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John Mueller on Keyword Placement on a Page via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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Google’s John Mueller answered a question about where to put keywords so that Google understands what the page is about. The context of the question was of a person who was concerned about how to communicate to Google the meaning of a 20,000 word article.

Will Putting Keyword Focus at End of Article Be Enough?

The person asking the question asked a long question that touched on Googlebot’s viewport and the placement of “focus keywords.”

The heart of the question asked was primarily about the placement of keywords within the web page and that’s what John Mueller responded to.

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This is the question:

“I have a page where there is a lot of content, say 20,00 words… and my focus keyword is on the bottom of the page.

How will it impact the ranking?”

Long Articles and Ranking

It may be difficult to rank long articles, particularly for competitive keyword phrases.

A long article may introduce multiple subtopics, with different sections of the site being so divergent from the main topic that they could stand alone as an individual article.

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The person asking the question has a good reason for asking about keywords in a long web page.

It’s not an easy thing to try to rank for one keyword phrase using an extraordinarily long web page.

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Where to Put Focus Keyword So Google Understands the Page

John Mueller’s response was to list several important parts of a web page where the keywords might better communicate what the web page is about.

Mueller did not explicitly advise to use every single HTML Element to hammer the keyword phrase.

He appeared to just list all the places that might be useful to communicate what a web page is about.

Make up your own mind though.

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This is how John Mueller answered the question:

“So… I would recommend that if there’s something that you want to tell us that your page is about, to make that as visible as possible.

So don’t just put that as a one-word mention at the bottom of your article but rather:

  • use it in your titles
  • use it in your headings
  • use it in your subheadings
  • use it in captions from images

All of these things, to make it as clear as possible for users and for Google when they go to your page that this page is about this topic.

So that’s kind of the direction I would head there. I would not worry about can Google get to the word number 20,000 or not.

Because if you’re talking about the word 20,000 and you’re saying this is the most important keyword for my page, then you’re already doing things wrong.”

How Google Can Understand What a Page is About

Mueller finished his answer by using the example of a site visitor being able to understand what a page is about as a way to understand whether a web page is clear or not.

Mueller’s response:

“You really need to make sure that the (kind of the) information that tells us what this page is about is as obvious as possible so that when users go there they’re like yes, I made it to the right page, I will read what this page has to tell me.”

Think Like a Site Visitor

Mueller’s advice about using the different web page elements to communicate what a page is about is good advice. However, if your focus keywords don’t really match up with the paragraphs and images they are describing then that might be an indication that maybe the web page is not about the focus keyword after all.

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Secondly, conceptualizing SEO questions in terms of how a site visitor may react to a page is a useful way to explore answers.

When in doubt, don’t ask how Google might understand or react to a page, but rather try to see it as a user because many times that’s how Google is understanding the page as well.

If a user can find an answer on the page then Google should be able to understand that the page contains the answer as well.

Citation

Mueller Tells Where to Put Keywords on a Page

Watch Google’s John Mueller answer the question at about the 5:15 minute mark:

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NEWS

Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”

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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.

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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.

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But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.

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One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.

Citations

Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

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