Google: No Such Thing As Two Waves Of Indexing Or Crawling
He did hint that it is going away but now says there was really no such thing.
Here is the video embed where he said this:
Google: We Don't Make Sites With Manual Actions Wait Longer For Reviews
Google's John Mueller said it is a myth that the web spam team would make a site that has sufficiently fixed a manual action wait a longer period of time. Google doesn't simply say that this site did something bad, so you have to wait. Once it is fixed, Google will reprocess that manual action.
There are exceptions, John said. If the site continues to spam and manipulate Google, Google may decide to simply wait it out until the webmaster fully fixes it. He said "the one thing that can happen is if we see that a website goes back and forth, then that's something where the webspam team will say okay you you're just wasting our time. Like if you fix the problem do the reconsideration request and then a couple weeks later you have the same problem again, then like a little bit of back and forth. And the web spam team will say, okay we we will take a look in a couple of months when when you've decided what you want to do."
Here is the transcript:
Question: Is possible when whenever there is kind of a manual review process and if the problem is that they've been fixed sufficiently does the team voluntarily wait a longer time before taking another look at the website?
Answer: No, no. That is another myth
Yeah the one thing that can happen is if we see that a website goes back and forth, then that's something where the webspam team will say okay you you're just wasting our time. Like if you fix the problem do the reconsideration request and then a couple weeks later you have the same problem again, then like a little bit of back and forth. And the web spam team will say, okay we we will take a look in a couple of months when when you've decided what you want to do.
Does Non Searched Pages Hurt Your Google Search Rankings?
John Mueller from Google was asked if "having too many non searched pages on website are bad for SEO?" John didn't say yes or no, he instead said on Twitter - "that's up to you." He said what good is it if no one searches for it?
This is more of a philosophical question; he said "From a philosophical point of view, if nobody searches for them, unless they're providing value (to you / your users) otherwise, why do you need them?"
Data suggests there’s still no corporate or brand bias in Google results
Google results may be occasionally terrible but data is not indicating results are biased or being unfairly manipulated.
Haven’t written for Search Engine Land in a while as I’ve been head down in-house, but in late December John Mueller asked on Twitter what the SEO community thinks of this Twitter comment that claims that the first two pages of Google’s search results are devoid of blogs and overoptimized and I wanted to take a few minutes to look at the data.
You may have an opinion that yes, Google is clearly biased toward big brands, or no, Google is just trying to give the users what they’re looking for and no one’s looking for someone’s dumb blog. But we don’t need opinions here because this is a claim about what sites show up in search, and we have a lot of data on that from SEMRush and other sites that rank the web according to how much organic traffic they likely get.
Nonprofit dominates results
So, there are a lot of big brands in the SEMRush top 100. But the number one site is a nonprofit that asked me for a donation earlier this month: Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a well-known brand but not corporate at all. They’re owned by Wikimedia Foundation, which is the only top ten website that is nonprofit, and it gets almost four times the search traffic (according to traffic estimates) of the #2 website on the list, Amazon.
It may seem to some people based on certain searches that they do that brands and corporate websites are showing up instead of blogs and personal websites, but can you really say that Google sends traffic to mostly corporate websites when a nonprofit gets almost 4x the search traffic of Amazon, and 32x the search traffic of the top brand in the world according to Interbrand’s brand value score, Apple?
I would say no, that doesn’t make much sense. If Google had an inherent corporate bias or a brand bias, nonprofit Wikipedia would have less search traffic than for-profit brands that spend a lot of money on branding like Apple and Amazon. Certain queries may be frustrating, but the data suggests there’s no inherent bias.
Personal blogs rank better than ever
Maybe personal blogs are a different story? Does Google serve for-profit corporate domains more than platforms that allow average people to post their thoughts? Let’s check the data.
First, it’s important to note that it’s not 2005 anymore, and in the age of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter many people use social networks and corporate sites that thrive on user-generated content like TripAdvisor and Yelp to post their thoughts. So you may find regular people’s thoughts in search without necessarily finding it on someone’s blog. Of the top ten sites listed above, all but Merriam-Webster derive traffic from user-generated content. They’re not blogs, and they may be hosted on a site owned by a large corporate entity, but Google is bringing visibility to the thoughts of regular users, making the corporate sites vs personal blogs dichotomy a little less clear.
That said, if we do look at only personal blogs we still see that Google sends a lot of traffic to them.
To prove this, we can’t really look at the increase in traffic for all of the most popular platforms, as many of the most popular platforms host their user sites on subdomains, and it’s difficult to use the SEMRush top 30,000 sites to show growth across thousands of subdomains, and just showing traffic to root domains like tumblr.com doesn’t necessarily show that the individual subdomains are getting a lot of search traffic.
