A new function Google has added to its Webmaster Tools shows how many pages on your website the search engine has crawled and indexed. In my latest post for Search News Central I give a real world case study demonstrating the usefulness of these new reports:
Search News Central: Index Status – Google’s Gift to SEO Site Auditors
What is immediately evident from this graph is that in early May there was a huge jump in the number of pages Google chose to index for this particular website. This is unsurprising to me. This site is an ecommerce site using faceted navigation, and around that time I made some changes to the meta robots tags I’d been using to prevent duplicate content issues. The jump in indexed pages shows that my changes resulted in many more pages being included in Google’s index.
In my newest article for State of Search I explore the tension between what Google wants to deliver as a search engine, and what SEOs are trying to accomplish for client websites. The best SEOs, I argue, make use of the gap between Google’s intended goals and their imperfect execution:
State of Search: What Google Wants vs What SEOs Want
Then there’s a second area of tension between SEO and Google, which is more intricate. It’s the difference between what Google intends to show – i.e. the most relevant results – and what it actually shows – algorithmic approximations of relevance and authority. Google’s algorithms aren’t perfect. They’re pretty damn good, but flawed nonetheless. And that means they can be manipulated.