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For nearly ten years, Google Webmaster Tools has provided users with constantly evolving tools and metrics to help make fantastic websites that our systems love showing in Google Search. In the past year, we sought to learn more about you, the loyal users of Google Webmaster Tools: we wanted to understand your role and goals in order to make our product more useful to you.

It turns out that the traditional idea of the “webmaster” reflects only some of you. We have all kinds of Webmaster Tools fans: hobbyists, small business owners, SEO experts, marketers, programmers, designers, app developers, and, of course, webmasters as well. What you all share is a desire to make your work available online, and to make it findable through Google Search. So, to make sure that our product includes everyone who cares about Search, we've decided to rebrand Google Webmaster Tools as Google Search Console.

We're looking forward to an exciting future with Google Search Console, and hope to see users of all types—including webmasters—drop by and use our service to diagnose and improve the visibility of their content in search. We'll be rolling out the updated branding across the product over the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

Just come over to g.co/SearchConsole and get started!

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If you manage a website, you need a deep understanding of how users find your site and how your content appears on Google's search results. Until now, this data was shown in the Search Queries report, probably the most used feature in Webmaster Tools. Over the years, we’ve been listening to your feedback and features requests. How many of you wished they could compare traffic on desktop and mobile? How many of you needed to compare metrics in different countries? or in two different time frames?

We’ve heard you! Today, we’re very happy to announce Search Analytics, the new report in Google Webmaster Tools that will allow you to make the most out of your traffic analysis.
The new Search Analytics report enables you to break down your site's search data and filter it in many different ways in order to analyze it more precisely. For instance, you can now compare your mobile traffic before and after the April 21st Mobile update, to see how it affected your traffic.



Or, if you have an international website, you can now find the countries where people search most for your brand: choose “impressions” as your metric, filter by your brand name, and group results by country to show a sorted list of impressions by country.



These use cases are just two examples out of many more. Search Analytics allows you to really dig deeper into your traffic analysis and helps you make the best decisions for your website’s performance.

There are some differences between Search Analytics and Search Queries. Data in the Search Analytics report is much more accurate than data in the older Search Queries report, and it is calculated differently. To learn more read out Search Analytics Help Center article’s section about data. Because we understand that some of you will still need to use the old report, we’ve decided to leave it available in Google Webmaster Tools for three additional months. To learn more about the new report, please read our Search Analytics Help Center article.

We hope you find the new Search Analytics report useful for your traffic analysis. Please share your feedback in the comments below or on our Google Webmasters Google+ page. As usual, if you have any question or need help with the report, feel free to post in our Webmasters Help Forum.

Last but not least, we sincerely thank all the Trusted Testers and webmaster forums’ Top Contributors who spent time testing the alpha version of Search Analytics, and who helped us create such a good report: we wouldn’t have made it that great without your constant feedback and suggestions. Thank you for being so amazing!


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Susan Brown, owner of Los Angeles gardening store Potted, recently updated her business listing on Google. Susan says, “Putting your business on Google lets people find you easily. Your directions are right there, your hours are right there, what you sell is right there.”

Thanks to her decision, Susan has seen more customers walk through her door: “So many of the customers that come in here find us on Google. As a small business, you want to use every opportunity to help your business grow.”

National Small Business Week is one of those opportunities. So from May 4-8, instead of three cheers, we’re giving you five—five simple ways to get your small business online and growing.

Celebrating National Small Business Week with Google

A handful of bright ideas and quick-fixes, all five ways are doable in a week or less and will help you throw a digital spotlight on your business all year round.

1. SHOW UP ON GOOGLE

Check to see how your business shows up on Google. Then, claim your listing so that customers can find the right info about your business on Google Search and Maps. When you claim your listing this week: You could be one of 100 randomly selected businesses to get a 360° virtual tour photoshoot—a $255 value.

2. LEARN FROM PROS & PEERS

Get business advice from experts and colleagues in the Google Small Business Community. They're ready to chat! When you visit or join this week: Share your tips for summertime business success and we'll feature your tip in front of an audience of 400K members.

3. WORK BETTER, TOGETHER:

With professional email, calendars, and docs that you can access anywhere, Google Apps for Work makes it easy for your team to create and collaborate. When you sign up this week you’ll receive 25% off Google Apps for Work for one year.

4. CLAIM YOUR DOMAIN:

With a custom domain name and website, Google Domains helps you create a place for your business on the web. When you sign up and purchase a .co, .com or .company domain this week you could be one of 1,500 randomly selected businesses to get reimbursed for the first year of registration.

