Posted: 07 Jun 2012 12:36 AM PDT
Webmaster level: All
We all know what it's like to get a bit of help when you're looking for it. Online, that advice can come from a number of places: a tweet, a shared video, or a blog post, to name a few. With Google Social Search we've been working to show that content when it's useful, making search more personally relevant.
We think sharing on the web can be even better--that people might share more recommendations, more often, if they knew their advice would be used to help their friends and contacts right when they're searching for relevant topics on Google. That's why we're introducing the +1 button, an easy way for Google users to recommend your content right from the search results pages (and, soon, from your site).
+1 is a simple idea. Let's use Brian as an example. When Brian signs in to his Google Account and sees one of your pages in the organic search results on Google (or your search ads if you're using AdWords), he can +1 it and recommend your page to the world.
The next time Brian's friend Mary is signed in and searching on Google and your page appears, she might see a personalized annotation letting her know that Brian +1'd it. So Brian's +1 helps Mary decide that your site is worth checking out.
We expect that these personalized annotations will help sites stand out by showing users which search results are personally relevant to them. As a result, +1's could increase both the quality and quantity of traffic to the sites people care about.
But the +1 button isn't just for search results. We're working on a +1 button that you can put on your pages too, making it easy for people to recommend your content on Google search without leaving your site. If you want to be notified when the +1 button is available for your website, you can sign up for email updates at our +1 webmaster site.
Over the coming weeks, we'll add +1 buttons to search results and ads on Google.com. We'll also start to look at +1's as one of the many signals we use to determine a page's relevance and ranking, including social signals from other services. For +1's, as with any new ranking signal, we'll be starting carefully and learning how those signals affect search quality over time. At first the +1 button will appear for English searches only on Google.com, but we're working to add more languages in the future.
We're excited about using +1's to make search more personal, relevant and compelling. We hope you're excited too! If you have questions about the +1 button and how it affects search on Google.com, you can check the Google Webmaster Central Help Center.
Posted: 06 Jun 2012 11:04 AM PDT
Webmaster level: All
Every day more and more smartphones get activated and more websites are producing smartphone-optimized content. Since we last talked about how to build mobile-friendly websites, we've been working hard on improving Google's support for smartphone-optimized content. As part of this effort, we launched Googlebot-Mobile for smartphones back in December 2011, which is specifically tasked with identifying such content.
Today we'd like to give you Google's recommendations for building smartphone-optimized websites and explain how to do so in a way that gives both your desktop- and smartphone-optimized sites the best chance of performing well in Google's search results.
Recommendations for smartphone-optimized sites
The full details of our recommendation can be found in our new help site, which we now summarize.
When building a website that targets smartphones, Google supports three different configurations:
Responsive web design
Responsive web design is a technique to build web pages that alter how they look using CSS3 media queries. That is, there is one HTML code for the page regardless of the device accessing it, but its presentation changes using CSS media queries to specify which CSS rules apply for the browser displaying the page. You can learn more about responsive web design from this blog post by Google's webmasters and in our recommendations.
Using responsive web design has multiple advantages, including:
However, we appreciate that for many situations it may not be possible or appropriate to use responsive web design. That's why we support having websites serve equivalent content using different, device-specific, HTML. The device-specific HTML can be served on the same URL (a configuration called dynamic serving) or different URLs (such as www.example.com and m.example.com).
If your website uses a dynamic serving configuration, we strongly recommend using the Vary HTTP header to communicate to caching servers and our algorithms that the content may change for different user agents requesting the page. We also use this as a crawling signal for Googlebot-Mobile. More details are here.
As for the separate mobile site configuration, since there are many ways to do this, our recommendation introduces annotations that communicate to our algorithms that your desktop and mobile pages are equivalent in purpose; that is, the new annotations describe the relationship between the desktop and mobile content as alternatives of each other and should be treated as a single entity with each alternative targeting a specific class of device.
These annotations will help us discover your smartphone-optimized content and help our algorithms understand the structure of your content, giving it the best chance of performing well in our search results.
This blog post is only a brief summary of our recommendation for building smartphone-optimized websites. Please read the full recommendation and see which supported implementation is most suitable for your site and users. And, as always, please ask on our Webmaster Help forums if you have more questions.
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