Online Marketing

Build a successful web presence with Google Search (Google I/O ’18)

You skipped lunch to come here about search, no pressure, so my name is Maria and I’m a webmaster trends. Analyst coming all the way from Switzerland to talk to you about search and I’m John Mueller. I’m also webmaster trends, analyst we’re both from Google Switzerland. Our role at Google is to help the web ecosystem to be more successful in Google search.

So we hope we can bring some of this across here as well great, so I want to start us off with an example of how this actually works, so you can get an idea of what you as a developer, can do to be more successful with search. So this is Japanese website Rakuten recipes and they wanted to get more users. They also have a ton of delicious recipes on their site, so they were wondering. What can we do to get more people to notice us in search and what they decided to do? Is they changed their CMS in order to be able to markup every recipe that is added to the site, with structured data markup? What this does is it lets the search engine know that there are different entities, so things like cooking time, different ingredients, a picture and lets us display the result in a much more attractive way in the search results and the site itself was in Japanese.

So we decided to switch off the markup for those of you who don’t speak, Japanese to something more legible, so instead of dumpling, so you have here a party coffee cake, but it works the same way for dumplings, and this is how this ends up. Looking like in the search results, so you can see that, in addition to the regular elements of the search page, so they have a title, they have the URL and then they have the description.

They also have a really nice picture of dumplings, and then they have the cooking time as well. So this worked out for them pretty well in fact kind of spectacularly, so they got 2.7 times more traffic from search yeah and we thought you know developers usually don’t get as much advice around search and they might not even know about all of the pitfalls and Possibilities shouldn’t we share some of the knowledge with them, so with you all as well, so we hope we can show how search can make your projects a little bit more successful.

So today we’ll look into various types of public web presences and gives you a broad overview of specific details that you, as a developer, can read out for and implement, and these details can help make your projects more successful, on search making it easier for search engines To send users to your projects directly, so you might be thinking as a developer. I don’t really care how or if my stuff appears in search, but probably your customers, your users, the people that you’re building these projects for they do care.

And since you control how your content appears in search, you can have a huge impact here, think back about Rakuten recipes and what they did there. Globally. Google search and Google News send Philly ins of visitors each month to web sites for free, and it’s not just about web sites. We’re going to be looking into various ways that search can work depending on what you’re working on a website is just the most common format.

You could also be building a web app which is kind of similar, but slightly different as well or you could be contributing to a content management system, its so-called CMS, which enables others to build web sites of their own or as a part of that, maybe you’re Working on plugins or themes or extensions for these content management systems, we’ll take a brief look at these, as well as detailed recommendations for each of them and, as I mentioned before, search brings billions of visitors to websites every month.

That’s a lot of visitors. We serve trillions of searches each year and out of those, this is quite surprising for me every time I look at it about 15 % of the queries every day are completely new ones. Things we’ve never seen before, so maybe they’re looking for one of your projects and regardless of what you’re building if search engines, understand your content, you could get a lot more visitors and potential customers with search.

So you as a developer, you can control that through the way that you set up your website or content platform, so under these Sandy’s better, let’s take a quick look at how search works right so in order to be successful as a developer in search, you need To know at least the basics of how it works, and I’m going to take you through the super super high-level picture of how it works. If you’re interested in the details, google.

Com slash jobs, welcome to apply, and then we can go into a lot more detail. But let’s get started with the super high level picture, so we generally talk about three things. First crawling and discovery, then indexing and finally ranking and serving so I’m going to show you very briefly what each of these things is about. So, of course, in order for us to be able to show anything in the search results.

First, we need to be aware that it exists, so we have a series of systems batterer going around following links on the web and downloading web pages. Html files, you know all the different resources that come into making a website like javascript files, CSS images, what-have-you and those systems collectively are crawlers and we call them Googlebot. So the goal for us is to find everything that is fresh, new, interesting, relevant and important, and to do that in an efficient way and in order to know which URLs to crawl and in which order.

We have another set of systems which are known as schedulers. So they queue the URLs for the crawlers to go and fetch, and all of this gets then stored. So you might think that this is a pretty simple process. But if you start thinking that we have to do this 20 billion times per day, then you kind of get an idea. It’s a little bit trickier than it seems at first sight. In fact, in 2016 we saw a hundred and thirty trillion pages and a new link that we see usually there’s two more links that we’ve never seen before so there’s constantly new stuff and we have to decide what to crawl.

How to update and to do this. In the most efficient manner, so whilst we find the content, we have a series of other tasks. First, we have to make sure that we are allowed to access that content, and for that we will first go every time. We access a site we’ll go to a file called robots.Txt, which is a pretty simple file containing instructions to search engines and other crawlers, and it tells you this is okay to fetch, and this is not okay and we obey this very strictly.

So that’s the first thing that we’ll try to find on a website. The other thing that we’ll try to do is to get as much content as possible without troubling the normal work of the server. So the website can function and serve its clients as usual and then finally we’ll try to handle errors gracefully. So as a developer, you have two tasks here: the first, if you remember again that we do fetches 20 billion times a day and we see trillions of pages every year – is that your content should be really easy to discover so ways to do.