5. GET ADVICE FROM AN ADVERTISING PRO:

Learn how you can promote your business online and work with a local digital marketing expert to craft a strategy that’s right for your business goals. When you RSVP this week you’ll get help from an expert who knows businesses like yours.

While these resources are available year-round, there’s no better time to embark on a digital reboot.

For more information, visit google.com/smallbusinessweek.

Wishing everyone a happy and productive Small Business Week!


PS: To join the conversation, use #5Days5Ways and #SBW15 on G+, Facebook or Twitter.

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We believe everyone should have fast and easy access to information online. However, many people still have slow and costly mobile connections. To speed up the experience of our users on slow connections, we recently launched streamlined search results. However, we wondered if we could also speed up the web pages themselves, so they don't load slowly or consume too much mobile data. So we’ve developed a way to optimize web pages to be faster and lighter, while preserving most of the relevant content.

In two weeks, we’re starting a field test in Indonesia to provide streamlined search results and optimized pages when the user searches on slow mobile connections, such as 2G. Our experiments show that optimized pages load four times faster than the original page and use 80% fewer bytes. As our users’ overall experience became faster, we saw a 50% increase in traffic to these optimized pages.

These faster optimized pages help publishers and advertisers reach new audiences. In addition, a link to the original page will always be available, so users can still choose to view that version. Publishers, you can preview how your page will look in this optimized format by visiting our help page for webmasters.  If you would prefer your pages not be optimized, the help page also provides the relevant details on how to opt out.

Webmasters can continue to monetize their content with these optimized pages. We have been working with Zedo and Sovrn to support their ads along with AdSense, and we are working to support DoubleClick for Publishers as well. We're just getting started, but hope to add support for other ad networks. If you are interested in getting your ad network supported, please see our help page for ad networks for more details on how to contact us.

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Millions of people tuned in this past March to #MobileMadness, a global campaign to help prepare webmasters for the mobile search ranking change that went live last week. The monthlong highlights included presentations, a Q&A session, office hours, polls, tips and a 30 day challenge to go mobile-friendly. Enjoy the full recap below!

Maximize your online strategy & search performance

In this presentation, learn to create an online strategy for your business, measure your search performance, and choose the right partner to design and manage your mobile website. The 3 topics are:
1. Choosing the right online channel
2. Webmaster Tools
3. SEO as a long term strategy

Basics of a mobile website for small and medium businesses

If you own a small business, this series of short videos will show you how easy it can be to make your web pages mobile-friendly. The 4-part series include:
1. Learn the tools: PageSpeed Insights, Mobile-Friendly Test and Mobile-Usability
2. Bring it in: Viewports, zoom and plugins
3. Focus on the user: Tap targets, margins and font sizes
4. Set it right: Redirects and canonicals

Q&A session

Here are answers to questions you asked about the mobile-friendly ranking change. Check the comments section here for answers to questions we weren’t able to get to during the live event.

Results from audience polls

Thousands of people participated in the 3 polls below. What are your thoughts on the results—surprising or predictable?

What device are you using to read this post?
Of 871 responses, desktop/laptop and mobile phone usage only differed by 28 votes. View on Google+ and Twitter.
What do you dislike the most when browsing the web on your mobile device?
Almost half of 570 respondents said their top frustration was waiting for slow pages to load. View on Google+ and Twitter.
What's the hardest part about having a mobile-friendly site?
More than half of 490 respondents said it’s not hard to have a mobile-friendly site. However, 1 in 5 said it's technically challenging. View on Google+ and Twitter.

Mobile-friendly tips

These tips highlight specific resources to help you go mobile-friendly. View a few of them below and the entire #mobilefriendly collection here.

View on Google+ and Twitter

View on Google+ and Twitter

View on Google+ and Twitter

Mobile-friendly one-sheeter

Download the one-sheeter so you can access and share these 5 steps to mobile-friendliness on-the-go.

Results from our 30 Day Challenge to go mobile-friendly

Many people took our 30 Day Challenge to make their sites mobile-friendly in March. Take a look at some of the responses we got at the end of the challenge.
  • Nicolas Chevallier: "Almost every sites we managed have been redesigned in RWD since the beginning of #mobilemadness"
  • Daniel Harrison: "Still working on the responsive design site. Hope to be 100% finished in 2 weeks."
  • Gina Gaudio-Graves: “Our site is now totally #mobilefriendly [...] And, many of our students sites are now #mobilefriendly as well! Thanks for the help!”
  • Andreas Becker: "just a few more days ... so many sites :) i think 90%"

Thanks to all who participated in #MobileMadness! As a reminder, take the Mobile-Friendly Test, check the Mobile Usability Report for mobile usability issues, and read the step-by-step mobile guide which contains all our mobile resources. And as always, head on over to our webmasters help forum if you need any help.

