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CONFLICTING WEBSITE
SIGNALS & CONFUSED
SEARCH ENGINES
Consolidating Your Content in Search
Rachel Costello, Technical SEO ...
I take notes on the Google Webmasters
Office-hours Hangouts.
@rachellcostello
Back in 2018, this answer from John
Mueller got me thinking:
@rachellcostello
“You can see the canonical
page that Google ...
@rachellcostello
I had questions I
wanted answers to.
Such as, Why is
Google ignoring our
instructions and
choosing for us?
The Goal: I want to consolidate my
website’s pages to strengthen their
position in search, and get more value
from my exis...
The “Solution”: Add canonical tags.
The Goal: I want to consolidate my
website’s pages to strengthen their
position in sea...
The “Solution”: Add canonical tags...?
The Goal: I want to consolidate my
website’s pages to strengthen their
position in ...
@rachellcostello
Some things to
note about
canonicalization.
@rachellcostello brightonSEO
The canonical tag is a
signal, not a directive.
@rachellcostello
Pages have to be
very similar, or
preferably
identical for
canonicalization
to work.
@rachellcostello
@rachellcostello
Any unique
content on a page
with an accepted
canonical tag will
be ignored.
Many-to-one
canonical tags
are often
ignored.
@rachellcostello
@rachellcostello brightonSEO
WHAT WE’LL COVER
3. Using Google’s selections for optimization insights.
1. How Google decide...
@rachellcostello brightonSEO
HOW GOOGLE SELECTS
PAGES TO SHOW IN SEARCH
@rachellcostello
@rachellcostello brightonSEO
When choosing
preferred URLs,
Google often
assumes that our
implementation is
wrong.
@rachell...
@rachellcostello brightonSEO@rachellcostello
Not all website owners
have knowledge of
SEO.
@rachellcostello
Canonical tags
XML sitemaps
Robots.txt
So Google uses an
algorithm for URL
selection to make
sense of all the
chaos out there.
@rachellcostello
@rachellcostello brightonSEO
Canonical URL:
example.com/product
Internally linked URL:
example.com/product1?facet= ...
Ext...
@rachellcostello
Googlebot will assume
the site owner needs
some help.
So it will pick a
canonical URL for you.
@rachellcostello
This is where the
algorithm will be used
to help make sense of
this mess.
It uses these signals:
@rachellcostello brightonSEO@rachellcostello
Canonicals Sitemaps
Redirects Backlinks
Internal links Parameters
1
2
3
4
5
6
@rachellcostello brightonSEO
If you sit back and do
nothing, Google will
do its best to pick
preferred URLs for
you.
@rach...
@rachellcostello brightonSEO
But Google’s algorithms
aren’t perfect.
They can make mistakes.
@rachellcostello
@rachellcostello brightonSEO@rachellcostello
The algorithm’s
results will be
better if you do
your part and use
consistent
signals.
@rachellcostello
@rachellcostello brightonSEO@rachellcostello
Canonical URL
Sitemap URL
Redirect URL
Backlink URL
Internal link URL
Paramet...
@rachellcostello
With website
signals, there’s
strength in
numbers.
“Align internal
linking and rel
canonical tags to
get a particular
page indexed.” John Mueller, Google
Webmaster Trends An...
@rachellcostello brightonSEO@rachellcostello
Each of these
signals are given
different weights
by Google.
“Google can choose to show
canonicalized pages if you link
to them internally and within
sitemaps.”
John Mueller, Google W...
@rachellcostello brightonSEO@rachellcostello
Internal links +
Sitemap links
Canonical tag
“Parameter handling signals
are stronger than the canonical
signal.”
John Mueller, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst
Source:...
@rachellcostello brightonSEO@rachellcostello
Parameter
Handling
Canonical tag
“URLs in sitemaps are not
guaranteed to be indexed if
they differ from the ones that
are linked to internally.”
John Muelle...
@rachellcostello brightonSEO@rachellcostello
Internal links
Sitemap URLs
@rachellcostello brightonSEO
My observation:
More weight is given to
signals that are more likely
to have been implemented...
@rachellcostello brightonSEO
Often auto-generated
by the CMS.
