Notes from the Google Webmaster Hangout on the 29th of June 2018.

Google Understands Language Variations of Words as Synonyms

Google tends not to show results in a different language from the one the query is written in. For languages with different dialects, like Spanish, Google will try to understand differences as synonyms.

Use Language Variations in Content Based on What People Search For

Consider how a site’s target audience search when deciding what dialect or language to serve content in. If people search using different language variations of a word then it may make sense to include both in your content. However, be careful to avoid keyword stuffing.

Page Speed Update Will Use Scale to Assess Speed

The Page Speed update will be on a scale where: the faster pages are, the more Google can take this into account. This approach is opposed to Google’s previous speed update, which only differentiated between very slow pages and all other pages.

GSC Uncommon Download Warnings Don't Include Sample URLs

Uncommon download warnings are shown to users and in Search Console. This means Google hasn’t been able to check the files downloaded from a site. Sample URLs aren’t provided, as people can abuse this by deleting the file and replacing it with a new one causing more issues.

Anchor Text Helps Google Understand Topic of Target Page

The anchor text in a link helps Google understand the broader topic of the target page.

Links to a different language site provide the same value as links to same language sites.

Blog Content Helps Establish Focus and Context of a Business

Blogs can help businesses have better presence online giving users and search engines more context about what they do and a better understanding of its focus.

Google Doesn't Distinguish Between Blogs and Websites

There is no fundamental difference between a blog and a website from Google’s perspective. They both have webpages with content, but the important thing is that Google are easily crawlable.

Links from press releases are generally ignored because Google knows that companies publish these themselves. John doesn’t recommend relying on links from press releases as part of a link building strategy.

Google Treats Meta Refresh as Redirect Meaning Wrong Content Might be Indexed

Google treats meta refresh as a redirect, which may mean the wrong page is indexed e.g. a product listing page with a meta refresh to a payment page will mean the latter is indexed rather than the actual content.

Testing Tools Can Incorrectly Show Scripts Aren't Optimised

Testing tools, like PageSpeed Insights, can show that scripts such as Google Analytics or AdSense aren’t optimised because they are configured for specific browsers.

Google Reassessing Use of Scores in Speed Testing

Google are reassessing their use of scores as part of testing tools, like PageSpeed Insights, as this can result in people focusing too much on addressing things that will improve their score rather than other areas which will have a bigger overall impact.

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