Posted by Mary Chen, Webmaster Outreach

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As we noted earlier this year, today’s the day we begin globally rolling out our mobile-friendly update. We’re boosting the ranking of mobile-friendly pages on mobile search results. Now searchers can more easily find high-quality and relevant results where text is readable without tapping or zooming, tap targets are spaced appropriately, and the page avoids unplayable content or horizontal scrolling.

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April 21st’s mobile-friendly update boosts mobile search rankings for pages that are legible and usable on mobile devices.

This update:
  • Affects only search rankings on mobile devices
  • Affects search results in all languages globally 
  • Applies to individual pages, not entire websites

While the mobile-friendly change is important, we still use a variety of signals to rank search results. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal -- so even if a page with high quality content is not mobile-friendly, it could still rank high if it has great content for the query. 

To check if your site is mobile-friendly, you can examine individual pages with the Mobile-Friendly Test or check the status of your entire site through the Mobile Usability report in Webmaster Tools. If your site’s pages aren’t mobile-friendly, there may be a significant decrease in mobile traffic from Google Search. But have no fear, once your site becomes mobile-friendly, we will automatically re-process (i.e., crawl and index) your pages.  You can also expedite the process by using Fetch as Google with Submit to Index, and then your pages can be treated as mobile-friendly in ranking.



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We’d like to share answers to your frequently asked questions. For background, in February, we announced that the mobile-friendly update will boost the rankings of mobile-friendly pages -- pages that are legible and usable on mobile devices -- in mobile search results worldwide. (Conversely, pages designed for only large screens may see a significant decrease in rankings in mobile search results.) To get us all on the same page, here are the most frequently asked questions:

General FAQs


1. Will desktop and/or tablet ranking also be affected by this change?

No, this update has no effect on searches from tablets or desktops. It affects searches from mobile devices across all languages and locations.


2. Is it a page-level or site-level mobile ranking boost? 

It’s a page-level change. For instance, if ten of your site’s pages are mobile-friendly, but the rest of your pages aren’t, only the ten mobile-friendly pages can be positively impacted.


3. How do I know if Google thinks a page on my site is mobile-friendly?

Individual pages can be tested for “mobile-friendliness” using the Mobile-Friendly Test.

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Test individual URLs in real-time with the Mobile-Friendly Test.

To review site-level information on mobile-friendliness, check out the Mobile Usability report in Webmaster Tools. This feature’s data is based on the last time we crawled and indexed your site’s pages.

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Mobile Usability in Webmaster Tools provides a snapshot of your entire site’s mobile-friendliness.



4. Unfortunately, my mobile-friendly pages won’t be ready until after April 21st. How long before they can be considered mobile-friendly in ranking?

We determine whether a page is mobile-friendly every time it’s crawled and indexed -- you don’t have to wait for another update. Once a page is mobile-friendly, you can wait for Googlebot for smartphones to naturally (re-)crawl and index the page or you can expedite processing by using Fetch as Google with Submit to Index in Webmaster Tools. For a large volume of URLs, consider submitting a sitemap. In the sitemap, if your mobile content uses pre-existing URLs (such as with Responsive Web Design or dynamic serving), also include the lastmod tag.


5. Since the mobile ranking change rolls out on April 21st, if I see no drop in traffic on April 22nd, does that mean that my site’s rankings aren't impacted?

You won't be able to definitively determine whether your site’s rankings are impacted by the mobile-friendly update by April 22nd. While we begin rolling out the mobile-friendly update on April 21st, it’ll be a week or so before it makes its way to all pages in the index. 


