Google Webmasters recently did a follow up to their presentation on #io14 about the best practices and most common mistakes that webmasters make on their sites when attempting to market them online.
There are three primary mobile site configuration problems that the Google team sees and each one can make a site completely inaccessible to mobile users. A bad user experience can jeopardize a site’s search and Google SEO rankings. These three problems are: unplayable content, blocked content, and fault redirects.
Unplayable content often comes in the form of interactive menus and videos. While these may work just fine on the desktop version of the website, they will not work if the site is accessed by a mobile device. This can be because the program is not supported by the device, (Flash and some Java based program will not work on some Android mobile devices, and Flash is not supported at all on iOS devices), or the content simply cannot be played over a mobile connection. The quickest way to check for these problems is to simply visit the website on a mobile device.
Blocked content consists of code or content that is blocked from the eyes of the Googlebot. This can prevent people from being able to access the website at all on their mobile device, because the search results will often lead to a 404- site not found error.
Faulty redirects are, as their name suggests, problems with the mobile URLs that redirect every link to the primary mobile site. These create a poor user experience and can cause the user to leave the site entirely rather than trying to navigate to the page that they were initially looking for.
People have two primary problems with their sites that are designed to serve a global audience. There are two tools available, and another being released soon, to help webmasters with their multiregional designs.
Alt hreflang is a term that refers to the code that lets Google know what language that a website should be viewed in. Errors in this code or in the specific language codes can keep the site from providing the correct regional search results.
Back-linking is also essential for the multiregional website. Each regional site, as designated by the Alt hreflang, needs to be back-linked to the national site. This allows Googlebot to find all the versions of the site easily, and classify them properly.
Google is planning to release an International Targeting tool in the near future to help webmasters that are hosting multi-regional sites. This program will look for errors in the alt hreflang code, as well as help find problems with the site back-linking. By fixing these errors, a webmasters can bring a lot more traffic to their sites.
Webmasters have a lot of security issues to consider when running a website. Thankfully, Google offers some of the best spam blocking tools in the industry, including their security issues toolbar, manual actions viewer, and content keywords.
The security issues toolbar will show the webmaster when and where their site has been compromised. It might not be obvious to the average viewer, but hackers and spam bots have been known to insert invisible code that can lead to the site being flagged as spam. This tool allows the webmaster to view the site as Googlebot would and find these spam code inserts.
The manual actions viewer is a tool that allows the webmaster to see any actions that they, other webmasters, or the Google team has taken to remove spam code from their sites. Content keywords show the common keywords that are generated by a website. It will take a bit of knowledge of the site, but webmasters can use this tool to see if any spam keywords have been inserted into their code. These are just a few of the tools that Google currently offers its webmasters in order to help them create and maintain a successful and spam-free website.