Search Engine Blogs

Releasing Additional Features in New Bing Webmaster Tools Portal and OAuth Support for Bing Webmaster APIs

Bing's Webmaster Blog -

In March 2020 we launched an update to the Bing Webmaster Tools portal with refreshes of the Search Performance report, Sitemaps tool and Backlinks tool. As promised, we are continuing to add new features to the portal as we move all functionalities from the previous Webmaster Tools experience to the new updated interface. With that promise in mind, we are delighted to announce three additional features migrating into the new Bing Webmaster portal:   URL Submission – The most popular tool in Bing Webmaster, Submit URL, is now updated. Using this tool, users can submit URLs to Bing for real time indexation. Block URL – This tool can be used to temporary prevent any URL from appearing in the search results. This feature can also be used to clear Bing’s cache for a URL in case you have updated the page. Crawl Control – This tool can be used to control the speed of crawling of your site by Bingbot. It lets you set the hourly crawl rate using a template or through a custom setup based on your site’s traffic pattern. As in the previous feature release, the users will be able to use the current and new pages simultaneously for a short period and we will be deprecating the current pages for these features in a few weeks. In addition to the above features, we also announce that Bing Webmaster APIs can now also be accessed through OAuth2.0 to enable delegated access to registered site owner's data. The OAuth option is present in the new portal in the “API Access” section under Settings in the header bar. The existing users of Bing Webmaster APIs will not have to change anything as validation through API keys are also operational. You can check more details for accessing APIs through OAuth here. To check out the new portal you can login or sign-up to Bing Webmaster Tools. Reach out to us on Twitter and Facebook  to let us know how you feel about the new Bing Webmaster Tools. Look out for more exciting features coming soon to Bing Webmaster Tools. Regards, The Bing Webmaster Tools team    

Helping news publishers control how their content is displayed in Bing

Bing's Webmaster Blog -

As part of Bing’s continuing efforts to empower news publishers, Bing has announced that publishers will have more tools to control the snippets that preview their site on the Bing results page.   A simple and efficient way for news publishers to submit their content for potential exposure to millions of Windows, Outlook, and Bing users who get their news through these channels is to submit their site for inclusion in the Bing News publisher portal, Bing News PubHub.   All news publications are strongly encouraged to register. By submitting your site, you may benefit from the following: You are providing the most up to date information for your site so that Bing can make your content accessible in multiple formats and across many devices.   You are informed of new or improved Bing features and products, and best practices on how to leverage them to drive users to your content.   You are informed of opportunities to partner with us on creating the future of news experiences.   You have a line of support when you need it. To be considered, first ensure that your site meets both the Bing Webmaster Guidelines and Bing News Publisher Guidelines, then visit Bing News PubHub to get started.

Announcing new options for webmasters to control their snippets at Bing

Bing's Webmaster Blog -

We’re excited to announce, webmasters will have more tools than ever to control the snippets that preview their site on the Bing results page. For a long time, the Bing search results page has shown site previews that include text snippets, image or video. These snippets, images or videos preview are to help users gauge if a site is relevant to what they’re looking to find out, or if there’s perhaps a more relevant search result for them to click on. The webmasters owning these sites have had some control over these text snippets; for example, if they think the information they’re providing might be fragmented or confusing when condensed into a snippet, they may ask search engines to show no snippet at all so users click through to the site and see the information in its full context. Now, with these new features, webmasters will have more control than ever before to determine how their site is represented on the Bing search results page. Letting Bing knows about your snippet and content preview preferences using robots meta tags. We are extending our support for robots meta tags in HTML or X-Robots-Tag tag in the HTTP Header to let webmasters tell Bing about their content preview preferences. max-snippet:[number] Specify the maximum text-length, in characters, of a snippet in search results. Example : <meta name="robots" content="max-snippet:400" /> If value = 0, we will not show a text snippet. If value = -1, webmaster does not specify a limit. max-image-preview:[value]Specify the maximum size of an image preview in search results. Example: <meta name="robots" content="max-image-preview:large" />   If value = none, Bing will not show an image preview. If value = standard, Bing may show a standard size image. If value = large, Bing may show a standard or a large size image. If value is not none and not standard and not large, webmaster does not specify a limit.   max-video-preview:[number] Specify the maximum number of seconds (integer) of a video preview in search results. Example <meta name="robots" content="max-video-preview:-1" />   If value = 0, Bing may show a static image of the video. If value = -1, webmaster does not specify a limit. Please note that the NOSNIPPET meta tag is still supported and the options above can be combined with other meta robots tags. Example by setting ​<meta name="robots" content="max-snippet:-1, max-image-preview:large, max-video-preview:-1, noarchive" />  webmasters tell Bing that there is no snippet length limit, a large image preview may be shown, a long video preview may be shown and link to no cache page should be shown. Over the following weeks, we will start rolling out these new options first for web and news, then for images, videos and our Bing answers results. We will use these options as directive statement, not as hints. For more information, please read our documentation on meta tags. Please reach out to Bing webmaster tools support if you face any issues or questions. Fabrice Canel Principal Program Manager Microsoft - Bing

Introducing a new way for sites to highlight COVID-19 announcements on Google Search

