#Google Webmaster Hangouts Notes – 5 March 2019 – Part 2

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

This is Part 2 of my notes on Google Webmaster Hangouts from 5 March, you can find the first part here

As usual, you can find the timestamps for each answer in the brackets. And here is the full video:

Pages don’t get any ranking bonus for being crawled more often (36:53)

If you have a static page that never changes or changes very rarely, it’s OK for Google to crawl it once every few months. This means that there’s no need to ‘fix’ crawl rates of the pages unless these pages are crawled less frequently than they are updated.

However, if you find that frequently updated pages are not crawled as often as they should be, there are a few things you can do:

  • Link to them prominently within the website.
  • Add these pages to your sitemap file with a last modification date note (that Google can confirm).

Use 304 status code for If-Modified-Since request only (39:53)

A 304 HTTP status code (Not Modified) makes sense only with If-Modified-Since request. Returning that for normal GET request makes little sense.

Bottomline: returning a 304 status code is not a good way to lower crawl frequency by stating to Googlebot that the page has not changed.

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Redirecting a website with a manual action will not help to remove the penalty (40:35)

If a penalized website migrates to another domain, the manual action will most likely be passed to the target website. So a website migration is not a good way to get rid of a manual action.

However, if this is not a normal migration but some random penalized website is redirected to yours, Google will recognize it and ignore this redirect.

Kristina’s note: This is tricky, in my opinion. But yeah, Google has become better at recognizing such things.

Site speed is important for Google (42:55)

This is pretty straight-forward. But yeah, site speed is important for Google as it’s important for users.

There are various tools that help you measure site speed (note: page speed is a more correct name hough), and they can also help you see the difference once you’ve implemented improvements.

That’s perfectly fine for a Title tag to be equivalent to your H1 tag on a page (45:30)

Yeah, there are no issues here.

Kristina’s note: The only difference from my experience is that title tags also have the brand name (usually at the end) while in H1s you can omit it.

An embedded video should support your main content not replace it (46:24)

While having an embedded video on a page is totally fine, it should be used to support the main content. So add some text or video transcript to it (btw, this page is a good example of using an embedded video with text 🙂 ).

Your paid ads don’t influence organic rankings. Neither does Google Analytics (47:33)

Organic search results are independent from any other service or tool you’re using.

This means that having a Google Ads account with running ads or adding Google Analytics to your website will not impact your website positions in the organic search results.

Google treats English and non-English content the same (56:27)

Content in English doesn’t get any ranking bonus for just being in English.

The question was about a non-English website which can’t recover from the August 1st quality update. The reason for that is not known, but it’s not because the website is non-Eglish.

QA structured data markup should not be used for FAQ questions (58:20)

QA structured data markup has been created for pages with a single question and multiple answers (like forums). It’s not meant for FAQ pages which list one answer to each question.

You can either have a single FAQ page listing all questions or separate pages for each question (1:00:32)

There’s no single one-size-fits-all solution here. So you will need to think what works better for your users.

Kristina’s note: What I did in the past with one client: we created a knowledge base with each question having its own URL. Some questions had long answers, so these pages were indexed by Google. There also were pages with really short answers that would be seen as thin content, so we added a noindex tag to them. Again, this is an implementation from my experience which worked really well in that case, not a universal solution.

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