Today I went to the Google Search Conference held at Trident Hotel, Chennai. Here are a few of my learnings/highlights from the event –
- Google looks at more than 200 factors while ranking a webpage for a search query; page rank is just one of them.
- In 2017 alone Google did more than 2,70,000 experiments with Search and they implemented less than 2500 changes in their algorithms.
- Everyday, around 15% of the searches are for new keywords.
- Loading Speed and SSL (https) are important factors for better search result positioning.
- They suggest we use Structured Data Markup (Schema.org is fine, but Google’s Structured data is preferred) for giving additional information about your page to Google – this doesn’t impact search results directly. They use Structured Data to display rich results, knowledge graph sheet and carousal results. Here is their Structured Data Testing Tool.
- For better positioning of images in search, they suggest we use Alt Tag, give descriptive title names, and use captions on every image.
- For multi-lingual webpages, it’s better to use separate URLs for each language as it is difficult for their search engine to set a preferred language if we mix multiple languages in a single domain.
- The domain name/URL can be in Tamil or any of their other supported languages, but it should be in UTF-8 encoding.
- Google will not consider the same content in different languages (translated) as duplicate content.
- They suggest that we implement two-step verification for logins in addition to passwords for enhanced security as almost 45% of web users are prone to losing login data to phishing attacks.
- They suggest we update our systems like CMS, Plugins, etc. regularly and keep them up to date as patches for vulnerabilities are provided through updates.
- Google Search Console will give information on security threats they identify on a website to registered users, in addition to providing information on SEO issues like 404 errors, indexing status, search keywords, etc. Registering our sites in Google Search Console is free of cost.
- To increase Mobile Website loading speed, Google suggests webmasters to implement AMP for the mobile version.
- If there is any issue with Google Adsense or if Publishers have any clarifications, they could visit and drop a message on The Adsense Help Forum, or send a direct email message to email@example.com
- To compensate for 404 errors, Google suggests we don’t redirect the readers to the homepage. Instead, we can create a custom 404 error message if possible with links to related content.