Google Webmaster Central Blog -

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many organizations and groups are publishing important coronavirus-related announcements that affect our everyday lives.In response, we're introducing a new way for these special announcements to be highlighted on Google Search. Sites can add SpecialAnnouncement structured data to their web pages or submit a COVID-19 announcement in Search Console.At first, we’re using this information to highlight announcements in Google Search from health and government agency sites, to cover important updates like school closures or stay-at-home directives. We are actively developing this feature, and we hope to expand it to include more sites. While we might not immediately show announcements from other types of sites, seeing the markup will help us better understand how to expand this feature.Please note: beyond special announcements, there are a range of other options that sites can use to highlight information such as canceled events or changes to business hours. You can learn more about these at the end of this post.How COVID-19 announcements appear in Search When SpecialAnnouncement structured data is added to a page, that content can be eligible to appear with a COVID-19 announcement rich result, in addition to the page’s regular snippet description. A COVID-19 announcement rich result can contain a short summary that can be expanded to view more more. Please note that the format may change over time, and you may not see results in Google Search right away. How to implement your COVID-19 announcementsThere are two ways that you can implement your COVID-19 announcements. RECOMMENDED: Add structured data to your web page Structured data is a standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying the page content. We recommend using this method because it is the easiest way for us to take in this information, it enables reporting through Search Console in the future, and enables you to make updates. Learn how to add structured data to COVID-19 announcements. ALTERNATIVE: Submit announcements in Search Console If you don't have the technical ability or support to implement structured data, you can submit a COVID-19 announcement in Search Console. This tool is still in beta testing, and you may see changes. This method is not preferred and is intended only as a short-term solution. With structured data, your announcement highlights can automatically update when your pages change. With the tool, you’ll have to manually update announcements. Also, announcements made this way cannot be monitored through special reporting that will be made available through Search Console in the future. If you do need to submit this way, you'll need to first be verified in Search Console. Then you can submit a COVID-19 announcement: More COVID-19 resources for sites from Google SearchBeyond special announcements markup, there are other ways you can highlight other types of activities that may be impacted because of COVID-19: Best practices for health and government sites: If you are a representative of a health or government website, and you have important information about coronavirus for the general public, here are some recommendations for how to make this information more visible on Google Search.Surface your common FAQs: If your site has common FAQs, adding FAQ markup can help Google Search surface your answers.Pausing your business online: See our blog post on how to pause your business online in a way that minimizes impacts with Google Search.Business hours & temporary closures: Review the guidance from Google My Business on how to change your business hours or indicate temporary closures or how to create COVID-19 posts.Events: If you hold events, look over the new properties for marking them virtual, postponed, or canceled.Knowledge Panels: Understand how to recommend changes to your Google knowledge panel (or how to claim it, if you haven’t already).Fix an overloaded server: Learn how to determine a server's bottleneck, quickly fix the bottleneck, improve server performance, and prevent regressions.If you have any questions or comments, please let us know on Twitter. Posted by Lizzi Harvey, Technical Writer, Search Relations, and Danny Sullivan, Public Liaison for Search

Helping health organizations make COVID-19 information more accessible

Google Webmaster Central Blog -

Health organizations are busier than ever providing information to help with the COVID-19 pandemic. To better assist them, Google has created a best practices article to guide health organizations to make COVID-19 information more accessible on Search. We’ve also created a new technical support group for eligible health organizations.Best practices for search visibilityBy default, Google tries to show the most relevant, authoritative information in response to any search. This process is more effective when content owners help Google understand their content in appropriate ways.To better guide health-related organizations in this process (known as SEO, for "search engine optimization"), we have produced a new help center article with some important best practices, with emphasis on health information sites, including:How to help users access your content on the goThe importance of good page content and titlesWays to check how your site appears for coronavirus-related queriesHow to analyze the top coronavirus related user queriesHow to add structured data for FAQ contentNew support group for health organizationsIn addition to our best practices help page, health organizations can take part in our new technical support group that's focused on helping health organizations who publish COVID-19 information with Search related questions.We’ll be approving requests for access on a case-by-case basis. At first we’ll be accepting only domains under national health ministries and US state level agencies. We'll inform of future expansions here in this blog post, and on our Twitter account. You’ll need to register using either an email under those domains (e.g. name@health.gov) or have access to the website Search Console account.Fill this form to request access to the COVID-19 Google Search group The group was created to respond to the current needs of health organizations, and we intend to deprecate the group as soon as COVID-19 is no longer considered a Public Health Emergency by WHO or some similar deescalation is widely in place.Everyone is welcome to use our existing webmaster help forum, and if you have any questions or comments, please let us know on Twitter.Posted by Daniel Waisberg, Search Advocate & Ofir Roval, Search Console Lead PM

