Google Adds +1 Metrics to Google Webmaster Tools

I just checked my Google Webmaster Tools account and noticed “+1 Metrics” for the first time. I’m sure you’re already aware of Google’s most recent venture into social media called “+1”, which is pretty much the same thing as a Facebook Like button. Over time, the site that has more +1 votes will surely outrank other websites that do not have any +1 votes. I wouldn’t be surprised if these social media factors, including Google’s +1, Facebook Likes, Twitter ReTweets, Stumbles from StumbleUpon, Upvotes on Reddit, Diggs on Digg, and so on end up replacing the importance of simple backlinks from other websites, which is the lifeblood of Google’s algorithm and PageRank formula. Obviously, Google knows that backlinks can easily be spammed to manipulate the rankings, so putting more weight on actual “trust” factors from actual humans voting that they like a particular page will aim to solve that problem. However, I can see an entire new industry propping up offering services to vote up your site just as there are tons of linkbuilding services around today. It’s basically the neverending game of cat and mouse so it will be interesting to see how this all plays out!

Google Webmaster Tools Issue – Googlebot Caching Wrong Website Due to DNS Errors from Shared Hosting

Today, I was looking at the Google Webmaster Tools report for one of my client’s websites and I noticed a couple of peculiar bugs. First of all, I noticed that the website was getting an influx of inbound links pointing to it from other domains. Upon additional investigation, I noticed that there were at least 10 different domain names that were credited as pointing thousands of links to my website, but these links were actually pointing to a whole another website altogether. None of these websites have anything in common except for the fact that they are all on the same shared webhost and share the same IP address.

But yet when I look at the cached version of one of the other websites, my client’s website shows up in Google’s cache. This makes absolutely no sense since none of the websites are affiliated with each other in any respect except for having the same IP address. I tried to do some initial investigation into the DNS records including A records, CNAME records, NameServer records, and even MX records but I couldn’t see anything that stood out.

Why would Google associate one site with another site for no reasonable explanation??