8 Insights From Google Webmaster Hangouts 8-25-2017

Welcome to our new Google Webmaster Hangouts recap.  These semi-weekly hangout sessions are a treasure trove of valuable insights.  They’re held by Google webmaster trends analyst John Mueller.  Mostly these events are a series of questions asked by the live attendees (which you can attend as well).  Occasionally John shares special announcements.

The goal of these recap posts is to offer you a condensed version of the hangout.  Every post will contain what we consider to be the key insights of that days event.  Each insight will be accompanied by a video that starts at the exact time a question was asked.  This gives you a chance to hear the original question as well as John’s reply.

We hope you find these recaps valuable and continue to grow your SEO knowledge.

Employ the Canonical Tag When Using Multiple Domains

When using multiple domains you’ll want to make sure that Google understands which is your preferred domain.  Canonical is the correct way to take care of this.

Make Internal Linking Clear Via Anchor Text & Alt Tags

Google uses internal links within a site structure to understand the context of that page.  When linking internally use a descriptive anchor text or alt tags/title attribute if you’re using images

(alt tags / title attributes are treated similarly).

Ranking Rich Snippets of Aggregated Reviews Is Risky

If you’re aggregating content without citing the source in the structured markup you’re violating Google policies.  This may end up in a manual action.  Your site won’t be demoted in rankings but your rich snippets won’t show up.

How Does Google Judge the Quality of a Page?

Aiming for the highest quality page you can create should be the goal.  It’s not simply a matter of backlinks.  We’ve covered this topic exhaustively in our Panda training PDF.  The goal is to create a page that people actually find helpful.

Is 1 Page & 1 KW as Good as 1 Page & Multiple KWs?

The answer to that is not clear.  Google could possibly rank a page that focuses on 1 keyword with only 200 words of content.  However, it’s not likely.  More content is likely going to be necessary for that page to be considered high quality.  In addition, a site that focuses too much on single keyword pages could be seen as a doorway site.

Mobile First Index Is Not Running Behind Schedule

Despite it being announced several months ago the mobile first index is still not fully rolled out.  It was determined that giving webmasters time to finely tune their mobile sites would result in a better user experience VS launching it immediately.

Keep Similar Internal Linking Structures Across Desktop & Mobile

When optimizing your mobile website do your best to keep similar linking structures.  If your desktop site uses internal links in the footer your mobile site most likely should too.  Consistency across both versions will be the key to better rankings.

Content Length Is Dependent On Your Ability to Produce Quality Content

It’s a topic that’s widely discussed amongst SEOs.  Everyone has an opinion.  Your content is a ranking factor.  But does the length actually matter?  John Mueller says no.  What matters is that users find the information on the page useful.

In Closing

This hangout had a strong focus on internal linking and content quality.  If you haven’t already, be sure to read our Panda Training PDF in the Help -> Tutorial section of our site.  And as always if you need help “beefing” up the quality of your pages our writing staff is on call.

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