That and John will go into a little bit more detail later is to, for example, submit to us a list of URLs. They have like a sitemap or also check that all the resources that are necessary for your site to be rendered are accessible to our crawlers. So once we fetched everything that we were able to fetch, we go to the next stage, and that is indexing. So here we’re going to parse the content and into this comes things like what language is this page? Are there any images? Is there a title? Is there a description and other different elements on the page, so to do that, we also try to render the page and as a developer, especially if you’re building a lot of really cutting-edge fancy things.

You have to keep in mind that currently, the search systems are using chrome 41 to render pages. So not all of the different functionalities that you might be thinking about could be supported by the search rendering systems, and if you want to find out more, I would suggest that you have a look at the talk that John did earlier today in the morning. In case you didn’t wake up at 8:30 to see it, it will be available in YouTube and you’ll be able to see a lot more about what we support and search and how to render things properly.

So, of course, given the huge amount of pages on the web, we also don’t want to index more than one of each unique thing. So we have a lot of systems in place to eliminate duplicates and to keep only one copy of each thing and then finally, we don’t want error pages and we also don’t want any spam. So we will kick all of that out and everything else that we want to keep we put in the index and we process it so that it’s ready to serve to users when they search.

So for you as a developer. Here I guess it’s important to remember that key elements like titles and descriptions are available in each page that your users are creating and then also to check how it’s rendered. But John will go into a lot more detail here later and then. Finally, once we have everything in the index, when users start searching we’re going to pull a set of pages, that we think are relevant results, we’re going to add a bunch of information that we’ve already accumulated to them like how important they are and how they relate To the users query and then we’re going to show them in some specific order that we think it’s most relevant for this user.

So this is mostly on our side and you don’t need to worry about anything here if your content is already accessible and easy to render, but if you’re really interested in ranking and search quality again, Google Chrome, slash jobs, there’s plenty of interesting problems to solve. So now that you know how search works, let’s have a summary of the two things that you need to remember. There’s. First, you have to help us find the content and second, you have to help us evaluate the content.

So if you’re able to do these two things you’re pretty much set as a developer. Now this is super super high level. So what we’re going to do next is show you how you can apply this for each specific thing that you need to build, so we’re going to start with websites and John is going to share with you some very specific advice about what to do, and what Not to do when you’re building a website for someone all right thanks Maria, that was a great introduction into search.

So, like you said, let’s start with websites, you can build a maintained one for yourself to kind of showcase, your own content, or maybe you’re doing that for other people to show to let them create websites on their own. You might be thinking that showing up in search isn’t really your job as a developer, but, like we mentioned before as a developer, you play a really big role in kind of putting everything in place, so that search can pick up the content properly.

So that’s really important for us when it comes to websites. I think it’s worth taking a really big step back and looking at the absolute basics. So for us, that’s a URL. That’s essentially the address. That’s used to address a single piece of content on the web. Perhaps surprisingly, URLs are the cause of an solution to a lot of web search problems. Traditionally, URLs on the web started out quite simple.

Their requests that sent to the server and the server responds with unique HTML per URL fragments within the URL. So everything after the hash sign here. They essentially just lead to a different part of the same page. Javascript changed that a little bit and suddenly a single URL could do a little bit more and show different kinds of content and provide extra functionality to keep State some JavaScript sites use fragments, since these were easy to set with JavaScript.

However, Google generally doesn’t support this and, as far as I know, no search engine supports addressing unique content with individual fragments. So nowadays we recommend using JavaScript history API to use normal traditional, looking URLs, so in short, with URLs, stick to something more traditional. Another really important thing that comes into play with your ELLs is that often you have many different URLs that lead to the same content as a developer.

That’s usually no big deal and you can look at that. You think well, index.Html. That’s obviously homepage I mean that’s like every developer knows that, but for search engines, that’s not so obvious. It could be something completely different. Sometimes you also just track ad tracking parameters to URLs, and all of these different URLs are essentially for search engines, separate pages that we could look at and say well, there might be something different here and you can imagine at 20 billion times a day that could Lead to a lot of inefficient crawling, so we prefer to have a single URL per piece of content, and there are two ways that you can do that the first is to consistently use the same URLs across your whole website.

So if you have internal navigation link to the same pages, if you have a sitemap file, like Maria mentioned, you use the same URLs there. If you use anything to guide people to your websites, make sure you use the same URLs there. Instead of having these different patterns that only two the same thing, and secondly, one element that you can also use is the rel canonical link element, which is something you can place in the head of a page that tells us well search engines or Google.

If you look at this page, this is actually the URL that I prefer you look at. This is the one that I want you to index and together. This makes it a little bit easier for search engines to pick the right URL. So we have your ELLs covered. What else is there? Let’s take a look at a typical search results page, so we have on top the title in this case the Google i/o schedule page. Then we have the URL which is right below it.

