SEO Office Hours – October 2021

Google Office Hours

For the month of October, we attended and are overviewing in this post English Google SEO office-hours from October 8, 2021and English Google SEO office-hours from October 29, 2021.  Refer to the Google SEO Office Hours blog series post overview for more information on Google SEO office hours.

And, as always, if you’re looking to improve your small business’s SEO strategy, we’d be happy to talk. You can contact Josh Hiemstra, SEO & Data Lead, at (616) 822-3706 or josh@simplersite.co.

English Google SEO office-hours from October 8, 2021

We have an issue where we have a large site with over 100k pages and Google has issues with the crawl budget for our site.  We have gone through the site and added canonical and no index to appropriate pages.  What is the best approach for our crawl budget?

John says that using the no index tag is a great approach.  It might take Google search a couple of months to drop out the no index pages, but this is the right approach.

We have a large site where some pages do not get any traffic.  We have questions within our team if it is better to remove pages and focus on a smaller set of pages or is it better to have more pages?  Does having more pages on our site increase the authority of a site?

It is not the case if there are more indexed pages that Google Search thinks your website is better.  More pages do not indicate better quality.  

We have a website that is getting backlinks.  Our issue is that we have a website where the categories and pages change on a regular basis.  So our backlinks get 404 errors.  Does the 404 error affect our SEO rankings?

If there is a soft 404, this should not affect your SEO rankings.  It may make sense to add redirects, but that is if it makes sense for the user.  You will not have an SEO rankings penalty either way.

We are starting to see H1s used as the header in Google Search instead of the Title Tag.  Why did this change, as we have built our SEO around the Title Tag?

Google Search is ever evolving.  Google Search’s goal is to provide the information that the user is searching for, and Google Search continues to look to improve.  There are new ways to develop websites that Google Search also needs to take into consideration.

For an eCommerce website, does Google Search use the price of the product as an SEO ranking factor?

No, Google Search does not use price as a ranking factor.  Not the case where the cheaper website will rank higher.

There is a lot of SEO information available, where should I start when looking for a good SEO checklist?

Google has provided SEO starter guides which is a good place to start.  Most of the non Google starter guides available appear to John to have good and correct information.  The tricky part is most starter guides are based on the old school model for websites built with HTML.  For most small businesses, websites are now built with WordPress, Wix, etc.  So these starter guides can appear very technical.  Some of the work is understanding what fields in your CMS correspond to the HTML code.

We have a website with over a million pages.  What is the best approach when adding 301 redirects to all pages?

Best approach is to redirect all at once.  Google Search has indicators in place to help understand a site move is happening and try to process this move more quickly.

English Google SEO office-hours from October 29, 2021

Will it affect my SEO rankings if I have a large amount of no-index pages?

In general, if you have a large number of no-index pages on your website, this should be looked at as a business opportunity to update pages so you want them to be indexed.  For SEO, Google Search will not take into account the no-index pages, it focuses only on the indexed pages.

After the Google Search update, we are seeing titles in Google Search that do not reflect what our pages are about.  How do we adjust to have the appropriate title in Google Search?

There is a blog post more on the updates for how Google generates titles for web page results with the recent updates.  Suggestion is to try different approaches out on the pages where you want to update the titles.

Does using the disavow tool put a soft penalty on my site to negatively impact my SEO rankings?

No, this does not put a penalty on your website.  In most cases, if there are random links to your website, you do not need to use the disavow tool.  

How does social media affect SEO rankings?  Does having more followers and shares help my SEO rankings?

Short answer is no, social media activity does not affect your SEO rankings.  The one exception that could play a role is that Google Search will see profile pages as a web page.  The profile pages are usually HTML pages and they are treated as an HTML page.

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