Notes from the Google Webmaster Hangout on the 25th of August, 2017.
Fine to Add Canonical From Secondary Domains to Preferred Domain
John says it’s fine to use a different domain or set of URLs for offline marketing and to implement a canonical pointing to your preferred domain.
URL Duplication Issue on Larger Sites as Google More Likely to Miss New Content
URL duplication is more of an issue on larger sites, as opposed to small or medium sites. This is because Google is less likely to be able to crawl the whole site and new content is more likely to be missed if there is a lot of duplication.
John suggests ten as an ok number of links to have in a site footer. There is no absolute number but it is worth looking at how these links are used to make sure they are for the user’s benefit and not search engine’s. Long anchor text for these links could look like keyword stuffing.
Review Markup Without Source Could Result in Loss of Rich Snippets
Marking up aggregate reviews without specifying the source could result in a manual action. This could result in Google dropping rich snippets in the search results for the website.
Add Organization Markup & My Business for Best Chance to Be Shown in Knowledge Panel
John recommends adding organization markup and Google My Business listing to give Google a stronger reason to show your business in the Knowledge Panel.
Google Committed To Switching To Mobile-first On Step-by-Step Basis
Mobile-first Index isn’t running behind schedule. Google announced this was the direction they are headed in to give webmasters time to start making changes for the switch. Google is committed to switching over to the Mobile-first Index on a step-by-step basis for groups of sites that are ready.
Only Change URLs When Absolutely Necessary as Can Cause Drop in SERPs
John recommends against removing old fashioned URL suffixes (like .html) unless you’re redesigning a site, as Google will treat these as new URLs and will recrawl and reindex them having to learn a new structure. This will lead to a significant dip in SERPs for a period of time until the URLs have been recrawled and reindexed.
Ensure internal links and rel canonical are pointing to preferred page to ensure you aren’t giving Google conflicting signals about which page should be indexed.
Internal search pages are commonly blocked from indexing in robots.txt. However, if you have external links pointing to internal search pages you can block and allow URLs in a few ways to maximise link equity.