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JOHN MUELLER: OK,
welcome everyoneto today's Google Webmaster
Central Office Hours Hangout.My name is John Mueller.I'm a webmaster trends analyst
at Google in Switzerlandand currently in the US.We have a bunch of questions
that were submitted already.If you're watching this,
you can add questionswhile we have the
session as well.And if you're in here live,
feel free to ask questionsduring the course of
the Hangout as well.Maybe we can start off with
a live question as well.Does any one of you want
to ask a question first?
AUDIENCE: Sure.Can I start, John?Hey, nice to see you again.I have an SEO strictly
related question.Are keywords using
URL compositionused as a ranking signal?
JOHN MUELLER: You mean
keywords in the URL?
JOHN MUELLER: I think that might
be some small factor that wetake into account, but it's
definitely not the main factor,and not something
where we'd say,if you put your
keywords in your URLs,then you'd see any kind
of visible ranking change.So that's something
more subtle than that.So it's not the
case that you needto put your keywords
in your URLs.When we talk to
the engineers here,they even say you
shouldn't artificiallyrewrite your URLs
because chances are,you'll get it wrong.And you'll cause more
problems than youwould even partially fix there.So that's something where
we do take that into accountslightly, but it's
not enough of a factorthat I say you
should ever changeyour URL structure to do that.
AUDIENCE: I understand.So if you choose between a short
URL and a keyword-rich URL,you would go with the short URL?
JOHN MUELLER: It's really hard
to say because there is somany other factors that
are always involved there.But if, for example, you had
a choice between a URL thatwas fairly long that included
all your various keywordsin there, and the URL that
was short and used parameters,then I'd definitely
go with the onethat uses parameters instead.
AUDIENCE: OK, John.Thank you.
JOHN MUELLER: All right.Let's grab some more
from the Q&A here.These are kind of ranked by the
number of people who clicked +1on there.So in the future, if you see
a question that you like,make sure you click the +1
button in the Q&A feature.Let's see, the first one here."How can you notify
a change of addressif you move a site to a folder?For example, I had site.fr,
and now I have site.com/fr,like in a subdirectory.The old domain redirects
directly to the new /fr folder.Webmaster Tools says I
can't change the addressunless it redirects
from root to root."Yes, that's currently-- let's
say the way the Webmaster Toolsfeature works, in that you have
to redirect from your site'shomepage from one
domain to another oneto make a clear change
of address signal for us.But if you're using
clear redirects,if you're not blocking
those redirectsfrom being seen with
the robots.txt file,then that's enough of a
signal for us as well.This change of address
to feature mostlyhelps us just if you
have a one-to-one movefrom one domain to another one.As soon as you change
folders, as soonas you change the
URL structure, thenthis tool doesn't
really help you.It doesn't make sense for that.So setting up the
normal redirectsand letting those run
naturally is essentiallywhat you should be doing here.What I'd also do there is
set up a rel="canonical"so you have that as an extra
signal as well so that wedon't just see one domain
redirecting to another onebut also having that confirm on
that target domain really kindof helps us there."A keyword our old SEO
used in 2011 and 2012,and we've been removing,
disavowing, ever since,has been used by a high quality
news website as an anchor textto us totally naturally
in the last three weeks.Should I disavow and remove
that to be on the safe side?"If this is a completely
natural link,you don't have to disavow that.You can keep that.That's a great link
to have, I guess.So just because it uses a
keyword that you previouslyused for kind of
problematic reasonsdoesn't necessarily make
this link a bad one."What's the longest time Google
has waited before refreshingan algorithm that
holds websites back?Does Google get to the
point of one or two yearsand decide to make the
algorithm redundant?"I don't know for sure
how long the longesttime an algorithm
has been in place is,but essentially a lot
of our algorithms,they stay in place
the way they are,and they just keep
running with updated data,and they keep doing
the same things.Some algorithms are a
little bit more problematicin that we need to double check
the data that they generate.For example, the
Penguin algorithmis something like that.So that's something that
I believe has been almost,eight, nine months,
something like that.Some people will
probably know for sure.That's something I know the
engineers are working onto create an update
to that as well.So that's definitely
coming at some point.It's really hard to
say otherwise pastthat because there are lots of
things that just stay in placefor a really long time,
and they work reallywell the way that they are.It's not the case that we have
to kind of update the algorithmall the time just
to keep it fresh,because maybe it's
doing the right thing.That said, if we recognize
that there's a chanceto kind of deprecate an
algorithm because it'sno longer necessary, that's
something we love to do.Anything that, where, if you're
running a website, if you'rerunning any kind of
software systems,if you know that you can remove
something that you don't reallyneed anymore, then
that saves youcomplexity from maintenance.That makes it a lot easier
for you to kind of moveforward as well
because you don'thave to keep thinking
about this old thingthat you have in place
that doesn't reallydo anything useful there.So if there's a chance
that we can removesome algorithms because
they're no longer needed,and we love doing that.It's not that we just stick
to them for no reason.So if we can remove something
because it's no longer needed,we'll try to do that.And that's the case, I
think, across the boardwith all of our systems,
where if we can recognizethat some code is no longer
needed because it works reallywell without that
code, then we'lltake it out and make things a
little bit leaner and easierto move forward with.Moved to SSL sitewide, created
a new HTTPS site in WebmasterTools, but I can't use
the change of address toolbecause the new
HTTPS site doesn'tappear in the available domains.Yes, that's a problem.We're looking at that
with the engineersto see what we can do to update
the change of address toolto handle that a
little bit better.We think moving to HTTPS
is a great thing to do,so we've been kind of cataloging
all the places where Googleuses HTTP and HTTPS
and making surethat, from a web
master's point of view,we make it as easy
as possible to movefrom one type of
connection to another type,and kind of making it so that
there's as little holding youback from moving to
HTTPS as possible.
JOHN MUELLER: Yes.
AUDIENCE: That was
me for this answer.There is a real benefit to use
SSL, HTTPS, and SEO benefit?There's a real benefit.
