English Google Webmaster Central office-hours hangout

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okay welcome everyone to today's Google Webmaster central office hours hangouts my name is John Mueller I am a webmaster trends analyst here at Google in Switzerland and part of what we do is talk with webmasters and publishers like the ones here in the Hangout the ones that submitted questions and those on our help forums as well as always let's start off with maybe a question from one of you go is there something on your mind that you didn't get a chance to submit as a question that we should talk about I've got question if Noah's gonna go all right go for it um just say I forgot a website and I'm talking seeing different which is over for example you mean to me then /f are and the so if we take the homepage is an example the four /f is an exact replica of that out of the home page and it's been set up with your a href Lang tags now if I built links into the main domain so just standard forward slash how does Google treat the PageRank does it assume that the four /f are is exactly the same because it's clearly a duplicate so it has the same amount paid drunk on the FR or 04 / UK site and safe safe older then it would on the main homepage or does it treat that as a page in taking pay drunk in the main homepage evenly we basically when it comes to language and country versions we treat them as separate pages and we rank them as cyclic traders we do all of the indexing all of the signals as separate pages and then only when it comes to showing them in the search results do we take the hf laying information and swap the URLs out so in that case we would see those links like like any other links that you would have on your website would what would the page be less stronger so say for example of a guard say a thousand links to main homepage and I've set up this new structure no links that's all so when you do swap those two URLs out will it be a and will it not be as strong go or I'm just trying to like does it you know is it just as strong if we just look at link equity as a whole and nothing else as it just as strong as the equivalent pages that you have links well is it is it I wouldn't necessarily look at it from that point of view I just kind of think think if you didn't have those local pages would the dot-com pages rank in the local search results and if they would rank then we'd like swap at the URLs out against the appropriate local versions so if if you have a website I don't know that's that's targeting furniture and you have a UK website and it doesn't show at all and in France for example then just setting up the hreflang with completely new pages for France wouldn't change anything because we wouldn't have anything to swap out it wouldn't be that your UK page would be excessively ranking on the other hand if you have like for Germany and Austria where the the content is German both the same and your pages for the country of Germany happen to rank in Austria then that would be something that we could swap out okay look that kind of makes sense okay it is but if you if you wouldn't mind naturally anyway you would just generally swap out and you can base our loose signals so you say exactly yeah yeah yeah yeahs autos Len selects all right can I can have a follow up with another question on what porn geo-targeting sure top so let's say let's see I know Hotel affords a vigorous and your kind of targeting both Romanian people for invigorating I'm looking for another visit in Romanian important interest but you're also targeting you know people from around the UK that like to come from and are searching from the UK beforehand you can book how much of a problem would be if the clothes website is a Romanian domain that are over to me I noticed that Google does rank some of the local deities when the query is shipping so like somebody looks for hotel Eucharist might show some are about our old wind yeah I mean those are essentially two different aspects that we look at there on that one hand geo-targeting would really only apply for users in Romania so that's that's something that's kind of specific to general geo-targeting on the other hand if someone explicitly searches for that location then from a relevance point of view it would make sense to show search results from from that location and obviously you could theoretically combine this if you say well I have a lot of people from the UK who come to my Romanian hotel because it's really popular with people in the UK then maybe make sense to to set up a page specifically for users in the UK or maybe you have the prices in pounds or you have whatever information people from the UK would would be looking for that other users might not be looking for well the website already has like an English version of the site with prices and everything and I'm Thomas let's say but it's still not that are all domain so that's your targeting affect how UK users would find the website now yeah in that case we wouldn't be able to geo-target to to UK users because the dardo domain essentially geo targets to romanian users by default so that especially I think for tourists type sites that's always a bit tricky because you you don't on the one hand you don't want to create too many websites on the other hand maybe you do have like like a target audience in the UK or in a different country that you really want to specifically target and that's not something you'd easily be able to do with an arrow domain obviously content and ro can rank globally but you wouldn't be able to geo-target it specifically for those users oh ok I'm not really enjoyed everything I just want to know that should I recommend to decline that big dot-com domain instead you are here with me man the rankings on another another Punk if you're targeting like all kinds of countries then I wouldn't necessarily move to calm but if you really have like it's this really strong target audience in in the UK that you want to target like I don't know some some vacation places might have might be really well known in the UK because everyone from the UK goes to vacation too I don't know my York or somewhere like that and in a case like that it might make sense to actually do geo-targeting for for users in the UK but otherwise for like a general hotel where you say well I have a lot of people from here here here and here you don't really need to do to targeting ok so about our domain is fine if you're talking like everybody you know everywhere a gentleman searching for mobilized where if you like hotels ok eucharistic exactly yeah um John I might continue the theme if that's ok go for it yeah so basically I've been tasked to look at her clients or