Notes from the Google Webmaster Hangout on the 9th of July 2019.
Hreflang Not Necessary For Non-Canonical Pages
It isn't necessary to implement hreflang on the non-canonical version of a page because it won't be shown in search, therefore any hreflang annotation won't be used by Google.
For Image Optimization Check Indexing, Deferred Loading Method & Discoverable Links in DOM
For images John recommends looking out for which ones are being indexed, double checking the method for deferred loading and checking links can be discovered by Googlebot in the DOM.
Google Removes Pages With DMCA Notices From Search & Displays Message in SERPs
If a DMCA notice is active, Google will remove that page from search and display a notice in the search results. In GSC there is a link to the process where you can contend a DMCA notice.
Test Different Approaches to Flexible Sampling to Find Best Solution For Content & Users
With flexible sampling, John recommends testing different approaches to see what works for users. Don't commit to an extreme approach straight away, like Lead-in, as this might not be the best solution for your users and content.
Disallowed Pages With Backlinks Can be Indexed by Google
Pages blocked by robots.txt cannot be crawled by Googlebot. However, if a disallowed page has links pointing to it, Google can determine that it is worth being indexed despite not being able to crawl the page.
Make Pages Accessible to Googlebot For Each Language Version of a Page
For sites with redirects based on the user's IP or browser language, John recommends having landing pages available for each individual language, including hreflang on each with an x-default to the main page.
Noindexed Pages May be Indexed if Google Receives Conflicting Canonicalization Signals
If Google is receiving conflicting canonicalization signals about a page, then a noindexed version of the page may be indexed.
Consider Number of Language Variations When Deciding on Approach to Internationalization
Consider the number of language variations when deciding how to configure international versions of a website. If there are many versions you may want to let the user decide which version they want to view, but if there are only a few versions you may be able to guess for them.
Google Uses Alt Attribute as Part of Anchor For Linked Images
For linked images, Google sees the alt attribute as a descriptive part of the page it is on, but it is also used as part of the anchor for the page the image is linking to.
Be Consistent in Trailing Slash Usage Across a Site
John recommends being as consistent as possible with the use of the trailing slash in the links across a site.
AMP Stories Treated as Normal Pages by Google
Google sees AMP Stories as normal pages in search and they should be linked to like normal pages on a site. Google can, however, struggle to rank AMP Stories because they commonly have thin content.
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