This week we learned that Google is having issues with correctly identifying hacked sites, and the search giant gave an important tip on how to get properly indexed in Google News.
There’s also a cool new feature in Google’s mobile search that is worth pointing out. More details about each of these top stories in this week’s SEO news roundup.
Latest SEO News – Week Ending 2/20/2015
Google Incorrectly Labeling Sites As Hacked, Here’s How To Fix It If You’re Affected
According to Google’s John Mueller, the company is currently in the process of rolling out a new classifier for hacked sites. As a result, a number of sites are getting incorrectly classified as being hacked.
Clearly it’s a problem if your site is mislabeled as a hacked site because it would turn away potential visitors.
In order to find out if you’re affected, just do a search for your site in Google. If Google thinks your site is hacked, a blue label reading “This site may be hacked” will appear under your title tag.
If that label does not appear, you’re fine. If Google does think your site is hacked, and you’re sure it isn’t, there’s a form you can fill out to let the company know about it.
Go here to fill out the form, then a Google employee will review your request and remove the “hacked” label from your site if it’s actually safe.
If your site is hacked, that’s a whole other problem to deal with. Mueller recommends getting someone who is experienced in working with hacked sites to double-check yours.
For official Google documentation on how to deal with hacked sites, you can view the company’s best practices here.
Getting Properly Indexed In Google News
Something that we always tell clients to do, and what was backed up this week Google itself, is to keep your title tags and H1 tags consistent.
That’s good practice for SEO in general, but this week we learned it’s especially important for getting indexed Google News.
Google News can be a valuable source of traffic, so it’s in every site owner’s best interest to make sure their content is getting indexed properly.
In a Google+ Webmaster Central Hangout this week, Stacie Chen said that consistency is key. If Google crawls a page and sees two different headlines (the title tag and H1), it gets confused as to which one to display.
Sometimes site owners complain that Google indexed the wrong headline, which is usually because there’s two different headlines on the page. The best way to ensure Google displays the correct headline is to keep your title tags and H1s consistent.
New Feature In Google Mobile Search
You’re going to start seeing a cool new feature in Google’s mobile search, and we thought we’d try to be the first to tell you about it.
Get prepared to start seeing a lot more carousels like this one:
Google is going to start grouping related content from single sources into carousels, which will be displayed underneath search results snippets.
Underneath certain sites in mobile search results you’ll start to see carousels, like the one above, of recent articles, videos, and other content that you can swipe through to browse.
Try searching for content on sites like The Guardian, NPR, ESPN, and Bleacher Report to see it in action. Google says it will be incorporating this feature into more sites soon.
Wrapping It Up
Now we know even Google makes mistakes sometimes, so check to see if Google thinks your sites is hacked and then follow our recommendations on how to fix it.
Google confirmed something we’ve been telling clients for years, which is to keep title tags and H1s consistent, and there’s a cool new mobile feature to play around with.
If you have any questions about this week’s developments, or about anything else, just leave a comment and I’ll be sure to respond.
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