#Google Webmaster Hangouts Notes – 28 May 2019

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

You’ll find the notes from May 28th below. The timestamps of the answers are in the brackets. Let’s dive in!

Favicons in the SERPs are a hot topic right now

According to John Mueller, the favicons are meant to be handled in an algorithmic way (7:11).

But there are still many things that are not clear now.  For example, there’s no process to tell Google you’ve changed the favicon.  It’s also not clear what would the consequences be if you use a favicon which violates Google’s guidelines.

Here’s some more info on this from Twitter:

Visitors from Discover feed might be reported as direct traffic in Google Analytics (10:25)

Google has not unified yet how all the sources from different Discover feeds shown in Google Analytics.

In the long run, the aim is to report the source from such visits as normal organic.

Kristina’s note: I checked my Discover Feed reporting and see that the source is direct / none in Google Analytics L This is an inaccuracy from Google’s side in my opinion as ‘Direct’ traffic doesn’t really give you any valuable info.

 I would also like to have an option to differentiate the Discovery Feed traffic in Google Analytics somehow to study the date and see how, for example, a business benefits from this traffic and how it can get more of it. Currently, there is only Impressions/Clicks info available in Google Search Console (which is still good):

Google will pick up only one set of structured data if you have 2 or more different sets that would result in different appearance in Google SERPs (21:10)

If you have different types of structured data on a page that Google would show in different ways in the search results, Google will pick only one set of structured data and show only it.

Thus it’s better to add only the structured data that is more important for you.

There’s no SEO benefit in having people search for your website in Google (33:34)

If users are explicitly looking for your URL, Google is going to show it. And the number of searches won’t really affect the ranking.

There’s no special bonus for having translated URLs for website pages in different languages (34:32)

For Google, URLs are identifiers. This means that if you have pages in different languages, these pages should have unique URLs so that Google will be able to index them.

But there’s no need to translate the URLs in different languages just for the sake of getting better rankings. Having translated URLs might be good for user experience, but this is not a ranking factor in Google.

Pages targeting different countries might rank differently (37:25)

If you have a website (or subdomains) targeting different languages, their ranking might be completely different in different regions. So if a page ranks high in Germany, for example, this doesn’t mean that a translated version of this page targeting the UK will also rank high in Google.co.uk. The main point here is competition: it might be different in different regions.

Don’t use the Change of Address tool in GSC if you’re merging the websites (41:01)

The Change of Address tool is meant for forwarding signals from one domain to another domain when you move everything from domain 1 to domain 2.

If you’re merging websites instead, there’s no need to use the Change of Address tool.

Improve your traffic and revenue from SEO within 60 days!

Make sure you specify the same local business data across different channels (47:10)

If you specify local business information in different ways (in Google My Business, with structured data, on the website), make sure it’s in sync. Otherwise, Google might get confused about what information to display in the search.

For example, if your opening hours have changed, you should update them on the website, in your Google My Business profile and in the structured data too (if you have one).

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