Notes from the Google Webmaster Hangouts on the 21st of October, 2016.
The Original Source of Content Gets a Minor Boost
Google only gives a minor boost to the originator of content, but will rank other sources with copies which it thinks are the most relevant.
Verbatim, site: and info: Queries Are Artificial
Verbatim search using quotes, site: and info: queries are artificial queries which don’t really represent the rankings of content.
Links to 404s Won't Impact Penguin
If you 404 a page, all links into the page are dropped from the link graph, and won’t impact Penguin algorithm.
A Linking Page Passes Context
In addition to the anchor text of a link, the ‘Context’ of links can be used to infer the content of the target page which seems to indicate the text content on the linking page is also relevant.
Partial Duplication Results in Query Specific Deduplication
Individual chunks of content which are duplicated across many pages will be detected and Google will only show a single result in search, but it won’t affect any individual page’s ranking.
Linking Banners Pass PageRank
An image banner linking directly to content from your home page will spread “value” to these pages.
Search Phrases Can Become Navigational Queries
A search phrase made up of multiple words can be recognised by Google as a navigational query over time if they refer to a specific website.
Only Extreme Backlink Quality Issues Cause Penalties
Only sites with very bad backlink profiles are likely to see any penalty. Penguin is now mostly ignoring links rather than applying any penalty.