potential clients website and we going to do a pitch and as part of that I had a look around and there an econ business that is set up as a calm and they're pointing to a number of different country specific folders um UK US Australia although sort of Western english-speaking and then some cut a couple of internationals while I was doing my research because I don't have a lot of access at the moment I went to google co uk and I'm based in Australia and did a search for just their business and of course it comes up with a number of different site links now all the site links at the time reference destroy alia which I found interesting and I considered that potentially they hadn't done the geo-targeting within webmaster tools is that fair to say sometimes yeah sometimes it's it's from so it's not the case that we would always show just the country specific site links especially with sy thinks it's something I've seen quite a bit well another client is unhappy especially with site links it's something I've seen quite a bit where we show different countries site links there as well so it possible that you could use geo-targeting that you could use HR flying to kind of help guide us to the right direction but it's not something that you'd be able to kind of get get rid of completely just by doing geo targeting and then hrs lang yes Daria I'm having some issues over here but no that's great um potentially so this is it is an issue and it's something that I'm gonna need to resolve and the other thing that I considered was because I'm based in Australia and using google code you can ad whether or not Google takes that into consideration because I'm Australian based and therefore it's still delivering the Australian results through google co uk if if you're using google co uk it should be for the UK automatically what you can also do is use the URL parameters so there is a GL equals parameter where you can select select a country code to kind of really say I want the UK specific search results so that would be you you would think that there would be the same results if I went to google com Lau and then use to UK know if you go to do google com that a you probably get a weird mixture but if you went to google com generically then you would probably get something similar to what a user in the UK would see but if you just go to Google echoed at UK directly then you should also see similar results but I think you have more clients waiting for you just noise done so so once I you you could also do in case like that is think about setting up some kind of a banner on these pages or you'd say well it looks like you're from the UK and this is the page for Australia here's a link to the local version where you probably better served some some bigger sites do it like that and it makes it so that people in the wrong location can still view that content it doesn't automatically redirect them so we can still index that content as well but it still kind of guides them to a version that's better suited for for their specific location yeah so the user experience isn't perfect but it's getting better um I I suspect that they actually do some sort of redirection depending on the location as well but I'm not because I'm not in that location I don't know yeah I think that's that's always a tricky thing to do because google bot will probably see those redirects as well and will end up being confused fairly easily so if you have UK and Australia probably not so much but especially if you have a US version and an UK version and you redirect us users from the UK to the US version then Googlebot probably won't won't be able to crawl those UK pages and the English English only is maybe okay but if you have like a different language and the US then we might not ever get those language pages in okay great thank you okay sure all right let me run through some of the questions that were submitted and then we can open up for more questions from all of you does Google prefer ranking category pages or detail pages like articles and specific products so I guess with or questions you can always say yes or no and both would be yes from my point of view is really we try to match based on the relevance of the query and to figure out what people are actually looking for and sometimes they're looking for categories or lists of items sometimes they're looking for a specific item so depending on what we think the user is looking for will try to match one of these pages and it's not the case that there's any advantage or disadvantage to having category pages or detail pages so they're essentially just different types of pages that we try to rank differently what if I have six links within the content from one page to another page but the links point to the same target but use different anchor text does Google treat these links as separate links and transfer signals to each of them or does it treat them as one link so this is the kind of question we get every now and then and usually what what I end up doing is talking with engineers to see what is the flavor of treatment for today and I don't really think that helps you very much because the way we handle it now might be different than from the way that we handled it before and it might be different from the way that we handle it next week so this is the type of thing where you're almost looking at kind of the theoretical view of how Google might treat these six links how it would flip the page rank or a kind of distribute the anchors there and I don't really think that's too helpful there so I wouldn't focus on what specifically is happening here now but just assume that we'll try to figure out what what it means what the context of these pages is between each other so in in practice what would probably happen as we recognize all of those anchor texts and try to associate them somehow in theory it might be that we kind of split that up in certain ways to better kind of process that on our side so I wouldn't focus on specific setup that you might figure out is happening now there but try to create a website that works well naturally where we can kind of naturally understand the context of the pages that you're linking between each other their search console question when changing domains the backlinks show up in a new profile and a site move the ranks fell considerably in the home page doesn't show up in the backlinks anymore 301 redirects are in place home page is the only one with an issue is this a problem I don't know I'd probably have to look at the specific case what's happening there so in general I don't think it's by design that we would show kind of redirects directly in the backlink section but rather what we would try to do is