Notes from the Google Webmaster Hangout on the 7th of July, 2017.
Google Recognises Differences Between Synonyms
Google folds together synonyms but sometimes recognises subtle differences between them and ranks them differently.
Add Self-Referential Canonical Tags
Add self-referential rel canonicals to pages as it gives Google a clear indication of what page is to be indexed. Even if there is just one page, there may be different variations such as parameters – a rel canonical will clean these up.
Search Console HTML Improvements Are Created Before Canonicals Are Processed
HTML Improvements in Search Console are generated when pages are initially crawled, but before a canonical tag is processed so they can be ignored for canonicalised pages.
Incorrectly Configured Mobile Sites Show in Desktop Search
Mobile sites ranking on desktop indicates the rel alternate or canonical link between mobile and desktop pages have been implemented incorrectly, or temporarily if the mobile URL has been crawled first.
Link Position Doesn’t Influence Weight
Google doesn’t give more weight to internal links based on ther position on a page.
Google doesn’t give more weight to internal links based on their position on a page.
Linked Image Alt Text Acts as Anchor Text
Add alt text to image links as these act as anchor text, including on mobile pages.
Adding Large No. Pages in Bulk Is Fine with Google
Adding a large number of pages in bulk, such as adding an archive, is fine from an SEO point of view, however, Googlebot will try and crawl the new pages so helps if server has capacity to deal with that.
Place Links to Important Pages Higher in a Site Hierarchy
Make sure links to your most important pages are relatively high up in a site hierarchy so Googlebot and users can reach them quickly and so Google can pass Pagerank more quickly.
Deep Linked App Pages Should Match Desktop Pages
The content on your deep linked app pages should match the content on the desktop pages.
Redirect Obsolete Pages to Replacement Pages
You can use a 301 redirect on e-commerce sites when one product page replaces an obsolete one.
Internal & Sitemap Links May Override Canonical Tags
Google uses a number of factors to determine which URLs to show. Canonicalised pages may still be chosen if you link to them internally and in Sitemaps.
Use Nofollow to Stop Googlebot Crawling Too Far
Google recommends using internal nofollow links to stop Googlebot crawling too far in one direction e.g. endless calendar links, faceted navigation and pagination.
Use a Single Language per Page
It’s OK to have pages in different languages on the same site, but each page should only have content in a single language.
Google Can Take Time to See Pages with NoIndex Tag
Google can take time to drop pages with noindex tag from index, especially on larger sites or if the URL is blocked by robots.txt.
Use Info: Query to See If a URL is Indexed
Use info: search operator with a URL to check if a specific page has been indexed.