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Google Updates HTTP Status Codes, Googlebot & Job Posting Help Documentation

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Google Updates HTTP Status Codes, Googlebot & Job Posting Help Documentation

Google has made changes to a few of its Google search help documentation over the past couple of days. The documents updated include HTTP status codes, the Googlebot and job posting help documentation. Note, the HTTP status code aspect is not new, the content was just moved from one location to another.

Googlebot

On the Googlebot how many bytes of textual content, such as HTML, Googlebot will crawl specifically over here. Here is the new lines of text:

Googlebot can crawl the first 15MB of content in an HTML file or supported text-based file. After the first 15MB of the file, Googlebot stops crawling and only considers the first 15MB of content for indexing.

Job postings

On the job postings, Google specified that when you use the jobLocation property, you must also include the addressCountry property.

HTTP Status Codes

The HTTP status codes document added a whole large section for 404 errors which was not there in the old version. Here is what has moved into this document:

soft 404 errors

A soft 404 error is when a URL that returns a page telling the user that the page does not exist and also a 200 (success) status code. In some cases, it might be a page with no main content or empty page.

Such pages may be generated for various reasons by your website’s web server or content management system, or the user’s browser. For example:

  • A missing server-side include file.
  • A broken connection to the database.
  • An empty internal search result page.
  • An unloaded or otherwise missing JavaScript file.

It’s a bad user experience to return a 200 (success) status code, but then display or suggest an error message or some kind of error on the page. Users may think the page is a live working page, but then are presented with some kind of error. Such pages are excluded from Search.

When Google’s algorithms detect that the page is actually an error page based on its content, Search Console will show a soft 404 error in the site’s Index Coverage report.

Fix soft 404 errors

Depending on the state of the page and the desired outcome, you can solve soft 404 errors in multiple ways:

Try to determine which solution would be the best for your users.

The page and content are no longer available

If you removed the page and there’s no replacement page on your site with similar content, return a 404 (not found) or 410 (gone) response (status) code for the page. These status codes indicate to search engines that the page doesn’t exist and the content should not be indexed.

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If you have access to your server’s configuration files, you can make these error pages useful to users by customizing them. A good custom 404 page helps people find the information they’re looking for, and also provides other helpful content that encourages people to explore your site further. Here are some tips for designing a useful custom 404 page:

  • Tell visitors clearly that the page they’re looking for can’t be found. Use language that is
    friendly and inviting.
  • Make sure your 404 page has the same look and feel (including navigation) as
    the rest of your site.

  • Consider adding links to your most popular articles or posts, as well as a link to your
    site’s home page.
  • Think about providing a way for users to report a broken link.

Custom 404 pages are created solely for users. Since these pages are useless from a search engine’s perspective, make sure the server returns a 404 HTTP status code to prevent having the pages indexed.

The page or content is now somewhere else

If your page has moved or has a clear replacement on your site, return a 301 (permanent redirect) to redirect the user. This will not interrupt their browsing experience and it’s also a great way to tell search engines about the new location of the page.

Use the URL Inspection tool to verify whether your URL is actually returning the correct code.

The page and content still exist

If an otherwise good page was flagged with a soft 404 error, it’s likely it didn’t load properly for Googlebot, it was missing critical resources, or it displayed a prominent error message during rendering. Use the URL Inspection tool to examine the rendered content and the returned HTTP code. If the rendered page is blank, nearly blank, or the content has an error message, it could be that your page references many resources that can’t be loaded (images, scripts, and other non-textual elements), which can be interpreted as a soft 404. Reasons that resources can’t be loaded include blocked resources (blocked by robots.txt), having too many resources on a page, various server errors, or slow loading or very large resources.

Hat tip on this from Kenichi Suzuki on Twitter.


Those are the changes spotted in the past couple days to Google’s help documentation.

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Forum discussion at Twitter.



