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Google On Translated Content & Garbage Parameters In URLs

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Google On Translated Content & Garbage Parameters In URLs

You may end up confusing Google when you have “garbage” parameters trailing in your URLs, espesially when it comes to translated content parameters. There is this interesting conversation about a large multilingual site that found its translated content excluded from Google Search with a “crawled currently not indexed” status within Google Search Console.

The SEO seemed very knowledgable and he did do his homework before coming to John Mueller of Google for help. John basically said this might be related to the the parameter at the end with the language code. John said “what can happen is that when we recognize that there are a lot of these parameters there that lead to the same content, then our systems can kind of get stuck into a situation well maybe this parameter is not very useful and we should just ignore it.”

John then gave some tips on how to use the URL parameter tool in Search Console to help Google know that those URLs should be indexed. And also, maybe how to use redirects and clean URLs to enforce that when Google crawls those URLs.

Here is the video, it starts at the 53:14 mark:

Here is the transcript:

Question:

I work on a fairly large multilingual site and in April last year, just all in one go all of our translation content or translated content moved from valid to excluded crawled currently not indexed and there it has stayed since April. You know because it happened all at once we thought maybe there was some systemic change on our side we get a massive change to our hosting platform, content management system, etc. We combed through the code extensively, we can’t find anything, we can’t find any change to content, we don’t see any notes in the google search release notes that look like they’re they’ll be affecting us as far as we can tell. We’ve also been pretty thorough going through and just doing best practice searches with Search Console . We’ve cleaned up our hreflang, canonicals, URL parameters, manual actions and and every other tool that’s listed on developers.google.com/search. I’m just about out of ideas. I don’t know what’s happened or what to do next to try to fix the issue but I’d really like to get our translated content back in the index.


Answer:

I took a look at that briefly before and passed some of that on to the team here as well. One of the things that I think is sometimes tricky is you have the parameter at the end with the language code, I think hl equals whatever. From our point of view what can happen is that when we recognize that there are a lot of these parameters there that lead to the same content, then our systems can kind of get stuck into a situation well maybe this parameter is not very useful and we should just ignore it. And to me it sounds a lot like something around that line happened.

And partially you can help this with the URL parameter tool in Search Console to make sure that that parameter is actually set – I do want to have everything indexed.

Partially what you could also do is maybe to crawl a portion of your website with, I don’t know, local crawler to see what what kind of parameter URLs actually get picked up and then double check that those pages actually have useful content for those languages. In particular things like like a common one that i’ve seen on sites is maybe you have all languages linked up and the Japanese version says oh we don’t have a Japanese version here’s our English one instead. Then our systems could say well the Japanese version is the same as the English version maybe there are some other languages the same as the English version we should just ignore them.

And sometimes this is from links within the website, sometimes it’s also external links, people who are linking to your site. If the parameter is at the end of your URL, then it’s very common that there’s some kind of garbage attached to the parameter as well. And if we crawl all of those URLs with that garbage and we say oh well this is not a valid language here’s the English version, then it again kind of kind of reinforces that loop where systems say well maybe this parameter is not so useful.

So the cleaner approach there would be if you have kind of garbage parameters, to redirect to the cleaner ones. Or to maybe even show a 404 page and say well we don’t we don’t know what you’re talking about with this URL. And to really cleanly make sure that whichever URLs we find we actually get some useful content that is not the same as other content which we’ve already seen.

Forum discussion at YouTube Community.


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Programming Note: Offline For Shavuot 5784

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Synagogue Green Flowers

This is a programming note that I will be completely offline for the holiday of Shavout/Shavous, from Tuesday night, June 11th, through late Thursday night, June 13th – I return Friday, June 14th. Any stories published here will be scheduled, written beforehand, and not written during the holiday hours.

I will be completely offline, so any social media posts, tweets, or anything coming from this site, or my social channels are all scheduled beforehand.

I won’t be able to reply to comments, remove spam or break any stories on those days. I will catch up when I get back online. If a core update happens, I will also catch up on that when I get back. There also won’t be the It’s New daily podcast on those days.

Feel free to check out the archives or catch up with the weekly videos or just browse the search pics. Oh, and if you have nothing to do, feel free to subscribe to my YouTube channel.

For more on this holiday, check out Wikipedia.

For all those celebrating the holiday – have a good one and I’ll be back late Thursday night.

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Daily Search Forum Recap: June 10, 2024

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Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.


Google’s Search Liaison commented on the Google search leaks, navboost, clicks, user interactions and the helpful content update. There as another unconfirmed Google ranking update this weekend. Google said you cannot completely disregard your desktop site for SEO. Google spoke about fixing a few pages out of many pages to recover from the helpful content update. Google Business Profiles is working through the locksmith reinstatement. Google needs to fix an issue with product variant structured data. Google is testing a local five pack again.


Search Engine Roundtable Stories:


  • Google Responds To Specific Search Leak, Navboost, Clicks & User Interactions


    The Google Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, gave a more specific comment to specific signals and elements mentioned in the search leak, well above and beyond what is mentioned in the original and very vague comment gave us a couple days after the search leak. Sullivan responded to questions on Navboost, clicks and user interactions as it related to the Helpful content update.

