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Google Webmaster Hangout Notes: December 27th 2019

SEO and digital marketing industry news

Notes from the Google Webmaster Hangout on the 27th of December 2019.


Testing Tools Will Display Results For Original Page if There is No Redirect to AMP Version

If there is no redirect to the AMP version of a page, Google testing tools will test and display results for the individual regular URL rather than the AMP version, unless you explicitly the test the AMP URL.


Speed Testing Tools Don’t Reflect Google’s Ability to Pre-render & Cache AMP Pages

When displaying AMP pages, Google is able to pre-render and cache them directly from the search results, which saves the time typically spent retrieving the initial HTML to get the rendered version. However, this isn’t something that is taken into account in the testing tools.


Google Display The Most Accurate Results Based on Query Intent

Google will try to understand the intent of a query in order to display the most accurate page in search results. For example, if they view the search query to be more transactional they will show a product page instead of an informational page. John recommends reviewing real queries that users are making and ensuring the intent is accurate for the page that is being displayed.


Performing URL Rewriting is the Best Way to Change the URL Structure of a Site

If you are changing the URL structure of a website, John recommends keeping the old URLs and rewriting the URLs on the server side, if possible. This is because, from Google’s point of view, there is very little change and it’s easier to understand the content than having to reprocess all of the new URLs. If you are not able to keep the old URLs, ensure you 301 redirect from the old ones to the new ones. A redirect is a much stronger signal that you are moving content to new URLs than canonicalising them.


Removing a Folder Containing Multiple URLs in the URL Removal Tool Considered as a Single Request

Removing a folder containing multiple pages using the URL removal tool will be considered as a single removal request by Google. As there is a limit to the number of requests you can make with the removal tool, John recommends narrowing down to a specific folder or URL structure, as it will save you from having to individually request removals.


Google Adjusts Crawl Rate Over Time Based on a Site’s Performance and Content

When determining the crawl rate for a website, Google will try to adjust it automatically over time, taking into account how fast the site returns results and how much content there is to crawl.


There Will Be Differences Between Counts in GSC & Google Analytics

Search Console tracks things differently than Google Analytics does, so John expects there will be some difference between the metric counts in both. This is because GSC tracks what users click on when visiting a website, while Analytics tracks site visits differently, in particular when redirects are used.


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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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