show the original link where it came from so if some site linked to your previous home page and from there you're redirecting to your new home page then we should be showing you the final destination like the the new website that you have and on there showing the original source so where that link originally came from I think showing kind of the intermediate steps as a separate link wouldn't necessarily make sense because it's it's kind of confusing so I wouldn't focus on that home page not being shown as a link as any kind of a signal that something is wrong with that home page of course that doesn't mean that nothing is wrong so this is something where I probably need to see the URL to kind of see what specifically is happening there and depending on what kind of a site move you're doing if you're changing the content if you're redirecting everything properly if the new domain has any type type of older issues perhaps then there are few things that could go wrong that could hold you back but in general we've gotten a lot better with site with psych moves so I assume for the most part if you've been paying attention to all of the technical details of like what you need to redirect and how then that should kind of work so if you're seeing that it's not working I love to kind of get those URLs so that we can double check here we have a page company com / product that we want to promote using a separate domain product com which will 301 redirect to company com search product which domain will benefit from external links to product com is the link juice pressed on to company that calm / product link juice I guess page rank in general if you're redirecting from one URL to another URL then we'll try to forward all of our signals to that new URL it kind of depends on which URL we choose to show as a canonical though so specifically if you have something like a website for product calm and you have a sub page for that same product on a different website it's sometimes a question of do users expect to see product or common the search results or do they expect to see your your company com / product in the search results so that's something where sometimes the decision on which URL is canonical might be different from what you would expect it kind of depends on all of the canonicalization signals that you give us so redirect is obviously a really strong signal be it 301 or 30 to things like rel canonical are really useful site Maps I so the URL within a sitemap file is really useful internal linking is really useful for us so all of these things kind of add up and we look at those two URLs and say well we have this one and we have this one which one which should we show then depending on the signals we might say okay well we'll show this one because that has the stronger signals everything kind of adds up to to that specific URL and the URL that we choose as a canonical is the one that ends up getting these signals so if there's a link to product calm and product calm redirects to a different URL but we select product calm is a canonical then that URL will be the one that select the page rank and any of the other signals that we have associated with that can we use amp for product website or educational websites yes of course you can we've seen a bunch of websites that use amp exclusively they essentially moved all of their templates over to an amp template and that works fairly well you can definitely do that so just because a website or pages from a website are not shown with the amp viewer doesn't mean that you can't profit from kind of the technology behind amp that really enables you to make really really fast and responsive websites so for example the I think the M project website is one that's actually written up in amp so that's something that shows in the search results it's it looks like a normal website obviously when you open it in a browser but the technology behind it is essentially amp so if you want to use amp for any kind of website any kind of pages within your website your you're welcome to do that with regards to us showing it in the amp viewer you probably need to wait until we actually show that type of page within an amp viewer I suspect that's something that's going to happen fairly soon because the amp team is really I don't know they not only make fast websites but they really move quickly with the product changes as well so I could definitely see them going forwards to actually using amp pages with the amp viewer in more and more different types of content our signal is for user satisfaction with content different for longer articles versus shorter articles how can you compare the quality of two results on the same topic if one is long and other is short that's sometimes really hard it's like in this example here a thousand five hundred words versus 500 words that's almost kind of the same order of magnitude but sometimes we have situations where one one thing is like a 500 word article and the other one is a hundred page PDF document that has like tons of content in it and we kind of have to figure out what the balance is what people are looking for which part of the pages we should pull out as being the more relevant or more important parts of the page and then figuring out how to rank those appropriately and that's not necessarily something that has to do with user satisfaction but we try to figure out what's relevant for the user what are they looking for and to show that in the search results and sometimes that could even be a mix where we say well they're looking for a specific documentation on a problem and here's a 100 page PDF and the next result is like a five-line article that just has a bunch of links to more information and that's something that could definitely show up in the same search results page we had a manual penalty for years back we came out of the penalty in one year we still feel that we have a penguin algorithmic penalty I'd like to know what does the does the penguin algorithmic penalty affect the website site wide or specific keywords or specific sections so penguin from our point of view is a web spam algorithm that looks at issues around web spam oh wow lights on lights off and essentially it tries to look at that on a site-wide level and to figure out like what specific action it should take here and it's theoretically possible that you had some kind of a manual action on issues that the algorithms also picked up on which could be something that might take more time to kind of settle down again we don't have a specific date for the update of the penguin algorithm but in talking with the team they feel they're getting closer and closer so I'm hoping that's not all too far in the future classical