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Google Webmaster Hangout Notes: April 14th 2020

Lumar - SEO and Digital Marketing Industry News

Notes from the Google Webmaster Hangout on the 14th of April 2020.

Flat Architecture Doesn’t Automatically Cause No Sitelinks

Clarifying a recent Tweet, the absence of Sitelinks is not automatically because of a flat architecture, unless all link signals are the same, leaving Googlebot no clear importance signals. Irrelevant Sitelinks, too, is a good sign Google cannot easily understand importance and grouping signals.


Manual Action Team May Provide Direction If Good Faith Effort Made

While it’s not feasible for the manual action reviewer team to include sample URLs and guidance in every manual action notice or reconsideration request, if they can see that a site if trying to make a good faith effort to resolve the issue, they will try to provide this information.


GTLD vs. CCTLD Not Relevant Unless There is Country-Specific Content

It’s not important whether language variants are on separate CCTLDs or aggregated under a GTLD if the content is not country-specific. If it is, CCTLD segmentation makes geotargeting more difficult.


Use Font Sizes that Correlate with Header Level, Larger for Higher

Google uses a combination of both H1 parsing as well as rendering to understand content’s structure, so font sizes that are not in accordance with header level, or pages with no headers, impedes document parsing. This can affect images’ ability to rank in Image Search.


Pages with Both User Reviews and Critic Reviews Should Markup Only One Type

If you have pages with both user reviews and critic reviews, Google may have difficulty knowing which to use for Rich Results, so you should choose to markup (with the relevant Schema) only the type you want to appear.


Reviews Schema Should be Specific to the Primary Item of the Page

Reviews markup on pages that are general, like multiple products from the same manufacturer, are not helpful for search results and may not be shown. Reviews should be specific to the primary item of the page.


Unclear Whether Mobile First Indexing Will Be Delayed Due to COVID-19

No official update from the Mobile First Indexing (MFI) Team yet. John Mueller assumes that due to working remotely, most publishers aren’t delaying their MFI preparedness efforts, but encourages you to reach out via Twitter or otherwise if you foresee troubles you’d like him to relay to the MFI Team.


CCTLDs Don’t Need to All Have Same Domain Name if Hreflangs Correct

International variants that are on separate CCTLDs don’t all have to be the same domain (e.g.,, etc). As long as hreflangs are correctly in place it would make no difference if they differed (e.g.,, etc.).


Noindex, Disallow OK for License URL to Still Get Image License Schema (Beta) Licensable Badge

Some sites may be generating a unique license URL for each image if they have distinct metadata, though this is not required. Desired use cases and CMS limitations may vary, but it’s ok to noindex and/or disallow license URL(s) and still get the Licensable badge in Google Image Search.


SpecialAnnouncement Schema Not Yet Live, Still in Rollout

SpecialAnnouncement Schema, which is in beta, is still in the rollout phase and is not live on SERPs just yet.


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Ruth Everett

Technical SEO

Ruth Everett is a data & insights manager at Code First Girls, and a former technical SEO analyst at Lumar. You'll most often find her helping clients improve their technical SEO, writing about all things SEO, and watching videos of dogs.


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