John Mueller and Martin Splitt both hold Google Search Central office hours hangouts via YouTube livestream. These are great opportunities for webmasters to get together with the best and brightest of the Google Search Trends Analysts and learn SEO insights.
At these events, you can ask questions on just about anything that is relevant to the world of SEO on Google.
John never disappoints, and this hangout was no different.
At the latest office hours hangout, we gleaned insights about AMP, page titles, mobile indexing and more.
Can the AMP Version of a Site Differ from the Canonical Version?
It’s usually considered a bad SEO practice to have the mobile or Google AMP version of the site be different from the canonical version. In some cases, when severe enough, it could even be considered cloaking. John Mueller had some insights into how different versions of sites appear to Google in this context:
Key SEO Insight 1
It’s okay to have small ads in the mobile version of the site that are not in the HTML (i.e. canonical) version. In other words – if you have smaller changes that don’t impact the content significantly, then don’t sweat it. It’s when you go overboard on ads or other smaller changes that Google tends to care—just d on’t be spammy.
John was also concerned regarding how Largest Contentful Paint was very high on the AMP page when waiting a while to click on a search result, and that should not happen. He said he would be surprised if Google even used this at all as a measured metric.
Does Google Use Signals from Both Desktop and Mobile Versions for Ranking?
Key SEO Insight 2
Based on John Mueller’s answer, Google uses only the site’s mobile version as the basis for both desktop and mobile rankings. This is an important distinction to understand, so you should ensure that your mobile site is 100 percent as polished as your desktop site. Don’t necessarily favor one or the other, but make sure both are equally up to par.
Can You Noindex a Paragraph?
Key SEO Insight 3
There is no direct method of removing a specific paragraph from the SERPs. You can use the data-nosnippet tag to mark certain content as non-indexable, and this is likely to be enough in many cases.
Mueller recommends you just let your content be indexed, even if you have a preference for it not to be. Google will still attempt to pick one of the pages anyway.
Just don’t obsess over this unless something like a legal reason is prohibiting you from indexing this content.
Mobile Site Redirects
Key SEO Insight 4
When you’re implementing a mobile site, redirecting the m. version to your responsive site is just fine, and is what John Mueller would consider to be a normal move.
Just make sure that the change of address goes to the www. version rather than the m. version.
Overall Technical Issues
Key SEO Insight 5
Again, John Mueller is pretty frank here that there is no real special trick—you could simply go directly to the Google Merchant Center and submit a feed. Also take the time to research everything that surrounds Google Shopping. Many e-commerce systems have automatic importing for this system.
As before, there is no special trick you need to know. Just make sure you take advantage of the options already available to you for optimizing your e-commerce store on Google’s services.
How to Watch John Mueller’s Next Office Hours Hangout
John Mueller, Search Trends Analyst at Google, frequently hosts office hours hangouts where webmasters can ask questions, submit requests and get general information regarding issues on their sites’ requests.
For example, John is not able to answer questions like “Why is my site not ranking?” Asking these types of questions is discouraged.
But, for getting SEO-related answers directly from Google, you can’t get much better than this.
Be sure to keep an eye on Mueller’s twitter feed for information on when the next office hours hangout is going to occur.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the Google Search Central YouTube channel as well.
To watch the hangout discussed in this article, view the official recording on YouTube.