#Google Webmaster Hangouts Notes – 12 July 2019

Welcome to MarketingSyrup! This post is part of my Google Webmaster Hangouts Notes. I cover them regularly to save you time. You might want to subscribe not to miss anything!

The full video is here, and the timestamps for the answers are in the brackets. Let’s dive in!

When optimizing for Image Search, think about a user journey (2:11)

A lot of people search visually, so it’s a good idea to optimize your website for Image Search.

The main thing is not to focus on images as a technical thing, e.g. just add alt tags that are about those images. It’s better to think about a user journey instead: how someone might search visually for things that you have on your website and how you can be in the right place at the right time. 

In this respect, it’s better to think about an image and the landing page it’s found on. So when people look for something in the Image Search, see your image and click on it, they are taken to a landing page with this image in a visible place. 

One more important thing here; Google takes into account the text around images. This ties in with thinking about the image and landing page as a combination. 

Google can potentially rank a page for the keyword which is not found directly on this page (8:45)

This question was about a website ranking for the keywords with the word ‘cheap’ even though it’s not found on the pages. John said that other signals must have been used in this case, e.g. reviews on different review websites like Yelp mentioning ‘affordable’ or ‘cheap’, etc.

Google doesn’t compare prices of different websites to decide which offers the cheapest product, so this is not the case.

Kristina’s note: These things are really interesting. I’ve also noticed many times that sometimes Google just associates a website or page with some notions and ranks it for the related keywords even though optimization is not strong there. 

Having multiple H1 tags is fine but… (10:21)

Google won’t devalue your page if you’re using multiple H1 tags. 

But the main idea of the H1 tag is to show what your page is about. So by using multiple H1s you let Google decide which of these headings is relevant, and this decision might not always be in your favour.

Kristina’s note: This is especially true for the situations when H1s are used mostly for the page layout (I’ve seen too much of this), and you end up with tags that are completely unrelated to what your page is about: ‘Contact Us’, ‘Our Options’ etc etc. So I’d still recommend keeping the H1 relevant and 1 per page. 

Google ranks your pages based on the primary content on them (12:34)

Google recognizes which part of the page is the primary content and which is supplemental. 

So when someone is searching for the info found in the primary content, Google will rank your page. But if this info is found in the supplemental content (e.g. sidebar or footer), Google doesn’t see it as important and might not highlight your page for this search. 

There’s no way to exclude keywords so that your website won’t rank for them (14:28)

It’s not possible to add negative keywords for organic search (like it can be done with paid). So the best option not to rank for the keywords is not to use them on the pages. 

How the URL removal tool works (17:37)

The URL removal tool doesn’t technically remove URLs from the search. Instead, it hides them for 90 days. After that period, you can re-submit the URL and hide it again if needed. But it’s still a temporary solution. 

When you change the URL structure don’t forget to update other important parts (29:32)

If you change the URL structure on the website, you should do it consistently across everything that you have: sitemap files, internal linking, canonicals – they all should reflect your new URL structure. 

Each language version of a page should have a separate URL in order to be indexed and ranked (32:28)

If you have content in different languages, Google needs to access it on separate URLs in order to index it. 

It means that if you automatically change the language of the content but keep the same URL, Google will index and rank only one language version.

Google Discovery Feed can show different types of websites (41:42)

Google Discovery feed is not limited to news websites. Blogs, forums and other site types can also appear there. 

But it’s really hard to optimize your website for Discovery Feed as it’s based on the trending topics. 

That’s it for now! Subscribe to the blog and I’ll keep you updated on the SEO news and best practices.