• author: Google Search Central

Google's "SEO Office Hours" Episode: Answering Your Questions About SEO and Google Search

In this episode of "SEO Office Hours," we're joined by Martin, Gary, and John from Google's Search Quality Team to help answer your questions about SEO and Google Search. Here are some of the questions and answers discussed in this episode:

  1. How can we avoid syndicated content from appearing in Google Discover despite using canonical links? The link rel canonical is a signal which helps with canonicalization as a hint. If you don't want the syndicated version to appear in Search, you can make sure that the syndicated version also includes a noindex robots meta tag.

  2. Is it okay for two domains with different TLDs to target the same country for the same keywords? While it's technically possible, two domains with the same content might be confusing for users. From a policies perspective, this might seem like search result manipulation, and it's best to check the spam policies for that too.

  3. Do Lighthouse JavaScript warnings for libraries with known security vulnerabilities have any influence on page rating or ranking? Generally, this doesn't have any input on ranking, but ignoring security warnings and issues is never a good idea. It's recommended to fix these as soon as possible.

  4. How do I block Googlebot from crawling a specific section of a web page? The short version is that you can't block crawling of a specific section on an HTML page. However, you can use the data-nosnippet HTML attribute to prevent text from appearing in the search snippet, or you could use an iframe or a JavaScript piece of content whose source is blocked by robots.txt.

  5. Why is my website URL blocked? Your website URL is not blocked; it's just not ranking. Check out Google's SEO Starter Guide to get an idea of what you will need to do to get liftoff, and then get more tips from other reputable SEO-focused sites and people.

  6. Is index bloat a real thing that impacts Google crawling and indexing? While it's not a direct ranking factor, index bloat can impact crawling and indexing, which can affect your site's overall SEO performance.

It's important to remember that SEO is an ongoing process, and you should always stay up-to-date with the latest SEO best practices and guidelines. By doing so, you can help ensure your website is optimized to perform well in Google Search and provide a positive user experience.

Google Webmaster Central Office-Hours Hangout Recap

In this article, we summarize the useful questions and expert answers from the Google Webmaster Central Office-Hours Hangout.

SEO Tips and Tricks

  • Check out the SEO Starter Guide that Google provides to help websites rank better.
  • For more tips, you can refer to other reputable SEO-focused sites and people like [INAUDIBLE] and Aleyda Solis, respectively.
  • Having multiple navigation menus is highly unlikely to have any effect on your site's SEO performance.

Indexing and Crawling

  • There is no concept of index bloat at Google as their systems don't artificially limit the number of pages indexed per site.
  • To block Googlebot from even touching your site reliably and permanently, you can use robots.txt.
  • URLs with ASPX and HTML file endings can be normal HTML pages, and Google can index them, regardless of the file endings.
  • If you have more than one page that can rank well for a certain query, you might want to consolidate those two pages if it's possible at all.

Google Certifications

  • There is no Google-approved SEO certification. For official certifications, you should double-check the source directly rather than take someone's word for it.

Miscellaneous Questions

  • The NOODP meta tag has no effect and doesn't cause any problems, so leaving it is fine.
  • There is no way to disavow IP addresses instead of domain names.
  • Using a fake Googlebot user agent name is not allowed, and it might be worth contacting the abuse department of the hosting provider.
  • To get video thumbnails to show up in SERPs, the video has to be the main content of the page but doesn't need to be the absolute first element on the page.

We hope you find the above information useful. For more questions, you can post them in the Search Central Help Community, where lots of passionate experts are active there who can help you narrow things down.

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