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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Get More Out Of Webmaster Tool With Updated API

The Webmaster Tools GData API has been updated to allow you to get even more out of Webmaster Tools, such as setting a geographic location or your preferred domain. For those of you that aren't familiar with GData, it's a protocol for reading and writing data on the web. GData makes it very easy to communicate with many Google services, like Webmaster Tools.

The Webmaster Tools GData API already allows you to add and verify sites for your account and to submit Sitemaps programmatically. Now you can also access and update site-specific information. This is especially useful if you have a large number of sites. With the Webmaster Tools API, you can perform hundreds of operations in the time that it would take to add and verify a single site through the web interface.

Four new features are added in the API. You can see and update these settings for each site that you have verified. The features are:

  • Crawl Rate: You can request that Googlebot crawl your site slower or faster than it normally would (the details can be found in our Help Center article about crawl rate control). If many of your sites are hosted on the same server and you know your server's capacity, you may want to update all sites at the same time. This now a trivial task using the Webmaster Tools GData API.
  • Geographic Location: If your site is targeted towards a particular geographic location but your domain doesn't reflect that (for example with a .com domain), you can provide information to help us determine where your target users are located.
  • Preferred Domain: You can select which is the canonical domain to use to index your pages. For example, if you have a site like www.example.com, you can set either example.com or www.example.com as the preferred domain to use. This avoids the risk of treating both sites differently.
  • Enhanced Image Search: Tools like the Google Image Labeler allow users to tag images in order to improve Image Search results. Now you can opt in or out for all your sites in a breeze using the Webmaster Tools API.

More details are available on Official Google Webmaster Blog.

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