Google+. TechCrunch reports in it’s provocatively titled “Google+ Is Walking Dead” article that a significant number of staff is being shuffled away from the project.

Google+ facing new dawn

What’s the future of Google+?

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My Top 5 Chrome Extensions for SEO

If you do on page SEO work on a regular basis, you need some key tools to give you information about the page you are looking at. Some, but not all, of the information you need can be obtained by viewing the HTML source, but these cool Chrome extensions make a lot easier to review key SEO on page settings such as the title, meta_robots and canonical tags as well as viewing the HTTP response headers from a page and even to diagnose a slow performing page. And if you don’t use Chrome? Not to worry, many of these are available as Firefox add ons as well.

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Excerpts in Twenty Thirteen and Other Changes

Twenty Thirteen WordPress Theme

Vibrant Orange Header from Twenty Thirteen

I’m using the latest default WordPress theme, twenty thirteen, for a membership site project that I have been working on.

For this project my needs are simple and so far twenty thirteen has delivered, albeit with some manageable issues.

Turning off comments was a simple one line code change, but implementing excerpts turned into something a little more involved, thanks to some newer underlying functionality that nevertheless complicated the task.

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Moz Releases 2013 Search Engine Ranking Factors Survey

2013 Moz search engine factors surveyEvery other year Moz (formerly known as SEOMoz) surveys SEOs in the industry and asks them to weigh in on what they think are the most important search engine ranking factors. The 2013 edition of the survey has been released and this post has the results embedded in the full post – plus an embed of the Google+ discussion.

Perhaps the most noteworthy item on the survey is the belief by SEO’s that the number of +1’s has a positive correlation with high rankings ……

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Blogging on Google+ Five Key Takeaways

The promise of Google+ captured in a seagull's flight

All things are possible if you stretch your wings.

As I posted earlier this month, for the month of August I primarily blogged on Google+.

Now that the #BlogsOfAugust challenge from Mike Elgan is over, I wanted to share my five key takeaways from that experience.

I’ve also included thoughts from other #BlogsOfAugust participants who shared their experiences on what surprised them the most about blogging on the ‘Plus.

The surprisingly fast pace at which you get followers. G+ is blooming right now! Daniel Montesinos

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Why I’m blogging on Google+

Blogging on Google+Recently, I’ve been spending a lot more time in Google+. It started when I researched the network for a client which resulted in my post on Google+ business pages. With the tie in with Google Authorship and the ability to post dofollow links, Google+ can be a powerful tool for SEO. However even if it wasn’t, I’m loving the conversations and interactions I’m getting in the ‘Plus. It’s so refreshingly free from hype and overt “buy this” marketing.

So during the month of August, I will be primarily blogging on Google+, along with many others that answered Mike Elgan’s #blogsofaugust challenge. Just in the 10 days I’ve been doing it, my circle count has tripled, I’ve met some cool new people and found a couple of great communities to join.

For people who blog on Blogger, it’s been an easy jump to blogging on Google+. However I did have to wrap my mind around it as I don’t think of interacting with a social network as “blogging”. However one thing that you see on Google+ and not on other networks such as Facebook is extensive, thoughtful posts that get a lot of commentary and interaction. While I’ve had some good conversations on this blog, it’s much easier to get that level of interaction on Google+ and the spam is nonexistent. Sad to say, most comments I get here are useless and add no value.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that I will stop blogging here on WebEnso, but for the month of August you likely won’t see much activity here, so come check out Google+ and I’ll report back in a few weeks how it went.


State of the Word 2013 – Infographic

I attended SF WordCamp 2013 in San Francisco. If you have never been to a WordCamp, I highly recommend you check one out. This was my second WordCamp and it was great to reconnect with folks I’ve met at various Bay Area WordPress meetups as well as check out what interesting things people are doing with the WordPress platform. You can find all the presentations at wordpress.tv

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New Gmail Tabs – Love ’em or Hate ’em?

If you don’t use gmail to read your email, you might be forgiven missing the latest uproar over gmail’s new tabbed inbox. One day I logged into my gmail account to find that my email was sorted into three tabs “Primary”, “Social”, and “Promotions”. We humans don’t like change and I am no different. My first reaction was: “How do I put it back the way it was?”

Gmail's New Tabs

Gmail now uses tabs to organize your inbox

Now that I’ve given it a few days, I find that I like it. Having emails from my social activity (especially now that I recently have become more active on Google+) go into a tab rather than into my primary email stream is wonderful and helps me keep on track with my goal to interact with my social networks at set periods during the day, rather than let social updates interrupt my work (which often includes email tasks).

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