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Google Webmaster Hangout Notes: October 2nd 2018

google webmaster hangouts recaps - SEO tips

Notes from the Google Webmaster Hangout on the 2nd of October 2018.

Algorithms Don’t Change Depending on Industry

Google’s algorithms won’t expect different things from different industries and won’t be adjusted separately. This is also the case for things like times of year, so there aren’t designated algorithms looking at Christmas or Halloween-related queries.


Blocked Mobile Pages Won’t be Indexed with Mobile-first Indexing

For mobile-first indexing, Googlebot Smartphone needs to be able to access pages in order to index them. If you block certain pages on mobile then neither the content or links on the page will be indexed for mobile or desktop if the site is switched to mobile-first.


Having HTTP Version in Google Listings or Snippets Can Drive Impressions Even After HTTPS Migration

If you’re seeing impressions and clicks for the HTTP version of your site after migrating to HTTPS, this could be because the HTTP version is linked to somewhere externally in a knowledge box or your Google My Business listing, for example.


Anchor Tags Are Seen as Textual Content & Can Contribute to Keyword Stuffing

If there are too many anchor tags which duplicate a keyword, then these can contribute to keyword stuffing as Google sees anchor tags as a part of the textual content of a page.


Google Can Associate Content Within Iframes & JavaScript With Rest of Page

Google doesn’t have a preference over iframes or JavaScript for providing content, as it can apply content from both to the overall context of a page.


Many-to-one Redirects & Noindexed Pages Are Sometimes Treated as Soft 404s

Noindexed pages and too many pages that redirect to one URL can both be treated as soft 404 errors by Google. Having soft 404s doesn’t impact the perceived quality of your website, but these pages won’t be crawled as frequently or indexed at all.


Number of Noindexed Pages Has No Effect on Rankings or Site Quality

Having a lot of noindexed pages doesn’t affect rankings or how Google perceives a site’s quality. For example, many sites need to noindex private content that requires a user to log in to access.


Text That’s Hidden by Default During Rendering is Fine For Google

Some sites will prevent content from being visible until the page has finished rendering to stop elements from jumping around the screen as they are loaded. This is fine for Google as long as the textual content is in the HTML, but check what Google can see with the mobile-friendly testing tool and Fetch & Render in GSC.


Back-end Migrations Shouldn’t Cause Problems for Google if HTML & URLs Stay the Same

Migrating your site to a different CMS or platform in the back-end shouldn’t cause any problems for Google, because in these instances the HTML and URLs will stay the same. John recommends staggering this across site sections to monitor any potential performance decreases.


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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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