In this week’s hangout, John Mueller discusses the need (or not) for unique titles, the importance of consistency in your configuration, and the use of meta refresh as a redirect.
Unique titles may not be required
11:20: In a discussion around paginated pages, John says it’s not a requirement that you have unique titles for every page.
If page has some unique content, and sufficient authority signals, then it should rank despite a duplicated title.
He seems to imply this as a general rule for all pages.
SEO configuration should be consistent
18:40: John’s recently made a comment saying his number 1 SEO tip was to ‘be consistent’.
He clarified that he was referring to consistency of your website configuration, such as a page which is both noindexed and canonicalized to another page.
Meta refresh can be used like a redirect
31:04: John confirms that a meta refresh tag which points to a different URL will work as a redirect.
The passing of pagerank wasn’t explicity mentioned.
Blocking content for international users is OK
36:54: If you don’t want to serve content to a specific international audience, there isn’t any better solution than just blocking it.
However if this is a US audience then it can’t easily be blocked without blocking Googlebot too which would impact your rankings.
Backlinks are still fundamental to rankings
39:01: John confirms that backlinks are still fundamental to rankings.
He says it’s theoretically possible for a page to rank in search results without backlinks, but it would be hard as they don’t know how this page relates to the rest of the web.