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April 4, 2013

Google SEO – 5 New Developments You Should Know

Google has come up with some major revisions lately. The latest in the offering is the revision in its search engine algorithm that will help weed out spam and, eventually, help give priority to high-quality websites.

As a website owner striving for quality, you should know how to use Google Webmaster Tools. It is a comprehensive tool that helps owners optimize their sites for Google’s crawlers and indexers. If you decide to use this tool, you will be able to link analysis, find search queries that will help you drive traffic to your website and get details on some of the broken links.

Below are the five top new developments in Google SEO:

1. Fixing of broken links

Google Webmaster Tools can be used to discover if your website has any crawl errors. Crawl errors can be defined as errors that emerge when a link in the website is followed by the search engine crawler instead of the regular link, causing a 404 error to pop up.

If your website has hundreds of pages or if you are using a content management system to auto generate pages, there is a good chance dead links — those that do not point to any pages — could emerge.

To check if your website has crawl errors, log in to the Google Webmaster Tools. When you log in, you will need to check the ‘health tab’ to determine the distinct type of crawl errors. Every such error will come up with a detailed report that will link back to broken links in the website. The broken links can then be removed or redirected to the proper pages.

2. Search Queries

With the help of Google Webmaster, you can list search queries that will help you find the top keywords and related pages for the website.

Look through the top queries tab to find the top keywords. These keywords can then be sorted based on number of impressions, clicks and queries. The keywords can also be sorted on other parameters found in the report.

The top page tab will give you the data for the top pages listed. If an arrow appears in parts of the report, that means the related pages have attracted traffic for the keyword phrase. The same can then be used as indicator to optimize the page for better ranking in future.

3. HTML Improvements

The HTML improvements tool can be viewed under the optimization column in Google Webmaster Tools. This is the tool to use if you encounter duplication problems or content that is not indexible. This report also gives an insight into the presence of Meta tags that are duplicated and about inappropriate lengths of titles.

4. Longevity of the website

If you frequently alter your website’s content it will likely affect how the site is ranked. Frequent alteration in the major text of the website or the keywords can bring about disastrous consequences for the website.

Search engine optimization is an ongoing job as is updating your site with quality content. To make sure the website remains well optimized for search engines check it regularly with Google’s free search engine optimization tools.

5. Rich Snippets

Snippets can be defined as few lines of text describing the website in search results. This can help give users an idea what to expect from a website and if the content of the website is relevant to the original search.

Using Microdata or Microformats will help Google identify and display information as snippets. Remember if you have rich snippets, the better the chances of the website being ranked higher.

Claudia Somerfield is a writer/blogger. She loves writing, travelling and reading books. She contributes to Content Cloud