How to pause your business online in Google Search

Google Webmaster Central Blog -

As the effects of the coronavirus grow, we've seen businesses around the world looking for ways to pause their activities online. With the outlook of coming back and being present for your customers, here's an overview of our recommendations of how to pause your business online and minimize impacts with Google Search. These recommendations are applicable to any business with an online presence, but particularly for those who have paused the selling of their products or services online. For more detailed information, also check our developer documentation. Recommended: limit site functionality If your situation is temporary and you plan to reopen your online business, we recommend keeping your site online and limiting the functionality. For example, you might mark items as out of stock, or restrict the cart and checkout process. This is the recommended approach since it minimizes any negative effects on your site's presence in Search. People can still find your products, read reviews, or add wishlists so they can purchase at a later time. It's also a good practice to: Disable the cart functionality: Disabling the cart functionality is the simplest approach, and doesn't change anything for your site's visibility in Search. Tell your customers what's going on: Display a banner or popup div with appropriate information for your users, so that they're aware of the business's status. Mention any known and unusual delays, shipping times, pick-up or delivery options, etc. upfront, so that users continue with the right expectations. Make sure to follow our guidelines on popups and banners. Update your structured data: If your site uses structured data (such as Products, Books, Events), make sure to adjust it appropriately (reflecting the current product availability, or changing events to cancelled). If your business has a physical storefront, update Local Business structured data to reflect current opening hours. Check your Merchant Center feed: If you use Merchant Center, follow the best practices for the availability attribute. Tell Google about your updates: To ask Google to recrawl a limited number of pages (for example, the homepage), use Search Console. For a larger number of pages (for example, all of your product pages), use sitemaps. For more information, check our developers documentation. Not recommended: disabling the whole website As a last resort, you may decide to disable the whole website. This is an extreme measure that should only be taken for a very short period of time (a few days at most), as it will otherwise have significant effects on the website in Search, even when implemented properly. That’s why it’s highly recommended to only limit your site's functionality instead. Keep in mind that your customers may also want to find information about your products, your services, and your company, even if you're not selling anything right now. If you decide that you need to do this (again, which we don't recommend), here are some options: If you need to urgently disable the site for 1-2 days, then return an informational error page with a 503 HTTP result code instead of all content. Make sure to follow the best practices for disabling a site. If you need to disable the site for a longer time, then provide an indexable homepage as a placeholder for users to find in Search by using the 200 HTTP status code. If you quickly need to hide your site in Search while you consider the options, you can temporarily remove it from Search. For more information, check our developers documentation. Proceed with caution: To elaborate why we don't recommend disabling the whole website, here are some of the side effects: Your customers won't know what's happening with your business if they can't find your business online at all. Your customers can't find or read first-hand information about your business and its products & services. For example, reviews, specs, past orders, repair guides, or manuals won't be findable. Third-party information may not be as correct or comprehensive as what you can provide. This often also affects future purchase decisions. Knowledge Panels may lose information, like contact phone numbers and your site's logo. Search Console verification will fail, and you will lose all access to information about your business in Search. Aggregate reports in Search Console will lose data as pages are dropped from the index. Ramping back up after a prolonged period of time will be significantly harder if your website needs to be reindexed first. Additionally, it's uncertain how long this would take, and whether the site would appear similarly in Search afterwards. Other things to consider Beyond the operation of your web site, there are other actions you might want to take to pause your online business in Google Search: If you hold events, look over the new properties for making them virtual, postponed or canceled. Review the guidance from Google My Business on how to change your business hours or indicate temporary closures. Review the resources from Google for Small Business on how to communicate with customers and employees, for working remotely and modifying advertising campaigns. Understand how to recommend changes to your Google knowledge panel (or how to claim it, if you haven’t already). Also be sure to keep up with the latest by following updates on Twitter from Google Webmasters at @GoogleWMC and Google My Business at @GoogleMyBiz. FAQs What if I only close the site for a few weeks?Completely closing a site even for just a few weeks can have negative consequences on Google's indexing of your site. We recommend limiting the site functionality instead. Keep in mind that users may also want to find information about your products, your services, and your company, even if you're currently not selling anything. What if I want to exclude all non-essential products?That's fine. Make sure that people can't buy the non-essential products by limiting the site functionality. Can I ask Google to crawl less during this time?Yes, you can limit crawling with Search Console, though it's not recommended for most cases. This may have some impact on the freshness of your results in Search. For example, it may take longer for Search to reflect that all of your products are currently not available. On the other hand, if Googlebot's crawling causes critical server resource issues, this is a valid approach. We recommend setting a reminder for yourself to reset the crawl rate once you start planning to go back in business. How do I get a page indexed or updated quickly?To ask Google to recrawl a limited number of pages (for example, the homepage), use Search Console. For a larger number of pages (for example, all of your product pages), use sitemaps. What if I block a specific region from accessing my site?Google generally crawls from the US, so if you block the US, Google Search generally won't be able to access your site at all. We don't recommend that you block an entire region from temporarily accessing your site; instead, we recommend limiting your site's functionality for that region. Should I use the Removals Tool to remove out-of-stock products?No. People won't be able to find first-hand information about your products on Search, and there might still be third-party information for the product that may be incorrect or incomplete. It's better to still allow that page, and mark it out of stock. That way people can still understand what's going on, even if they can't purchase the item. If you remove the product from Search, people don't know why it's not there. -------- We realize that any business closure is a big and stressful step, and not everyone will know what to do. If you notice afterwards that you could have done something differently, everything's not lost: we try to make our systems robust so that your site will be back in Search as quickly as possible. Like you, we're hoping that this crisis finds an end as soon as possible. We hope that with this information, you're able to have your online business up & running quickly when that time comes. Should you run into any problems or questions along the way, please don't hesitate to use our public channels to get help. Posted by John Mueller, working from home in Zurich, Switzerland

