Notes from the Google Webmaster Hangout on the 4th of September 2018.
Keep Relevant Content on Mobile Pages so Google Can Understand Your Site
Don’t simplify mobile layout too much as you still need relevant content that’s machine-readable. Maintain alt text and descriptive elements to help Google clearly understand what your site is for.
Generic Category Pages Less Likely to Bring in Valuable Traffic That Will Convert
Don’t focus too much on generic category pages as the queries that these would rank for are so broad that they wouldn’t bring in valuable traffic that will convert on your website.
Mobile-friendly Results Will Rank Higher
If a page is mobile-friendly then this allows Google to rank it higher as a search result because it provides a better experience for users.
GSC Inspect URL Tool Shows How Pages Appear for Web Search Not Image Search
If you’re seeing errors when testing image URLs in the GSC Inspect URL tool, this is because the tool only shows if results appear in web search and doesn’t reflect what is happening in image search.
Avoid Using Google Tag Manager to Implement Critical Tags Like Noindex
There Will Continue to be a Delay Between Indexing & Rendering Due to Resource Issues
Dynamic Rendering Can be Used to Show Googlebot Fully Rendered Pages
You can use dynamic rendering to serve Googlebot with pages that are already fully rendered, meaning there won’t be a gap between the initial indexing and rendering.
Having Too Many Pages That Render Slowly Will Impact Google
If a site has millions of pages that take at least a few minutes each to render, then this will significantly impact Google’s ability to render and index the content on these pages.
Content Parity Won’t Matter After the Switch to Mobile-first as Desktop Won’t be Used for Indexing
Google won’t switch sites to mobile first indexing that don’t have content consistency across mobile and desktop, so content parity is crucial to get your site switched over but isn’t needed after a site has been switched because then only the mobile version will be used.
To learn more about mobile-first indexing, take a look at our white paper on the topic.
Google Will Still Show Desktop URLs for Desktop Searches After Mobile-first Indexing
If Google can find desktop URLs as well as mobile URLs for a site, then those desktop URLs will be shown to users searching on desktop. They won’t be forced to go to a mobile version.
Google Will Create a Knowledge Panel for Websites Organically Over Time
Google can recognise queries that lead to particular websites and will create a knowledge panel for this over time if it has enough information about your website already.
Redirected URLs Can Appear as Soft 404s if Many Pages Are Redirecting to One
Redirecting URLs shouldn’t be showing up as soft 404 errors unless you’ve removed a lot of pages and are redirecting them all to one page.