  • June 8th Weekend Google Search Ranking Algorithm Volatility


    Hope you are all having a nice relaxing weekend because it seems like the Google Search rankings were super volatile again this past Saturday. I am seeing a spike in SEO chatter and the third-party Google tracking ranking tools are showing significant ranking fluctuations on June 8th.

  • Google: You Can’t Completely Disregard What’s Served On Desktop For SEO


    Last week we reported that Googlebot will pretty much halt crawling and indexing websites using its desktop crawler and just crawl using its smartphone crawler (which caused a lot of confusion). But John Mueller of Google said on Reddit that he doesn’t think it means you can “completely disregard what’s served on desktop in terms of SEO.”


  • Google On Fixing A Few Pages To Recover From Helpful Content Update


    John Mueller from Google responded to a question on Reddit about the likelihood of fixing just 10 pages out of 20,000 pages on a site, how that might help that site recover from the Helpful content update. The site owner said only 10 pages were hit by that September helpful content update, and asked if the 10 pages can hurt the other 20,000 pages on the site.


  • Google Fixing Product Variant Structured Data Star Rating Bug


    Google is currently working on fixing a bug that prevents the product variant structured data from showing rating stars in the search. This bug was spotted by Jarno van Driel and Ryan Levering from Google confirmed it and said they will work on a fix soon.

  • Google Business Profiles Locksmiths Reinstatements Now Being Processed


    Google paused Google Business Profiles restatements for the locksmith industry but has now resumed those requests and is working through the backlog now. Google paused them early last week and began processing them once again on Friday afternoon, June 7th.


  • Google Tests Local Five Pack (Up From 3 Pack)


    Google is once again testing showing five local results, a five-pack, instead of the typical 3 local results, a three-pack, in the search results local results section. Google tested this in 2021 and also had this for the SGE labs results and now it is being tested again.



  • Google Elevator – going down…


    Here is a photo from the Google office in Washington, D.C. of a Google super G logo on the elevator door. Guess which way it is going?

Other Great Search Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Search Features

Other Search

Feedback:


Have feedback on this daily recap; let me know on Twitter @rustybrick or @seroundtable, on Threads, Mastodon and Bluesky and you can follow us on Facebook and on Google News and make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or just contact us the old fashion way.



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Google Search Ranking Algorithm Volatility On June 8th

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Google Logo Fire Charred Melt

Hope you are all having a nice relaxing weekend because it seems like the Google Search rankings were super volatile again this past Saturday. I am seeing a spike in SEO chatter and the third-party Google tracking ranking tools are showing significant ranking fluctuations on June 8th.

I really do try not to post stories on the weekend, but I am seeing a possible Google Search ranking update again this weekend. And yes, it has been a super volatile time in the Google Search results for the past several weeks now.

Again, it was super heated yesterday, Saturday, June 8th.

Previous Recent Google Volatility

Here is the recent Google Search ranking volatility we reported on. The most recent was on June 5th and then on the weekend, June 1st. That was followed by the Memorial Day weekend, then we had around May 22nd, May 16th, May 9th, May 3rd and April 25th. Before that the March 2024 core update started on March 5th and ended on April 19th, 45 days later.

Google Tracking Tools

Just look at how heated these tools were yesterday, most of the tools have data for today already, so look at the previous day on these charts:

Semrush:

Semrush

SimilarWeb:

Similarweb

Advanced Web Rankings:

Advancedwebranking

Mozcast:

Mozcast

SERPmetrics:

Serpmetrics

Accuranker:

Accuranker

Mangools:

Mangools

Wincher:

Wincher

SERPstat:

Serpstat

Cognitive SEO:

Cognitiveseo

Algoroo:

Algoroo

SEO Chatter

Here is some of the early chatter at WebmasterWorld and comments here:

Worst traffic I have seen in a while. Both for my HCU boosted and HCU demoted sites.

Yes, there is quite a drop not only because of the algorithms, but also because of the launch of the Gemini app in my case. We’ve pretty much got everything against us.

So for keywords where I answer queries I’ve lost positions, while I’ve gained where my site has nothing to do with the query. Years and years of hard work by Google’s engineers to get sites that responded perfectly to queries and then became like the worst search engines completely messed up.

They are onto something, dropping since a few days!

Traffic today is so bad it is laughable. Before you say it is a Saturday, we have had Saturdays before. We have Saturdays from previous years to compare to this exact week.

For the first time, I was surprised to see this low traffic. Now, the traffic has gone so low that it was beyond my expectations. I was disheartened, and that’s why I had even shared about it the day before yesterday. Traffic today is so bad it is laughable—it goes the same for me.

Weekends are definitely the worst days of the week now.

For 10 years they were the most busiest and profitable days of the week for us, not anymore.

For us, they weren’t. We had about 5 or 10% drops on the weekends because our site only covers a couple of news items instead of 10 or 20 on weekdays. However, now it is sometimes 40/50% down on the weekends in our niche.

This is no longer funny!! This happens on a Saturday, when most SEOs and webmaster should enjoy some sparetime. Google has become unpredictable with its damn AI-driven (?) algo, which must have developed its own dynamics.

Massive fluctuations has happened in the past 24 hours. Lost a load of rankings. Again, my competitors are nowhere to be found now.

Check the SERPs and, well, no surprise… More spam.

What are you all seeing over the weekend?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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