Notes from the Google Webmaster Hangout on the 22nd of August, 2017.
Structured Mark Up Should Be Correct From Technical & Policy Perspective
Google judges structured mark up to be correct when it is technically correct by passing Google’s testing tool, correct from a Google policy perspective with logically correct mark up and when the site is reasonably high quality so Google can trust it.
Presence of Rich Snippets in Site: Query But Not in Normal Search Indicator of Low Site Quality
A good indicator of site quality can be gained from using a site: query. If rich snippets are displayed using site: query but not in normal search, this is an indicator Google doesn’t trust your site from a quality point of view.
GSC Data Latency Will Not Be Improved in New Version
GSC two day data latency will not be improved in the new version but Google have been looking to improve this and it is possible they can display data slightly data faster. There will likely always be at least a one day delay.
Google Doesn't Take Browser Into Account When Rendering
Google looks at how pages are rendered by Googlebot from a desktop and mobile view but does not take into account browser type.
Links hidden behind tabs will be crawled in the same way as other hidden content.
Plural & Singular Search Queries Seen as Synonyms or Split Apart Dependent on Perceived Meaning
Plural and singular search queries can be folded together as synonyms or split apart by Google’s algorithms depending on if they are judged to have a different meaning
Google Splits Sites With Ok And Very Slow Load Times
Google usually differentiates between sites that are reasonably ok with loading and those that are very slow when it comes to site speed.
Google Assistant Uses Desktop Results But Will Change to Mobile Index
Google Assistant uses rich snippets from desktop version of search results and over time will move over to the mobile index.
For A/B Testing Show Googlebot Version Most Users Will See
When A/B testing, Google recommends showing Googlebot the version that most users are seeing. If doing 50/50 testing, it is up to webmasters which version to show to Googlebot but Google recommend against randomly varying the displayed version as it will make it difficult for Google to index the page.
Provide Relevant Content About Images to Improve Likelihood of Ranking
Extra relevant content provided around images will make it easier for Google to understand them and will increase the likelihood of ranking in image search.
Manual Reviewing Tests Algorithms Not Page Quality on Individual Sites
Manual reviews are usually used to test different variations of algorithms created by Google engineers. Google don’t manually review web pages and use the results to inform rankings.
Download Time in GSC is HTML Download Time, Doesn't Include Rendering Time
The download time shown in GSC is the time taken to download the HTML page, not the rendered version that users see. If this time is =>2s this is probably too slow because more time will be needed for the page to be rendered by the browser.
Use X-Frame Header to Stop Content Being Framed By Other Sites
The X-Frame http header can be used to prevent browsers from allowing your content from being framed. Google also respects that and won’t index framed content.
GSC Index Status Report is Mainly Canonical Pages
The GSC index status report mainly includes canonical pages e.g. html pages, pdfs and other pages included in desktop web search. Some pages won’t be the canonical version, like when a page has first been discovered by Googlebot and the rel canonical has not yet been followed.