Merriam-Webster claims the first known use of the word "webmaster" was in 1993, years before Google even existed. However, the term is becoming archaic, and according to the data found in books, its use is in sharp decline. A user experience study we ran revealed that very few web professionals identify themselves as webmasters anymore. They're more likely to call themselves Search Engine Optimizer (SEO), online marketer, blogger, web developer, or site owner, but very few "webmasters".
This past May, we announced that page experience signals would be included in Google Search ranking. These signals measure how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page and contribute to our ongoing work to ensure people get the most helpful and enjoyable experiences from the web. In the past several months, we’ve seen a median 70% increase in the number of users engaging with Lighthouse and Page Speed Insights, and many site owners using Search Console’s Core Web Vitals report to identify opportunities for improvement.
More than ever, users are relying on Google products to do their jobs, educate their kids, and stay in touch with loved ones. Our Google Product Experts (PEs) play a vital role in supporting these users in community forums, like the Webmaster Help Community, across many languages.
The end of the year holiday season is a peak time for many merchants with special sales events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. As a merchant, you can help Google highlight your sales events by providing landing pages with relevant content and high quality images.
In November 2019 we announced the Search Console Training YouTube series and started publishing videos regularly. The goal of the series was to create updated video content to be used alongside Search documentation, for example in the Help Center and in the Developers site.
Quick summary: Starting today, we support shippingDetails schema.org markup as an alternative way for retailers to be eligible for shipping details in Google Search results.
Last year we released the robots.txt parser and matcher that we use in our production systems to the open source world. Since then, we've seen people build new tools with it, contribute to the open source library (effectively improving our production systems- thanks!), and release new language versions like golang and rust, which make it easier for developers to build new tools.
The first Virtual Webmaster Unconference successfully took place on August 26th and, as promised, we’d like to share the main findings and conclusions here.
Quick summary: Starting November 2020, Googlebot will start crawling some sites over HTTP/2.