But if we consider the top blogging platform now according to SEMRush – Medium, which does host individual blogs on the medium.com root domain, we can see that not only is it one of the top 300 sites in the world according to organic traffic, but that organic search traffic has been growing steadily in the last 5 years:
So the claim that Google doesn’t just show someone’s blog in search results anymore is an opinion, and not one that’s founded in reality. Medium currently has blogs ranking for 231k top three keywords, including “rare pokemon cards,” “wirecutter,” “copy and paste symbols,” “milkweed” and thousands of other competitive non-brand keywords. If you’re a user who doesn’t think that blogs show up in Google search results, you’re not searching any of these 231k keywords where they clearly do.
Personal influencer blogs rank better than monster travel sites in search
If you do want to see results where there doesn’t seem to be corporate bias, try planning a trip to Italy. My wife and I are planning on going there this summer, and we’ve been using Google to research where to go and what to do. As I’m searching it strikes me how many travel influencer personal blogs show up in the results, and not TripAdvisor, Expedia or other huge travel companies.
To illustrate this I’ve taken four of the highest volume queries for someone planning a two week trip to Italy and sorted all of the sites that appeared in the top ten for any search by the site’s Domain Authority. I also highlighted results in the top three in yellow. Seeing this it should be obvious that there’s no clear relationship between a site’s overall authority and top three rankings in this niche, as smaller sites with relevant content—personal influencer blogs like gretastravels.com and ourescapeclause.com are ranking even better for these high-volume keywords than travel behemoths TripAdvisor and Expedia.
This is clearly just one example of a niche where, contrary to increasingly popular belief, it’s still common to get personal blogs in search results; but the data above suggests it’s not an isolated incident.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion about what kind of sites Google ranks, but as the adage goes, “In God we trust, all others bring data.” Every query is different, but I’m not seeing a lot in the data I have that would indicate that on a large scale Google results are biased toward for-profit websites or unfairly manipulated by people who know SEO.
Google mobile-first indexing for all websites starting September 2020
Google announced in their official blog that they are going to use mobile-first indexing for the whole web starting September 2020.
What is mobile-first indexing?
Mobile-first indexing means that Google uses the mobile version of a website’s content to rank pages. The search results will still be available for both desktop and mobile devices. However, the focus will be on mobile.
The reason for that is that most people search Google using a mobile device. Google began mobile-first indexing in 2016.
When Google switches your website to mobile-first indexing, it will see an increase in Googlebot's crawling, while Google updates its index to your site's mobile version. Depending on the domain, this change can take some time.
What's the impact on your search engine rankings?
Google does not create a separate mobile-first index. They continue to use only one index. The contents of mobile pages will be used with Google’s ranking algorithms. The ranking of your web pages now depend on the content of the mobile version of your web pages.
If you use responsive web design, then the pages for desktop and mobile are the same. In that case, your rankings won’t change at all.
If you have mobile pages that are different from the desktop version of your web pages, your desktop rankings will change based on the content that can be found on your mobile pages.
What do you have to do now?
1. Use responsive website design
If you have a responsive website or a dynamic serving website where the content and markup is the same on mobile and desktop, you do not have to change anything.
Google recommends responsive website design:
"While we continue to support various ways of making mobile websites, we recommend responsive web design for new websites. We suggest not using separate mobile URLs (often called 'm-dot') because of issues and confusion we've seen over the years, both from search engines and users."
2. Adjust your pages if you do not use responsive website design
If you have a site configuration where the primary content and markup is different across mobile and desktop, you should consider making some changes to your site:
Serve structured markup for both the desktop and mobile version.
Use the robots.txt testing tool to verify that your mobile version is accessible to Googlebot.
If you have only verified your desktop site in Search Console, add and verify your mobile version.
Google: you have to improve your website
Google’s John Mueller said on Twitter that it is important to improve your website. If your website relies on manual index submission for normal content, ‘you need to significantly improve your site.’
If your site relies on manual index submission for normal content, you need to significantly improve your site. Search console does not fix your site, you need to do that yourself.— ?? John ?? (@JohnMu)
You don’t have to submit your website to Google. Google finds your website through links from other sites. If your web pages do not have the right content, and if other websites do not link to your site, your website won’t get high rankings on Google.
Google: we respect nofollow, but we might use the links for discovery
Google’s Martin Splitt said on Twitter that Google does not associate nofollow links with your website. They can, however, use nofollow links for discovery.
Let's be careful here: We do respect nofollow – we don't associate the link with your site.— Martin Splitt (@g33konaut) February 7, 2020
However, we may still use the link for discovery.
That's an important nuance here…
Google says merging domains takes longer than moving sitesIn response to a question on Twitter on the subject of an old site still showing in the search engines and taking long to be removed, Google's John Mueler responded:"you don't have to do anything to get it removed - it just takes a lot longer when you merge sites rather than move domains. If you use the removal tools, you won't get any traffic at all for the old domain, so I'd recommend not doing that."
Sunday, April 5, 2020