Bing adopts schema.org markup for special announcements for COVID-19

Bing's Webmaster Blog -

Bing is adding new features to help keep everyone up to date on the latest special announcements related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to our previously announced experiences for finding tallies of cases in different geographic regions, we will add announcements of special hours and closures for local businesses, information on risk assessment and testing centers, and travel restrictions and guidelines.   SpecialAnnoucement schema markup for government health agencies Bing may consume case statistics from government health agencies at the country, state or province, administrative area, and city level that use the schema.org markup for diseaseSpreadStatistics associated with a SpecialAnnouncement. These statistics are used on bing.com/covid and other searches for COVID-19 statistics. As a government agency determining whether to use this tag for your webpages, consider whether it meets the following criteria, which are characteristics we consider when selecting case statistics to include:   Your site must be the official government site reporting case statistics for your region. Information in the markup must be up-to-date and consistent with statistics displayed to the general public from your site. Your special announcement must include the date it was posted, indicating the time at which the statistics were first reported. SpecialAnnoucements schema markup for COVID-19 related business updates  Bing may consume special announcements from local businesses, hospitals, schools, government offices, and more that use the schema.org markup for SpecialAnnouncement. A label showing your special announcements related to the COVID-19 pandemic with a link to your site for more details may be used on web results for your official website and in local listings shown on the SERP or map experiences. This provides an easy link for your customers and community to find your latest information. When determining whether to use this tag for your webpages, consider whether it meets the following criteria, which are characteristics we consider when selecting special announcements to display:   The special announcements must be posted on your official website and refer only to changes related to COVID-19 for your own business, hospital, school, or government office. The name of the special announcement must be easily identified within the body of the special announcement page on your site. Your special announcement must include the date it was posted and should also include the time the announcement expires, if appropriate. SpecialAnnoucement schema markup for risk assessment and testing centers Bing may consume information on risk assessments and testing centers from healthcare providers and government health agencies that use the schema.org markup for gettingTestedInfo and CovidTestingFacility. Searches for nearby testing information may include information on how to get assessed to see whether getting tested is recommended and, if so, how to locate a nearby testing facility and find instructions for getting tested at that center. When determining whether to use this tag for your webpages, consider whether it meets the following criteria, which are characteristics we consider when selecting testing information to display:   Your site must be an official site for a well-known healthcare facility or government health agency. gettingTestedInfo must refer to a webpage that specifies what assessment is required prior to being tested at the given testing location. The testing facility information must refer to URLs and facility locations already associated with your provider or agency. Listing other providers’ facilities is not supported at this time. SpecialAnnoucement schema markup for travel restrictions Bing may consume information on travel restrictions from government agencies, travel agencies, airlines, hotels, and other travel providers that use the schema.org markup for travelBans and publicTransportClosuresInfo. Travel related searches may include information on updated hours, closures, and guidelines for travel. When determining whether to use this tag for your webpages, consider whether it meets the following criteria, which are characteristics we consider when selecting travel restrictions to display:   Your site must be an official site for a well-known government agency, travel agency, airline, hotel, or other travel provider. The special announcement including the travel ban or public transport closure info must specify the location covered by the announcement. The name of the special announcement must be easily identified within the body of the special announcement page describing the ban or closure info on your site. Your special announcement must include the date it was posted and should also include the time the announcement expires, if appropriate. More information on how to implement and use these tags can be found at https://schema.org/SpecialAnnouncement and Bing Webmaster special announcement specifications.  

New properties for virtual, postponed, and canceled events

Google Webmaster Central Blog -

In the current environment and status of COVID-19 around the world, many events are being canceled, postponed, or moved to an online-only format. Google wants to show users the latest, most accurate information about your events in this fast-changing environment, and so we've added some new, optional properties to our developer documentation to help. These properties apply to all regions and languages. This is one part of our overall efforts in schema updates to support publishers and users. Here are some important tips on keeping Google up to date on your events. Update the status of the eventThe schema.org eventStatus property sets the status of the event, particularly when the event has been canceled, postponed, or rescheduled. This information is helpful because it allows Google to show users the current status of an event, instead of dropping the event from the event search experience altogether. If the event has been canceled: Set the eventStatus property to EventCancelled and keep the original date in the startDate of the event.If the event has been postponed (but the date isn't known yet): Keep the original date in the startDate of the event until you know when the event will take place and update the eventStatus to EventPostponed. The startDate property is required to help identify the unique event, and we need the date original startDate until you know the new date. Once you know the new date information, change the eventStatus to EventRescheduled and update the startDate and endDate with the new date information.If the event has been rescheduled to a later date: Update the startDate and endDate with the relevant new dates. Optionally, you can also mark the eventStatus field as EventRescheduled and add the previousStartDate.If the event has moved from in-person to online-only: Optionally update the eventStatus field to indicate the change with EventMovedOnline. For more information on how to implement the eventStatus property, refer to the developer documentation. Mark events as online onlyMore events are shifting to online only, and we're actively working on a way to show this information to people on Google Search. If your event is happening only online, make sure to use the following properties: Set the location to the VirtualLocation type.Set the eventAttendanceMode property to OnlineEventAttendanceMode.For more information on how to implement the VirtualLocation type, refer to the developer documentation. Note: You can start using VirtualLocation and eventAttendanceMode even though they are still under development on Schema.org. Update Google when your event changesAfter you make changes to your markup, make sure you update Google. We recommend that you make your sitemap available automatically through your server. This is the best way to make sure that your new and updated content is highlighted to search engines as quickly as possible. If you have any questions, let us know through the Webmasters forum or on Twitter. Posted by Emily Fifer, Event Search Product Manager

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Webmaster Conference

Google Webmaster Central Blog -

Last year we organized Webmaster Conference events in over 15 countries. The spirit of WMConf is reflected in that number: we want to reach regions that otherwise don't get much search conference love. Recently we have been monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and its impact on planning this year's events.To wit, with the growing concern around coronavirus and in line with the travel guidelines published by WHO, the CDC, and other organizations, we are postponing all Webmaster Conference events globally. While we're hoping to organize events later this year, we're also exploring other ways to reach targeted audiences.We’re very sorry to delay the opportunity to connect in person, but we feel strongly that the safety and health of all attendees is the priority at this time. If you want to get notified about future events in your region, you can sign up to receive updates on the Webmaster Conference site. If you have questions or comments, catch us on Twitter!Posted by Cherry Prommawin and Gary