JOHN MUELLER: At
the moment, we'renot using that as
a ranking signal,so it's not the case that if you
have everything on HTTPS, thenwe'd automatically promote
your website in search.But that's something we might
look at in the future, if wethink that this is
a good thing to do,if the metrics that come out
of our analysis there saysay that this is the
right thing to do.But for purely
for SEO reasons, Idon't think there is any
real difference between HTTPand HTTPS.I imagine there are a lot
of second order factorsthat are involved,
such as user trust,and depending on the type
of data that you have,whether or not they
recommend your website,if they want to stay
on your website,if they had do more things
on your website than justthe basic things.But that's something
that doesn't reallyhave a direct SEO aspect to it.
AUDIENCE: OK, thanks.
JOHN MUELLER: I work
for a pharma company.The problem is that some of
our products' descriptionis the same, except
for strength.For example, some product
10 and some product 20are two different products
with different strengths.If I create two
separate product pages,will it be treated
as duplicate content?First off, I guess yes, we would
recognize the duplicate contenton these pages because
it's duplicate content.If the rest of the
page is the same,and you're just changing
the 10 against the 20,then that's something where
we'd see if the rest of the pageis being duplicate.But from a practical point
of view, that's not somethingyou absolutely need
to be worried about.It's not something where
we would penalize a websiteor demote it in
search just because ithas duplicate content on it.So essentially what
happens here iswe recognize that these
pages are almost the same.We'll index both of them.And depending on what the
user is searching for,we'll show one or the other.We won't show both
of them in search,but we might show maybe
the 10 if we recognizethe user's searching for
something with a 10 in it,or we might show just one or
the other kind of dependingon the other factors
that we have,if someone is searching just
generally for this page.
AUDIENCE: I just wanted
to go back to the questionpreviously about the SSL.So for instance, there's
the $30. one, the $10 one,and there's the $100 one,
which is the premium one.But if you get the
$30 one, Google Chromewill say it's not
as-- the user hasn'tidentified their identity.My question to you
is, for the future,do you think it's just better
to get the $100 certificate?The one that really verifies
the business all the way.
JOHN MUELLER: I don't know.I imagine the
pricing depends a loton where you get
those certificates.So it's not that I'd say the
$30 is this specific certificatetype, but rather it's
just this productthat this one supplier
is essentially offering.So I don't know exactly what's
behind those different numbersthere.What we do say it
is to make surethat your certificate
uses 2048 bits at least.And we've seen, I think
most of the suppliersoffer those kind
of certificates.What you definitely don't need
is the extended validationcertificate, the EV one with
the little green bar on top.That's something that may
make sense for your users,but it's not really what we're
looking for at the moment.So at the moment, if you
make sure that the connectionbetween users and your website
is just secured appropriately,then that's something
that we thinkmakes a lot of sense in
general and somethingthat we would like to
recommend that webmasters do.
AUDIENCE: Yeah, I know.The reason I'm
saying is [INAUDIBLE]it could continue
with the transitionbecause the user is used
to seeing the green.So it goes to the bank,
the bank sees HTTPS,and it goes to somewhere else.It's all green.And then if it sees the red,
it's crossed with the next.
JOHN MUELLER: That sounds
more like somethingbroken with that specific
certificate then.It shouldn't be that Chrome is
making a decision and saying,oh, this certificate
looks kind of shady.It's technically OK, but
it looks kind of weird.I imagine something might be
broken what that certificate.There's I think a site--
what is it, Qualis.Let me find the URL.They have a testing
tool for certificates.
AUDIENCE: Yeah, yeah.I have it, yeah.
JOHN MUELLER: That
essentially gives you a gradeand says this is
working as it should be.It's like grade A or
whatever kind of scoringthey have there.That's something I do
with the certificatesjust to make sure that you've
got it set up correctly,that you have it set up with
subdomains or wildcard domainsor whatever you're using there.
AUDIENCE: Yeah, I saw the
video with Igor and Pierre.
JOHN MUELLER: Yeah.OK.
JOHN MUELLER: Yeah.
AUDIENCE: So if a
site is using SSL,and say there's a problem
with their certificate,maybe it hasn't been
renewed properly,or sometimes it's a server
issue, even though the SSL'snot a ranking
factor, if a site didhave problems with a certificate
for a continued amount of time,can that be a low
quality signal thatcould cause a demotion
related to Panda or somethinglike that?I saw something once
that gave me the idea.It just makes me wonder if it
was that or something else.
JOHN MUELLER: Yeah.So we wouldn't
actively demote a sitejust because it has
a broken certificate.But there are two things
that could happen.On the one hand, we could send
a message via Webmaster Toolssaying hey, the
certificate is broken.You should fix that.Which I think is kind
of like pointing outthe technical problems
because if the user clickson that search result, then
they'll see that warning first.They won't see the content.So that's kind of pointing
out the technical issue first.The other thing
that we might do isif we see the same
content on HTTP and HTTPS,and we recognize that the
certificate on HTTPS is broken,then we might choose to kind
of change our canonicalizationtowards HTTP for those URLs.So instead of showing
the broken HTTPS link,we'll show the HTTP
link in search results.But that doesn't mean that
we would demote that siteor that we would change
its ranking in any way.We just-- essentially,
if we knowthat the content is the
same, and one of themhas a broken certificate,
we'll show youthe version that actually works.
AUDIENCE: OK.Yeah, I've seen that when a
site has both, and sometimesthe links get a
little bit mixed up,then I've seen that common
problem with links gettingbumped down.
JOHN MUELLER: So
this is somethingthat sometimes happens with
hosters, that they set uptheir website on HTTP
and HTTPS automatically,even if the website owner
doesn't have a certificate.And from our point
of view, that'stechnically not really correct.We'll try to recognize
that and pointto the HTTP version in search.But from a practical
point of view,that's essentially a problem
that the website ownershould be fixing in that either
the site should be respondingto HTTPS and have a
certificate that's legitimate,or they shouldn't be
responding to HTTPS at allif they don't have a certificate
that's really valid there.
AUDIENCE: And when we're
changing to Secure SocketLayer, John, do you prefer
us to use page level 301,or would you prefer
a rel=canonical,or is either fine?What would be better there?