In this case, it’s a it’s a breadcrumb URL, we’ll look at that briefly a bit later as well, and then you have the description. So these are three elements on a search results, page that are immediately visible to everyone who is searching for something and they come from your pages directly. So it’s something that, as a developer, it’s really easy to place. When you look at an HTML page, they’re, very visible and easy to find, so we have the title on top.

This is really easy to put in here. We have the canonical tag, the rel canonical link element, which is also really easy to place, and we have the description meta description. So while these elements don’t directly affect the ranking, so the order that Maria talked about they do affect how we show a page in the search results and with that they do affect how people actually come and visit your pages or not.

So we’ve seen a few of the basic elements here, like the metadata, the titles URLs and the descriptions. What could you as a developer do to make that a little bit easier, especially if you have various people who are using your website your project, to put content online? We recommend making it as easy as possible for them to do the right thing, so not just for you as a developer, to put titles descriptions and all of that into your pages, but also for those who are creating pages on your platform.

To put that in there, so here you see a user interface from blogger with a really easy way to just add a description to individual pages, and we feel the easier it is for for people making your pages to actually put this content in there. The more likely they’ll actually do that. So when we looked at the search results, we saw this kind of breadcrumb there as well, and a breadcrumb is for us something.

That is something that you can provide on your pages to make it easier to understand where this page belongs within your website. We call this a type of a rich result, because it’s not just the pure text text result and there are different kinds of rich results that you can also use. For example, you could add markup for articles. If you have articles on a page, you could tell us about podcasts, which is really cool, because there’s a podcast player built into the search results.

So if you have a podcast, if you have a project that includes audio content, then suddenly that content is immediately available. In the search results, without anyone needing to install an extra app which is really cool and then finally, recipes, of course, which we saw with Rakuten in the beginning. So how do you get all of these rich results? Well, Maria mentioned that briefly. Essentially, it’s just a bunch of json-ld markup that you can add to the top of your pages.

That gives us a lot more information. So this is something that you can just add to the pages here. It’s really easy to add. We have a bunch of different types of markup that you can add here, there’s a code lab here for i/o as well on adding structured data markup. So if you’re curious on how to do that, I definitely take a look at the code lab. I have a link here and the code lab includes information on finding the right types of markup to add how to add it and how to test it.

So that’s a great thing to check out another element when it comes to web pages. If you’re working on just a general web page project is speed. For us, speed is a ranking factor at Google, so it helps us to determine which pages we should show in. In the order in the search results, but generally we’ve also found that speed. It makes a big difference even outside of search engines and the various tools to test speed.

We we have a link here that gives you an overview of the different testing tools that we have. One of the tools is PageSpeed insights, which I showed here. That gives you a great overview of what you could be testing, what you could be looking at what you could be improving and then one other really important tool when it comes to search, is search, console kind of what the name says so within search console, you Get a lot of information about this whole pipeline that Maria showed everything from discovery to crawling to indexing and to serving so how we show your pages in the search results.

You can find information about this in search console. Additionally, we’ll also alert you of critical issues. As they arise, so we strongly recommend that everyone checks this out if you’re, making a public web presence, anything that you want to have indexed and searched and looks like a lot of you do so. The first step when it comes to search console is to verify ownership. We don’t show the data in search console to just everyone.

You have to kind of prove to us that this is actually your website. One thing that I find really important here is, if you’re, making a project for others online, make it as easy as possible for them to verify owners so make it possible for them to add any of these verification tokens so that they don’t always have to go Back to the development team say hey, I need this special file that has this content and put that on a page.

So we we talked about websites quite a bit, but web app is another really important topic which I imagine a lot of. You have seen in different ways here at i/o already for us. A web app is kind of like a normal website, but it provides a lot more interactive functionality. Interaction may be logged in view personalization. Maybe it has parts that don’t actually need to be indexed as well. For example, a travel business might have information about timetables and general pricing, but also have detailed information about kind of specific connection plans for individual connections or personalized pricing as well or in this case.

For search console, we have a lot of general informational pages as well as a lot of content, that’s kind of unique and where you have to be logged in to actually gain access to that. So for these types of sites, you kind of have to balance between what you want to have indexed and what you don’t really want to have indexed and for web apps in general. I’d also take a look at the JavaScript site session from earlier today, so one there are few things that we found that are kind of unique when it comes to web apps.

That, generally, don’t play such a big role on websites in general, especially if you’re making normal HTML pages. The first one is how to actually find URLs on your site. So we talked about URLs briefly Maria mentioned how important they are for discovering pages and within web apps. We’ve seen that people sometimes don’t use traditional anchor tags to. Let us know about your ELLs, so in particular we we love finding things like this.

Where we’ve have an a tag, we have a link to a page. We control that it’s really easy to find. It’s a lot trickier when you have something like a span that essentially just calls a JavaScript function with an onclick handler, then search engines when they look at that. But, like I don’t know what what do we need to do here? Does this show a dialog? Does it show new page? Does this go somewhere? We don’t know so we can’t crawl this kind of a link.

