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Hello, hello, fellow SEOers! Here at Search Engine Academy, we teach you the latest functions we get from Google news and other sources that help your SEO efforts. Recently, Google came out with a couple announcements that could impact your search engine optimization strategies and efforts.

Let’s go over them briefly – Google Webmaster Tools and duplicate content updates.

Google News – Webmaster Tools Has New (Sort Of) Functionality

You know how valuable Google Webmaster Tools can be for understanding if Google is having trouble accessing and/or crawling your site. There’s some good news – a little more functionality has been added! Let’s see what it is, shall we?

Google News - updated search queries in webmaster tools

Ta da! Search queries are now shown with the exact numbers – no rounding! This is good; we now know exact numbers. I’m not sure why Google hasn’t done this before, but it’s up and running now. If you’re not seeing it yet, be patient – it’s coming soon to your dashboard.

To recap, queries are impressions – the number of times a web page from your site shows up in search engine results pages (SERPs) and clicks are when web searchers click on your results – this is your click through rate (CTR).

In Other Google News – Dealing With Duplicate Content – Articles

Elsewhere, Matt Cutts put out a new video addressing duplicate content again. As recently as last month, I took the attitude of NO.DUPLICATE.CONTENT.EVER. Well, I sort of am coming around, because he says about 25 – 30% of web content out there is duped, and it’s not all deliberate spamming, although when Google finds deliberate (spam) duplicate content, the penalties will still roll around.

Basically my SEO friends, use the “rel=canonical” tag for content that’s duplicated. Here’s how you would do it. Suppose there’s five sites out there you own and you want to put up an article on all five, because they’re related. On one of those five, use the “rel=canonical” to let Google know this is the only URL you want them to crawl, index and rank for that keyword focus or theme for the article. When Google sees this, it won’t put a duplicate content penalty on any of the sites.

I think this is well and good, but I am still going to advise that it could make for a poor or less than satisfactory user experience, so I would use this cautiously and sparingly.

And that’s it for Google news this time around. Until next time, keep it safely between the ditches!

All the best,