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Google Webmaster Hangout Notes: May 18th 2018

google webmaster hangouts recaps - SEO tips

Notes from the Google Webmaster Hangout on the 18th of May 2018.


Geo-targeting is Only Way International & Local Sites Separated in Web Search

Beyond geo-targeting, Google web search doesn’t have anything that tries to recognise international versus local sites.


Redirect Old URLs When Migrating Images to a New CDN

When migrating images to a new CDN, make sure to redirect the old image URLs to the new ones as well as updating the embedded links in the webpage. Images aren’t crawled as frequently as webpages so you need to make sure all signals are aligned so Google can move them over as quickly as possible. Consider setting up a subdomain and transferring the images, so the URL doesn’t change except from the hosting.


Use Subdirectories Unless Pages Are Markedly Different From Rest of Site

In general Google sees subdomains and subdirectories the same. John recommends keeping pages together on the same site as much as possible and using subdomains when things are different. However, if you have a strong reason for using a subdomain then go with that.


Hreflang Should be Included Between the Canonical Versions of Pages

Including hreflang on paginated pages is fine but the most important thing is to include hreflang tags between the canonical versions of the page.


Hreflang Should be Between Pages of the Same Format

Hreflang links should be between the same formats of pages e.g. including hreflang links between AMP pages and separate mobile pages.


Symbols in Queries Can be Treated as Special Characters or Separators

In some cases Google does take symbols in queries as having a separate meaning and in others they see them as separators between words. There are some instances where Google isn’t sure whether a symbols a special character or a separator.


Reconsideration Requests May be Overlooked if Many Sent in Short Space of Time

The Webspam Team may ignore a reconsideration request if many have been submitted in a short space of time regarding the same issues to give the site some time to see what its final state will be.


410 May Remove Page From Index Faster Than 404

In the mid and long term, a 404 error is the same as a 410 because they will both be dropped from the index and crawling is less frequent. However, a 410 may cause a page to fall out of the index a little bit faster than a 404 by a couple of days or so.


Serve the Same Content to Crawlers and Users Including Structured Data

While it isn’t an issue to only serve structured data to crawlers and social media sites, it doesn’t have much impact on page speed and it could provide some value for users. For these reasons, John recommends serving the same content across the board to users because there isn’t much to be gained from omitting things like structured data.


Google Has no Guidelines for Marking Up Physical Objects Beyond Place ID

There isn’t a specific way to markup a physical object outside of Google Place ID. Google no longer uses the geo meta tag or geo sitemap extension. John recommends looking at documentation to find relevant markup, as this helps Google understand a page even if it isn’t explicitly used in search.


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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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