Notes from the Google Webmaster Hangout on the 28th of June 2019.
Forum Links Don't Usually Have SEO Benefit But Can Drive Referral Traffic
Links within forum comments are usually nofollowed so they won't have any benefit from an SEO perspective, however, engaging with relevant users in forums is useful for community building and driving referral traffic to your site.
Avoid Implementing Structured Data Types Just Because Competitors Use Them
Even the most recognisable brands can get things wrong, so avoid copying structured data elements just because your competitor is using them, as you don't know if they are actually valid or profitable for the competitor site.
External Links Are More Critical for Initial Content Discovery & Crawling
External links are useful for helping Google find and crawl new websites, but they become less important to Google once it has already discovered the site in question.
Decorative Images Don't Need to be Indexed
Decorative images like stock photos don't need to be indexed because they won't provide a useful path for users coming to your site from image search. Instead, focus on images that have value for your business such as product images.
Google May Index Redirected URLs if Served in Sitemap Files
Redirects and sitemaps are both signals that Google uses to select preferred URLs. If you redirect to a destination URL but the source URL is in a sitemap, this is giving Google conflicting signals about which URL you want to be shown in search.
Google Has No Preference Between Text Links & Image Links
Google has adapted to handle all sorts of different organic links, and doesn't see text links as better than image links.
GSC UI & API Use Same Data Source
Google Search Console's UI and API both use the same data source, so any there shouldn't be any discrepancies in data between the two.
Canonical Tag Can be on Either AMP Page or Legacy Page within an AMP HTML Pair
If you have the rel=amphtml tag set up correctly, Google can pick up the canonical tag from either page in the pairing.
Featured Snippets Can be Switched Quickly After Migration if Site Structure is Consistent
If Google is able to clearly see that a site has moved, all the associated signals and features such as featured snippets and knowledge panels will be moved across to the new domain as long as the site structure and internal linking remains consistent.
Google Discover is Based on User Interests Rather than Queries
Google Discover isn't associated with queries as it is based on what Google thinks the user's interests are, so to show up there you need to focus on topics that interest your users rather than keywords.
You Don't Need to Have AMP to Appear in Google Discover
Regular HTML pages can appear in Google Discover, it isn't limited to showing AMP. However, if you want to show large images for your site in Google Discover you need to go to the Help Center and submit a form.
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