Announcing mobile first indexing for the whole web

Google Webmaster Central Blog -

It's been a few years now that Google started working on mobile-first indexing - Google's crawling of the web using a smartphone Googlebot. From our analysis, most sites shown in search results are good to go for mobile-first indexing, and 70% of those shown in our search results have already shifted over. To simplify, we'll be switching to mobile-first indexing for all websites starting September 2020. In the meantime, we'll continue moving sites to mobile-first indexing when our systems recognize that they're ready. When we switch a domain to mobile-first indexing, it will see an increase in Googlebot's crawling, while we update our index to your site's mobile version. Depending on the domain, this change can take some time. Afterwards, we'll still occasionally crawl with the traditional desktop Googlebot, but most crawling for Search will be done with our mobile smartphone user-agent. The exact user-agent name used will match the Chromium version used for rendering.   In Search Console, there are multiple ways to check for mobile-first indexing. The status is shown on the settings page, as well as in the URL Inspection Tool, when checking a specific URL with regards to its most recent crawling. Our guidance on making all websites work well for mobile-first indexing continues to be relevant, for new and existing sites. In particular, we recommend making sure that the content shown is the same (including text, images, videos, links), and that meta data (titles and descriptions, robots meta tags) and all structured data is the same. It's good to double-check these when a website is launched or significantly redesigned. In the URL Testing Tools you can easily check both desktop and mobile versions directly. If you use other tools to analyze your website, such as crawlers or monitoring tools, use a mobile user-agent if you want to match what Google Search sees.  While we continue to support various ways of making mobile websites, we recommend responsive web design for new websites. We suggest not using separate mobile URLs (often called "m-dot") because of issues and confusion we've seen over the years, both from search engines and users.  Mobile-first indexing has come a long way. It's great to see how the web has evolved from desktop to mobile, and how webmasters have helped to allow crawling & indexing to match how users interact with the web! We appreciate all your work over the years, which has helped to make this transition fairly smooth. We’ll continue to monitor and evaluate these changes carefully. If you have any questions, please drop by our Webmaster forums or our public events.Posted by John Mueller, Developer Advocate, Google Zurich

Best Practices for News coverage with Search

Google Webmaster Central Blog -

Having up-to-date information during large, public events is critical, as the landscape changes by the minute. This guide highlights some tools that news publishers can use to create a data rich and engaging experience for their users.Add Article structured data to AMP pagesAdding Article structured data to your news, blog, and sports article AMP pages can make the content eligible for an enhanced appearance in Google Search results. Enhanced features may include placement in the Top stories carousel, host carousel, and Visual stories. Learn how to mark up your article.You can now test and validate your AMP article markup in the Rich Results Test tool. Enter your page’s URL or a code snippet, and the Rich Result Test shows the AMP Articles that were found on the page (as well as other rich result types), and any errors or suggestions for your AMP Articles. You can also save the test history and share the test results.We also recommend that you provide a publication date so that Google can expose this information in Search results, if this information is considered to be useful to the user.Mark up your live-streaming video contentIf you are live-streaming a video during an event, you can be eligible for a LIVE badge by marking your video with BroadcastEvent. We strongly recommend that you use the Indexing API to ensure that your live-streaming video content gets crawled and indexed in a timely way. The Indexing API allows any site owner to directly notify Google when certain types of pages are added or removed. This allows Google to schedule pages for a fresh crawl, which can lead to more relevant user traffic as your content is updated. For websites with many short-lived pages like livestream videos, the Indexing API keeps content fresh in search results. Learn how to get started with the Indexing API. For AMP pages: Update the cache and use componentsUse the following to ensure your AMP content is published and up-to-date the moment news breaks.Update the cacheWhen people click an AMP page, the Google AMP Cache automatically requests updates to serve fresh content for the next person once the content has been cached. However, if you want to force an update to the cache in response to a change in the content on the origin domain, you can send an update request to the Google AMP Cache. This is useful if your pages are changing in response to a live news event.Use news-related AMP components <amp-live-list>: Add live content to your article and have it updated based on a source document. This is a great choice if you just want content to reload easily, without having to set up or configure additional services on your backend. Learn how to implement <amp-live-list>.<amp-script>: Run your own JavaScript inside of AMP pages. This flexibility means that anything you are publishing on your desktop or non-AMP mobile pages, you can bring over to AMP. <amp-script> supports Websockets, interactive SVGs, and more. This allows you to create engaging news pages like election coverage maps, live graphs and polls etc. As a newer feature, the AMP team is actively soliciting feedback on it. If for some reason it doesn't work for your use case, let us know.If you have any questions, let us know through the forum or on Twitter.Posted by Patrick Kettner and Naina Raisinghani, AMP team