JOHN MUELLER: I'd used both.So redirecting is
definitely a good thing.You need to redirect if
you want to use somethinglike HSTS, where essentially
you're telling everyonethey should use HTTPS or
not access that site at all.So that's what you
need to use a redirect.But essentially, from a
point of canonicalization,having a redirect helps.Having a rel=canonical helps.Having clear internal
linking helps,where you're kind of not
pointing to the version that'sactually redirecting, but
pointing to the versionthat you want to keep.All of that helps.And these are essentially
normal canonicalizationsthat you would do
with any move from wwwto non-www as well, or from one
domain to a different domain.And I think most
of you guys havea lot of practice
with site moves.So this isn't really that
much more complicated,past setting up the
certificate and all that.
AUDIENCE: The certificate
can take a week, by the way.So if you want certain content.
AUDIENCE: So aggregate
signals are a better signalthan a single signal, if
I could put it that way.
JOHN MUELLER: Well, the clearer
you could give us your signals,the more likely we'll
take them into account.That's, I think, always kind of
the case when it comes to SEO.And if you give us conflicting
signals, then chances are wemight not do it the
way that you expect.So for example, if you have
rel=canonical set to HTTP,and the redirect is pointing to
HTTPS, then we're seeing, hey,he wants HTTP indexed,
but on the other hand,the URL says no,
well actually, HTTPS.And in a case like
that, we essentiallysay, well, we have to
make a decision somehow.We'll just pick
one or the other.And if the webmaster had a
strong preference one wayor the other, then maybe
we'll choose the wrong one.So if you can give us
really clear, consistenttechnical signals and
say I'm redirecting,I'm really confirming this
link, and internally I'malso linking to
this version, thenthat's a really strong
sign for us to say hey,I think maybe he wants
this URL indexed like that.He doesn't want the other one.
AUDIENCE: I understand,
John, but thereis a time, an amount of time, to
get this [INAUDIBLE] indexing.[INAUDIBLE] use 301
redirects but still lostpositions in search for
going HTTP to HTTPS.
JOHN MUELLER: That shouldn't
really be happening.That's something
where if we see--I mean, we do this
on a per URL basis,so that when we crawl one URL,
we see the different versions,we'll pick one of those
and index it like that.So that's something where if you
do something like a site queryand look at those URLs directly,
if you look at the index statusinformation in
Webmaster Tools, you'llsee that for the HTTP
version, it slightly goes up,and for the other one,
it slightly goes out.Like a clear transition where
it goes from HTTP to HTTPS.So you'll always see a
slight transition there,but you shouldn't really
see a drop in rankingsif you're moving
from HTTP to HTTPS.That should essentially be a
more granular, a gradual movefrom one version to the
other, and the other versionshould essentially just be
picking that up normally.It might be different
if you're moving domainsat the same time,
if you're changingyour site's structure
at the same time.But just moving
from HTTP to HTTPS,with everything else
remaining the same,you shouldn't really
be seeing any dropsin rankings for that
kind of [INAUDIBLE].
AUDIENCE: Yeah, but the
funny thing is we drop.We lose all our
rankings in [INAUDIBLE].
JOHN MUELLER: I'd love to
have some examples of that.Yeah.So if you can send me
some examples where you'reseeing that, then that would
be really useful for us.My guess is that
you're seeing effectsfrom something that's unrelated
to this move from HTTPto HTTPS.But there definitely
shouldn't beanything where we'd say, they're
doing a site move from oneversion of their domain
to a different versionof the same domain,
that we would changeany of the ranking signals
associated with that.But please do send
me some examplesthere if you're seeing
that with your siteor with the client site
or something like that.I'd love to take a look
at that and make surethat we're doing the
right thing there.
AUDIENCE: OK, thanks.
JOHN MUELLER: All right.If a site blocks CSS
Google place less trustin that site, which will
be reflected in the searchresults?And are you going to start a
blog similar to Matt Cutts?I do have a blog, but because
it hasn't been updatedsince, I don't know,
a really long time,I guess nobody really
knows about that.Which is probably a good
thing at this point.
AUDIENCE: And your Twitter.
JOHN MUELLER: I'm on Google+.With regards to CSS and
because then we won'tbe able to pick up all the
information from those pages.So it's less of a
problem in the sensethat we'd lose
trust in that site.But if CSS or
really unique and compellingon that site, if
we can't see it,then we can't credit that
site with that content.So if you're using AJAX
to pull in more content,or if you're using other
content or display itin a really neat way,
then if [INAUDIBLE] that,then we can't really credit
that site with that unique stuffthat they have there.So it's not that we
lose trust in that,but we just wouldn't be able
to rank it for any content thatmight be created through
those [? files. ?]"I've noticed that
many large sites havea link to a short summary about
them sourced from Wikipedia.If we create a Wikipedia
page about our company,will it be seen as spammy
or unnatural by Google?"We can't really
speak for the contentthat's created on Wikipedia.So from my point
of view, you cando whatever Wikipedia's
guidelines allow on Wikipedia.But essentially, they
have, as far as I know,fairly strict guidelines
on which contentthey want to keep for the
long run and which content--
JOHN MUELLER: Needs to be
updated and referenced.So that's something
where you probablyneed to check with them and
not really check with us.
AUDIENCE: Now, be
careful [INAUDIBLE] theycan ban you for life too, so.John, that was my question
just because I don't know--the results I'm
talking about, likesome of [INAUDIBLE]
competing terms,there's a little gray link
in the search results,that you kind of hit
the little arrow,and it just gives you a
little summary of the company.So I don't know whether
we'll do it or not,but I just wanted to make
sure that we wouldn'tbe doing anything
against Google's policiesby doing that on Wikipedia.So thank you.
JOHN MUELLER: Yeah.So we do pull I think some of
that at least from Wikipedia.And we kind of show a short
summary of the websiteor the business behind that.And I really don't know
what the guidelines arefrom Wikipedia's point of
view about what you can createyourself, whereas what
other people create for you,what you can update yourself.I have no idea what the
guidelines are there.But double check
with them or read upon what's allowed there,
and see if it makes sense.See if it's something
that's notable or whateverfor Wikipedia.And maybe it makes sense to
kind of just double checkto see that there's
an entry there.I really can't
speak for Wikipedia.
AUDIENCE: It's just they don't
want branded information,like the sources
must be reliable.And it has to be written
by a Wikipedia contributor,or else it will get deleted.