So what you can do, if you want to have an onclick handler and handle things in JavaScript, is combine the two. So you have your onclick handler and you have your href attribute to. Let us know about the other page that we can go off and crawl. Another extreme when it comes to web apps is that we often run into situations where we see tons of different URLs, which makes it again quite inefficient to actually crawl through.

So there are different things that you can do here to. Let us know about this. The first is obviously to avoid actually going off and crawling all of these different URLs. So if these don’t provide unique functionality that you need to have indexed separately, maybe you can use other ways of linking to them other than a element. Another thing that you can do is within search console tell us about individual parameters within the URL that you don’t care about.

So this is really neat tool, but it’s also very strong functionality in that. If you set this up incorrectly, then of course we won’t go up and crawl all of these URLs, and if this is something that you care about, then suddenly we won’t be able to index that. So I read out for this, but this is a great way of handling this kind of duplication within a website. Again like like we talked about before a lot of web apps use, JavaScript frameworks and for JavaScript frameworks.

You have to read out for some of specific details as well, so that we can actually render the content that we can crawl and index the content in an efficient way for that. I’d really refer back to the JavaScript side session that we had this morning. A really quick way, if you just want to have a short view of whether or not your javascript site your web app works for search, is to use a mobile-friendly test which is shown here, which shows the mobile view as mobile Googlebot would show.

This is really important for us because we’re switching to mobile first indexing, where Googlebot is actually using a mobile device to for all pages rather than a desktop device. So definitely make sense to check this out and we also have a bunch of best practices and general guidelines that that apply more to web apps that you can check out in the other session as well. So what do you do if you’re not just building one application or one website, but rather a whole platform? I don’t know Maria.

Can you tell us more? I have some ideas all right, so you could be building an individual site or a web app for someone or for yourself or you could be contributing to an entire content management system or another hosting platform. And here what I mean by this is any type of platform where other people can create their own online presence, so it can come in different flavors, for example, it could be something like WordPress, where you could download it and host it on your own server or It could be a fully hosted system, plus your own domain, like Squarespace, for example, or it could be something where you just get a URL on their own domain and also it’s hosted by them like Tumblr.

So there are all these different flavors and you could be working for a system like this which, in its own turn, has a bunch of users. So what you do affects all of these people, and that is a lot of power and a lot of responsibility. So we’re going to talk about what can you do to make all these people successful in search by making some changes to the platform itself? And this is a really important topic for us right now, because more than 50 % and growing of the web is currently build on various CMS’s.

So more than half of the content on the web is affected by the systems and if you’re working on one of them were planning to do so in the future, it’s really great, if you’re able to make those people successful in search as well, because that’s why They came on the web, they wanted to connect to others, maybe find some customers and so forth. So we’ve been thinking a lot about this and we’ve built a set of api’s to help you integrate search functionality directly into the interface of those systems, and I want to show you api’s and how they’ve been integrated already.

Maybe, to give you some inspiration and some ideas about what you can do so as John was mentioning before the first thing that we need in order to show any type of search, information or search functionality is to have proof that you are indeed the owner of The site – and he mentioned how this works for individual sites, so you can have an HTML file. You can use a DNS entry and so forth, but for those users, especially for the less savvy CMS users – wouldn’t it be great if you could actually simplify it to one click and it is possible with the verification, API and three-legged OAuth.

So we’ve built this API. So that you can use it, and if the user authorizes you, you could verify their site, which is hosted on your platform on their behalf. They just need to click one button and they immediately have access to all the search information. So the experience for them is really smooth, and you can do this for a thousand users or for two million users or whatever it is, and then immediately they get access to all kind of interesting stats.

Which brings me to the next API, which is the search console API and that provides access to aggregated stats per site. So you can see things like clicks impressions, crawl errors. You can submit a sitemap through there and you can slice and dice this in many different ways. So, for example, you can look per country per time period or per device, and you can build very interesting interfaces with that, and here on.

The slide is an example of a request where you just pulled the top 10 queries per clicks for a specific period of time and then, as a result, you would get a table where the query clicks, impressions position and so forth. Now a table in itself might be informative, but it’s not really exciting. So let me show you some ways in which existing CMS’s have actually integrated. This we’ve been working with Wix and they created this achievements sidebar for their users, so they’re using the search analytics data to give this little badges every time.

Something happens that they think the user will be happy to hear about. So their users are super excited about this gamified approach and they’re constantly looking there in order to see okay. What did I get now? What did I get now? So here’s clicks and impressions built in an achievement sidebar like this we’ve, also been working with Squarespace and actually just this Monday, they announced this new report that they integrate it into the interface of their own CMS.

So what you see here is the one-click verification when the user click connects to Google in the backend, their site gets verified, and then this report gets populated with information from search console. So here the user can see clicks impressions and the time series over the last month. Squarespace has a bunch of other analytics reports inside their CMS, so people can compare and build the full picture of how they’re doing in search – and at this point they don’t even know that search console exists, but they have everything that they need to know how they’re Doing and to accomplish the correct tasks right there in their Squarespace dashboard.

