'Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple.' —Woody Guthrie

8 Tips From John Mueller - 12/04/15

by Ethan Glover, Sun, Dec 13, 2015 - (Edited) Sun, Dec 13, 2015

@5:00 - The rel=canonical tag should only point to a page with that contains the original content you're repeating. This does not apply to languages. A German version of a page should always point to the German version. If, for example, a German page points to the English version as the canonical, Google will drop the non-canonical (German) page.

@10:24 - Referencing a high-quality site does not influence how Google judges your content. Mueller says that quality links are only taken into consideration within the context of everything else. I interpreted this as saying that good sources can make a difference, but only for those sites who are already producing good content that is relevant to those links. That is to say, a low-quality page spam linking high-quality content will not see improvements.

@12:55 - After you’ve cleaned up manual actions taken on your website, you can’t expect your site to go back to where it was in rankings. Most likely, a lot of things have changed since then. Cleaning up those manual actions is instead an opportunity to start on a fresh foundation. It is best to work up from there rather than worrying about where you were in the past. (Good life advice too!)

@14:50 - Directory sites are not considered doorway pages. Doorway pages are multiple pages or URLs pointing towards the same content. Still, directory sites aren’t considered relevant due to how easy search engines are to use.

@17:59 - Be careful not to over optimize your site for SEO. Google’s search algorithm is there to help the users find the best, high-quality content they’re looking for. So aim to do that. Build your site for the users and make them your top priority. It seems to me that Google employee’s may get tired of the “how do I do SEO,” and “how do I build natural links” questions. That’s not what they’re there for. Those questions are like asking a business directory how to market their business, it doesn’t make any sense. I can imagine search engineers talking to one another, commenting on the fact that they care more about the quality of websites than the site owners do. Code your site to make the bots life easier, but don’t depend on that.

@20:05 - Regarding data markup, if you use the wrong code by mistake, Google will ignore it. (Thus, the importance of structured data testing tool.) However, if you use markup dishonestly, such as using recipe markup where there is no recipe, or creating fake reviews, it's possible the site will get marked as spam.

@24:05 - Asked about above-the-fold links, Mueller mentioned that the location of content in general can determine how much importance Google gives it. But John reminded everyone that links should be somewhere that’s easy to find. They should be naturally placed for the user. Again, don’t worry about SEO in the design of your site, worry about the user.

@35:45 - Having multiple 404 errors on your site is OK. Having them on your site won’t harm it. But, Mueller notes that it’s important to update your visible content. Update links to make sure your users aren’t having any problems navigating the site.