JOHN MUELLER: Yeah,
I really don'twant to recommend that everyone
goes off and fills Wikipediawith a blurb for their website.I imagine that's not in
Wikipedia's best interests.So you really-- just
kind of be carefulwith those kind of things.And this isn't
something where we'dsay this website has
an entry on Wikipedia,therefore we'll rank it higher.Whether or not we can
show that informationor not is something
slightly different.Maybe we can pull content
from various sourcesto get a more objective
view of the site.But this is really
more somethingwhere I think you need to be
kind of careful that you don'tjust spam other people's
websites in the hopethat it helps your
AUDIENCE: And even if
you do it, John-- I justwanted to add to that
because I have some Wikiexperience-- they'll consider
you as a sock puppet,and you just get deleted.So their bot is
very sophisticated.So that's it.
what about the issuewe spoke about in the last
Hangout, where I showed youan example of where it's
[INAUDIBLE] being abused?There was an example
in the last Hangoutwe looked at the keyword was,
what is a virtual office.
JOHN MUELLER: Yeah, I
passed that onto the team.I think that wasn't actually
from Wikipedia, though.
AUDIENCE: No, it wasn't.
JOHN MUELLER: That was
from some other sitethat we pulled that from, yeah.I passed that onto the team
to take a look at there.That's something
where I think it's nota matter of people spamming
Google to get that in there,but kind of a technical
problem on our sidethat we need to be careful
about what we show as answersin the snippets there.
AUDIENCE: Yeah.And it all comes down to the
same thing over and over,and that is the reaction time
to these things being resolved.This comes back to
the same questionI asked many, many,
many months ago,and there is now,
for the key termvirtual office, or
virtual office London,there is one business in
there that is spamming.And if there's not one person
who could say they're not.And yet they still exist, which
takes us to the whole churnand burn thing.And it's perpetuating
the success of it.And with those things not
being dealt with quickly,we're seeing it happen more
and more and more oftenin multiple niches.If they're doing it in my niche,
it's happening everywhere else.
JOHN MUELLER: Yeah.I mean, this is
something where wetry to take the
appropriate steps.And sometimes, manual
action isn't the right thingto do in steps like this,
where as it makes more senseto update our algorithms
to be a little bit moresophisticated in that regard.So I think that's
the direction we'reheading with these
answers in the sensethat we're not going to
manually vet all of theseor manually go
through all of these.But if we can make sure that
our algorithms are doingthe right things by bringing
useful information upin the search results
like that, then that'ssomething we can fix not
just for one search result,but maybe for millions of
other search results as well.[INAUDIBLE]
this is whatyou've been doing
for years, though.You've been doing this for
years and years and years,ever since I've been
using Google, whichis from its inception, is that
you fix things with algorithms.But the algorithms take
six months in many casesto catch up.And the result of that is
that these sites are ready.They're waiting for when
their site gets pulled down,they have another one waiting.This particular business has
been doing this for many years,and has been
successful in stayingup there with a new website
and being in the top threecontinuously.And I've seen this in
many, many industries.So that solution doesn't work.What you need is
some kind of markerthat you can basically say,
right, remove these sites,and then let's write
some code to factor theminto the next algorithm.Start clean sheet again, and
start marking sites up again.Because otherwise, you're just
telling everybody right now,concentrate, if it's
worth it for your keyword,concentrate on the
churn and burn site,get up there, and then
just start a new one.And there's plenty of businesses
that have a lot of money wherethis is very beneficial
for them to do so.And they will do it
and are doing it.For smaller people,
it's very difficultto maintain multiple sites.But believe me, for these
big sites, affiliates,for people who are selling
car-related, sell your car,things like that-- I've
highlighted many things to youin the past-- they're doing
it, they're still doing it,and they will continue to do it.And they're bad results.They're not good for
the customer support.It's the wrong approach.We all want to make
the results better.
JOHN MUELLER: That's good, yeah.I mean, this is something that,
as you've seen in the past,it's kind of a balance between
what we do on a manual sideand what we do on
the algorithmic side.And there are definitely
some situationswhere we could and
should be doing better,and there's lots of
situations where we push backa lot on the
engineers to say OK,instead of waiting
another half a yearto work on this
algorithm, we needto find a manual
solution in the meantimeto make sure that at least
these sites that are causinga lot of problems here
are kind of taken care of.But it's tricky to
find a balance there,and as you can
imagine, like I said,especially with
churn and burn sites,doing things manually
is a lot of work.A lot of cycles
that are essentiallylost on things that just get
flipped over to something elseon the next turn.So finding a balance
between manually taking outsome of these and
algorithmicallyhandling them better in the
long run is always a problem.And I think you'll always
find these kind of situationswhere some of these sites
are still getting through,and others are kind of
waiting to be kind of letthrough the search
results because they'redoing everything
right, and that'ssomething where we're definitely
working with engineers to makesure that those that are doing
things right continuouslyalso get shown appropriately
in the search results.But I totally understand
your frustration,and we do bring that
to the engineersas well when we're
working on these problems.
AUDIENCE: Yeah.Isn't the reality
of the situation,if you clean up the
problem right now,and you basically
show people, look,you're not going to
last more than a coupleof days or a week,
then the systemitself will fix the issue?People won't have to
actually do this anymore.You will have stamped
out the program,and people will know not to
waste their money doing it.It won't work.And therefore, you don't
have a lot of overheadsto deal with once you've
proven your point.
JOHN MUELLER: There are
a lot of sites out there.So manually doing the whole
internet is really tricky.When I talk with
the web spam team,I see they're busy all the time.And there are lots of
people on the web spam teamthat are working on these
kind of manual problems.But there are really
a lot of sitesout there, a lot of
search results, thatcould theoretically be
cleaned up manually,but it's a lot of work.So that's why we
put so much effortalso into creating
these algorithms thatcatch these a little
bit more broadly.But your point is
definitely taken,and it's something that we
do bring back to the teamsregularly.
AUDIENCE: There's a lot of
free workers here as well.We're all here to work for free.So don't forget to use us.
JOHN MUELLER: I can imagine
you're not working for free,but I totally accept your point
that we could be doing moreto kind of use those spam
reports a little bit better.
AUDIENCE: Thanks, John.