nah and so would wouldn't penguin target specific architects systems of live and you know I saw we had less ice it just nail use calls over and over and over I've seen instances why rankings this frases have dropped for the side and then when you kind of look into it it said these links with all this exact match anchor text it seems to match that so well you know will it focused on specific and contextual okay well anything with this anchor text in that grew from these color sides we will devalue therefore or yield by the site because of that you know so i wouldn't say specific to penguin but I could definitely see that our other algorithms or algorithms in general would pick up on those kind of issues but I've also seen that the manual webspam team sometimes goes in there and says oh this is a problem that we're not picking up with our algorithms we need to take a manual action to kind of help even things out again and that's something where you might see something like I believe it's called partial action or partial manual action or something like that in in search console where we would flag that is like we've been taking action on part of the links to your website based on a natural patterns that we found and it's kind of like well we're not throwing your website out completely but some of these links seen problematic and sometimes the website team will also do that with with things like negative SEO or where people do reputation management and that maybe there was an article on your website about a specific person then it's just a normal article and they're doing reputation management want to push other results out so they're buying tons of links to that specific article on your website and you don't have anything to do with that you don't really it's it's not like your problem essentially and we just try to kind of tackle that by by removing some of these things algorithmic manually through the manual actions there but that's something that we flag in search console so you're kind of aware of what what's happening there so it wasn't sure if it be the page so you're looking at a page you look at the links or you're just specifically looking at the lanes looking at the attacks and and kind of like making a judgment based on that so if you've got all these links all these different pages usually value all them and it doesn't matter what pages in the linking to it's the link itself I I would expect that we do all of that right okay so fee I mean we have a lot of practice with with the way weird links happen on the web and there are lots of weird links kind of setups and they're not all malicious you know it's it's like someone like the reputation management case where someone is trying to promote your pages because they don't want other bad pages showing up and it's not that you're doing anything wrong it's just well just like I don't even want to show up for those queries that much or it doesn't bother me if I do show up or if I don't show up I don't have anything out of it so these are things that have been taking place for since I don't know since Google came out so we have a lot of practice and looking at these in different ways and trying to figure out what's the pattern here what do we need to watch out for what can we kind of filter out in our system so that it doesn't cause any problems where do we kind of need to take stronger action because maybe we can't pick up on everything that's causing problems here we we try to find a balance and that can obviously change over time where we say well we do this manually at the moment but in the future we think an algorithm will be able to take over and we can stop doing stuff manually that much the dog sauce the related question penguin sort of thing oh okay yeah sorry you fed every one of them and it's just about the punitive side of penguin I think we talked to a few web hang out to go but there is some kind of punitive side that's probably deserved but it's more that I don't if you're able to give any more information on that side of things so for example if someone does a great job of disavowing and there is sufficient time left for google to reindex and you know it's not too difficult to check you can check the google cache and you can have a look at kind of how it's going with kind of google be indexing the sites that are listed and and so on but even if a really really great disavow file submissive and even if you get to a point where pretty much all of those your real specified re-index even then if penguin around the next day or any web spam algorithm ran the next day to run its updates and change the rankings there's still obviously another part of the process it's kind of sitting in there and we've kind of that's a bit we don't really talk about very much it's all about disavow file in the process and that kind of stuff but we don't talk about the punitive side and I was just wondering if you might read to give any more details on that side of things so that people kinda know what they're going to expect given you kind of said penguin might be coming along quite soon um i dunno i think there's kind of a fluid transition there i guess with regards to like how much we can ignore to when we notice that it's really really a lot of a lot of problematic web spam type things that are associated with that page so it's kind of I guess like a a fluid connection between those two sides and I think if you're doing a good job of like doing the root disavow file making sure that these things are cleaned up then I would expect that thing's kind of settle down in a in a nicer state for that site over time don't come on can i clarify that then because as far as I understood that there is almost no such thing as the penalty as such you're always just scaling back to what you genuinely should be you're not going to punish from a genuine place and down to a minus position you're being taken from a plus position back to a neutral where you you should have been all along if you didn't have the links is not really a penalty at all mostly mostly it's it's mostly like that so yes I guess one of the things that that we see sometimes is that it's hard for us to pick out what exact pattern it is a problem here and sometimes what will happen is we'll we'll pick a kind of a slightly broader pattern to kind of capture all of those problematic issues that we found there with regards to to web spam links or whatever and if you have legitimate links that also fall into that pattern then they might be dropped as well because we see well most of the things in this pattern are problematic so sometimes even the legitimate stuff will will kind of fall into that as well which is is something that happens with I guess