Google Webmaster Hangouts 12-1-2017

Google Webmaster Hangouts 12-1-2017

The Algorithm is Similar Between Desktop & Mobile But Not The Same

Google tries to keep ranking factors similar between desktop and mobile.  However, on Mobile especially, there are going to be different features shown.  For example, if you’re driving around different results will be shown based on location.  John did follow this up with the fact that ranking factors for these two are very similar.

Just Because You Rank Well in One Country Doesn’t Guarantee You Will in Others

Your site may rank extremely well in your country (any country).  However, you may find that it doesn’t do quite as well in others.  In fact it may not rank at all.  This is true even if the two different countries speak the same language.  Sometimes competition levels are just too high.

Use Your Sitemap URL Count in Search Console VS Your The Indexed Pages Report

If Search Console is showing a crazy number of indexed pages for your site there could be a couple of things going on here.  One, Sometimes Google messes up (believe it or not).  Two, you may have several technical errors on your site. And three, you’re simply not looking in the right place…(more in the section directly below)

Don’t Use the Site: Search in Google For Diagnostics

John Mueller says that the data you get from this kind of search is optimized on their end for speed.  It’s simply just a different way of they “count” pages.  Don’t use the about count for diagnostic purposes.  This won’t be as accurate as what you’ll find in Search Console.

Change of Address Tool Will Not Help You Merge 2 Sites

The change of address tool in search console tests for all kinds of redirects.  This tool is meant to move one site on one domain to another domain.  However, the site remains the same.

Google doesn’t process merging sites very well.  It’ll take time for them to figure out the whole “site” picture.  Expect a lot of fluctuations in rankings.

The Difference Between 301 Redirects & 302 Redirects

With a 301 you’re telling Google that the old URL is no longer valid and that the new one is it’s replacement.  With a 302 redirect you’re telling google is temporary.  In this case Google will try to take the content of the temporary landing page and index under the original URL.

It’s a bit tricky sounding, I know.  But the point is that one redirect is permanent while the other is temporary.

Google Will Show Some Pages With No Backlinks

It’s possible you’ll see pages ranking in Google that have no backlinks.  Are these pages super valuable?  It depends on the phrase being searched obviously.  Are backlinks important?  You bet they are.  Especially in competitive markets.  However, Google uses the primary content of the page as well as it’s internal linking system to truly understand what the page is about.  This alone may be enough to get it to rank.  


There were some interesting technical details in this hangout.  For example, did you know the difference between a 301 and a 302 redirect?  These technical tips can be boring to some. Occasionally they mean the difference between a site that performs well and one that doesn’t.  This is exactly why you should be aware of the most pressing technical issues on your site at all times.  Do an on-site audit frequently.  If you don’t know how to, we can help with our auditing service.  It’s done by trained professionals who know what to look for.

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