At this point, our webmaster console will alert you to manual webspam actions that will directly affect your site. We’ve recently rolled out better visibility on website security issues, including radically improved resources for hacked site help. We’ve also improved the backlinks that we show to publishers and site owners. Along the way, we’ve also created a website that explains how search works, and Google has done dozens of “office hours” hangouts for websites. And we’re just about to hit 15 million views on ~500 different webmaster videos.
So here’s my question: what would you like to see from Webmaster Tools (or the larger team) in 2014? I’ll throw out a few ideas below, but please leave suggestions in the comments. Bear in mind that I’m not promising we’ll do any of these–this is just to get your mental juices going.
Some things that I could imagine people wanting:
- Make it easier/faster to claim authorship or do authorship markup.
- Improved reporting of spam, bugs, errors, or issues. Maybe people who do very good spam reports could be “deputized” so their future spam reports would be fast-tracked. Or perhaps a karma, cred, or peer-based system could bubble up the most important issues, bad search results, etc.
- Option to download the web pages that Google has seen from your site, in case a catastrophe like a hard drive failure or a virus takes down your entire website.
- Checklists or help for new businesses that are just starting out.
- Periodic reports with advice on improving areas like mobile or page speed.
- Send Google “fat pings” of content before publishing it on the web, to make it easier for Google to tell where content appeared first on the web.
- Better tools for detecting or reporting duplicate content or scrapers.
- Show pages that don’t validate.
- Show the source pages that link to your 404 pages, so you can contact other sites and ask if they want to fix their broken links.
- Or almost as nice: tell the pages on your website that lead to 404s or broken links, so that site owners can fix their own broken links.
- Better or faster bulk url removal (maybe pages that match a specific phrase?).
- Refreshing the existing data in Webmaster Tools faster or better.
- Improve robots.txt checker to handle even longer files.
- Ways for site owners to tell us more about their site: anything from country-level data to language to authorship to what content management system (CMS) you use on different parts of the site. That might help Google improve how it crawls different parts of a domain.
To be clear, this is just some personal brainstorming–I’m not saying that the Webmaster Tools team will work on any of these. What I’d really like to hear is what you would like to see in 2014, either in Webmaster Tools or from the larger team that works with webmasters and site owners.