JOHN MUELLER: All right."We had a link attack
on our main keywordthat we had ranking
between one and four.When I noticed that we had this
attack, I found spammed linksand disavowed them,
but our keyword rankingfell down to between 12 and 20.What can I do to recover?"I think, first of all, if this
is something that is timewisefairly close
together, then chancesare those two situations
aren't related.And maybe there's something else
that our algorithm's picked upon your sites that
we're seeing problems.So this is something
where I'd firsttry to get help
from the communityas well, from other webmasters
to at least vet your siteand make sure that it's of
the highest quality possible.So this is something
where theoretically therecould be some connection
here, but in practice, thisis something that we
really rarely see.So I'd really recommend,
first all, taking it to peersand having them
take a look at that.If you absolutely can't
find anything there,if it really looks like
something [INAUDIBLE]on our side, then feel free to
send that to me, for example,on Google+, and I'll pass that
on to the team here to makesure that we're doing
the right thing there.I can't always get back
to a lot of these reports,but I do pass them onto
the team to make surethat they're aware
of this problem,and that they can double check.If you have two TLEs, a .com and
a .couk, both using HREF lang,should links between
those sites be no follow?I think you can make
those links normal.This is something where if
you have a handful of sites,and you're linking to
a different version,[INAUDIBLE] reason [INAUDIBLE]
language or the geotargeting,those kind of things,
then linking between thoseis completely natural
and not somethingthat you'd have to
block unnaturally.Obviously, if you
have 200 sites,and they're all
on the same topic,and they're all
cross-linking like that,then that can look a
lot like a collectionof doorway pages, doorway sites.But if these are two
sites, then I reallydon't see any problem
linking between those two.
AUDIENCE: Yeah, John,
that was my question.That was just a quick one, if
I was to push people to my UKsite, or push them to the .com
at the bottom or something likethat as a reference point,
I just wanted to make sureif you're doing that, there's
nofollow or dofollow issueswith my internal linking because
that's not the intention.
JOHN MUELLER: That's
absolutely fine.And a lot of sites do
this across the site,so between the
individual page versionsas well, in that they'll
take that HREF linkand also put it into the text,
where you have like a flag youcould switch between UK
and US, or UK and global,or whatever you have.And those links are
absolutely fine.That's not something
that you needto block from passing pagerank.
AUDIENCE: OK.Thanks, John.Is there any benefit SEO wise?Not that I'm doing it for
that reason, but [INAUDIBLE]?
JOHN MUELLER: Well, they
would pass pagerank,so that's something where
you'd be sharing your pagerank across those two sites.So to some extent,
that can make sense.It can help to get those pages
indexed a little bit faster.As far as I understand,
in your case,it's not a matter of indexing.So theoretically, that's
totally up to you.Personally, I would
just link normallybetween those two versions.Because they're essentially two
versions of the same content.It's not something that is
seen like an advertisementor that kind of thing.
AUDIENCE: OK.Thanks, John.
JOHN MUELLER: All of our
website article pageshave a link to the PDF version
of the article for peopleto download.Will these PDF files be
seen as duplicate contentand lead to a penalty?Should the PDF files be
blocked in the robots.txt file?So first of all, we don't
treat duplicate contentwithin a website in a bad way.You won't get a penalty for
having duplicate content.So it's not something
that you absolutelyneed to kind of
block or take care ofor handle in any special way.What will probably
happen is we'llindex these PDF files as well.We'll index them as PDF
files and show them in searchwhen we think that they
make sense to users.Usually what will happen
is for normal queries,we'll show your normal HTML
pages because they're reallywell linked, and they give
that information really well.And if we can
recognize that someoneis looking for something
specifically like a PDF,then we'll show that
in search instead.But there's no downside to
doing this, essentially.The only thing I can
think of at the momentis that PDF files,
like images or docfiles that you
have on your pages,tend to change less
frequently than HTML content,so we'll probably not
crawl them as frequently.So if you have content
on your websitethat changes fairly quickly, and
you have all of that in a PDFfile as well, then
chances are we'llindex the PDF file
once and maybe leave itthe same for a couple of months
or even a year or longer,and we'll just be updating
the HTML content in that timeregularly during
our normal crawls.So what might happen is that
the PDF that we have indexedis kind of out of sync
with the HTML pagethat you actually
have on your website.Sometimes that doesn't matter.Sometimes maybe that's more
of a problem, if you have,for example, a news
website, and youdon't want the old versions
be found in search.Then maybe it makes sense to
kind of block those PDF filesfrom being indexed.But past that,
there's no penaltyfor having PDF files
indexed like that.There's also no
inherent advantagewhere we'd say, oh, if you have
all of your content as a PDF,we'll treat that as being higher
quality content than your HTMLcontent.So if you're doing
this for the users,end users kind of
like that, like beingable to access those PDF files.Or you think people might
be searching for PDF filesspecifically, then go ahead.Leave them indexed.If you're kind of-- if you have
a very dynamic website thatchanges quickly, then probably
having everything as a PDF filedoesn't make that much sense.So it's essentially up to you.Is it recommended for webmasters
to place link-worthy contentlike blogs in subfolders
rather than subdomains?From our point of view,
whatever you want.You can put it in
subfolders, subdomains.It's not something
that we'd say youneed to do in any special way.Sometimes there are technical
reasons for subdomains.Maybe you have to put
it on a different host,a different server.It's essentially up to you.It's not something
where we'd say,this way is better
than that way.
AUDIENCE: Can we just
ask a quick questionabout that little green
thing on top of the browser?
JOHN MUELLER: That
little green thing.OK, go for it.Which one do you mean?
AUDIENCE: That little thing--
is that little green PR thing,when is that going
to get updated?
JOHN MUELLER: That little
green-- oh, the PageRank,toolbar PageRank.
JOHN MUELLER: I have no idea.Is it stuck, or is it--
AUDIENCE: It's not moving.
JOHN MUELLER: It's not moving.So I don't know.I don't even have a browser
that shows the page rank.
AUDIENCE: Well, I
use a browser whenI need to just look at it once
in a while, and it's called IE.
JOHN MUELLER: OK.
counted, and it's227 days since the
last PageRank updated.
