Notes from the Google Webmaster Hangout on the 27th of July 2018.
Search Quality Raters Evaluate the Relevance of Results Returned by Algorithms
Google’s search quality raters look at the bigger picture when evaluating sites to see if some algorithms provide more relevant results than others.
Google Can Understand Pages Featuring Multiple Languages
Google can understand pages that contain multiple languages. For example, a travel site about Spanish cities might be in English but feature Spanish place names.
Google May Take Longer to Process Redirects For Noindexed Pages
Google crawls noindexed pages less frequently. If a redirect is set up for a noindexed page, Google may take longer to process this because it is being crawled less frequently.
Image Sitemaps Associate Images With Pages But Don’t Provide Context For Images
Image sitemaps are useful for Google as they show what images are associated with what landing pages, but they don’t provide context about the images themselves like alt text and image titles do.
Google Has Removed Their Public URL Submission Feature
Google’s public URL submission tool has been removed but URLs can still be submitted through Search Console and sitemaps.
Rel Alternate Media Tags Don’t Have to be 640 Pixels For Mobile Pages
The max width value specified for rel=’alternate’ media tags doesn’t have to be 640 pixels for mobile. John recommends testing pages using Fetch as Google and the Mobile-Friendly Test to check that Googlebot Smartphone can see a mobile-friendly version of the page.
Google Uses Semantic Markup to Understand Importance of Highlighted Text
Google can use semantic markup such as bold, italics and headings to understand that highlighted words are especially important.
Page Titles May be Rewritten if They Aren’t Clear, Contain Many Keywords or Are Too Long
Google has algorithms to work out when it makes sense to rewrite page titles in search. Rewriting may occur if Google thinks a page title isn’t clear, is a list of keywords or if it is too long.
Google Doesn’t Support ES6 as Chrome 41 is Used For Rendering
Poor Internal Linking on Mobile May Impact How Google Indexes and Ranks Pages
Poor internal linking on the mobile version of a site could impact the way Google index and rank the site after it has been switched over to mobile-first indexing. You can use tools like Lumar to crawl your site with a mobile user-agent.
ccTLDs Can Target Other Countries Using Hreflang But Not Geotargeting
ccTLDs can use hreflang to target pages to different countries but they can’t geotarget those pages for other different countries.