#Google Webmaster Hangouts Notes – 1 May 2019


Welcome to MarketingSyrup! This post is part of my Google Webmaster Hangouts Notes. I cover them regularly to save you time.

You will find the notes from May 1st below along with the timestamps of the answers are in the brackets.

Reporting in GSC for April is still not 100% accurate because of the indexing issue (11:10)

If Google doesn’t have info from the indexing side, it can’t collect and show it in Google Search Console too. That’s why GSC reports for April might not be accurate.

Moreover, Google backfills the missing data in the Indexing report.

And finally, if you see an old cache date for your pages, that’s fine.

Internal linking is more important than a URL structure for Google (15:05)

A URL is primarily an identifier, and for Google, it’s more important how this URL is linked internally rather than how this URL is structured.

Having keywords in the URL is a small ranking factor (16:10)

Keywords in the URL is a minor ranking factor in Google. So there’s no point in changing the URLs you already have just for the sake of ranking higher as it won’t work.

But if you are creating a new website or pages, it makes sense to set up clean URLs right out of the gate.

Improve your traffic and revenue from SEO within 60 days!

There are many reasons why distributors of a certain product can rank higher than manufacturers of this product (18:23)

Google doesn’t have a specific algorithm that lets product manufactures rank higher than distributors of those products. This means that the distributors can potentially outrank the manufactures.

This happens because Google tries to show the most relevant and high-quality page for each particular search. And there are possible scenarios when the distributor’s website might be ranked higher, for example:

  • It’s optimized better
  • It has a higher overall quality
  • Localization: the distributor caters for the specific region where the search is performed while the manufacturer’s website is global.

Make your website mobile-friendly even if you don’t see many mobile users yet (28:07)

Your site should be mobile-friendly even if you think that there are not many users who visit it from mobile devices. Firstly, this might change as the mobile is growing. Secondly, Google is switching website to mobile-first indexing.

Over 50% of the websites have been switched to mobile-first indexing (30:20)

Google is in the process of transferring websites to mobile-first indexing. It might have more announcements on the next steps soon. But now, over 50% of the web has been transferred to it.

Old links can carry less weight over time because of page rank distribution (32:27)

Links technically don’t lose importance over time. What happens is that distribution of page rank within the linking website changes.

For example, if Washington Post linked to you 10 years ago, Google would still ‘count’ this link now. But for these 10 years, Washington Post added lots of new pages, so the page rank distribution has changed, and the page linking to your website will carry and pass less weight now that it used to 10 years ago.

There’s no fixed time for title changes to be visible in the search results (36:25)

It takes time for Google to pick up all the changes you’re making on the website, including title tags changes. And there’s no fixed period after which such changes will be seen in the search.

Note also that sometimes Google shows different titles on purpose. It mostly happens because your title tags might be too long and stuffed with keywords.

If you want to speed up the re-indexing process, use the URL inspection tool within Google Search Console.

It takes Google much more time to index a video as opposed to a regular page (38:10)

In order to show a video in the search results, Google first needs to recognize when there’s a video on a page (use structured data for this). Then it needs to confirm that this video and page work well together. This also takes Google some extra time.

Note that in order to process a video, you should allow crawling and indexing of the video URL as well as the video thumbnail.

If everything is fine, Google will start showing your video in video search.

If your website suffers from crawl budget issues, check your logs to see what pages Google indexes (41:33)

If you see a mismatch between the pages you add to the website and pages Google indexes, it’s a good idea to check the log files and see what pages are being indexed by Google. These might be, for example, JS files URLs with session IDs in them. So you would want to remove those IDs to make sure the crawl budget is used for those pages which really need to be indexed.

If you don’t have any crawl budget issues, you don’t need to do anything.

While rendering a page with an infinite scroll, Google will trigger 1-2 more scrolls (43:31)

Google will try to render a page and it will extended the viewpoint while rendering and then contract it again to fit in the primary content. With infinite scroll, it might trigger 1-2 more scrolls. But Google won’t end up downloading all the available pages you have within this infinite scrolling.

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It’s better to avoid using an infinite scroll for completely independent pieces of content (44:10)

An infinite scroll might be a good idea for a category page but it’s not a good option for article pages.

If you have a news website, it’s better to avoid using an infinite scroll for article pages as you might get in a situation when you have 2 or more articles on the same HTML page. It makes really confusing for Google to understand the primary topic of the page as well as the publishing date as there might be multiple ones.

There are a few steps you can take if your homepage ranks higher than the internal page which should be more relevant for the query (47:11)

Sometimes Google ranks the homepage over the specific landing page of your website just because the homepage has more authority and is generally better established.

There are a few things you can do to get your internal page rank instead of the homepage:

  • Make sure that the internal page is well optimized for that user intent
  • Link to this internal page from the homepage to show its importance
  • Additionally, add more internal links pointing to the page you want to rank.

Google doesn’t care about the number of comments on pages (54:04)

The number of comments is not a ranking factor.

But still, comments are very useful as they add (at least should add) useful and unique content to the page as well as keywords.

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