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    May 19th John Mueller Q&A Transcript


    Being young and single is great sometimes. I can eat ramen on the couch in my underwear, listen to loud music...and I've got a lot of free time! I decided to put my free time to good use last night and listened to John Mueller's recent Google hangout. Some of the questions that people were asking there were things I've read our own users asking about here. Here's 9 questions (and answers) that I thought might interest our dear readers. There's some timestamps too if you want to go find the actual video:

    Similar Content for Multiple Products? (19:15)
    How do I deal with content that's similar for multiple products? For example - FAQ pages for different products where the only change is a title description/H1? Will having one page limit my ranking potential? Or should I create multiple pages?
    JM Says:
    Essentially that's up to you. I try to focus on combining those pages as much as possible so that you have one really strong page rather than essentially a diluted set of pages that are attached to your site. So as much as possible I try to do something like a rel=canonical pointing at your preferred version so that we can focus all of our signals on the canonical version. So that we can really show that version as high as possible in search.

    What will happen otherwise is we'll index these pages separately - we'll crawl them separately - and we'll try to figure out which one of these is most relevant in search. We'll pick one of them, we won't show all of them in search because it's essentially similar to the rest and that might not be the one that you want us to show it might not be as strong as you want us to show it because we essentially have to balance between different versions. So if you know that this content is essentially identical use a rel=canonical, point at the one that you want indexed, and we'll pick it up from there.
    Optimizing for Speed - How Good is Enough? (21:32)
    When optimizing for speed and using page speed insights is there a number for mobile and desktop...where we should know that we're good? It's hard to get 100% on both mobile and desktop. What are the ranking effects there?
    JM Says:
    Essentially we look at mostly mobile-friendliness which is part of that - which you can test with the mobile friendly test. And past that, the numbers that you see there are essentially more of a guidance for you with regards to what you can be focusing on or where you could be focusing your energies; where we or our system sees some issues that you might be able to resolve. It's not the case that you need to get 100%. For some sites it doesn't even make sense to get 100% there because you might know that you have a perfectly fast site but it's doing something that our systems are picking up and saying "Well, theoretically this could be a bad practice. Maybe you should consider doing it in a different way." But if you really know that you're doing it in the right way or in a way that's MORE efficient for your website then maybe that's fine. So - I'd focus on the mobile friendly test primarily...
    One Link On Multiple Sub-Pages - How Is That Calculated? (24:10)
    If from one domain going only a single link from a full article that googlebot finds this link on a couple of sub-pages from the original article intact sub-pages for example does the algorithm count this as one link only in the calculations?
    JM Says:
    So in WMT we would show that as multiple links so that we would probably give you one of those links as a sample in WMT but we count all of them that we actually find. The thing to keep in mind there - just because it's counted as multiple links doesn't mean that it's automatically seen as higher quality or higher value. We'll try to figure out how to evaluate those links individually. It's not that we would say "Well, there's three links from this website therefore it's 3 times as strong."
    Question 4 (24:50) is a Panda/Penguin question about when the next update will come.

    Answer 4 - take a look at our special thread all about this one: Google is working on updating the data for Panda and Penguin and wants it done faster

    Filtering Queries in WMT (Now GSC) Search Analytics (26:28)
    How can I filter queries by multiple words/phrases in WMT search analytics - also are keywords from the secure Google search included in those reports.
    JM Says:
    So first of all the easy question is - yes, keywords from the secure Google search are included in search query reports. It also includes things that Analytics wouldn't be showing where you'd see the "not provided in Google Analytics." That would also be included in the search analytics reports.

    Filtering queries by multiple phrases... I think that's something you'd have to do individually. So if you have multiple phrases, you'd have to test them individually and maybe download the data as a cse file or for Google spreadsheets and combine it on your side. It's not something that we would say you would be able to say "for this word or this word or this word" and just giving one aggregated [unintelligible]. At least not at the moment."
    Question 6 (35:10) is about the "Quality Update" that recently happened. You might have also heard it referred to as "Google Phantom."

    Answer 6 - we've got a thread just for Phantom/Quality here: Google Phantom Update: Were You Effected?

    What Other Algorithms Are There in the Zoo? (37:28)
    Does there exist another algorithm similar to Panda or Penguin which only works all the time now? If yes, is there any time to recover before the big refresh?
    JM Says:
    So we have lots and lots of algorithms which are running all the time and some of them run frequently, some of them run less frequently...so...I guess the answer is yes? There are lots of algorithms that are similar to the existing ones that are known and yes of course you can recover from algorithms when they run again. There's nothing exotic that I can announce to you like "We have a new animal that we can present to you."
    Rel=Canonical, Duplicate Pages, and Persistent Indexing (38:16)
    Having added the rel=canonical tag to some potential duplicate pages that are now pointing at a primary URL, I've noticed that these two pages are still indexed. How long should I wait before these pages are de-indexed? Will they ever get de-indexed?
    JM Says:
    Well, the rel=canonical tag is something that's on the page itself which means we have to crawl and index those pages to actually process that...so, in a sense, in order for us to keep using that rel=canonical tag we have to keep that page in our index. We have to know about that page, we have to crawl it from time to time to see what's actually on that page. So if you do something like a site query it's very possible that you'll still continue to see these pages there even though we're essentially passing all the signals that go to those pages to your preferred canonical. So this is something where I wouldn't focus on things like a site query or kind of...blindly focus on these individual URLs but instead assume that when these pages get crawled and processed for indexing and have a rel=canonical that those signals do get forwarded even if we still index those pages individually...
    No-Follow Disavows? (39:50)
    Do we need to ever disavow a no-follow link?
    JM Says:
    No...they don't pass any page rank, they don't pass any signals so...you can essentially ignore those completely.
    The next hangout is this Friday and it's focused on responsive web design: https://plus.google.com/events/cmunr...cmqulrmj34devo

    Does anyone find these things interesting/helpful? Maybe I should move this to the Newbie Q&A section, hmmm. Either way, discuss if you like!