a lot of issues around the web because we we can't always pick out a pattern that's so specific that it really only covers that the problematic parts of your website and doesn't touch anything else out there so we try to be as granular as possible but we can't guarantee that we'll only be able to kind of tackle those problematic links I mean John I think that's fun i mean i can only you know as you know we've talked before and our song has a serious battling problem and the we did this link building stuff and we did it started five and a half years ago and it finished three and a half years ago we have than anything since the site the businesses groans got lots of natural instance but and we hadn't disavowed everything until last time and actually we were kind of I mean this is probably example that's similar to maybe some other people as well but we were lucky maybe not the right word but we used a very professional company at the time five and a half years ago and they send to us every month every single link that they've built because that's the basis of the charging model so we can quite confidently say that we can submit everything go on the link that they've built for us at a domain level and also do a huge kind of audit as well go through web search console and I hrs and circle and submitted disavow list which we're one hundred percent sure contains every single manipulative bullying for ever existed and so and you said last time I think that you know Google doesn't hold a grudge and so the kind of question is you know what would we and other sites that have done that sort of thing kind of expect I mean I would expect that there should be a recovery at some point for you perhaps indicator the past that you might have a long wait and that way isn't necessarily related to how long will it take to reindex those sites in the disavow file but there's actually in my very limited experience and take Google very long to do that you know most links tend to get reamed X in a month or two maybe three or four max if you've got a site with thousands of links but it's more than the punitive side or the other side that sits on top of that i think you know i'm quite interested in front from about about i suspect that that's something that you'll see kind of settle down in them in a positive way for you over time like when we're able to roll this new change okay so okay so again it sounds again you said this before but if you do a great job of disavowing it really genuine is a great job it's not a I think Matt Cutts called it the whole kind of fine toothcomb vs that yeah yeah whatever there's nothing to do a great job in in time perhaps not too long then hopefully you'll kind of see some kind of oh yeah i mean the the other aspect that Rob mentioned is is something that also definitely plays a role there where if your site was ranking really well because of those unnatural links and you remove all of those unnatural links on your site is going to rank like where it would otherwise rank without those natural legs natural links so it's it's something where you can't necessarily say well I was ranking number one before and now when this update runs I'll be ranking number one again because maybe you were kind of undeservedly ranking number one I think that's very fair and I think we were absolutely undeservedly ranking number one but I think it's more that we know we don't expect a full recovery small thing you've described it in the past is penguin or some of these web spam filters being a bit like an anchor that pulls a site down I think it's more a point of we've quite like the anchor to be removed and then to be judged on the actual genuine benefit of the content on the site type of thing yeah I think I think that's something where if you've done a real good job with the disavow then you'll definitely see that happen okay let me run through the few remaining questions and we'll definitely have time for more I guess from you how can a new site two months old proved to google that it's not spammy faster than in six months for me search results difference is staggering 1 through 4 in bing 1 through 18 yahoo and nine through 22 in google so i would always expect a difference between the different search engines i think that's absolutely normal and that's not something that you could say is a problem because different search engines look at things in different ways from our point of view it definitely takes a bit of time for us to figure out how we should show a new website in the search results sometimes what we'll do is almost like assume that this is a good website first and then hope that this nose kind of confirm that that we can say well it's really it should really be ranking here and we kind of keep it settled down there but especially in the beginning when you have a new website especially in in a market where there are a lot of existing websites already it's going to take some time for us to actually understand how your website should be shown in the search results and that's not something that you can force not something that you can kind of speed up and say okay google just rank me number one from the start because we kind of want to make sure that we're doing the right thing for your website for the users that might be looking for your website so there is no fast path I guess too yes so John when you are assuming a new website to put in ranking how do you decide which place this should be because you are just ranking this on assumptions that's that's definitely the case and that's hard that's something where I mean on the one hand we have the content of the page itself we kind of see how it roughly starts off but we don't have a lot of signals we don't really know is this really something that's relevant on the web especially if it's a new business we we might not have any links or we might have very few links to that site it's it's really hard it's not something that I would say we look for a meta tag and then you're automatically ranking it's it's something that like like any physical business it takes time for you to kind of be established on the web and for people in the neighborhood to understand okay if I need choose and i'll go to this business here that I kind of trust to have shoes whereas if you're new in an area then people say I have no idea what this business sells maybe I'll drop by every now and then to kind of see what they're doing and see see what kind of products they have but I can't like guarantee that I'll always be going there so especially with new websites that's something ideally we see things settle down fairly quickly we kind of understand where this website fits in the context of the whole web but that does take