More & better data export in Search Console

Google Webmaster Central Blog -

We have heard users ask for better download capabilities in Search Console loud and clear - so we’re happy to let you know that more and better data is available to export.You’ll now be able to download the complete information you see in almost all Search Console reports (instead of just specific table views). We believe that this data will be much easier to read outside SC and store it for your future reference (if needed). You’ll find a section at the end of this post describing other ways to use your Search Console data outside the tool.Enhancement reports and more When exporting data from a report, for example AMP status, you’ll now be able to export the data behind the charts, not only the details table (as previously). This means that in addition to the list of issues and their affected pages, you’ll also see a daily breakdown of your pages, their status, and impressions received by them on Google Search results. If you are exporting data from a specific drill-down view, you can see the details describing this view in the exported file.If you choose Google Sheets or Excel (new!) you’ll get a spreadsheet with two tabs, and if you choose to download as csv, you’ll get a zip file with two csv files.Here is a sample dataset downloaded from the AMP status report. We changed the titles of the spreadsheet to be descriptive for this post, but the original title includes the domain name, the report, and the date of the export.Performance report When it comes to Performance data, we have two improvements:You can now download the content of all tabs with one click. This means that you’ll now get the data on Queries, Pages, Countries, Devices, Search appearances and Dates, all together. The download output is the same as explained above, Google sheets or Excel spreadsheet with multiple tabs and csv files compressed in a zip file.Along with the performance data, you’ll have an extra tab (or csv file) called “Filters”, which shows which filters were applied when the data was exported.Here is a sample dataset downloaded from the Performance report.Additional ways to use Search Console data outside the toolSince we’re talking about exporting data, we thought we’d take the opportunity to talk about other ways you can currently use Search Console data outside the tool. You might want to do this if you have a specific use case that is important to your company, such as joining the data with another dataset, performing an advanced analysis, or visualizing the data in a different way.There are two options, depending on the data you want and your technical level.Search Console APIIf you have a technical background, or a developer in your company can help you, you might consider using the Search Console API  to view, add, or remove properties and sitemaps, and to run advanced queries for Google Search results data.We have plenty of documentation on the subject, but here are some links that might be useful to you if you’re starting now:The Overview and prerequisites guide walks you through the things you should do before writing your first client application. You’ll also find more advanced guides in the sidebar of this section, for example a guide on how to query all your search data.The reference section provides details on query parameters, usage limits and errors returned by the API.The API samples provides links to sample code for several programming languages, a great way to get up and running.Google Data StudioGoogle Data Studio is a dashboarding solution that helps you unify data from different data sources, explore it, and tell impactful data stories. The tool provides a Search Console connector to import various metrics and dimensions into your dashboard. This can be valuable if you’d like to see Search Console data side-by-side with data from other tools.If you’d like to give it a try, you can use this template to visualize your data - click “use template” at the top right corner of the page to connect to your data. To learn more about how to use the report and which insights you might find in it, check this step-by-step guide. If you just want to play with it, here’s a report based on that template with sample data. Let us know on Twitter if you have interesting use cases or comments about the new download capabilities, or about using Search Console data in general. And enjoy the enhanced data!Posted by Sion Schori & Daniel Waisberg, Search Console team

How to showcase your events on Google Search

Google Webmaster Central Blog -

It’s officially 2020 and people are starting to make plans for the year ahead. If you produce any type of event, you can help people discover your events with the event search experience on Google.  Have a concert or hosting a workshop? Event markup allows people to discover your event when they search for "concerts this weekend" or "workshops near me." People can also discover your event when they search for venues, such as sports stadiums or a local pub. Events may surface in a given venue's Knowledge Panel to better help people find out what’s happening at that respective location. Launching in new regions and languages We recently launched the event search experience in Germany and Spain, which brings the event search experience on Google to nine countries and regions around the world. For a full list of where the event search experience works, check out the list of available languages and regions. How to get your events on Google There are three options to make your events eligible to appear on Google: If you use a third-party website to post events (for example, you post events on ticketing websites or social platforms), check to see if your event publisher is already participating in the event search experience on Google. One way to check is to search for a popular event shown on the platform and see if the event listing is shown. If your event publisher is integrated with Google, continue to post your events on the third-party website. If you use a CMS (for example, WordPress) and you don't have access to your HTML, check with your CMS to see if there's a plugin that can add structured data to your site for you. Alternatively, you can use the Data Highlighter to tell Google about your events without editing the HTML of your site. If you're comfortable editing your HTML, use structured data to directly integrate with Google. You’ll need to edit the HTML of the event pages. Follow best practices If you've already implemented event structured data, we recommend that you review your structured data to make sure it meets our guidelines. In particular, you should: Make sure you're including the required and recommended properties that are outlined in our developer guidelines. Make sure your event details are high quality, as defined by our guidelines. For example, use the description field to describe the event itself in more detail instead of repeating attributes such as title, date, location, or highlighting other website functionality. Use the Rich Result Test to test and preview your structured data. Monitor your performance on Search You can check how people are interacting with your event postings with Search Console: Use the Performance Report in Search Console to show event listing or detail view data for a given event posting in Search results. You can automatically pull these results with the Search Console API. Use the Rich result status report in Search Console to understand what Google could or could not read from your site, and troubleshoot rich result errors. If you have any questions, please visit the Webmaster Central Help Forum. Posted by Emily Fifer, Product Manager

Announcing the new Bing Webmaster Tools

Bing's Webmaster Blog -

Over the last few months, we have heard from the webmaster ecosystem that Bing Webmaster Tools user interface is slow and outdated. With our user first focus, we have taken your feedback and have been working on modernizing the tools.  We are delighted to announce the first iteration of refreshed Bing Webmaster Tools portal. The refreshed portal is being built with key principles of - keeping the design simple with the tools being Faster, Cleaner, more Responsive and Actionable. We have updated the backend datastore to improve the data extraction and redesigned the user experience to make it more user friendly and intuitive. Keeping the need of users in mind, the portal is also device responsive so that it provides the flexibility to the users to access it across devices. In the first iteration, the new portal will have 3 key features, Backlinks - The Inbound Links report in the current portal is integrated with the Disavow links tool to become the new Backlinks report in the refreshed portal. Search Performance - Page Traffic and Search Keywords reports are also integrated as one and are a part of the new Search Performance report. Sitemaps - The Sitemaps page is the refreshed Sitemaps page of the current portal We are releasing the new portal to a select set of users this week and will be rolling out to all users by 1st week of march. To access the new portal, sign-in to Bing Webmaster Tools and navigate to Sitemaps, Inbound Links, Page Traffic or Search Keywords reports and click on the links to open the new portal. Over the next few months, we will focus on moving all the functionalities to the new portal. During the transition, the users will be able to use the current and new pages simultaneously for a short period. We will be deprecating the functionality from the old portal in a few weeks immediately after its inclusion in the new portal. We will strive to make this transition seamless and exciting for our users. The Bing Webmaster APIs will stay the same so users using our webmaster API to get their data programmatically do not have to make any changes. Reach out to us and share feedback on Twitter and Facebook and let us know how you feel about the new Bing Webmaster Tools. If you encounter any issues, please raise a service ticket with our support team. Regards, The Bing Webmaster Tools team  