@rachellcostello
Often set manually in
GSC.
Canonical
tags
P...
@rachellcostello brightonSEO
Often auto-generated
by the CMS.
@rachellcostello
Often set manually in
GSC.
Can be rolled ou...
@rachellcostello brightonSEO
Often auto-generated
and auto-updated.
@rachellcostello
Often manually added
within body cont...
@rachellcostello brightonSEO
Often auto-generated
and auto-updated.
@rachellcostello
Often manually added
within body cont...
@rachellcostello brightonSEO
HOW TO TEST YOUR
WEBSITE’S SIGNALS
@rachellcostello
@rachellcostello brightonSEO
Sending mixed website signals
to search engines:
@rachellcostello
Wastes crawl budget.
Increa...
@rachellcostello brightonSEO@rachellcostello
Take a closer
look at the
guidance you’re
giving to search
engines.
@rachellcostello
Check for any
inconsistencies in
the signals you’re
sending to search
engines.
@rachellcostello brightonSEO@rachellcostello
Internal linking
Redirects
Noindex
Sitemap inclusion
Disallow
@rachellcostello brightonSEO
INTERNAL LINKING
@rachellcostello
What to watch out for:
Are there more internal links
pointi...
@rachellcostello
Examine links in to canonical pages.
@rachellcostello
Examine canonical pages with no links in.
@rachellcostello
Examine canonical tags to non-200 URLs.
@rachellcostello brightonSEO
REDIRECTS
@rachellcostello
What to watch out for:
Are internal links, backlinks
or sitemap UR...
@rachellcostello
Examine redirecting internally linked URLs.
@rachellcostello brightonSEO
NOINDEX
@rachellcostello
What to watch out for:
Are you noindexing pages
that Google has sele...
“Don’t use a noindex tag on
canonical pages.”
John Mueller, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst
Source: https://www.deepcrawl....
“Don’t use a noindex tag on
canonical pages.”
John Mueller, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst
Source: https://www.deepcrawl....
@rachellcostello brightonSEO
SITEMAP INCLUSION
@rachellcostello
What to watch out for:
Are you sending 200 status
code, ca...
@rachellcostello
Examine canonical URL sitemap inclusion.
@rachellcostello brightonSEO
DISALLOW
@rachellcostello
What to watch out for:
Are you blocking search
engines from seeing ...
@rachellcostello
Examine non-indexable pages being shown.
@rachellcostello brightonSEO
HOW TO TEST GOOGLE’S
URL SELECTION
@rachellcostello
@rachellcostello
See Google’s URL
selection for
yourself through the
cache and Google
Search Console.
@rachellcostello
Incorrect cached page suggests that a
different canonical has been chosen.
Remember this?
@rachellcostello
“You can see the
canonical page that
Google has chosen
in the new Search
Console.”
John Mu...
@rachellcostello
Let’s take a look in Google Search Console.
@rachellcostello
The key reports in
Index Coverage
for
canonicalization
analysis.
@rachellcostello
“This page is marked as
canonical, but Google thinks
another URL makes a better
canonical which has been
indexed instead.”...
@rachellcostello
“The URL is one of a set of
duplicates without an explicitly
marked canonical page. Google
did not index this URL.”
@rache...
@rachellcostello
“This page is a duplicate of a
page that Google recognizes as
canonical. This page correctly
points to the canonical page....
@rachellcostello
@rachellcostello
“This page has duplicates, none
of which is marked canonical. We
think this page is not the
canonical one...
@rachellcostello
You can gain useful
insights from
looking at the URLs
that Google
chooses to show in
the search results.
@rachellcostello brightonSEO@rachellcostello
Great, which signals
played into this? How
can we replicate for
other key pag...
@rachellcostello brightonSEO@rachellcostello
Why not? Which
incorrect signals
caused this? Maybe
internal linking?
Google ...
@rachellcostello
Investigate further with the URL
Inspection Tool.
@rachellcostello
Make website signals
clear and consistent
for Googlebot so it
doesn’t need to make
decisions on your
beha...
@rachellcostello
This is the key to
getting particular
pages indexed in
Google.
