Friday, 22 June 2012

What to do About your Webmaster Tools Warning?

Recently Google has heightened its monitoring of possible violations among its Webmaster Tools users and are notifying website owners of the issues. In fact, you may have received a warning from the company notifying you of a possible violation.

Also Read - Google Penguin Update

What does this mean?

Depending on the warning, it could mean several things.According to Google, it has discovered some manipulation of web content to help pages increase their PageRank, which results in those pages appearing higher in Google's search engine results. Called cloaking, the technique involves a site serving a different version of a web page to search engine spiders - one that is different from what users see.

Google frowns upon this practice, since it lures people to sites under false pretence, based on search results that may not display the desired content. In an effort to improve the quality of its search results, it has begun notifying possible violators and threatening to remove their sites from its search results.

Unnatural Links

Another technique that is getting flagged is unnatural links - links that webmasters buy or exchange with other sites to boost page rankings. Part of Google's PageRank is based on the number of links that other sites create to content. Some people buy links or exchange links with other sites simply to increase that number - even if the two sites have no relationship or no common purpose.

Also Read - Key To Natural Link Building

Google has caught on to that practice as well, and part of the new crackdown on violations centers on link exchanging. Websites that have a great number of links to boost their search engine rankings will be removed from page results.

What to do about it

So what do you do if you are notified? In the case of cloaking, the solution is simple: Remove the offending content from your site. In some cases, you may not have created the content or even known about it, which means that someone else may have gained access to your hosting account. Talk with your hosting provider to locate the content and see if there are any security lapses in your directories. Also, take measures to further secure your login. Once you remove the content, you can resubmit your site to Google for reconsideration.
As for the unnatural links, the answer is to let links to your content develop naturally - if you have useful content, third party sites will add links to your site. This more organic approach will not be noticed by flagged by Google and will give you the PageRank needed to optimise your search rankings.

You may also want to revisit Google Webmaster Tools' Guidelines, which outline best practices for your content.

So what is the key to search engine optimisation? Good content. Focus on keywords throughout your real content, and don't try to trick Google. They'll know.

Also Read - Keyword Development Plan

Author: Jacob is an Online Marketing expert from Sydney, Australia. Some of his newer clients had received the Webmaster Tools warning due to poor link building activity from other companies. Jacob has since cleaned up the problem and will continue to do the right thing by Google for all of his clients.Read our guidelines to be a Guest Author at TechGau.Org
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Gautham A S

Gautham A S is a personal tech columnist and blogging expert at TechGau.Org, one of the leading Tech, How-To and Blogging Tips blogs in the world..