#Google Webmaster Hangouts Notes – 16 April 2019
Welcome to MarketingSyrup! This post is part of my Google Webmaster Hangouts Notes. I cover them regularly to save you time.
Find the notes from April 16th below, the timestamps of the answers are in the brackets as always.
This sessions talks a lot about redirects, and some of the info might be new to you. Let’s dive in! But the video first (hey Barry on the thumbnail!).
If you nofollow links to facet pages, make sure there’s another way Google can discover all your products (1:29)
It’s OK for category pages to nofollow links to the facet pages. But you should make sure that there are other ways Googlebot can find and index your product URLs without visiting the facets.
By nofollowing facet links, you can potentially save crawl budget.
Kristina’s note: oh boy, eCommerce facets is a very interesting and hot topic. Nofollowing facet links
And there were previous statements by Google recommending to not use nofollow attributes for the internal linking. But there may different scenarios, so there are no actual contradictions in these recommendations, just different cases.
In short, you want your facets to be valuable pages and thus there’s no need to
Keep your structured data relevant to the primary object of each page instead of having a single set of structured data across all website pages (14:55)
Structured data on a website should be specific to the primary object on each page. For example, structured data on a product page should be specific to this particular product. So having one set of structured data that you apply to all pages of your website generally would be incorrect and can be ignored by Google.
The advice here is to use different sets of structured data for different types of pages to make sure structured data is relevant for those pages.
If your new content is not picked up by Google as fast as it could, there are a few things you can do speed up indexing (16:47)
Ways to speed up indexing:
- Reduce the number of pages to save crawl budget (Kristina’s note: do this only if it really makes sense!)
- Make sure Google can reach new URLs as quickly as possible: link them from a more visible place on your website (e.g. the homepage) so that Googlebot can find them faster
- Add the URLs of your new content to the XML sitemap.
- And of course, make sure there are no technical issues that are blocking Google from crawling your new content (server is responsive, it returns a 200 HTTP status code, etc.).
Events structured data should only be used for physical events (18:27)
You can use Events structured data only for those events that occur online at a specified time and place. Online events or promotions are not eligible for this type of markup.
Google doesn’t give preference to expired domains (20:39)
Redirecting expired domains to a website in order to get link juice from this domain is against Google guidelines. But still, some shady tactics can slip through the cracks and websites can benefit from them for some time. Google tries to catch such things, and if you spot something like that, you can submit a webspam report form.
Having self-referencing canonicals is best practice (21:50)
Self-referencing canonicals help Google understand what URL is more important when people use URLs with parameters.
So having self-referencing canonicals is kind of a best practice.
More about canonicals:
- When rel=canonical doesn’t work
- What happens if a 200 page has a canonical pointing to a noindex page
- Why Google treats links with UTM parameters as canonical
Google uses Quality Raters Guidelines to test algorithmic changes before rolling them out (26:26)
Before any updates are rolled out, they are tested by Google quality raters using the Guidelines Google put together. This is done to make sure that the algorithms work as expected and really improve the search results.
The quality raters don’t fine-tune rankings, they just provide feedback on the updates that are being tested.