@rachellcostello
Google’s URL
selection process is
still a relative
mystery, but at least
we now know which
areas to inves...
@rachellcostello brightonSEO
KEY TAKEAWAYS
3. Take learnings from the URLs
Google does and doesn’t choose
to show in SERPs...
[INSERT YOUR LINKEDIN] [INSERT YOUR CONTACT
NUMBER]
{INSERT YOUR EMAIL]
Thank You
@rachellcostello
Any questions? Send me ...
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Conflicting Website Signals & Confused Search Engines | Raleigh SEO Conference 2019 | Rachel Costello

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Are you sending mixed messages to Google? There are many different signals that feed into URL selection for search engines, and when these signals aren’t implemented correctly, search engines have to make their own assumptions about your website and what pages it thinks are important.

In this talk, Rachel will share examples where a website’s signals can be ignored or overruled, as well as how to test your site's setup. Don’t leave anything to chance – be sure that the most important content on your site is getting the attention it deserves.

Publié dans : Marketing
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Conflicting Website Signals & Confused Search Engines | Raleigh SEO Conference 2019 | Rachel Costello

  1. 1. CONFLICTING WEBSITE SIGNALS & CONFUSED SEARCH ENGINES Consolidating Your Content in Search Rachel Costello, Technical SEO & Content Manager @rachellcostello
  2. 2. I take notes on the Google Webmasters Office-hours Hangouts. @rachellcostello
  3. 3. Back in 2018, this answer from John Mueller got me thinking: @rachellcostello “You can see the canonical page that Google has chosen in the new Search Console.” Source: https://www.deepcrawl.com/blog/news/google-webmaster-hangout-notes-january-9th-2018/
  4. 4. @rachellcostello I had questions I wanted answers to. Such as, Why is Google ignoring our instructions and choosing for us?
  5. 5. The Goal: I want to consolidate my website’s pages to strengthen their position in search, and get more value from my existing content. @rachellcostello
  6. 6. The “Solution”: Add canonical tags. The Goal: I want to consolidate my website’s pages to strengthen their position in search, and get more value from my existing content. @rachellcostello
  7. 7. The “Solution”: Add canonical tags...? The Goal: I want to consolidate my website’s pages to strengthen their position in search, and get more value from my existing content. The Problem: Unfortunately, it’s not that simple... @rachellcostello
  8. 8. @rachellcostello Some things to note about canonicalization.
  9. 9. @rachellcostello brightonSEO The canonical tag is a signal, not a directive. @rachellcostello
  10. 10. Pages have to be very similar, or preferably identical for canonicalization to work. @rachellcostello
  11. 11. @rachellcostello Any unique content on a page with an accepted canonical tag will be ignored.
  12. 12. Many-to-one canonical tags are often ignored. @rachellcostello
  13. 13. @rachellcostello brightonSEO WHAT WE’LL COVER 3. Using Google’s selections for optimization insights. 1. How Google decides which pages to favor. 2. How to persuade Google to pick the right URLs. @rachellcostello
  14. 14. @rachellcostello brightonSEO HOW GOOGLE SELECTS PAGES TO SHOW IN SEARCH @rachellcostello
  15. 15. @rachellcostello brightonSEO When choosing preferred URLs, Google often assumes that our implementation is wrong. @rachellcostello
  16. 16. @rachellcostello brightonSEO@rachellcostello Not all website owners have knowledge of SEO.
  17. 17. @rachellcostello Canonical tags XML sitemaps Robots.txt
  18. 18. So Google uses an algorithm for URL selection to make sense of all the chaos out there. @rachellcostello
  19. 19. @rachellcostello brightonSEO Canonical URL: example.com/product Internally linked URL: example.com/product1?facet= ... Externally linked URL: example.com/product1?utm= ... Sitemap URL: example.com/product-page ? @rachellcostello
  20. 20. @rachellcostello Googlebot will assume the site owner needs some help. So it will pick a canonical URL for you.