6. I have a great mobile site, but the Mobile-Friendly Test tells me that my pages aren't mobile-friendly. Why?

If a page is designed to work well on mobile devices, but it’s not passing the Mobile-Friendly Test, the most common reason is that Googlebot for smartphones is blocked from crawling resources, like CSS and JavaScript, that are critical for determining whether the page is legible and usable on a mobile device (i.e., whether it’s mobile-friendly). To remedy:
  1. Check if the Mobile-Friendly Test shows blocked resources (often accompanied with a partially rendered image).
  2. Allow Googlebot to crawl the necessary files.
  3. Double-check that your page passes the Mobile-Friendly Test.
  4. Use Fetch as Google with Submit to Index and submit your updated robots.txt to Google to expedite the re-processing of the updated page (or just wait for Google to naturally re-crawl and index).
Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 8.27.58 PM.png
The most common reason why a mobile page fails the Mobile-Friendly Test is that Googlebot for smartphones is blocked from crawling resources, like CSS and JavaScript, that are crucial for understanding the page’s mobile-friendliness. 


To reiterate, we recommend that site owners allow Googlebot to crawl all resources for a page (including CSS, JavaScript, and images), so that we can properly render, index, and in this case, assess whether the page is mobile-friendly.


7. What if I link to a site that’s not mobile-friendly?

Your page can still be “mobile-friendly” even if it links to a page that’s not mobile-friendly, such as a page designed for larger screens, like desktops. It’s not the best experience for mobile visitors to go from a mobile-friendly page to a desktop-only page, but hopefully as more sites become mobile-friendly, this will become less of a problem.


8. Does Google give a stronger mobile-friendly ranking to pages using Responsive Web Design (which uses the same URL and the same HTML for the desktop and mobile versions) vs. hosting a separate mobile site (like www for desktop and m.example.com for mobile)?

No, mobile-friendliness is assessed the same, whether you use responsive web design (RWD), separate mobile URLs, or dynamic serving for your configuration. If your site uses separate mobile URLs or dynamic serving, we recommend reviewing the Mobile SEO guide to make sure Google is properly crawling and indexing your mobile pages.


9. Will my site / page disappear on mobile search results if it's not mobile-friendly?

While the mobile-friendly change is important, we still use a variety of signals to rank search results. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal -- so even if a page with high quality content is not mobile-friendly, it could still rank high if it has great content for the query.


Specialized FAQs


10. What if my audience is desktop only? Then there’s no reason to have a mobile site, right?

Not exactly. Statistics show that more people are going “mobile only” -- either because they never had a desktop or because they won’t replace their existing desktop. Additionally, a non-mobile-friendly site may not see many mobile visitors precisely for that reason. 

The mobile-friendly update will apply to mobile searches conducted across all sites, regardless of the site’s target audiences’ language, region, or proportion of mobile to desktop traffic.


11. I have pages showing mobile usability errors because they embed a YouTube video. What can I do?

We suggest paying close attention to how the YouTube video is embedded. If you are using the “old-style” <object> embeds in the mobile page, convert to <iframe> embeds for broader compatibility. YouTube now uses the HTML5 player on the web by default, so it’s mobile-friendly to embed videos using the <iframe> tags from the “share” feature on the watch page or from the YouTube iFrame API. If you have a more complex integration, that should also be mobile-friendly, since it’ll instruct the device to use the device’s native support. 

For Flash content from sites other than YouTube, check if there is an equivalent HTML5 embed tag or code snippet to avoid using proprietary plugins.


12. Is there a clear standard for sizing tap targets?

Yes, we suggest a minimum of 7mm width/height for primary tap targets and a minimum margin of 5mm between secondary tap targets. The average width of an adult's finger pad is 10mm, and these dimensions can provide a usable interface while making good use of screen real estate.


13. To become mobile-friendly quickly, we’re thinking of creating a very stripped down version of our site (separate mobile pages) until our new responsive site is complete. Do you foresee any problems with this?

First, keep in mind that we support three mobile configurations and that your website doesn't have to be responsive to be mobile-friendly. In response to your question, please be cautious about creating a “stripped down” version of your site. While the page may be formatted for mobile, if it doesn’t allow your visitors to easily complete their common tasks or have an overall smooth workflow, it may become frustrating to your visitors and perhaps not worth the effort. Should a temporary mobile site be created, once the RWD is live, be sure to move the site properly. For example, update all links so they no longer reference the separate mobile URLs and 301 redirect mobile URLs to their corresponding RWD version.

Recommendations


If you’re totally new to building a mobile-friendly site, it’s not too late! Check out our Getting Started guide in the Mobile-Friendly Websites documentation.

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 8.53.30 PM.png
Get started on your mobile site at https://developers.google.com/webmasters/mobile-sites/.


If you already have a mobile site, investigate the Mobile Usability report in Webmaster Tools to make sure that Google detects your site’s pages as mobile-friendly. 

Still more questions? Please ask below or check out the Mobile Websites section of the Webmaster Forum