Google Webmaster Hangouts 9-7-2018

Ads Above The Fold Could Cause Negative Ranking Impact

If your website design utilizes whitespace above the fold (that pushes down your content) you will not be penalized by Google.  The biggest issues to look out for above the fold are aggressive advertisements. This causes a UX issue that leads the visitor to believe the content they were looking for is not on the page.

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Google Webmaster Hangouts 8-21-2018

Q&A Content Works Best Wherever It Suits Your Goals

Don’t stress over the idea that your Q&A content exists at the bottom of a topical page VS one long Q&A page.  If your goal is user experience the bottom of the page may work best.  However, if your goal is to test for featured snippet rankings a single page may work better.  Make your goals the primary directive (with user experience in mind, of course)

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The Ultimate Guide to Google’s Search Quality Guidelines (Part 1)

This is the first post in a series that will examine and make the most important aspects of Google’s new Search Quality Guidelines easy to understand.  When my co-author, Katie Byrd, and I set out to create our ultimate guide, the first question we asked was “what’s the point?” Everyone (and their brother!) has rehashed the instructions Google provides to their search quality evaluators.

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Google Webmaster Hangouts 6-26-2018

No Plan to Utilize the Indexing API Outside of Job Postings – For Now

The indexing API works specifically with Jobs schema markup.  Job postings change rapidly. Large jobs sites will now have much more accurate results in the search index because of this new tech. As of right now there is no plans for this new API to be used outside of the jobs market.

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Google Webmaster Hangouts 6-1-2018

Page Speed Is Measured From “Reasonably Fast to Really Slow”

John mentions that Google is measuring page speed relatively.  If one site is takes “multiple minutes” to load it reasonable to assume that this is not normal compared to other sites.  In regards to mobile speed specifically, through Chrome, Google can see exactly what users see.  Manipulating scripts to make the site look faster to Google bots isn’t worth the effort.  The true user experience tells them more.

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Google Webmaster Hangouts 5-15-2018

Don’t Target a Specific Meta Description Length

There’s been a lot of talk about Meta description length in 2018.  First it was lengthened, then shortened, and now we “should not be aiming for a specific number.  Meta descriptions are dynamic and can change daily or by device. Make sure that your description is short and to the point.  You should aim for the users to understand what your page is about.

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Google Webmaster Hangouts 5-1-2018

New Content Will Fluctuate in Rankings

A hangouts member mentioned that they had published a new piece of content that ranked very quickly.  Then a day or two later it had completely disappeared.  While John notes that this may be a bit of an “extreme” case that it’s still “completely normal.”  You should expect to see these kinds of ranking fluctuations.  This is particularly common with newly published content.  Google makes what amounts to a “guesstimate” of where that content should rank.  Sometimes this guesstimate is dramatically incorrect, sometimes just a bit.

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Google Webmaster Hangouts 4-13-2018

It Does Not Matter How You Order Your Header Tags Within Content

Ever wonder if you should have your H3’s follow your H2’s?  It doesn’t matter what order they show up in your content.  They’re a styling element that Google simply uses to understand the content on the page.  You don’t need a strict ordering of your header tags.

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Google Webmaster Hangouts 3-27-2018

The March 23rd Shake Up Was Not Related to The Mobile First Index Rollout

John confirmed that to the best of his knowledge this was not the case.  He said that the most recent “batch” of sites were switched over as of their blog post on March 26th.

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