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Google Advice For JavaScript Heavy Sites: Have Content Load First

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Google Says Near Duplicate URLs With Canonical Still Can Lead To Wrong URL Ranking

Gary Illyes from Google posted a PSA (public service announcement) of sorts on Mastodon and LinkedIn for sites that are heavy with JavaScript. He said that you should try to load the content, including the “marginal boilerplate” content, first when you have a JavaScript-heavy site.

He said this is recent advice based on seeing a “bunch” of emails with complaints from SEOs where they see “lots of dups reported in Search Console.” He said when he tried to load the pages in his browser, it “took forever to load,” “so rendering timed out (my most likely explanation) and we were left with a bunch of pages that only had the boilerplate. With only the boilerplate, those pages are dups,” he added.

So if you see this issue in Google Search Console for your JavaScript heavy site, then try it, try to load the content first.

Here is what Gary posted:

Do you have a JavaScript-heavy site and you see lots of dups reported in Search Console? Try to restructure the js calls such that the content (including marginal boilerplate) loads first and see if that helps.

I have a bunch of emails in my inbox where the issue is that the centerpiece took forever to load, so rendering timed out (my most likely explanation) and we were left with a bunch of pages that only had the boilerplate. With only the boilerplate, those pages are dups.

Gary later added on Mastodon, “Search engines are in fact very similar to a user’s browser when it comes to indexing, but a user doesn’t access billions of pages (or however many search engines typically access) every day, so they must have stricter limits.”

Forum discussion at Mastodon and LinkedIn.

Source: www.seroundtable.com

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Google Clarifies JSON-LD, Microdata & RDFa Are All Supported For Structured Data

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Google Schema

Google has clarified in its search developer documents that JSON-LD, Microdata and RDFa are all fully supported forms for structured data and Google Search. Google wrote, “all three supported formats are equally fine for Google, as long as they are valid and implemented properly per the feature’s documentation.”

The old paragraph in the documentation read:

Google Search supports structured data in the following formats, unless documented otherwise:

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The new paragraph in the documentation now reads:

Google Search supports structured data in the following formats, unless documented otherwise. In general, we recommend using a format that’s easiest for you to implement and maintain (in most cases, that’s JSON-LD); all 3 formats are equally fine for Google, as long as the markup is valid and properly implemented per the feature’s documentation.

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This was updated because Google’s Ryan Levering spotted the embedded tweet below, that shows there is confusion on which Google may or may not prefer. Ryan said, “We might need to tweak the wording for Google’s main structured data page.”

He said that Google “primarily recommend JSON-LD because sites screw up Microdata a lot more than they do JSON-LD because it’s embedded. We don’t have some secret plans to remove support for Microdata. Particularly for schema that is either very annotation/text heavy or very simple (so you don’t need to do meta tag gymnastics), Microdata can make more sense.”

So Lizzi Sassman updated the docs to reflect this.

Forum discussion at Mastodon.



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February 4th Google Search Ranking Algorithm Update

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Google Algorithm Update

There may have been another unconfirmed Google search ranking algorithm update – this one also on the weekend, around February 4th, maybe kicking off on February 3rd. I am seeing signs from both chatter within the SEO community, and also, some of the tools are showing big swings around February 4th.

The previous updates we reported about was an unconfirmed update around January 26th, then on January 18th, then January 14th – you can see the full list over here.

SEO Chatter

Let’s start by looking at some of the chatter within the SEO community. There is chatter both at WebmasterWorld and here in the comments areas:

Global site traffic continued firm all day Thursday for me and ended at 140.3%. Today has started ok for a Friday.

Seeing some sharp increase in traffic as well. Tech based sites are performing really well. Around 40% increase overall. Although a good share of Chinese bot like traffic is also present.

So, my site got a lovely boost a couple of weeks ago. Keywords I hadn’t ranked for in years plus some I had never ranked for particularly well were appearing. Two weeks later and google have yanked the rug out from under me again. A keywod I was on page 1 for is now bottom of page 4. Another that I was page 1 for – page 8 now.

I’m seeing ranking hold relatively steady, but traffic has been much worse this week. The previous two weeks were unusually high though. Yesterday search was down 17% and the day before that it was flat, but traffic to my home page has dropped considerably again. Most of the decline is USA traffic

Feels like Google released another update on Saturday 4th, no?

I noticed big changes on all my websites around 4 pm GMT onwards.

Massive volatility spotted. Seeing crazy fluctuations in rankings too.

Maybe a G Update is just around the corner?

Got hammered yesterday – almost as bad as any core update.

The fluctuation that started 24-36 hours ago is increasing gradually.

Traffic was up this morning, up until 6am UK time, then zero traffic for 4 hours. 4 hours?? How is that even possible if throttling isn’t the case?

All this chatter was between February 3rd and February 5th.

Google Tracking Tools

Here are what the tracking tool are showing:

RankRanger:

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Cognitive SEO:

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Mozcast:

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SERPmetrics:

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Advanced Web Rankings:

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Semrush:

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Accuranker:

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Algoroo:

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Have you seen any big swings in rankings or traffic with your site since the weekend?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.



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Jeff Ferguson On Issues With SEO Studies & Ranking Factor Studies

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Jeff Ferguson

In part one, we go through Jeff Ferguson’s long history in search marketing. In part two, we pick up with him starting his own agency. Then in part three we talk about the state of SEO studies.

In short, he goes off on his rant on SEO studies done on ranking factors and other areas. In short, he was not a fan of those studies and he wrote a lot about how they were done wrong. He wasn’t saying the intent was wrong, the companies that made these studies really wanted to help. But doing ranking factor studies are just too hard and really hard to prove.

Of course, it ruffled a lot of feathers in the SEO community. But he goes through more on why he did what he did and what he wanted to get out of it.

You can learn more about Jeff Ferguson at Amplitude Digital and follow him on Twitter @CountXero.


You can subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking here so you don’t miss the next vlog where I interviews. I do have a nice lineup of interviews scheduled with SEOs and SEMS, many of which you don’t want to miss – and I promise to continue to make these vlogs better over time. If you want to be interviewed, please fill out this form with your details.

Forum discussion at YouTube.



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