JOHN MUELLER: OK.I know last time we had
more of a technical issue,that we basically didn't
update it for a while.I don't know if
there is anythingsimilar like that at the moment.But essentially, we don't
recommend using PageRankas any kind of an actual metric.It's something we've used
in a browser for a while,and we've traditionally
updated it from time to time,but I wouldn't be that
surprised if it disappearedat some point or another.But I will definitely
check with the teamto see if something
got stuck thereor what's happening there.
AUDIENCE: My question was,
that the PageRank algorithm isso old, and you guys patch
your algorithms so much,you have so many patches
on top of patches,is the link-based PageRank
algorithm really even relevantanymore?
JOHN MUELLER: I
mean, we still usePageRank as one of
the signals that weuse for crawling and indexing.So that's something--
it still makes sense.I mean, there have been
updates to the algorithmsI believe for a while.But it's still something
that's being used.And we do still see
links within the webas being relevant and
helpful for recognizingthe kind of content that we
need to crawl more frequentlyor that we need to
write differently maybe,those kind of [INAUDIBLE].
AUDIENCE: Before you
said you use-- you justsaid a second ago you use page
rank for crawling and indexing.
JOHN MUELLER: And ranking.
AUDIENCE: And ranking, OK.
[? We're being ?] [? clear, ?]OK.
JOHN MUELLER: I totally didn't
want to throw that in there,but I missed the word, yeah.
AUDIENCE: OK, just
making sure, thanks.
JOHN MUELLER: That would
have been [INAUDIBLE].
the headlines are coming.
JOHN MUELLER: Oh, gosh.Now I need to make sure
I put my poker face on,that you don't read into
anything about the wordsthat I missed.
AUDIENCE: So that's [INAUDIBLE].
AUDIENCE: Hours and
hours reading everythinginto everything
that you say, John.
AUDIENCE: We try to [INAUDIBLE].
[INAUDIBLE] PageRank.We just don't think
it's that muchof an actionable
metric for webmastersto actually focus on.So I don't know if
this is somethingthat we would update the
algorithm for to kind of-- Idon't, update the
new toolbar PageRank,or if this is something where
the engineers have said,oh, well, we
haven't updated now,and since hardly anyone's
using the toolbar nowadays,maybe it doesn't
really make senseto keep focusing on that data.
AUDIENCE: All the SEOs
are using the toolbar.
AUDIENCE: No, we're not.But John, don't you
see a bit of a problemfor Google's guidelines
in this sense,that the PageRank
algorithm was published,and then the guidelines
were published,and people decided to make
some links, rightly or wronglyor whatever.And then the guidelines
were changed to say,don't ask for links.And I believe that's
still Google's policy.But let's say, just
hypothetically, Googlewanted to use a different
recommendation factor,like social shares or whatever.Now you're in the
position where,if everyone thinks
that's a factor,you're going to have to
put in your guidelines,please don't ask for
social shares either.You know what I mean?So you're kind of in a catch-22,
where people made links,and now you have to tell
them don't ask for links.And now people think
you're going to use shares,and so they're going
to ask for shares.Is there any point in
the future where you'regoing to have to ask, don't
ask for social shares?
JOHN MUELLER: I don't know.I don't know.Good question.I mean, this is
something where--this is one of
the reasons why weuse so many different
factors in our algorithmsfor crawling, indexing, and
ranking, in that we try notto rely on just one factor
completely because we knowthat this is something that
could be gamed by spammers whoare trying to create
content in a really bad way,and it could be
confusing to thosewho are trying to create content
in a good way, in that theydon't know, what should
I be focusing on?Should I focus on
making my website great,or should I be focusing
on this individual factorthat Google has mentioned in
one of their technical documentsa while back?So that's something
where we try to havea diverse set of factors that
we use for crawling, indexing,and ranking, so that we don't
have to rely on any one factortoo much.But sometimes it's
very tricky, and it'sproblematic in that
some of these factorsmight be stronger
than others, or mighthave different kinds of effects
in different situations.So we need to make sure
that we can figure outwhen abuse is happening
in some algorithmic way,if at all possible.And if we can't handle it
completely algorithmically,then maybe some manual way
as well to handle the abuse,and also to give it webmasters'
guidelines on what they shouldbe doing to create great
content in the right way.So for example, we have
the same kind of situationwhen it comes to rich
snippets, in that peoplecan use rich snippets
in a variety of ways.And we'll try to use that
to understand the pagecontent a lot better and
to show that in searchappropriately to the
users when they'researching for something.And for example,
recipe rich snippetsshows this nice little picture
of the final item that you'recooking or creating and
lets you specify thingslike calories, cooking
time, those kind of things.And we've noticed that people
try to abuse that by saying,OK, well, everything on my
site is a kind of a recipe,and I just want you to show
this picture of my logo insteadof this picture of the cookies
that someone else mightbe creating.And they're essentially
abusing the whole systemto kind of promote
their site in a waythat we think isn't really
fair, that doesn't reallyfit in with the rest of the web.So those are the kind
of things that wetry to catch algorithmically.We try to catch them
manually as wellwhere we can't catch
them algorithmically.And the type of things where
we put that into our guidelinesas well and say,
hey, you should onlybe using rich snippets for the
primary content of your pages.And if you're abusing it
in any way like this, thenmaybe you'll have to
take action on the waythat we understand your
site, the way that weuse the content from
your site within search.
AUDIENCE: Well, I
think-- I hope youget my point that if you
have published guidelinesof what to do and
what not to do,[INAUDIBLE] play all those cards
completely close to your chestbecause you have
to at least tell ussome things in the guidelines
of what to do or not to do.Or if Google's going to
take the public relationsstrategy of not publishing any
guidelines, and just saying,we use all the signals.Don't ask us about signals.There are no signals.Then people are going
to use all the signals.So you're kind of darned if
you do and darned if you don't.
