More webmaster questions - Answered!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

When it comes to answering your webmaster related questions, we just can't get enough. I wanted to follow-up and answer some additional questions that webmasters asked in our latest installment of Popular Picks. In case you missed it, you can find our answers to image search ranking, sitelinks, reconsideration requests, redirects, and our communication with webmasters in this blog post.

Check out these resources for additional details on questions answered in the video:

Video Transcript

Hi everyone, I'm Reid from the Search Quality team. Today I'd like to answer some of the unanswered questions from our latest round of popular picks. Searchmaster had a question about duplicate content. Understandably, this is a popular concern from webmasters. You should check out the Google Webmaster Central Blog where my colleague Susan Moskwa recently posted "Demystifying the 'duplicate content penalty," which answers many questions and concerns about duplicate content.

Jay is the Boss wanted to know if e-commerce websites suffer if they have two or more different themes. For example, you could have a site that sells auto parts, but also sightseeing guides. In general, I'd encourage webmasters to create a website that they feel is relevant for users. If it makes sense to sell auto parts and sightseeing guides, then go for it. Those are the sites that perform well, because users want to visit those sites, and they'll link to them as well.

emma2 wanted to know if Google will follow links on a page using the noindex attribute in the robots meta tag. To answer this question, Googlebot will follow links on a page which uses the meta noindex tag, but that page will not appear in our search results. As a reminder, if you would like to prevent Googlebot from crawling any links on a page, use the nofollow attribute in the robots meta tag.

Aaron Pratt wanted to know about some ways a webmaster can rank well for local searches. A quick recommendation is to add your business to the Local Business Center. There, you can add contact information as well as store operating hours and coupons as well. Another example, or a tip, is to take advantage and purchase a country-specific top-level domain, or use the geotargeting feature in Webmaster Tools.

jdeb901 said it would be helpful if we could let webmasters know if we are having problems with Webmaster Tools. This is an excellent point, and we're always thinking about better ways to communicate with webmasters. If you're having problems with Webmaster Tools, chances are someone else is as well, and they've posted to the Google Webmaster Help Group about this. In the past, if we've experienced problems with Webmaster Tools, we've also created a "sticky" post to let users know that we know about these issues with Webmaster Tools, and we're working to find a solution.

Well, that about wraps it up with our Popular Picks. Thanks again for all of your questions, and I look forward to seeing you around the group.