    Comments on this post

    • dzine agrees : (0) Blast - no rep to give yet. WE NEED MORE TRANSCIPTS lol. Tx man.
    • fathom agrees
    • KernelPanic agrees : Thanks Mark
  2. #2
  3. rod@missionop.com
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    Straight up... taking John Mueller's SEO advice without an in-depth thorough review of your domain/website is a critical error in SEO logic. You have to consider a few things with everything they say.

    1. The one million mile view of the Earth lacks details. That is the info you'll get from Google.

    2. Googlers are bound by NDA with their employer, Google Inc. They will never disclose precisely "how to" so attempting to get them to provide you the "how to" that is actually "how to" is a flaw in your logic... it will never happen.

    3. Trying to use analogies to convey useful facts that don't violate their NDA don't always work well "off the cuff". Matt Cutts & John Mueller are perfect Public Relation Experts but it is still Public Relations and not 100% secret sauce fact finding information.

    I'll dispute some of JM claims from someone that isn't stuck with the million mile view or NDA and I certainly don't care about Google's public relations.

    Similar Content for Multiple Products? (19:15)
    Originally Posted by Question
    How do I deal with content that's similar for multiple products? For example - FAQ pages for different products where the only change is a title description/H1? Will having one page limit my ranking potential? Or should I create multiple pages?
    Originally Posted by JM
    Essentially that's up to you. I try to focus on combining those pages as much as possible so that you have one really strong page rather than essentially a diluted set of pages that are attached to your site. So as much as possible I try to do something like a rel=canonical pointing at your preferred version so that we can focus all of our signals on the canonical version. So that we can really show that version as high as possible in search.

    What will happen otherwise is we'll index these pages separately - we'll crawl them separately - and we'll try to figure out which one of these is most relevant in search. We'll pick one of them, we won't show all of them in search because it's essentially similar to the rest and that might not be the one that you want us to show it might not be as strong as you want us to show it because we essentially have to balance between different versions. So if you know that this content is essentially identical use a rel=canonical, point at the one that you want indexed, and we'll pick it up from there.
    Ignore JM comments. Organic search is not meant to rank ad copy. Duplicated or not. While I understand you want to rank "those pages" you can do that but you cannot focus your attention there.

    You have to approach this from an editorial vantage-point based on demonstrated expertise. A blog is the easiest way to do that. You need to ignore your ad copy pages.

    You'll never get ranked day one for the world view.

    You need to start small

    Matt Cutts discusses this using a game by Playstation called Katamari his analogy perfectly captures the impact of a non-SEO not being proficient with all the things you need to consider but his solution is to start small and grow as your experience grows. Matt Cutts on Katamari as it relates to niche blogging

    Becoming a DIY SEO trying to rank at the million mile view that JM is discussing "that is essentially up to you," but he doesn't really answer the question.

    Comments on this post

    • Will-O-The-Wisp agrees : I'm loving these rebuttals! I knew you'd have interesting things to say about this sort of stuff :)
    Last edited by fathom; Jun 11th, 2015 at 03:04 AM.
  4. #3
  5. rod@missionop.com
    SEO Chat Mastermind (5000+ posts)

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    So what are you starting small with?

    Blogging.

    The issue everyone starting out you have to start small.

    This is a great video by Matt Cutts where he quotes Peter Thiel and it can provide enormous inspiration. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-xZlyHnEoI

    "What do you believe that no one else does?" Whatever that is you are the World Renowned Expert with a theoretical 100% lock on that demand.

    Start small (a niche within a niche and even then go deeper within that niche) and research one thing out that no one else has ever done... the dividends will pay off.

    If you simply follow the crowd you'll never get noticed, you'll never gain the ranks you sought all your life because you never captured the natural links that provided the natural PageRank. Once you have that using it is very simple to rank those multiple product pages but not because you tried to rank them that simply happened because you showed the world your expertise in your craft.

    You need to start here then here then here then here then here then here then here then here then here then here and so on.
    Last edited by fathom; May 22nd, 2015 at 10:52 AM.
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  7. rod@missionop.com
    SEO Chat Mastermind (5000+ posts)

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    Took this from another thread

    WHITEHAT SEO is 100% about passion, which is synonymous with subject matter expertise.

    A passionate person about any topic is an expert on that topic that a layman cannot comprehend no matter how well they write, no matter how much web research they can do if they don't have passion about the topic they won't be any good at it.

    I have 4 passions in life: 1. SEO, 2. DEBUNKING SEO THEORIES, 3. COPYRIGHT, and 4. Working on this now Scuba Diving. The business I want to be doing is SCUBA DIVING and still stuck working on the first three because they change so much.

    If you don't have passion for the topic of your domain you won't likely write anything interesting that other websites with a readership will be interested in sharing with their membership - thus no or few natural links thus limited chance to rank, limited traffic potential and low possibility for revenue... thus the blackhat talent pool is all you can do.

    You can certainly hire all the experts that are passionate about their craft but that is why WHITEHAT is so expensive.
    Last edited by fathom; May 21st, 2015 at 02:29 PM.

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