New reports for review snippets in Search Console

Google Webmaster Central Blog -

A review snippet is a short excerpt of a review or a rating from a website, usually an average of the combined rating scores from many reviewers. This is one of the most used structured data types on the web, used by millions of web sites for many content types such as Book, Movie, Event, Product and more.When Google finds valid reviews or ratings markup, we may show a rich result that includes stars and other summary info. This rich result can appear directly on search results or as part of a Google Knowledge panel, as shown in the screenshots below.Today we are announcing support for review snippets in Google Search Console, including new reports to help you find any issues with your implementation and monitor how this rich result type is improving your performance. You can also use the Rich Results Test to review your existing URLs or debug your markup code before moving it to production.Review snippet Enhancement reportTo help site owners make the most of their reviews, a new review snippet report is now available in Search Console for sites that have implemented reviews or ratings structured data. The report allows you to see errors, warnings, and valid pages for markup implemented on your site.In addition, if you fix an issue, you can use the report to validate it, which will trigger a process where Google recrawls your affected pages. The report is covering all the content types currently supported as review snippets. Learn more about the Rich result status reports.Review snippet appearance in Performance reportThe Search Console Performance report now allows you to see the performance of your review or rating marked-up pages on Google Search and Discover using the new “Review snippet” search appearance filter.This means that you can check the impressions, clicks and CTR results of your review snippet pages and check their performance to understand how they are trending for any of the dimensions available. For example you can filter your data to see which queries, pages, countries and devices are bringing your review snippets traffic.Review snippet in Rich Results Test After adding Review snippets structured data to your pages, you can test them using the Rich Results Test tool. You can test a code snippet or submit a URL of a page. The test shows any errors or suggestions for your structured data.These new tools should make it easier to understand how your marked-up review snippet pages perform on Search and to identify and fix review issues.If you have any questions, check out the Google Webmasters community.Posted by Tomer Hodadi and Yuval Kurtser, Search Console engineering team

New reports for review snippets in Search Console

Google Webmaster Central Blog -

A review snippet is a short excerpt of a review or a rating from a website, usually an average of the combined rating scores from many reviewers. This is one of the most used structured data types on the web, used by millions of web sites for many content types such as Book, Movie, Event, Product and more.When Google finds valid reviews or ratings markup, we may show a rich result that includes stars and other summary info. This rich result can appear directly on search results or as part of a Google Knowledge panel, as shown in the screenshots below.Today we are announcing support for review snippets in Google Search Console, including new reports to help you find any issues with your implementation and monitor how this rich result type is improving your performance. You can also use the Rich Results Test to review your existing URLs or debug your markup code before moving it to production.Review snippet Enhancement reportTo help site owners make the most of their reviews, a new review snippet report is now available in Search Console for sites that have implemented reviews or ratings structured data. The report allows you to see errors, warnings, and valid pages for markup implemented on your site.In addition, if you fix an issue, you can use the report to validate it, which will trigger a process where Google recrawls your affected pages. The report is covering all the content types currently supported as review snippets. Learn more about the Rich result status reports.Review snippet appearance in Performance reportThe Search Console Performance report now allows you to see the performance of your review or rating marked-up pages on Google Search and Discover using the new “Review snippet” search appearance filter.This means that you can check the impressions, clicks and CTR results of your review snippet pages and check their performance to understand how they are trending for any of the dimensions available. For example you can filter your data to see which queries, pages, countries and devices are bringing your review snippets traffic.Review snippet in Rich Results Test After adding Review snippets structured data to your pages, you can test them using the Rich Results Test tool. You can test a code snippet or submit a URL of a page. The test shows any errors or suggestions for your structured data.These new tools should make it easier to understand how your marked-up review snippet pages perform on Search and to identify and fix review issues.If you have any questions, check out the Google Webmasters community.Posted by Tomer Hodadi and Yuval Kurtser, Search Console engineering team

