Monday, December 03, 2007

Allow Revisions to Incorrectly Labeled Sitelinks

It's great that you guys now allow removal of bad sitelinks through Webmaster Central. But sometimes the sitelink is incorrectly labeled for no fault of the site owner, and the sitelink just needs to be corrected, not removed. For example, note the typo below in the sitelinks of

In the above screenshot, you'll notice one of the sitelinks says "Pangler Science Experiments." The word "Pangler" should actually be "Spangler." I checked, and there is not a single occurrence of "Pangler" anywhere on or on his blog at However, I did find such a typo in the anchor text of a link appearing on this blog. So it appears Google is trusting the anchor text of a single blogger over the site's own internal linking structure? This should probably be looked into too, since bloggers make typing mistakes, and the site owner has no control over that.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Allow Opt-out on Foreign Language Search

Google's foreign-specific search indices allow users to find web pages from the overall internet as well as being able to filter content down to pages specific to their own countries and/or languages.

The problem is, there are quite a few overseas (non-US) users who use Google without clicking the button to restrict content to pages specific to their countries, and there are companies who desire to restrict their content from appearing to those users in other countries, either because they are not set up to sell to those users, or because they may be legally restricted from conducting trade with those countries.

I suggest that Google might want to allow webmasters to specify whether their content should be presented to users in their various country-specific search engines, for these reasons.

Google could offer this through an opt-in/opt-out interface in Webmaster Tools, or this could be pushed as another type of restriction which could be added to robots.txt files. Considering how many countries there are, it would probably be most desirable to add this as an interface within Webmaster Tools. Webmasters could go in and click a button for each country-specific version of Google that's out there.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A better 404 error page and 301 redirects on

In a recent post that I had published on the CNET Blog Network, I talked about how "Even Google Could Use Some SEO."

After getting an inside view into Webmaster Central's metrics on, I noticed that the top 404 reporting errors were for:


As I'm sure you know, the %20 represents a space after the URL. Those users who link to Google, sometimes copy and paste one, two, or three spaces after the URL. Unfortunately, this creates a 404 error and a bad "end user" experience.

That bad user experience is made even worse by the fact that the 404 error page is a complete dead-end for users. If users were to come across a link like this one, they have no place to go.

Implementing 301 redirects would help usability, especially since this appears to be such a common mistake when people link to Google. It would also give the site more PageRank, which can then be passed down to deeper pages in the site.

Also improving the 404 error page to be less of a dead-end would be helpful too.

I realize that Google doesn't need any help with their SEO, but in this case, what's good for search engines is also good for users.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Fix and standardize the querying on Google News Archive Search

On Google News if you do a search for you get some results, which is what you expect. Curiously enough, if you try doing that same search for on Google News Archive Search (like so), you get: "Your search - - did not match any documents." You have to put within quotes in order to get results (like so). Clearly something is broken since as a search term works on Google News, Google Images, Google Web Search, etc. but not on the Google News Archive Search. Google, I suggest that you fix this bug.

By the way, thanks for adding a link on Google News to Google News Archive Search from the search results. I don't know if that was a result of reading my suggestion a few weeks back or not, but either way I sure do appreciate it as do a whole lot of other Google News users as well.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Google PSAWords

I really like the way that public service announcements show up in Google Adsense boxes when there isn't an appropriate paying advertiser to display there.

I think there is something you can do to really expand on this concept and offer sites that wouldn't be interested in displaying Google ads the ability to display public service announcements. For example, government sites and universities would probably not want to display Google ads but would probably be happy to display contextually relevant web service announcements.

So my suggestion is to launch a program specifically for those sorts of sites that don't want to display ads to only display public service announcements. You could call that Google PSAWords and you could give organizations that have public service announcements on them the ability to load in their own public service announcements in addition to the ones you already have.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Make it easy to get from Google News to Google News Archive

I really love the Google News Archive Search. It is a pity that it is hard to get to from Google News. If I am doing a Google News search and I want to go back in time into the archive, I'd like to be able to do that with one click. Particularly if I'm already in the search results. For example, if I search for my company name (Netconcepts), there is a link to search blogs and a link to create an email alert, but no link to search Google News archive for "netconcepts". Please add that.

While you're at it, can you add the Google News Archive Search to my search history? :-)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Oops, you need to redirect

Nothing scares web visitors like a security warning message when visiting a web site, particularly if that web site holds your financial records. Imagine my surprise when I went to and after getting redirected to I get a security warning that the Security Certificate is not valid! Here's what visitors see when using Safari:

and when using Firefox for the Mac:

Google, I suggest you guys fix your redirect to point to instead. And it probably wouldn't hurt to spring the few hundred bucks for a security certificate for too! ;-)

This issue probably isn't isolated to just the AdSense site, so it would be worthwhile to check all your sites for this issue.