So we’re pretty excited about this kind of functionality and we want to build up on it and we would be looking forward to work with other CMS’s if you’re, representing one and you’re interested in this. Another thing that we really wanted to help users with is get their content as fast as possible on the search results, and so we’ve been looking into ways to use the indexing API that we have in order to get content submitted super quickly and then also be Able to share the indexing decisions, so what did our search systems think about the CRL and what do they want to do with it? And we worked on this for a few months and at this point is in a place where this can happen within seconds.

So again, with Wix, we built a pretty cool integration where, when a user submits a page and it matches a certain quality criteria, basically they can click a button within the Wix interface and then the page gets submitted through the indexing API and then, after that, they Immediately get a response if their page got on the search results or not so for the Wix users. This is a pretty cool experience because they can see their page in the search results immediately after they’ve created it there’s no waiting, there’s no wondering and my own search or not within seconds they’re on Google, so we’re interested in working with other CMS’s and if you Represent some kind of content management system or a platform which lets users create their own presence online and especially if your users are less savvy and they don’t really know what to do with search.

We are really interested in talking to you to see if it might be a good fit to participate in the CMS Partnership Program. So, there’s a link on the slide which will take you to a forum and there you can tell us a little bit more about who you represent and how you would like to work with us. So, looking forward to hearing from some of you hopefully now you could be contributing not just to the core product of the CMS, but to a bunch of other things which people install in order to enhance the functionality of their site.

And one of those things are plugins now plugging here is defined as any kind of add-on that people would add to their site. So, for example, things like a shopping, cart or maybe a way to add reviews or a comment plug-in things like that. So while it can enhance the functionality of the site, it can also significantly alter the functionality of the site in terms of performance and other factors. So I wanted to give you a few tips on what to do if you’re building plugins.

First of all make sure that it doesn’t slow down the performance of the site. So, in order to do this, have a test site, install the plug-in and then use our speed tools to make sure that the site with the plug-in is doing just as well as the site without the plugin. This is webpagetest.Org, which is one of the performance tools that we have, and the neat part about it is that it will give you a super, detailed breakdown, a float loaded and when so, you can see how your plugin is affecting the performance of this site.

So test that out, then, if you’re building a comment plug-in and if you been on the Internet in general, you will know that there are a lot of comments out there, which are maybe a little bit less valuable than other comments and especially in some cases there Altogether, spammy or there bots, which are going around and posting auto-generated stuff in order to create links that they’re hoping search engines will follow to some spammy websites.

This is not pleasant for any user and you can actually help them out a little bit if you’re, building a plugin like this by adding a specific type of annotation to those links by default, so that search engines know not to trust them. This is a link attribute that we call nofollow and basically, what it does is. It will just tell the search engines. Don’t follow this link, don’t trust it. So, if you’re building a comment plug-in, definitely consider adding this to the links in the comments.

Finally and kind of most, unfortunately, we’ve noticed that one of the main vectors for attack on websites and attacks on websites are increasing is hacks through plugins. So a lot of hackers and malicious other malicious people will get access to a site through an old plugin and if you’re, building plugins there’s a few things, you can do to make sure that your users are not affected by this. First of all make sure that every time you add an update, everybody who has this plug-in automatically receives it then make sure to follow coding, best practices so that there’s no backdoors that the hackers can exploit.

And finally, if you get tired of this plug-in and decide not to support it anymore, make sure it’s clear to people that this is not supported, so they don’t go ahead and install something that is actually making their site more vulnerable themes are another thing that is Very closely related to CMS’s and a lot of people install them and though, in order to improve the appearance of their scientific Euler or give it a specific like feel, so they can change how the site looks on how users perceive it.

But they can also really affect performance and they can also affect mobile friendliness. So again, here test your theme make sure that it’s responsive. You can do this with the mobile-friendly test that John was showing earlier and for performance. Specifically, we recommend again having a test site and then, with the theme and with another theme, having a look at how it performs lighthouse is one of our speed tools, which is really useful in this case, because it’s in the browser you don’t need to have have The site process, by search in order to test it so here’s a blogger site, the we use for purposes of this example.

We install the theme and then we use lighthouse to do the performance testing. So you see how long it takes actually until what they call the first meaningful paint, which is when all the elements appear to the user. So the overall score for this team was not super great and also the specific user metrics with we’re not great either. But then we went ahead and we switched to another theme, so you can see here it’s much much faster to load and the user can interact with it much faster as well and consequentially.

The score is also great. So if you’re building themes definitely make sure that it’s performant and also that it’s responsive by using the free tools that we provide so there’s a lot of stuff that we cover today and hopefully for any of these things that we’ve told you that you might be Building you now have enough tools and equipment to go ahead and make improvements and make your users happy and more successful in search.

We know that there’s many many different details and links that we provided. So if you have to remember just four things: pay attention to what John is going to tell you right now, all right thanks wow, that was a lot. Ok, look looking back at these things! There are a few common elements that that we covered that came up again and again. So first is remember the basics, URLs titles and descriptions they do matter.