Google Search News for January 2020

Google Webmaster Central Blog -

We hope the year 2020 has started off well for you, and wanted to bring a brief update of some of the changes around Google Search since our last episode. We aim to do this in our YouTube Series called Google Search News. In the January 2020 episode, we cover: Updates in Search Console, a free tool from Google to help you succeed with your website in Google Search. Since the last episode, we celebrated the two-year anniversary of the new Search Console, updated the Discover report, and made the Index Coverage report more comprehensive. Another big change was the new messaging system, which integrates directly with various reports. Updated Mobile-First Indexing documentation and some tips, such as making sure your mobile site reflects your full content (we won't use the desktop version at all, once we switch your site over). Also, if you use separate mobile URLs (commonly called m-dot URLs), make sure to use them consistently within your structured data too. The deprecation of support for data-vocabulary.org structured data was recently announced. This markup was mostly used for breadcrumb markup, so if you added that early on, you should double-check the breadcrumb report in Search Console. We make regular updates in Google Search -- our website on How Search Works has more on the backgrounds, if you're curious. In this episode we covered BERT - a modern way for computers to understand natural language - as well as various updates mentioned on our Search Liaison & Webmaster Central Twitter profiles. Chrome has posted on its handling of mixed-content, and we started sending notices to sites using old HTTPS / TLS protocols. Googlebot's rendering has continued to move forward with the new user-agent, which is being used more and more for crawling. and, last but not least, if you'd like to find out more about Search Console, check out our new Search Console training video series! We hope you find these updates useful! Let us know in the video comments, or on Twitter, if there's something we can improve on. Posted by John Mueller, Google Search-Relations team, Zurich

Google Search News for January 2020

Google Webmaster Central Blog -

We hope the year 2020 has started off well for you, and wanted to bring a brief update of some of the changes around Google Search since our last episode. We aim to do this in our YouTube Series called Google Search News. In the January 2020 episode, we cover: Updates in Search Console, a free tool from Google to help you succeed with your website in Google Search. Since the last episode, we celebrated the two-year anniversary of the new Search Console, updated the Discover report, and made the Index Coverage report more comprehensive. Another big change was the new messaging system, which integrates directly with various reports. Updated Mobile-First Indexing documentation and some tips, such as making sure your mobile site reflects your full content (we won't use the desktop version at all, once we switch your site over). Also, if you use separate mobile URLs (commonly called m-dot URLs), make sure to use them consistently within your structured data too. The deprecation of support for data-vocabulary.org structured data was recently announced. This markup was mostly used for breadcrumb markup, so if you added that early on, you should double-check the breadcrumb report in Search Console. We make regular updates in Google Search -- our website on How Search Works has more on the backgrounds, if you're curious. In this episode we covered BERT - a modern way for computers to understand natural language - as well as various updates mentioned on our Search Liaison & Webmaster Central Twitter profiles. Chrome has posted on its handling of mixed-content, and we started sending notices to sites using old HTTPS / TLS protocols. Googlebot's rendering has continued to move forward with the new user-agent, which is being used more and more for crawling. and, last but not least, if you'd like to find out more about Search Console, check out our new Search Console training video series! We hope you find these updates useful! Let us know in the video comments, or on Twitter, if there's something we can improve on. Posted by John Mueller, Google Search-Relations team, Zurich

New Removals report in Search Console

Google Webmaster Central Blog -

We’re happy to announce that we’re launching a new version of the Removals report in Search Console, which enables site owners to temporarily hide a page from appearing in Google Search results. The new report also provides info on pages on your site that have been reported via other Google public tools.There are different tools available for you to report and remove information from Google, in this post we’ll focus on three areas that will be part of the new Search Console report: temporary removals, outdated content and SafeSearch filtering requests.Temporary removalsA temporary removal request is a way to remove specific content on your site from Google Search results. For example, if you have a URL that you need to take off Google Search quickly, you should use this tool. A successful request lasts about six months, which should be enough for you to find a permanent solution. You have two types of requests available:Temporary remove URL will hide the URL from Google Search results for about six months and clear the cached copy of the page.Clear cache URL clears the cached page and wipes out the page description snippet in Search results until the page is crawled again.Outdated contentThe outdated content section provides information on removal requests made through the public Remove Outdated Content tool, which can be used by anyone (not just site owners) to update search results showing information that is no longer present on a page.SafeSearch filteringThe SafeSearch filtering section in Search Console shows a history of pages on your site that were reported by Google users as adult content using the SafeSearch Suggestion tool. URLs submitted using this tool are reviewed, and if Google feels that this content should be filtered from SafeSearch results, these URLs are tagged as adult content.We hope you will find the new report clearer and useful. As always, please let us know if you have any comments, questions or feedback either through the Webmasters help community or Twitter.Posted by Tali Pruss, Search Console Software Engineer

New Removals report in Search Console

Google Webmaster Central Blog -

We’re happy to announce that we’re launching a new version of the Removals report in Search Console, which enables site owners to temporarily hide a page from appearing in Google Search results. The new report also provides info on pages on your site that have been reported via other Google public tools.There are different tools available for you to report and remove information from Google, in this post we’ll focus on three areas that will be part of the new Search Console report: temporary removals, outdated content and SafeSearch filtering requests.Temporary removalsA temporary removal request is a way to remove specific content on your site from Google Search results. For example, if you have a URL that you need to take off Google Search quickly, you should use this tool. A successful request lasts about six months, which should be enough for you to find a permanent solution. You have two types of requests available:Temporary remove URL will hide the URL from Google Search results for about six months and clear the cached copy of the page.Clear cache URL clears the cached page and wipes out the page description snippet in Search results until the page is crawled again.Outdated contentThe outdated content section provides information on removal requests made through the public Remove Outdated Content tool, which can be used by anyone (not just site owners) to update search results showing information that is no longer present on a page.SafeSearch filteringThe SafeSearch filtering section in Search Console shows a history of pages on your site that were reported by Google users as adult content using the SafeSearch Suggestion tool. URLs submitted using this tool are reviewed, and if Google feels that this content should be filtered from SafeSearch results, these URLs are tagged as adult content.We hope you will find the new report clearer and useful. As always, please let us know if you have any comments, questions or feedback either through the Webmasters help community or Twitter.Posted by Tali Pruss, Search Console Software Engineer

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