Google Webmaster Academy Expanded With New Features

Google's two-year-old online Webmaster Academy has been refreshed with expanded features and content to better help beginning Webmasters improve their Websites.


Google has refreshed its free online Webmaster Academy course to provide even more tips and information to beginning Webmasters to help them improve their Website skills.

The improved and updated Webmaster Academy, which was launched by Google two years ago, was announced by Mary Chen of the Webmaster outreach team in a March 18 post on the Google Webmaster Central Blog.

The new Webmaster Academy includes expanded information on how beginning Webmasters can build great Websites that are valuable and attractive to users, as well as details about how to build sites that will be seen by Google's search engine before displaying them to users in search, wrote Chen.

The course is set up in three modules, each of which takes about an hour to complete, according to Google. The course can be taken at an individual user's pace. Following the lessons, a quiz is presented to test participants on their acquired skills.

"Anyone who's interested in creating or improving their Website can take it," Chen wrote about the course. "Whether you're a business increasing your Web presence or a photographer putting together an online portfolio, we can help you get started."

The course can also be taken by Webmasters who aren't rookies, wrote Chen. "If you often find yourself overwhelmed by the depth or breadth of our resources, Webmaster Academy will help you understand the basics of creating a Website and having it found in Google Search. If you're an experienced webmaster, you might learn something new, too."

Google is often active in providing Webmasters and digital marketers with improved tools to help them with their work.

In March, Google unveiled a new Google Maps Embed API that aims to make it easier for Website designers to place detailed Google Maps into Web pages so that customers can locate their physical locations more easily. The new API improves on a previous move by Google in December 2013, when the search giant began allowing Website owners and bloggers to embed and use Google Maps images for free.

In December 2013, Google provided a checklist for Website developers to help them ensure that the sites that they build and maintain are always optimized to work well on mobile devices so that sales can be closed and revenue can be generated. The checklist includes relevant studies and business cases as well as videos and slides explaining how to use Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools to understand mobile visitors' experiences and intent, according to an eWEEK report.

"Developers also should be sure that their site code delivers the desktop version of the site—or the tablet version, if available—to tablet users to maximize their experience," the checklist states. "Check that full desktop experience is accessible on mobile phones, and if selected, remains in full desktop version for duration of the session (i.e., user isn't required to select "desktop version" after every page load)."

In November 2013, Google released its latest Google Cloud Endpoints project for general availability, which aims to make it easier for mobile developers to tie their apps into Google's APIs. For mobile developers, Endpoints provides a simple way to develop a shared Web back end and also provides critical infrastructures, such as OAuth 2.0 authentication, eliminating a great deal of work that would otherwise be needed, according to Google. Google Cloud Endpoints also provides developers with a simple way to create, expose and consume APIs served from App Engine.