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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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Microsoft Bing Search Menu Drop Down With Explore & Collect

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Bing Menu

Microsoft Bing is testing a new search bar interface on image search (I believe) where the search vertical options, such as web, videos, news, etc, are now presented in a drop-down bar and Bing added an “explore” and “collect” option across the bar instead.

This was spotted first by Frank Sandtmann and posted on Mastodon but I am also able to replicate this in Bing Image search. Here is a screenshot that you can click on and enlarge:

click for full size

This was also spotted by Khushal Bherwani:

Frank wrote, “Today I spotted #Bing displaying a new navigation menu on their image #SERP. Now the usual elements can be accessed after clicking on a dropdown. In addition, two more elements are displayed: “Explore” and “Collect”.”

Do you prefer this interface? I get what Microsoft is trying to do here but to me, I might want to jump back to web results or maybe video results sooner than use explore or collect?

Forum discussion at Mastodon.



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Google Publishes A New SEO Case Study

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Google Seo Case Studies Series

A couple of weeks after I said I thought Google would stop publishing SEO case studies, Google just published a new one. This one is on How Vimeo improved video SEO for their customers, specifically by using the indexifembedded rule combined with noindex and adding structured data.

As a reminder, recently, Mariachiara Marsella asked John Mueller if Google could add new case studies. John Mueller responded on Mastodon, “I find it quite challenging for us to do these since search is so dynamic.”

So I thought that was it, stick a fork in it, no more SEO case studies from Google. But I suspect as soon as I wrote that piece, Gary went, I’ll show Barry and got a new one written up. Okay, I doubt that happened…

In any event, the new case study says, “Vimeo adopted Google’s new guidance for video players that use iframe embeds. The new indexifembedded rule paired with noindex allows markup to be attributed through embeds. Since applying this and VideoObject markup, Vimeo videos that are embedded on customer pages are eligible for indexing, without customers having to add markup themselves.”

They also used key moments; the case study reads, “To make all Vimeo Chapters eligible to appear as Key Moments on Google Search, Vimeo added Clip markup to all of their video host pages. Vimeo also implemented Seek markup, so if a video doesn’t have Vimeo Chapters, Google can automatically identify Key Moments.”

Anyway, check out the case study if you do any video SEO, it is an interesting one.

Just super interesting that there have been almost no new case studies in about 18 months and now we got a new one…

Forum discussion at Mastodon.

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Generating Fake URLs On Competitors Site Shouldn’t Hurt The Site, Google Says

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Google Intersection

John Mueller from Google said that bulk-generating fake URLs of your competitor’s site should not lead to negative SEO and ranking issues for that site. “This is not something I’d worry about,” he added.

Mike Blazer asked John, “Bulk generate non-existing URLs on a competitor’s site that lead to 5XX server errors when opened. Googlebot sees that a substantial number of pages on that domain return 5XX, the server is unable to handle requests. Google reduces the page #crawl frequency for that domain.”

John replied on Mastodon saying, “I can’t imagine that having any effect. This is not something I’d worry about.”

Here is a screenshot of this conversation:

Generating Fake Urls Google Seo Toots

Do you agree?

Forum discussion at Mastodon.

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