some time okay um more link questions our content partner requires us to do to give do follow links to their hundred thousand zip coded pages they view this as data attribution and cited Yelp best of the web and Zillow as examples is an unnatural link scheme please see more details in my post which I didn't see so I don't really know what the more details are but in general you can look at it from from a kind of a from taking a step back and think about what these links be there if there were no partner relationship or no financial relationship between you and this other website and it sounds like you would not have these links without this relationship with that website and from that point of view this is something that we would probably see is unnatural links so that's if you want to give attribution to to someone who's the serving data or content for your website then that's something where I recommend using a nofollow link so that people can click through and if they find something useful on that website they can still go there and kind of see all of that content but it's not that you're forwarding PageRank just because of a kind of financial or partnership relationship between you and that other website so from that point of view I recommend using nofollow links there and if your content partner has any questions around that I maybe send them to the help forums or see if they want to join one of the future hangouts here and we can look at that more than I want to ask about amp pages it's very interesting content what you think about SEO by M pages I don't know SEO for EM pages you can definitely do that so at the moment the general set up with amp pages is that there is a rel canonical to your desktop page on the end page and we index your content we rank your content based on the desktop page so if you want to do on-page SEO if you want to make sure that your page uses proper semantic content on the pic on the page then you can do that on your desktop page you don't have to do that on the amp page on the other hand if you only have amp versions of your content like for example the amp project website then you could do like the semantic markup on those amp pages directly type something question about the topic before if you don't mind sure walk where you sent relationship and keep same relationship now i'm restreaming that's strictly a financial relationship because if just for example if i do relationship with the journalist at BBC or any other websites or web site owner and they wanted to interview me and put that post up there and then link back to me I wonder sent that that was an issue however that link wouldn't necessarily be there if I hadn't have reached out to me you know the interview me or something like that so where are you drawing the line is it strictly financial wise offering advice or insight into particular industry that would be fine and near them and linking back even though you still have that you build that relationship and you know that link would only be there and what I would link wouldn't be there if I'm out reach to them in the first place so I just kind of just want to understand if you're talking strictly financial or if it's any relationship any side there and how'd you handle that so so I think financial or if you're trading something that's that's probably the more obvious situation that that's clearly a case where you're saying well I get this from you and in exchange you get this specific link there when it comes to kind of the the more personal relationships i think that's that sometimes a tricky line as sometimes what what will happen is like you know these people and you talk to them and they think you're doing a great job doing something fantastic and maybe they link to you because they think you're doing a great job not specifically because they know you but on the other hand sometimes our situations were like oh we we can be buddies we will do kind of mutual linking back and forth and kind of the relationship is not there because you think you're doing a good job it's more there because you kind of have to intend to to kind of get these links from so on so that's definitely an area where I'd say it's really hard to determine exactly what what's happening there and in general this is something where the webspam team when they look at it they kind of assume good intentions they they don't assume by default oh I saw that they were posting on the same blog post in the same comments therefore they know each other therefore there's a crazy relationship happening there they'll assume that this is kind of a natural situation where you happen to link to someone that you also know because I I just think especially in the content like this person quoted this from this business then there's a link to that business and it's a case of like yeah where are we with apathy well again you know there are so many great sites out there generally that you know nothing me decides that do that naturally anyway so i think i was just understand whether or not you call me any kind of relationship well obviously there's got to be a contact at some point i think to kind of yeah i mean there doesn't it doesn't have to be a contact but yeah it doesn't it doesn't yeah you you see what i come from yeah i think that the web spam team generally assumes good intentions so yeah they're they're not going to like dig in and say oh this one link they were both active on the same I don't know blog post comment thread therefore they know each other therefore this one link is really going to be problematic but we do see sometimes situations where websites kind of the whole linking structure for that website is built up out of kind of these reciprocal linking and that's something where we say well if everything is like that on the website that's probably kind of weird and not something that we see is natural link but if this happens every now and then and even if the webspam team manually looks at it then I I don't see any problem with that okay gown designer from New York I have a follow-up questions sure if there's a you know a website has a Content partnership within the website and they have large scale kind of badly and pointing to them is do follow you know you can call you through the data attribution or not how will Google cheat that if they you know of fun is it going to be a penalty or they're going to the algorithm make you know a disqualifying those links how would you keep that it could be different things so what we'd probably try to do first of all is say well we recognize there's an unnatural linking pattern here and we will just ignore those links so this is specifically something where we see if a website with other