Source: www.seroundtable.com

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Daily Search Forum Recap: March 1, 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 has new structured data carousel beta details for rich results. Google now lets you opt out of place entities in page insights. Google Business Profiles customer interactions updates every few days. Google wrote in a court document that its search quality has improved. Google AdSense has offerwall messages. I posted the weekly SEO video recap as well.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

Other Great Search Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

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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 Ranking Volatility, Tons Of Google Bugs, Most Read Articles, Bing Deep Search & Quality & SEOs Not Loving Google

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Google Ranking Volatility, Tons Of Google Bugs, Most Read Articles, Bing Deep Search & Quality & SEOs Not Loving Google

We had two periods of Google Search ranking volatility this week, one last weekend and one on Thursday or so. Google court documents say search quality has improved and not degraded. Google dropped the see more results in the local panel this week for a period of time until it fixed that bug. Google also removed the news tab but that seemed like a bug also and was fixed. Google has a bug with the European hotel/travel results being hijacked. Google also broke the filetype search operator for a while. Google Analytics is seeing a lot of referral spam from Poland. There is new structured data carousel beta details. Google is testing a most-read articles carousel in the search results. Google is also testing popular opinions carousels. Google local panels is testing expandable menus. Google has this reviews disclaimer for “people like.” Google Analytics added new default Google Ads reports. Google Ads Performance Max placement reports to show the search partner network. Google Ads is testing limited by budget status color coding. Google Ads support reps may use Google Translate to chat with advertisers. Microsoft said it will bring back testing of Bing Deep Search. Google said that Microsoft tried selling Bing to Apple but Apple didn’t want it due to quality issues. A survey shows SEOs dislike Google more now than ever. And if you want to help sponsor those vlogs, go to patreon.com/barryschwartz. That was the search news this week at the Search Engine Roundtable.

Sponsored by BruceClay, who has been doing search marketing optimization since 1996 and also has an amazing SEO training platform.

Make sure to subscribe to our video feed or subscribe directly on iTunes, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or your favorite podcast player to be notified of these updates and download the video in the background. Here is the YouTube version of the feed. For the original iTunes version, click here

Search Topics of Discussion:

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Please do subscribe on YouTube or subscribe via iTunes or on your favorite RSS reader. Don’t forget to comment below with the right answer and good luck!

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Early Signs Of Another Google Search Ranking Update On February 28/29

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Google Logo Ranking Rocks Falling

I am seeing early signs of a possible Google Search ranking algorithm update starting yesterday, February 28th, and into today, February 29th. The chatter started to spike yesterday amongst the SEO community and some of the third-party rank tracking tools are showing a spike in volatility.

Again, Google has not confirmed an update in over 16-weeks now but we have had plenty of unconfirmed Google search ranking algorithm updates since then, including a weird one this past weekend.

Keep in mind, we are all waiting patiently for the next big Google update that Google has been promising since November.

So what are we seeing related to this possible unconfirmed Google Search update?

Google Tracking Tools:

Let’s start with what the tools are showing:

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SERPmetrics:

Serpmetrics

Semrush:

Semrush

Accuranker:

Accuranker

Mangools:

Mangools

SimilarWeb:

Similarweb

Mozcast:

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Mozcast

Advanced Web Rankings:

Advancedwebranking

Wincher:

Wincher

SERPstat:

Serpstat

Cognitive SEO:

Cognitiveseo

Algoroo:

Algoroo

Some of the tools have not yet updated for the day, so I may come back here to update them later.

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SEO Chatter

The SEO chatter is just starting up and most of the chatter I am seeing is coming from the comments area here (I’ll weed out the noise for you by embedding the relevant comments here) and some from WebmasterWorld:

Had a week (again) of amazing conversions – today, just dropped like a rock…here we go.

Anyone else experiencing low Traffic today??

Awful today. After 2 reasonable days

Yes. This week has been horrendous since Monday. I’ve hit the lowest low since September.

Google traffic was better than usual on Sunday and Monday, normally traffic is almost dead from Saturday to Monday. Today, however, things are looking bad. Google traffic so far is significantly lower than usual on a Tuesday. This back and forth is really getting on my nerves.

On Sunday I also noticed uphill traffic, then today when I woke up it was -20% and now -7%. They just move a paa higher or lower and the traffic suffers

Same here…Sunday and Monday very strong traffic. Tuesday off a cliff again. USA traffic is -22% at 4:30pm. The question is, when traffic is high is it converting?

Yesterday was a miserable day for me, as I expected. -43% compared to Sunday and Monday. Sistrix shows a drop of 5.1% for my website in its visibility index today. A look on my direct competitors shows that they have been hit even harder. Other websites that I monitor have also fallen sharply.

Maybe whatever rolled out over the past weekend reverted in some way?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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