While attending PubCon 2012 Las Vegas, we got to hear Matt Cutts (the Distinguished Engineer at Google) provide an overview of what Google, from a search and webmaster perspective, rolled out over the last year.
Below are the items Matt detailed in his “the last year in more detail:”
- Algorithm for too many ads above the fold
- Spammy link network crackdown
- Continued refinements on Panda
- Exact-match domains
- Googlebot smarter about AJAX/JS
- 90 days of queries, 2000 top queries => 98% of sites have full coverage
- Autocompletetype: better form filling
- Responsive web design suggestions
- Better multilingual, multinational tags
- Better user permissions in console
- Messages: ~100% of manual actions
- Blog posts of algorithm changes
- Video of quality launch meeting
- Updated Webmaster Guidelines with examples
- Message for unnatural links
In addition, he also announced the release of the new (and “improved” – you had to be there!) tool.
The new disavow links tool was created for Webmasters to disavow “problem” links coming to their site that can’t be cleaned up by normal means. We should state that many speakers, including Matt Cutts, stated most sites should not use this tool. It should only be used if:
- Received a message in Webmaster Tools about “unnatural links” pointing to your site
- Done as much as you can to remove the problematic links, but there are still some links you just can’t get removed
Before using the tool, read Google’s blog about the disavow tool.