otherwise okay but it has this pattern of unnatural links to two other websites will just say well to stay on a safe side we'll just ignore all links from this website in our graphs in our link graphs so that's kind of a situation where you as a website who is kind of putting out those links you probably wouldn't see much of a change on the other hand if we recognize that it's it's kind of like a big link scheme overall then maybe the website team would say well we we also need to demote this website in general because we can't guarantee that we'll be able to take care of all of the unnatural links there okay John there's a glint of fine line between looks a link scheme and what sir just a kind of community type of thing I mean certainly in industry i work in although we don't we don't get involved in this for this loads and those are kind of lifestyle blogs and they will have the blah girls and all into a child and it's kind of the done thing and in one sense you could look at that and go on a minute this is just kind of a you know a manipulative type of thing but in the other hand it's just kind of innocent thing that people do how would Google look at that where they kind of 0 on the side of its it's fine or would they kind of look at that and going on a minute something dog is going on here and probably depends on how problematic that is or how much of a problem it causes for in our search results so I I I feel like making any judgment call on just blogroll links is kind of probably too vague to do in a general sense we do notice there there are some that are really really problematic in the sense that it's it's obviously a clear link scheme that maybe it's even automated that the links are placed and removed automatically or maybe they're even paid to kind of be placed in the blogroll sections and kind of removed when they're not paid those kind of situations those are obviously the easier wants to pick out and for the rest it's something where we we generally rely on our algorithms to kind of figure out what's what's the right approach to handle these and when the website theme looks at them they try to stay like I mentioned they try to assume good good intentions and only when they can really tell well this is really set up specifically to manipulate the search results rankings that they'll take action there in a way that would maybe demote some of these sites okay I mean that's that is useful i appreciate you haven't given a specific answer but at least i guess we know that if we are linked to from one of these type of sites that that's something that we should not just completely ignore that we should perhaps I I don't know I think if you just occasionally find yourself on a blog roll because someone likes what you're doing I wouldn't really worry about that I think it's not not something that I'd say is always problematic and you need to disavow those or get those removed as quickly as possible we we try to be reasonable in our approaches and we try to make sure our algorithms handle it in reasonable ways so that it's not something where we're web pass have to panic when they see something weird happening but at the same time if someone is intentionally going out to try to use our systems then that's something where we would want to take action on okay thanks so don't panic but again if you see these things from my point of view I like to disavow file because if you see something like that you're like oh does Google figure this out or not then you can just throw it in a disavow file and kind of forget about it because it's it's taken care of you don't have to kind of haggle with the other website to get that link removed you can say well I just want this kind of shuffled away and I don't want to have to worry about whether or not Google automatically takes that into account yeah I mean again I think that's that's the best good advice which is a people that are think are real think they're suffering from some kind of filter or penalty and I putting a disavow file together at least that's kind of some good advice to know that now there's a number of very good blogs out there but they do seem to be involved they'll link to each other sooo very messed uous giving to you but you don't link to them at least you kind of think well I'd put them in the disavow file and I can kind of be safe just just in case yeah okay all right let me run through the three or four remaining questions we want to switch to another shop system will take over all the URLs what to do with the pages that we don't take over shall we 301 redirect them 404 or 4 10 in in general I'd redirect all pages where you have new equivalent pages and for everything else you could 301 maybe to a category level if you think that makes sense or just create a really good 404 page and between 404 and 410 is not something I'd worry about I probably just go with 40 fours and keep it simple what are the possibilities a website can lose its index my web pages index count is less compared to last week so the index status count in search console will fluctuate based on whatever happens in our technical backends and those fluctuations are completely normal that's not something you need to focus on I would however focus on things like this search analytics section in search console where you see which pages are actually ranking and if you see pages disappear from the index that were actually ranking then that would point at something more like a technical issue the index status count includes things like duplicates includes things like pages that we don't really think are that important for example if you have a calendar on your website and it goes into the year 2000 or 2200 say then that's probably not very useful that's a lot of content to index but not something that necessarily gives value to your website so if those counts go down doesn't really change anything add in canonical to the same page is correct so kind of a self-referencing canonical yes you can do that that's no problem I was wondering what's the best technique to use when trying to fully crawl and index a website with an age verification disclaimer that's really tricky I don't have any fantastic advice for you at the moment that's something what we've been looking to create some kind of a guidance for webmasters but maybe you'll have to hang tight for that it's problematic because on the one hand Googlebot should see the same content as users would see on the other hand if you only show Google but an age interstitial then we'll never be able to index your actual content so sometimes we see people doing sneaky things like cloaking to Googlebot but that's not really what we'd like to see so we'll probably put together some