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Google Webmaster Hangout Notes: May 16th 2017

google webmaster hangouts recaps - SEO tips

Notes from the Google Webmaster Hangout on the 16th of May, 2017.


Add Unique Information to Individual Branch Pages

For regional branch pages, add information about products and/or services that are unique to that branch, telephone numbers and opening times, as well implementing relevant structured data.


Keep the Markup Language Consistent on a Site

Having the same markup using different markup languages (e.g. JSON-LD and Microdata) can make it difficult for Google to know which one to use.


Google Passes Signals Normally for Links with rel=”noopener noreferrer”

Following a recent WordPress update, rel=”noopener noreferrer” attributes have been added to links opening in a new tab. Google ignores these attributes and passes all signals normally for these links as long they don’t have a nofollow.


Google Doesn’t Handle All Onclick Events

Google tries to look at Onclick JavaScript events, but can only go so far. Some actions like infinite scroll pages which change the URL won’t be run as they would appear to be redirects. For Javascript sites, make sure the DOM has the normal elements and href links.


Consider Changing Interstitials to Banners Avoid a Penalty

Interstitials penalties can be avoided by changing them to a banner. Sites will still incur the penalty if there is time delay on interstitial.


Interstitials Blocked with Robots.txt Might be Seen as Cloaking

You can prevent Google from seeing a JavaScript run interstitial by blocking the JavaScript with robots.txt, but Google doesn’t recommend it as it might be seen as cloaking.


Rankings are Not Affected by Page Load Times Within the Normal Range

Pages which take minutes to load might not be shown in search, but otherwise there is no page speed penalty that would affect pages with a normal load time. Google is recommending a mobile page load time within 1 second but say 2-3 seconds is well above average.


Mobile-First Index will Support AMP Pages

AMP pages will be used in the mobile-first index if they are set up as separate mobile URLs, or if the AMP page is your canonical page.


Google is Trying to Render All Pages

Google is trying to render every page they crawl, so they are not planning on providing any data on which pages are being rendered.


Google Doesn’t Fetch all Resources when Rendering a Page

Google caches a lot of the CSS and javascript on pages to reduce the load on servers.


Google will Show Normal Version of Page if the AMP Version 404s

The AMP alternate connection will be dropped in event that an AMP page 404s and normal version of page would show instead.


Google Might Nofollow Links in Widgets and Apply a Manual Penalty to the Target Site

If Google detects a significant number of links within a widget, it will nofollow them, and may apply a manual action penalty to the site where the links point to.

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Sam Marsden

SEO & Content Manager

Sam Marsden is Lumar's former SEO & Content Manager and currently Head of SEO at Busuu. Sam speaks regularly at marketing conferences, like SMX and BrightonSEO, and is a contributor to industry publications such as Search Engine Journal and State of Digital.


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