  21. 21. @rachellcostello This is where the algorithm will be used to help make sense of this mess. It uses these signals:
  22. 22. @rachellcostello brightonSEO@rachellcostello Canonicals Sitemaps Redirects Backlinks Internal links Parameters 1 2 3 4 5 6
  23. 23. @rachellcostello brightonSEO If you sit back and do nothing, Google will do its best to pick preferred URLs for you. @rachellcostello
  24. 24. @rachellcostello brightonSEO But Google’s algorithms aren’t perfect. They can make mistakes. @rachellcostello
  25. 25. @rachellcostello brightonSEO@rachellcostello
  26. 26. The algorithm’s results will be better if you do your part and use consistent signals. @rachellcostello
  27. 27. @rachellcostello brightonSEO@rachellcostello Canonical URL Sitemap URL Redirect URL Backlink URL Internal link URL Parameter URL /product/product1 /product-page
  28. 28. @rachellcostello With website signals, there’s strength in numbers.
  29. 29. “Align internal linking and rel canonical tags to get a particular page indexed.” John Mueller, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Source: https://www.deepcrawl.com/blog/news/google-webmaster-hangout-notes-august-25th-2017/ @rachellcostello
  30. 30. @rachellcostello brightonSEO@rachellcostello Each of these signals are given different weights by Google.
  31. 31. “Google can choose to show canonicalized pages if you link to them internally and within sitemaps.” John Mueller, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Source: https://www.deepcrawl.com/blog/news/google-webmaster-hangout-notes-july-7th-2017-2/ @rachellcostello
  32. 32. @rachellcostello brightonSEO@rachellcostello Internal links + Sitemap links Canonical tag
  33. 33. “Parameter handling signals are stronger than the canonical signal.” John Mueller, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Source: https://www.deepcrawl.com/blog/news/google-webmaster-hangout-notes-may-15th-2018/ @rachellcostello
  34. 34. @rachellcostello brightonSEO@rachellcostello Parameter Handling Canonical tag
  35. 35. “URLs in sitemaps are not guaranteed to be indexed if they differ from the ones that are linked to internally.” John Mueller, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Source: https://www.deepcrawl.com/blog/news/google-webmaster-hangout-notes-november-14th-2017/ @rachellcostello
  36. 36. @rachellcostello brightonSEO@rachellcostello Internal links Sitemap URLs
  37. 37. @rachellcostello brightonSEO My observation: More weight is given to signals that are more likely to have been implemented by a human. @rachellcostello
  38. 38. @rachellcostello brightonSEO Often auto-generated by the CMS. @rachellcostello Often set manually in GSC. Canonical tags Parameter handling vs
  39. 39. @rachellcostello brightonSEO Often auto-generated by the CMS. @rachellcostello Often set manually in GSC. Can be rolled out without SEO input. A conscious decision by an SEO. Canonical tags Parameter handling vs
  40. 40. @rachellcostello brightonSEO Often auto-generated and auto-updated. @rachellcostello Often manually added within body content. Sitemap URLs Internal linksvs
  41. 41. @rachellcostello brightonSEO Often auto-generated and auto-updated. @rachellcostello Often manually added within body content. Sitemap URLs Internal linksvs Can be rolled out without SEO input. A conscious decision by an SEO.
  42. 42. @rachellcostello brightonSEO HOW TO TEST YOUR WEBSITE’S SIGNALS @rachellcostello
  43. 43. @rachellcostello brightonSEO Sending mixed website signals to search engines: @rachellcostello Wastes crawl budget. Increases time taken for indexing. Causes incorrect pages to be indexed.
  44. 44. @rachellcostello brightonSEO@rachellcostello Take a closer look at the guidance you’re giving to search engines.
  45. 45. @rachellcostello Check for any inconsistencies in the signals you’re sending to search engines.
  46. 46. @rachellcostello brightonSEO@rachellcostello Internal linking Redirects Noindex Sitemap inclusion Disallow
  47. 47. @rachellcostello brightonSEO INTERNAL LINKING @rachellcostello What to watch out for: Are there more internal links pointing to canonicalized pages than canonical pages?
  48. 48. @rachellcostello Examine links in to canonical pages.
  49. 49. @rachellcostello Examine canonical pages with no links in.
  50. 50. @rachellcostello Examine canonical tags to non-200 URLs.
