Hey! This post is part of my Google Webmasters Hangout notes. You can also check out the one from January 11.

There’s no absolute best way to perform SEO tests on test websites

While some technical things like rendering or indexability might be easy to test, testing other SEO aspects might be tricky. A test website will most likely not perform the way a normal site would as Google might not spend resources on its crawling and indexing.

Use Google Disavow tool only if see really low-quality links that might trigger a penalty

If you see any links that you think might trigger a manual or algorithmic action, it’s advisable to use the Disavow tool to clean up your link profile. You might see positive results after that. But there’s no point in spending too much time on it if your link profile looks more or less OK as Google is pretty good at ignoring many kinds of unnatural links.

Using the Disavow tool if your website is under a link penalty goes without saying.

It’s not a good idea to place the same page on multiple subdomains

If you have multiple subdomains (e.g. geo-locations), you won’t benefit from adding the same page to each of them even you change the title tags. You don’t show any additional value to Google, so this approach is inefficient.

A better solution would be to combine the content and make 1-2 really strong pages instead. Alternatively, you can have multiple pages but canonicalize only one of them. Say, Page A, Page B, Page C and Page D will all have canonicals pointing to Page E. This is a workaround if you absolutely need particular content to be found on each subdomain. 

You don’t have a ranking bonus for being in a mobile-first index

Google moves to mobile-first indexing those websites that from its perspective are ready for that. But there is no ranking bonus attached to this move.

There are no technical things that you can do to show your authority

There used to be an authorship markup but now it’s gone and there is there is nothing specific you can do to show your authority . Google tries to figure out soft quality factors that add to authority but there are no specific actions you can take.

The bottom line is that it’s hard to measure publishers’ authority and expertise algorithmically.  Just concentrate on providing better user experience to your users.

Is there particular type of schema that can help with featured snippets or voice search results?

There is speakable markup that you can use but it’s currently supported only in certain locations. It can help

But there is no specific markup for features snippets. To get them, you need to have clear structure.

The URLs order in XML sitemaps doesn’t matter

Google pulls all the data from an XML sitemap and processes all at once.

 Google ignores priority and change frequency tags in XML sitemaps

In the beginning, Google used <priority> and <changefreq> tags in an XML sitemap but now it ignores them. It makes sense as webmasters often overused these tags.

Corporate schema needs to be added to only one page of a website

It’s enough to add organization markup to a single page only (e.g. Homepage, Contact Us), there is no need to add it to each page. But there is nothing bad if you use it across the website (unlike reviews markup), it’s just not necessary.

Lighthouse measures for a 3G connection on a medium performance phone that’s why your Google PageSpeed Insights score might seem low

Google PageSpeed Insights score is based on Lighthouse data which measures for a 3G connection on a medium performance phone. While your customers might use a better connection and devices, it never hurts to make your site faster. Moreover, mobile performance is an important factor for Google.

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I cook digital marketing dishes. Take 3 tablespoons of on-page SEO, add 2 pinches of backlinks and sprinkle it all with paid advertising. Season to taste with actionable data from Analytics and bake until golden brown. Serve hot.

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