Google India – Webmasters Questions and Answers – SEO and Algorithm Changes

Google India Webmasters Questions and Answers by Search Quality Team


Google India search quality team answers the questions asked by users in Webmasters forum. They had interact the web team and many SEO and webmasters in G|days and collect the questions.




Here the Webmasters Q&A by Google Search Quality Team,


SEO Ranking

1. “Is the Plus One(+1) count of a blog post considered as a ranking factor?”  -Sai Suresh
“Do backlinks facilitate better ranking anymore? Will the social signals like +1’s, likes and mentions replace the links?”  -SEO Know_How
Nalini Singh: There are more than 200 signals that Google’s algorithms use to determine the rank of a website. Clicks on +1 buttons by real users, are being experimented as just one of the hundreds of signals that influences the ranking and appearance of websites in search results.
The purpose of any ranking signal is to improve overall search quality. As with any new ranking signal, for +1’s and other social ranking signals based on data from real users of websites, we’ll be starting carefully and learning how those signals are related to quality. But right now, having high number of +1s, likes etc. doesn’t have any direct effect on your site’s ranking. Nevertheless, social signals and authorship feature go a long way in building rapport and trust with users. So don’t shy away from them!
2. “Does Google use data (bounce rate, page views, time spent on page,etc) from a website’s Google Analytics account while ranking or analyzing the site?”
   -Mastufa (New Delhi), Anirban Das (New Delhi), Prakash (Bangalore)
Aaseesh Marina: No. Our algorithms do not use any data from the Google Analytics tool to rank search results.
3. “Sites which don’t have mobile sites sometimes rank higher (their desktop site ranks) on a search done .on a mobile device. Does having a mobile optimized site help in ranking on a search done on mobile? Does Google give mobile sites more preference?” – Anirban Das (New Delhi)
Gary Illyes: Our algorithms are designed to help users find the most relevant content for their queries. This also applies to mobile search: a page that was not optimized for mobile devices can rank similarly to the optimized pages if it’s relevant to the query. You can read more in our article on Google’s recommendations for Mobile Optimized websites.

SEO – Backlinks

1. “Google penalized paid & advertorials content but Google what think about paid directories like . I haven’t seen them got penalized while the world knows they do the paid listing.”
-Amit Verma (Noida)
Michael Wyszomierski: We typically don’t comment on whether or not we’ve taken action on a specific site, opting instead to send messages to verified site owners in Webmaster Tools. So if someone claims that we have or have not taken action on a site that they don’t own, remember that they cannot actually confirm this.
In general, there is a spectrum of quality when it comes to directories. On one side, there are extremely low-quality and spammy directories whose sole purpose is to attempt to manipulate search results, usually by generating PageRank to client sites. These sites offer no added value to users, and will often automatically accept any site that wants to be listed, with no editorial control. They may not reject submissions, and the listings are usually completely written by the submitters. They’re not the types of sites that users like to use themselves and recommend to their friends. On the other end of the spectrum, there are directories which are carefully curated by editors and loved, used, and shared by users.
For more thoughts, watch this video on paid directories.

WEb Crawling

1. “What is the best way of Doing Pagination for a content. Is rel=prev and rel=next enough for this. I have seen many inner paginated pages ranking instead of the main page.” -Prakash (Bangalore)
Rafath Fatima: Pagination is the process of dividing (content) into discrete pages.
Google does a good job of returning the most relevant results to users, regardless of whether the content is divided into multiple pages or not.
Although using rel=”next” and rel=”prev” links to indicate the relationship between component URLs is advised, these just act as hints to Google and not as absolute directives.
If you want to paginate your content, you can specify a ‘View All’ page as searchers commonly prefer to view a whole article or category on a single page. You can specify the ‘View All’ page as the preferred version to appear in search results by adding rel=canonical to the component pages.
For more details, you can go through our article on Pagination.

Sitemaps and Site Structure

1. “Do adding breadcrumbs throughout the website help Google to determine the hierarchy of Category, Sub-Category and inner Pages?” -Vivek (Noida)
Syed Malik: Yes, when you mark up breadcrumb information in the body of a web page, Google can identify it and use it to understand and present the information on your pages in our search results. Apart from breadcrumbs, there are some other things like logically constructed URLs and good links structure that you’d want to look at to help Google understand your site structure better.
For more markup options, please see our Help Center article on rich snippets and structured data.
2. “Does making a .GZ zip file of xml sitemap files help in increasing indexing or it does not matter whether zipped or submitted without zipping? Does submitting/pinging xml sitemap files daily in webmaster tool help in increasing indexing?” -Vivek (Delhi)
Syed Malik: No. Whether you compress your Sitemap or not, it does not have any effect on the number of URLs indexed. Similarly, submitting a Sitemap repeatedly in Webmaster Tools will also not change anything.
Submitting a Sitemap helps make sure that Google knows about all the pages on your site, including URLs that may not be discoverable by Google’s normal crawling process. However, it doesn’t guarantee that all pages of your site will be crawled or included in our search results. The data in your Sitemap is used to learn about your site’s structure, which helps improve the crawler schedule and do a better job crawling your site in the future.
There could be several reasons why some URLs might not be indexed, for example, pages that are identified as duplicates or non-canonical, or less useful, or that contain a meta noindex tag etc. may be excluded.

Google Penguin Update

1. “Penguin seems to evaluate each page on its own strength. Is it safe to conclude that on some criteria page is evaluated on stand-alone basis and on some with reference to the overall authority of a site?” -Prakash(Bangalore)
Matt Cutts: It’s true that some of our algorithms operate more at the site level, but many of our algorithms are more granular and operate at the level of individual pages. Over time, algorithms like Penguin tend to become more granular as we find better and better signals to detect spam.
Here is a video from our Webmaster Help Youtube channel which answers the question, “What to expect next in terms of SEO for Google?”