  51. 51. @rachellcostello brightonSEO REDIRECTS @rachellcostello What to watch out for: Are internal links, backlinks or sitemap URLs pointing to a redirected page?
  52. 52. @rachellcostello Examine redirecting internally linked URLs.
  53. 53. @rachellcostello brightonSEO NOINDEX @rachellcostello What to watch out for: Are you noindexing pages that Google has selected as canonical without realizing?
  54. 54. “Don’t use a noindex tag on canonical pages.” John Mueller, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Source: https://www.deepcrawl.com/blog/news/google-webmaster-hangout-notes-september-9th-2016/ @rachellcostello
  55. 55. “Don’t use a noindex tag on canonical pages.” John Mueller, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Source: https://www.deepcrawl.com/blog/news/google-webmaster-hangout-notes-september-9th-2016/ @rachellcostello If you do, nothing will appear in search results for that cluster of pages.
  56. 56. @rachellcostello brightonSEO SITEMAP INCLUSION @rachellcostello What to watch out for: Are you sending 200 status code, canonical pages to Google via your sitemaps?
  57. 57. @rachellcostello Examine canonical URL sitemap inclusion.
  58. 58. @rachellcostello brightonSEO DISALLOW @rachellcostello What to watch out for: Are you blocking search engines from seeing signals for your key pages?
  59. 59. @rachellcostello Examine non-indexable pages being shown.
  60. 60. @rachellcostello brightonSEO HOW TO TEST GOOGLE’S URL SELECTION @rachellcostello
  61. 61. @rachellcostello See Google’s URL selection for yourself through the cache and Google Search Console.
  62. 62. @rachellcostello Incorrect cached page suggests that a different canonical has been chosen.
  63. 63. Remember this? @rachellcostello “You can see the canonical page that Google has chosen in the new Search Console.” John Mueller, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst
  64. 64. @rachellcostello Let’s take a look in Google Search Console.
  65. 65. @rachellcostello The key reports in Index Coverage for canonicalization analysis.
  66. 66. @rachellcostello
  67. 67. “This page is marked as canonical, but Google thinks another URL makes a better canonical which has been indexed instead.” @rachellcostello Source: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7440203
  68. 68. @rachellcostello
  69. 69. “The URL is one of a set of duplicates without an explicitly marked canonical page. Google did not index this URL.” @rachellcostello Source: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7440203
  70. 70. @rachellcostello
  71. 71. “This page is a duplicate of a page that Google recognizes as canonical. This page correctly points to the canonical page.” Source: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7440203 @rachellcostello
  72. 72. @rachellcostello
  73. 73. @rachellcostello “This page has duplicates, none of which is marked canonical. We think this page is not the canonical one.” Source: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7440203 @rachellcostello
  74. 74. @rachellcostello You can gain useful insights from looking at the URLs that Google chooses to show in the search results.
  75. 75. @rachellcostello brightonSEO@rachellcostello Great, which signals played into this? How can we replicate for other key pages? Google chose the specified canonical
  76. 76. @rachellcostello brightonSEO@rachellcostello Why not? Which incorrect signals caused this? Maybe internal linking? Google chose the specified canonical Google chose a different canonical Great, which signals played into this? How can we replicate for other key pages?
  77. 77. @rachellcostello Investigate further with the URL Inspection Tool.
  78. 78. @rachellcostello Make website signals clear and consistent for Googlebot so it doesn’t need to make decisions on your behalf.
  79. 79. @rachellcostello This is the key to getting particular pages indexed in Google.
  80. 80. @rachellcostello Google’s URL selection process is still a relative mystery, but at least we now know which areas to investigate.
  81. 81. @rachellcostello brightonSEO KEY TAKEAWAYS 3. Take learnings from the URLs Google does and doesn’t choose to show in SERPs. 1. Make your primary pages clear to Google by using consistent signals. 2. Test for inconsistencies within canonicals, redirects, internal links, sitemaps, backlinks and parameters. @rachellcostello
  82. 82. [INSERT YOUR LINKEDIN] [INSERT YOUR CONTACT NUMBER] {INSERT YOUR EMAIL] Thank You @rachellcostello Any questions? Send me a tweet:

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