They do play a big role when it comes to search. They play a big role in how people come to your site through search. Secondly, remember to take advantage of structured data like the Rakuten example in the beginning. Obviously, they saw a big change in the traffic from search even without ranking changes just by making their search results. Look a lot more visually appealing and then take advantage of all of the tools and api’s that we have available so use.

The search console understand how search console works, use the api’s from search console to make it better for your users, people who are using your products to really create fantastic web presences and then fine, especially if you’re, making something for other people to create web presences. In make it as easy as possible for them to do the right thing as well, so make it easy for them to put the right fields in in to add data about titles and descriptions on pages, make it easy for them to really create high performance.

Web pages, so these are only some general tips I think, to get started with they’re. Obviously, a lot of different aspects that come into play with search, but we think these are aspects are really critical to start with, and we have a lot more information in our developer Center developer guides. We have a search console Help Center with a lot of more information about search in general and specifically about search console.

If you have any more questions today will be in the web, and payment sandbox area later today, so feel free to come by there as well and finally, there of course other ways to reach out to us online as well. So you can find us on Twitter. We do live office hours hangouts, where you can join us with a YouTube, live hangout, we’re available in the webmaster help forum. If you have any questions, so don’t don’t let questions kind of stick around make sure you get answers to them from from us.

If you need them, we hope you found this introduction into search interesting. Thank you all for coming. We wish you and your projects more success online through Google search. Thank you.

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Web Performance: SEO Mythbusting

Myth busting with me today Is Ada Rose, Cannon and you’re working for Samsung. Is that right? What do you do at Samsung? So for Samsung? I’M a developer advocate for the web browser Samsung Internet Samsung Internet is a web browser for Android phones.

You can get it from the Play Store, but not a lot of people have heard about it. So there’s lots. What I do is trying to raise awareness, but more importantly than that, What I’m trying to do is advocate for the web as a platform to try and encourage developers to build for it and to Make sure it lasts long into the future. As a great and healthy platform for people to build stuff with, I love to have you here, because I want to talk to you about the SEO Versus performance and usability on the web, and I think we need to get some stuff out of the way right.

So will you say what is the most important bits and pieces that you would like people to focus on more when building web stuff? So I have a huge passion for ensuring that That the web remains great for everyone around the world, Not just on people using the latest handsets and on desktop computers, Because most people aren’t people are using devices from years ago and low-end sub $ 100 devices, where, Frankly, today, the the modern web is just not even reaching them There’s a fantastic talk from Alex Russell Who goes into the the reality of people with phones that are less than $ 100 And yeah.

That’S a that’s! A fantastic one. You’D have the naive thought that, as time goes on, that phones are getting steadily better and at a bottom of the line phone is Nowadays is just as good at the top of line phone four years ago, when they’re, not It’s just getting wider and wider Wider. The chasm is opening, rather than anything else, What was really awesome. I heard recently Google was doing performance metrics into Into their ratings for search results.

I don’t So was this front-end web performance like render speed, making sure it’s not janky, or is this just Making sure that a page loads really quickly? So it is a little… It’S a it’s a tricky one, because we have so many metrics right. We have Time to first bite. We have time to interactive, We have time to first meaningful paint, and then you have like the frame rates and stuff.. Now Googlebot, which is the tool that basically fetches the data and renders your website for for Search Indexing.

We don’t really interact that much with the page, So we can’t really get like figure out if your scroll is smooth on something like that, but we do get the rendering bits. So we can tell you, when the page becomes responsive to inputs, when the content is ready for the user to consume, So we’re looking at the blend of these kind of modes Yeah of performance. Does that make sense? It does make sense.

So do you have any other qualms with like how SEO influences the daily work of a web developer? So a friend of mine recently rebuilt her site using React. She was very excited about it and and seemed to get quite good to client side performance Once it all loaded. Unfortunately, when she sent it out to her company’s Team to which does SEO analysis, they came back with an answer of. We love your site.

It’S really good, But you’ve basically don’t appear in the rankings, even though she could show them that look right there. It’S on Google Is Google engaging with people who do SEO analysis to ensure that They’re running up-to-date metrics, the similar ones to Google to ensure that even a heavily client-side rendered page, and They can feel confident that it is being measured. Well, So we can’t really Fix what people are doing in terms of what they were tools.

They’re using or something, But what we do want is we want to open this black box of SEO for everyone, So we’re having this conversation web developers We’re having this conversation with Seo and tool makers and we provide a bunch of metrics and tools as well. So we have search console that gives you a bunch of insights and how you’re doing in search so that you’re, not relying on someone else. Basically, sticking the finger in the wind and Reading the stars and stuff, and we also.

We also want to make sure that people are understanding that blanket statements like JavaScript’s going to kill your SEO or you cannot use, React or Angular that that’s not necessarily the best way of doing it. It’S a really comfortable answer, probably mmm. It’S not the right answer. Sometimes All right so at Chrome, Dev Summit. I saw your great talk on SEO in the web. Thank you, And one thing you mentioned was the the rendering for By Googlebot to actually process a JavaScript heavy site could take up to a week to happen.