JOHN MUELLER: I think
from our point of view,we try to err on the side
of transparency nowadays,in that we think if we
help webmasters to createreally great websites, then
there are some people thatwill actually take
that informationand use that in the right way to
kind of create something that'sreally helpful and useful
that we can also understandfrom an algorithmic point
of view a lot better.So that's something
where I believeif you go back, maybe 10 years
or so, you would have heardalmost nothing from Google,
and Google would have basicallysaid, we'll take a look
at the web and indexand rank it accordingly.Whereas nowadays, I think
it makes a lot more senseto actually talk to
webmasters and make surethat they're doing
the right thing,but they understand
where we're headed,where we want to show more
content, where we can see,OK, there are lots of people,
for example, on mobilewho are looking
for your website,but every time they
go to your website,they get this really
bad experience.You should be doing more to
create a good mobile website.Whereas in the past,
maybe we wouldn'thave said anything about that.But by bringing it
out into the open,I think we can generally do
more good than we can do harm.Obviously, we can't bring out
all of our ranking factorsinto the open because a lot
of that is really hard work,and there are lots of
other searchers out therethat want to reuse that too.And there are spammers
that want to kindof focus on individual
items and really tryto tweak their websites to
kind of get past this onelittle hurdle that they find.But as much as
possible, we'd reallylike to bring this information
out to the webmasterbecause we think they can make
a lot better sites if theyhave a little bit of guidance.
do want to thank youfor these Hangouts and all
the help you give to us,and just had a real quick
follow-on question to that.About two months ago,
after being penalizedin some way for
almost two years,we finally seem to have been
released from the penalty thatwas really holding us back.And we've noticed that the
rankings didn't recovercompletely to where
they were before.A lot of stuff that
was page one is nowpage three kind of things.And the question is, is
there a explicit timefactor that no matter what, now
that we're out of the penalty,it's going to take x amount
of time for the algorithmto take things into
account, or do weneed to assume that the
algorithm has changedso much since then that we
need to do other things to workon our quality and improvement?
JOHN MUELLER: If it's been over
a year, and you say two years,then I imagine the
algorithms have justchanged over that time.So that's something where
the algorithms are constantlyevolving.I think we make over
600 changes a year.And that's probably,
to some extent,what you're seeing there.For the most part, unless we
block your site completelywith a manual action, and
we say we don't reallywant to take a look
at this site at all,then your site is
always being affectedby the algorithms in some way.And there's not
this period of timewhere things kind of fluctuate
back into normal again.It's essentially always
kind of in this flux.So if your site hasn't been
removed completely from searchduring that time, then I
imagine what you're seeing nowis kind of the steady state
of the current situation.
AUDIENCE: I'll let
Barbara hop in.Thank you.
AUDIENCE: Thanks.Hey, John.I want to-- I put this
question in the queue,but it's way down at the
bottom, and since I'm in the US,this might be my
to do without getting up
at 4:00 in the morning.Can you hear me OK?
JOHN MUELLER: Sure.
AUDIENCE: OK.Google considers
both the qualityand the quantity of backlinks.And I have a travel blog,
and I'm often-- quite often,because I'm one of the old
time travel blogs-- askedto do interviews,
which then resultin a story on some other site.And a whole lot of them tend
to be low quality sites.And I'm wondering
whether I shouldpick and choose and
refuse to do the ones thatmight be less trustworthy.
JOHN MUELLER: I generally
leave that up to you.That's not something where
we'd say the site overallis low quality, therefore
all links from that siteare always low quality.But it kind of
depends on how youwant to promote your
website in general.What's more
problematic for us isif you were to go out
and create contentfor these other websites just
so that a link to your websitecould be placed.But if this is a
legitimate interview,then that's
essentially up to you.You can go either way with that.From our point of
view, both are fine.
AUDIENCE: So if I have
a whole bunch of-- we'regetting back to the PR issue,
but PR zero or unranked sites,it's not going to harm
my ranking in the search?
JOHN MUELLER: No.That's completely fine.You don't have to look at the
page rank of the sites thatare linking to your
site and say, oh, thisis a low page-ranked site.Therefore, I don't want
any links from that site.I just look at the
sites naturally and say,this is a site I want to
be associated with or not,and not look at artificial
factors like page rank.
AUDIENCE: Great, thank you.
JOHN MUELLER: All right.We just have a
couple minutes left,and a whole bunch
of questions left.Let me grab a few of these
and just answer them reallyquickly.We run a website with 2
and 1/2 million pages,of which 1.1 million
have been indexed.Each week we add 10,000
pages to our site map,so we'll be releasing
another country.How do we steadily build
SEO without waitingbefore a complete [INAUDIBLE]?Essentially, you could add all
of your pages to the site mapfile as soon as they're ready.So you don't have to gradually
build up a site map file.And if you're building
a website at this scale,with millions and
millions of pagesit's natural for some
fraction to be indexedand some fraction
not to be indexed,at least until we've been
able to crawl and reindexa lot of content
from your website.So you don't artificially
need to hold yourself back.You can put everything
in your site map files.At the same time, I just
caution against creatingmillions and millions
of pages justfor the sake of having
millions of pages.I'd really make sure that
this content is actuallyuseful and compelling.What's the best way to
optimize a news website?How can we get registered
into Google News?Is there someone who
personally reviews a website,or is it an automated process?There's a form in the Google
News Publisher Help Centerwhere you could submit your
site, and as far as I know,that will be reviewed manually.So there's some factors that
Google News takes into account,and I believe they're all
listed in their Help section.If certain keywords have
been targeted by Penguin,does this then
stop those keywordsfrom progressing search
results until I refresh,or is it the case that
Google simply no longer takesinto account those links
[INAUDIBLE] naturally?Penguin is a web spam algorithm
that generally affectsa whole website, so
it's not somethingthat would be based
on individual keywordsor individual links there.It usually affects
the whole website.What's the real important
of SSL and HTTPS versus HTTPfor having good
positions in search?As I mentioned
before, at the moment,we don't take that into
account for ranking.At some point,
that might change.But at least for the moment, we
don't take that into account.We've experienced
a drop in traffic,and we're attributing it
to the latest Panda update.What's the best way to
recover from this setback?Panda is a quality
algorithm thatlooks at the quality
of your site.There's a blog post by
[INAUDIBLE] maybe two or threeyears back nowadays,
with 23 questionsyou can ask yourself regarding
high quality content.And I'd really go through
that together with someonewho's not associated
with your websiteand make sure that you're
covering everythingas completely as possible.All right, one question left.And I think someone else
is going to grab this room.Do any of you have one
real quick questionthat I can answer for you?