guidelines around how to handle that in general if you have a website that has this kind of age verification disclaimer or other kind of legal disk interstitial feel free to to save me some examples and feel free to kind of let me know what you would think Google should be doing in these cases because that is something that we're currently looking at to kind of figure out what we could do to make your lives better and at the same time to make sure that the search results remain relevant can I ask a lot of question sure because I was 10 fantastic yeah so yeah indeed as you said I didn't find any relevant documentation to what can be the best technique to tackle this issue I did however find it was a post from Susan moskva if I'm not mistaking where she said that it may be fine to use JavaScript because we're not entirely cloaking we're just using it for the short in interstitial before the homepage however I don't really know and to be honest I'm not I don't care that much if Google now indexes JavaScript or not I'm not a GoSee p-type like among Got News for something however what I did find is that if I see the cached version I don't see the the fully website I just see the interstitial page and it's also the case if I check it in google webmaster console and if I go to fetch and render I see the same thing so Google bot and the users see the same thing and it's the actual interstitial page with a pop-up a disclaimer I'm afraid I cannot show you the web page because it's not safe for work let me the URL ok ok Google safe for work is very yeah rod because we have to index the web right but it's so so in general the cache page should not be executing JavaScript so if you see the interstitial in the cache page then that means either you're redirecting to that interstitial page or we actually get served a static page with that interstitial so that's from from that side that's something to kind of be aware of but I I guess I don't really have any perfect guidance on on how to best handle this at the moment because like you said we use advised to use JavaScript and nowadays we render JavaScript and we can actually see what a JavaScript would be shown so that's I don't know it's a it's a tricky situation okay i will i will keep it like this and for the i can find the pages indexed and a bit of content so it may go through but ultimately we want the best solution you know yeah so what you can do is do a site query and then the keywords from the actual content to see if we're picking up the actual content as well and maybe we can pick up the actual content they're just the same even if we do see the interstitial yeah got it thanks all right one minute left who has one last question oh I'll ask my usual question since you brought it up earlier today anyway John and since it's only one minute um and that's you mentioned earlier in the year that you might have some news for us or that someone's working on it specifically working on it rather than actually go away Rob um do you have any news I don't have any news but i recently pushed again to kind of keep the ball rolling there okay now because i still see our competitor doing things that really office is completely unrelated because i can do what they like at this at the station and it really doesn't matter but we're actually if anything getting worse and worse every every year despite that's moving actually and how that that should she makes me like that so that's something we're actually a new domain should be standing on its own and it shouldn't be changing in that regard yeah it's this getting worse all the time so it the problem is that the the HTML is different now but the the content is essentially the same because we had two thousand products with a 10 year old reviews on there we can't just take it all out or we could if you said Rob just take it all out and start holding it now yeah but it's just you're even looking from this year to last year its worst even with the and we do get natural links we don't do anything wrong as you know it's just nothing's getting better at all now we need to know whether it's time to just literally start again again can you send me some queries what you're seeing that happening well we're just looking the sales really rather than ranking okay so it's hard because because we have a foot in 100 200 different industries whether it's wine tasting helicopter rides you know there's so many different things we used to rank for that now we rank for none it's it's across the board as you know it's not affecting the New York area or the flying it's literally everything okay but I will say this send you one thing which is and which is one of our competitors or our only competitor which you know if we did something like this I could understand being penalized which is essentially an image asking for do follow links which okay which is doing renders as an image so it's not even text when thank you okay when when we see that and we are where we are and they're there where they are it just makes it for us even worse yeah yeah I can imagine yeah okay I I all continue energy now yeah and I'm trashy frustrating the job in love space for example if you do fall through websites into type 1 and deep from your point of view is there any way to kind of check that which if you do it you for covering for one of the websites it should show if you can hold them together to show the other immoral or like a case oh yeah you could probably see that with an info query if that were the case but I I don't think that's that's the case here nothing's ever darkness I mean I haven't checked specifically for for like oh query there but yeah but I'll definitely push again all right i'll send you an email to Margie thank you you know looking to get otherwise yeah John write a message aim after us name hanger em through pause and imagine you're probably and then dated is that the best way to contact you yes yes yes okay every now and then I reach halfway through my inbox and then it fills up again with new stuff but I I try to at least forward all of the things I that come in I can't respond to all of them okay noise aim is the best when we send again or just surely for you didn't actually don't say anything okay thank you all right I didn't get that sorry John um what did you say how you can contact you because maybe you have time to look on my oh wait with Google class okay personal holiday all right thank you all for joining again I have to run it's been good talking to y'all lots of good questions and discussions again and I think the next hangouts are set up already so if there's something still on your mind feel free to drop the questions in there have a good weekend everyone I and thank you yeah