Does this mean that JavaScript heavy sites are effectively getting penalized in Google Search results right, They’re, not getting penalized, so they are ranking just fine, but the indexing stage is where the problem is because, as you say, we are processing by putting them first into a rendering Queue and then eventually, As we have the resources available, We are rendering them and if the resources take a while to actually render That means that we cannot refresh the content in the index as quickly so News sites might want to look into that.

But then again you have usability issues anyways right, Yes right and that’s because that’s bad for the user. We try to find search results that are good for the users and If a page takes ages to load. That is not a good experience for me. So you want to fix that because of the users, not necessarily just because of the crawler. So if a page is Built using, I know I have a bit of a bias against these JavaScript heavy front-end client-side Rendered pages, because they’re terrible for everyone who doesn’t have like an iPhone or latest Pixel, or something Yeah or a desktop computer.

But anyway, for these sites, if the way they make their money is delivering fresh content daily. Does this mean that the content in the search results may actually be like out of date? For them They might be lagging? Then? Yes, absolutely And I think again, like it’s very important to get the users a great experience, and I don’t think you can do that when you are Heavily relying on client-side rendering, because good Devices might be really old, So yeah one way of working around.

Unless you want to Properly fix this and do hybrid, rendering or server-side rendering One way around of that is to do dynamic, rendering and basically like give us a static rendered version of your page for the crawler So that we can index it quicker. But that’s not making the user usability and user experience problems going. So what do you say it’s generally safer to rely more on on latest HTML and CSS, Knowing that they degrade more gracefully than JavaScript? Yes, Don’t speak! If you look at the the tristar of Technology that we have in the web platform like HTML, CSS and JavaScript, HTML and CSS are just more resilient than JavaScript, and so Relying on JavaScript, too heavily is always going to probably get you into trouble with certain ways And spotty network connections and stuff, So I would say, use polyfills use, progressive enhancement, use what the web platform offers you and use JavaScript responsibly Yeah.

It’S really great to hear, especially from a Googler that, like reducing reliance on JavaScript and Taking advantage of good HTML and CSS, where it’s available can can actually wonders for your SEO. Absolutely Ada. Thank you so much for being here and talking to me about performance and SEO, and I do you have a feeling that SEO and web developers can work together nicer or is there still…? I think, as long as the goals of what people are trying to accomplish are clear and we’re not just like resorting to auguries or looking at the stars to work out what Google is thinking, then it’s going to Enabled developers to actually build sites that make sense And take advantage of that platform, Anything Google can do to ensure that the web works for everyone and not just in the wealthy Western web, then It’ll be really really fantastic.

Fantastic closing words. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you This just in the next episode of SEO. Myth-Busting is going to be about SEO in the age of frameworks, Jason Miller, and I will talk about what that entails. So stay tuned on this blog Subscribe to Google webmasters and see you soon.

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Online Marketing

SEO Mythbusting 101

I don’t know about people say a lot of things out there about how to make your website it stand in the top result, but I don’t really know how to achieve that. You know right, fair enough. That’S a that’s a really good question: how to achieve that and I think that’s a perfect introduction into what we’re trying to do here we’re trying to like bust these myths.

What can I help you with? What are the questions that come to your mind? Okay? So, let’s start with something simple: what it’s a search engine all right, so a search engine is a platform of service or program whatever you want to call it that basically goes through the internet content and tries to catalog it. It works a little bit like in the library right, so you probably go to a library and ask the librarian.

Where can I find a book on topic X right, that’s what you do and then normally it doesn’t take you to basically go through all the books. In the library you just ya, get the right books and that’s what search engines do for you. We find the right content for your purpose, all right, but I went when he’s heard of search engines. I also heard this word called crawling. Is that a thing? That’S a thing so the way that we are doing this or search engines do this is by first going through the entire internet and we have links from one page to the other yeah.

So we are using that we start somewhere some URLs and then basically follow links from there on. So we are basically crawling our way through the Internet, one page by page, more or less, and then once we have, these pages have found them have grabbed the content. From the Internet, we need to understand it. We need to figure out what is this content about and what purpose does it serve? So then that’s the second stage which is indexing.

So then we figure out. So this page is about ice cream. This page is about ice cream in Miami. This page is about marmalade and stuff like that, and then the last step is, if you type something in you don’t type in. I want this particular thing here. You just go like. I need ice cream ice cream online. Midian right, yes, you got it, so we then basically look into our index and find the ones that are serving this purpose.

And then we try to figure out, which is the one that serves these purposes perfectly or best, and then we rank these higher than the others and show you the example, the examples that we found from the index. So how do you know which one is which results are more relevant to a given user? That’S a really good question. We have over 200 signals to do so. So we look at things like the title: the Meta Description, the actual content that you’ve got on your page images links all sorts of things.

Well right, it’s a very complicated question to answer what ranks you best but yeah. We look at the bunch of signals now, if you could give me like. You know, like top three things, that I should consider. What would that be right, so us being developers originally, you probably want me to say. Oh, I use this framework or use that framework. Yeah, that’s not how it works. You have to have really good content, and that means you have content have to have content that serves a purpose for the user.