AUDIENCE: Barry wanted
to know, on the chat,when the next
Penguin is, updated.
JOHN MUELLER: Penguin, yeah.
AUDIENCE: He can't answer that.
JOHN MUELLER: I mean,
we usually announcethese like every week, right?
AUDIENCE: Yeah. [INAUDIBLE].
AUDIENCE: I have a question for
you, John, if nobody else does.
JOHN MUELLER: OK, go for it.
AUDIENCE: It's a quick one.You often say that there's
500 to 600 updates a year,divided between ranking,
indexing, and crawling.Can you tell us what the
rough [INAUDIBLE] is?Is it 200 ranking, 200
indexing, or 200 crawling?Or is it 500 updates a
year on just crawling,and two updates to ranking?What's the split?What's the breakdown
JOHN MUELLER: I don't know.But essentially,
everything before rankingaffects ranking as well.So if we don't crawl or index
something, we can't rank it.So it's really hard to say
this is only something thataffects crawling,
and you'd neversee any change from it
in the search results.Essentially, everything
that we do for web search,we try to make sure that it is
visible somewhere in search,or at least is visible for
the webmaster in the sensethat maybe we crawl
less frequentlyand still get the right
amount of content.But essentially,
we try to make surethat they're actually
doing something.Because if they
don't do anything,we'd rather just
delete that code.
JOHN MUELLER: I don't know.We delete that too, if we
don't need that anymore.OK.So with that, we're out of time.Thank you all for
your questions,and thank you all for joining.I put the new Hangouts
into the calendar.So if you want to join then,
feel free to jump on in.They're at the usual
European-based times,but you're welcome to add your
questions to the Q&A feature.And if they're voted up,
I'll try to get to them.Thanks a lot.
AUDIENCE: Thanks, John.
AUDIENCE: Thanks, John.
AUDIENCE: Thanks, John.
AUDIENCE: Bye, John.
AUDIENCE: All right.Is this Josh?Arthur.Arthur, are you there?
AUDIENCE: Can you hear me?
AUDIENCE: Hey, Arthur.
ARTHUR RADULESCU: Hey, Barat.
So it's only your time 4:00 AM.In my time, it's--
AUDIENCE: It's 5:00 AM my
time, but it's the Friday ones.
ARTHUR RADULESCU: 5:00 AM.
And in my time, it's 5:00 PM.It's perfect time I'm in.Ah, no, no, no.
Friday I have it
at 12:00, at noon.
AUDIENCE: Yeah, but you also
joined the Jim Hangout, right?
ARTHUR RADULESCU: Yeah.
AUDIENCE: Wow.I mean, I don't
know how you do it.I don't know how you do it.
I can tell you.For me, it's in the
middle of the day.So it's OK.Yeah, and it's
Thursday, so it's OK.It doesn't get over the
John Mueller's Hangouts.So it's quite OK.
AUDIENCE: So how's
Romania right now, man?How's everything over there?Is the cost of living high?What's going on over there?Are you guys OK there?
ARTHUR RADULESCU: Well,
the cost of living,it's almost the
highest in Europe.But well, we're not
complaining so much.I mean--
AUDIENCE: Yeah, you
don't hear too muchabout Romania in the news.
ARTHUR RADULESCU: Yeah,
because we are quite,I don't know, steady people?How can I put that?We don't do too much noise
about things, you know?But the only thing I am pissed
off is the price of the gas.Wow.
AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] too much,
you drive a very expensive car?
ARTHUR RADULESCU: No.But I drive a very expensive
gasoline and diesel fuel.I mean, it's twice your price.Just think about it.And salaries are
probably less than half.So the gasoline is
killing everythingbecause everything
goes on the road.Food, non-food things like
furniture and everything.Everything goes by the road.So everything gets expensive.
AUDIENCE: So what do you think?Is Penguin going
to come or what?
ARTHUR RADULESCU: Yes,
September at the end, October.
AUDIENCE: You think it's
going to be a shake-upagain, same shake-up
ARTHUR RADULESCU: Well, no.I hope they can fix something
they broke last year.
AUDIENCE: They know it was a
crazy shake-up for everybody.
ARTHUR RADULESCU: Yeah.Probably they will do the same.But maybe something gets fixed.I don't know.
AUDIENCE: And then they
adjusted everything back, right?So yeah.Because [INAUDIBLE].
[INAUDIBLE] point.They did two updates
in a row, you see.They did the bad
one, and then theytried to [INAUDIBLE]
a little bit.
AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE].So basically kind of like
running over you, and thenkind of reversing.
ARTHUR RADULESCU: Yeah.
AUDIENCE: That's what they did.
They've realizedthey've touched too many
URLs on the first one.Probably they didn't want
to touch so many, but well--
AUDIENCE: You see how
Gary's really mad, eh?He's mad about his site.Have you seen his
virtual site, man?I don't know what
happened there,but he's really pissed, eh?
ARTHUR RADULESCU: Well,
mate, I don't know.At a certain point,
he was pssing me.I mean, I wanted to go in
private with him and tell him,hey man, just let John do
his job because he's notthere only for you.I mean, we're laughing
today, but sometimes he'sjust over the top.
AUDIENCE: Yeah, [INAUDIBLE]
for 15 minutes, he'll go crazy.
ARTHUR RADULESCU: Yeah,
so it's not that good.I mean, OK, he comes in,
and he put one question,like all the rest of us.But then he just have to stop.I don't know what's
wrong with his site,but he's very pissed because
his site is down on its knees.But anyway, I mean,
from my point of view,if I was to have his
own problems so much,I would've just dumped
his main domain nameand start with a new one.No, come on.I mean, he's losing
a lot of money.
AUDIENCE: Eh.You don't know if he's
losing a lot of money.He could be just-- you know.
ARTHUR RADULESCU: Maybe
he's only teasing.But anyway, he had
a lot of problems.I mean, he's complaining
all the time.
AUDIENCE: So [INAUDIBLE] are
you taking any clients right nowor what?
ARTHUR RADULESCU: I do, yeah.That's beside my work, where
I have a lot of clients.
AUDIENCE: Right on.Yeah, if there's
anything, if I'm busy,I'll pass something over to you.
OK, no problem.Do you know somebody who
is working on [? the-- ?]