Notes from the Google Webmaster Hangout on the 1st of February 2018.
Static Sitemap Filenames Are Recommended
John recommends having static site map filenames that don’t change every time they are generated so they don’t waste time crawling sitemaps URLs which don’t exist any more.
Google Temporarily Reduces Crawl Rate After A Platform Change
When a site changes its hosting platform Google will be more conservative about how much they crawl as they don’t know how much load the new server set up will support.
Crawl Rate Issues Can be Reported For Manual Review
If a site is being crawled too much or too little you can report a problem with Googlebot in the Help Center and this can be adjusted by a Google engineer.
Recommended Reading: Google Help Centre – Change Googlebot Crawl Rate
Images Crawled Less Frequently Than Pages
Images are crawled less frequently than content, so if these are migrated, to a CDN for example, it will take Googlebot longer to recrawl these.
Ensure Meta Data is Available on Mobile Version of Dynamic Sites
Dynamic sites should make sure that meta data isn’t stripped out on the mobile version of the page e.g. structured data.
Recommended reading: Crawl a Dynamic Website With DeepCrawl
Fresher Content Can Rank Higher Dependent on User Intent
Fresher content can rank higher than older content but it depends on the user intent. For example, searching for information around earthquakes is likely to bring up news content shortly after an earthquake but may otherwise return reference material created years ago.
Different Country Versions of Content Can Dilute Value of Original Content
Creating different country versions of pages in the same language can dilute the value of the original content and mean that other sites may rank for this term. John recommends working with people who have experience of working with large international sites so you can get the balance right of having pages that are useful to visitors in different countries while not the diluting value of these pages.
Not all Markup Used in Search Results But Can Improve Google's Understanding of Site
Not all Schema.org markup is used by Google to provide rich snippets in the search results, however it may help Google better understand your website.
Google Sent Emails to Recipe and Podcast Sites to Verify in Google Assistant
Google recently sent out emails to sites with podcasts and recipes to get verified in the Google Assistant set up.
Paid Ads Don't Impact Organic Results But Could Have Indirect Benefit
Paid ads don’t affect rankings of organic results but it may have an indirect benefit of building brand awareness.
Index Status Count & Sitemaps Index Count Are Most Reliable Estimates of No. Indexed Pages
Site: queries are an approximation of the no. pages indexed in search. The index status count and sitemaps index count in GSC are much better estimates of total indexed pages. John doesn’t know about the discrepancy in indexed pages between new and old versions of GSC.
Recommended reading: A Closer Look at the New Search Console Beta Experience
Hold up! Google aren't the only ones with updates
Google aren’t the only ones with new additions. Here at DeepCrawl we’ve launched a superb new integration with Majestic that gives you access to their link data for free!