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Google Webmaster Hangout Notes: March 19th 2019

google webmaster hangouts recaps - SEO tips

Notes from the Google Webmaster Hangout on the 19th of March 2019.


Disavowed Links Aren’t Removed From GSC Links Report

Links that have been disavowed will still show up in the links report in Google Search Console. This doesn’t mean that disavowing the links hasn’t worked, rather this is just how the links are reported.


Use Structured Data & Video Sitemaps to Give Google More Context on Videos

You should use structured data to tell Google whether a video was streamed or recorded, and you can also use video sitemaps to tell Google which countries a particular video is available in, for example.


Streamed Content Won’t Appear in Featured Snippets

Featured snippets will only use recorded video content rather than streamed videos. Make sure these streamed videos are recorded to ensure they can appear as featured snippets.


Check Videos Can Be Shown in Featured Snippets by Checking Video SERPs

If Google can index and show the right details and thumbnail for your video in the video search results, then this means it is able to show your videos in featured snippets too.


Replace Unnecessary URL Parameters with Fragment Identifiers

John recommends replacing unnecessary URL parameters with fragment identifiers because anything after the # is usually dropped for indexing, whereas parameter URLs can be indexed separately.


ETags & If-Modified-Since Headers Can Improve UX Due to Caching Functionality

Google doesn’t always use ETags and If-Modified-Since HTTP headers when crawling as not many sites use them and often get them wrong. However, they can impact UX because they can improve caching of resources for returning users.


Using Local Date Format on Page is Fine as Long as Gregorian Date Format Used in Structured Data

Make sure the Gregorian date format is used within structured data to make this clear to Google. As long as this is implemented correctly, then using your own local date format within visible content on a page is fine.


Blocking Images For Googlebot-Image Won’t Impact Web Results

It’s fine to give specific directives for Googlebot-Image which restrict its crawling of images, and this won’t negatively impact regular web search results.


Use URL Inspection Tool to Fetch Live HTML & Check if Site Has Been Hacked

If it isn’t visually apparent that a site has been hacked but it’s ranking for unusual terms, use the URL Inspection Tool in GSC to fetch the live HTML of the pages that are ranking to check for hacked content that Google may be seeing.


Google Ignores Links from User-generated Content

Google is able to identify and ignore links pointing to other websites within user-generated or auto-generated content.


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Hangout notes

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Rachel Costello

SEO & Content Manager

Rachel Costello is a former Technical SEO & Content Manager at Lumar. You'll most often find her writing and speaking about all things SEO.


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