It’S something that users need and or one optimally they need it and want it. Okay, like ice cream, so if you’re, if your content says where you are, what you do, how you? How you help me with what I’m trying to accomplish? That’S fantastic! If you just have a page that says like we are a fantastic company and we have plenty of products, that’s not serving a purpose, so you want to make sure to serve the purpose of the people who you want to attract and get who you want to Interact with your content, and you want to make sure that you’re using words that I would be using if you use a very specific term for your ice cream, let’s say like smooth cream 5000 or something like that.

I’M not I’m not going to search for that because I don’t know about I’m just going to go like I need ice cream, it’s good to mention it somewhere, so that I know. If I look for that trademark, I find it as well okay, but if I, if I’m exploring ice cream around me, I don’t know what particular ice cream there is, if there’s like a specific brand fantastic, but that’s not what I’m looking for so speak the language That I’m using so you’re you’re saying more.

Like a page, it’s like an exactly you wouldn’t when when we to meet and you have a fantastic product or I have a fantastic four, I wouldn’t go like yeah blurp master 5000. It’S fantastic and you’re like yeah. It doesn’t say it does that do all right, so do that, do an elevator pitch and help us. Okay, put you in contact with the right people, so content is number one priority. Oh, could you mention another two things that are important for this yeah you’re going to love them because they are technical, so the second biggest thing is make sure that you have meta tags that describe your content.

So I have a Meta Description. Okay, because that gives you the possibility to have a little snippet in the search results that let people find out, which of the many results might be the ones that help them the best and have page titles that are specific to the page that you are serving. So don’t have a title for everything. The same title is bad. If you have titles that change with the content you’re showing that is fantastic and frameworks, have ways of doing that so consult the documentation, but there’s definitely something something that helps with the content and the last bit is performance.

Herot right, yeah performance is fantastic. We’Re talking about it constantly, but we’re probably missing out on the fact that this is also good for being discovered online. Our so performance is not just making my website faster, but it’s also making my website more visible to others, correct okay, because we want to make sure that the people clicking on your search was like clicking on your page yeah, getting this content quickly.

So that’s one thing that we want to make sure as well, so we’re it’s one of the many signals that we are looking at, but also it just helps you use this right. They get happier. If I want ice cream really badly, then I get the page quicker, that’s fantastic yeah! So if you want to look at performance, I highly recommend looking into hybrid rendering or server-side rendering again, because that gets the content quicker to the users.

Usually right also, you might have BOTS that don’t run JavaScript so Googlebot. Does that, but not everyone else. Does it necessarily? So you want to make sure to probably figure out something like dynamic rendering, if you don’t want to make code changes, because I understand we’re all pressed for time. We have lots of bugs and and features too to fulfill and work through. So if you can’t change the code dynamic, rendering might be something that gets you there.

Okay, if there’s rendering shoes with your content. But besides that, I would say definitely look into performance. Optimization get the content quicker, get the first content full paint in there quicker optimize. Your servers optimize your caching strategies make sure that your script doesn’t have to run for, like 60 seconds, to fetch everything that you need. I know yeah, so those are things that you should definitely look into, and I guess performance is something that pretty much everyone in the developer community is looking at.

Certainly yes or they should at least they should. I hope that they do okay, so we already discussed, like all these basics around SEO and search engines and how to position my my website in the top search results. Now the question is: why is it so important for companies to rank like like in the top results right, so you’re you’re a web developer right? Yes, your build stuff on the internet. Yeah.

Do you want people to use it? Certainly, yes, certainly right, so in order to make sure that people can use that they have to know about it, and unless you are probably one of the really big players might not, and even for the big players, if they launch something new, you might not know About it and you’re not looking specifically for products you’re looking for something that serves a purpose for you, okay, I want to know how I built this thing with a framework I want to know where to find the best ice cream and the place I am in.

I want to find the cutest dogs and poppers online so, like I have a purpose, I don’t know who serves this purpose necessarily. So if you build the best ice cream, PWA ever in, let’s say Medellin. Is that how you profess? So if you build the best PWA to order ice cream online in midian, then I don’t. I don’t know about that, especially if I come as a tourist. But if I type that into a search engine like order ice cream in medicine, and then it goes like hey this, this PWA does this trick yeah you want to be the the first or the first couple of because I’m not going to go to page 99 And go like oh yeah.

This might be the perfect thing, because Google and other search engines are trying to like figure out what is the best for this purpose and then show me those up front and then I might pick from those because normally they’re pretty good. I think that covers have all the questions I have fantastic, so you feel like ready to build that, certainly excellent. That is so cool. Thank you. So much for being here.

Thank you, my guests, and I hope that this this helps other developers as well and developers and se owes can be friends. I think I think so yeah I think so. Thank you. Oh, are we still on please stay tuned for another episode of SEO: myth busting. Next time with soos Hinton we’ll talk about what is Googlebot so come back again and read what happens?

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