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Google Does Not Understand If Content Is Equivalent When In A Different Language

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Google Does Not Understand If Content Is Equivalent When In A Different Language


Google’s John Mueller said in an SEO hangout last Friday that it is impossible for Google to understand that one piece of content is equivalent to another piece of content when those content pieces are in different languages. So Google is basically trusting the hreflang attribute provided by publishers.

Google’s John Mueller was asked how does Google measure the similarity of pages at the 26:28 mark into this video. John said “we don’t.” Google just uses the “hreflang to understand which of these URLs are equivalent from your point of view and we will swap those out,” John said. John added “for hreflang, I think it’s impossible for us to understand that this specific content is equivalent for another country or another language.” John basically said Google cannot understand this.

Here is the transcript:

AUDIENCE: OK, so how does Google measure the similarity of pages?

JOHN MUELLER: I think we don’t. I think we basically use the hreflang to understand which of these URLs are equivalent from your point of view. And we will swap those out.

AUDIENCE: Oh, OK, so not from the content point of view, maybe some–

JOHN MUELLER: No.

AUDIENCE: — similar content.

JOHN MUELLER: No, I — we would only do that for things like the rel canonical to understand what the canonical URL is. But for hreflang, I think it’s impossible for us to understand that this specific content is equivalent for another country or another language. Like, there are so many local differences that are always possible.

Here is how Glenn Gabe summed it up:

Here is the video embed:

Super interesting, which leads us to my next article which will be live in 10 minutes on why doesn’t Google use MUM for this understanding?

Forum discussion at Twitter.





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Jeff Ferguson On Starting His Own Digital Marketing Agency

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Jeff Ferguson

In part one, we go through Jeff Ferguson’s long history in search marketing. Here, in part two, we pick up with him starting his own agency. Jeff explained how he was working at this arbitrage company, and they were not profitable for a decade, and then overnight, he helped them become profitable, and they were making a ton of money. But they didn’t do it right, and eventually, they took a major hit. So he was offered a package to leave but picked up doing consulting during that time. He ran his agency for ten years before merging with Amplitude Digital.

He loves agency life and doing his own thing. He is at a point in life where doing his own thing and owning his agency is where he wants to be. He does write a lot of content; he shares a lot of advice on Twitter and Facebook.

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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Google Pier 57 Display Wall

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Display Wall At Google Pier 57

Here is one of the many walls at the new Google Pier 57 location. You can see they set up a display wall that houses a Google surfboard, Google letters, Android figurine, and much more.

I spotted this on Instagram.

This post is part of our daily Search Photo of the Day column, where we find fun and interesting photos related to the search industry and share them with our readers.



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Google Golf Tee T-Shirt

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Google Golf Tee T-Shirt

Andy Stewart is a Creative Director at Google and he posted this really cool t-shirt design he made. He calls it the Google Golf Club tee shirt. Maybe there is a golf club at Google that he is a part of.

He posted this on Instagram.

This post is part of our daily Search Photo of the Day column, where we find fun and interesting photos related to the search industry and share them with our readers.



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