Google Webmaster Conference in KL on 2nd August 2019! This was the very 1st and the BEST SEO CONCERT ever in my beloved country! It was like a dream-came-true for us that Gary Illyes & the Googlers Team shared an abundance of SEO best practices, corrective perception on genuine SEO, broaden our views on how we can excel in this vibrant organic search world!
Guest Speakers from the Google Search Team
1. Gary Illyes – Webmaster Trend Analyst
2. Stacie Chan – Google Partnerships Manager, Search & Assistant
3. Lucian Teo – User Education and Outreach Manager, Trust & Safety
4. Takeaki Kanaya – Senior Search Evangelist
5. Duy Nguyen – Senior Search Quality Analyst
6. Cherry Sireetorn Prommawin – Senior Search Quality Analyst
7. Aldrich Christopher – Trust & Safety Outreach
08:30 – Registration & check-in
09:00 – Welcome and Keynotes by Aldrich & Lucian
09:30 – How Search Works by Cherry Prommawin
10:00 – What’s New in Search by Gary Illyes
10:45 – Coffee Break
11:00 – Search Console by Gary Illyes
11:30 – Partnering with Google Search & Assistant by Stacie Chan
12:00 – Lunch
13:00 – Image Search by Gary Illyes
13:30 – Towards a safer Web by Duy Nguyen, Takeaki & Aldrich
14:15 – SEO mythbusting by Gary Illyes
14:45 – Let’s talk about Links by Duy Nguyen
15:15 – Coffee Break
15.30 – Interactive Q&A and Panel Discussion
17:00 – Closing & picture
Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral, Grand Ballroom (Level 2), No. 5, Jalan Stesen Sentral, Kuala Lumpur Sentral, 50470, Malaysia.
Topic 1: How Search Works
After the keynotes by Lucian Teo, the first topic was spoken by Cherry Sireetorn Prommawin, a Senior Search Quality Analyst from Google. She started the topic with ‘Back to the basic’ by the understanding of how Googlebots crawl, index, and rank for a webpage. She also emphasized schema markup is important to make your website info stand out from the SERP.
1.1. Websites for Search Are:
- Hosted with URLs on the web.
- Publicly accessible.
- Allowing Google to index their pages.
- Viewable in any browser.
1.2. Google bot crawl more than 20 billions of pages per day to discover new links. Some SEO tips including build internal links, linking out to trusted sites, create sitemaps to facilitate Googlebot crawlability, fix any error page to avoid the waste of crawl budget.
2.1. Check your site’s index status by using site:yourdomain.com.
2.2. Search appearance: must have a clear and unique title. Have a clear meta description on every single page. Edit via metadata tags.
2.3. Google data center has a limit for web pages indexing.
3.1. Google use hundred of signals to rank web page, not using DA/PA by MOZ.
3.2. Ranking results are tailored to ‘moment’.
4. Schema Markup
4.1. Google recommend JSON-LD for structure markup for rich result display.
4.2. Use Google Structured Data Testing Tool.
My tip: you can use this JSON-LD Schema Markup Generator to help you easily markup your data.
Topic 2: What’s New In Search?
The superstar in the SEO community: Gary Illyes! (Google Webmaster Trend Analyst) excited the crowds with the following updates:
1. Core Algorithm Updates
1.1. Don’t worry about the algorithm updates, continue building your site.
1.2. Google let Human Raters review on new algorithm before rolling out.
2.1. Link out to other sites and use nofollow only when you have to.
(More links topics in later ‘Let’s Talk About Links’ by Duy Nguyen – Senior Search Quality Analyst.)
3.1. Make your site as fast as you can.
4.1. Be in control of your URLs. Use Robots.txt to control what Google bot can or cannot crawl & index for certain sensitive info such as system files, customer info.
5. Metadata Matters!
5.1. Write relevant page titles, meta description and use Canonical URL!
6. Mobile-First Indexing
6.1. New websites are now generally showing users and search engines the same content on both mobile and desktop devices.
6.2. Use Google Search Console to monitor mobile index performance.
7.1. Google renders your pages just like a browser does.
8. Hreflang for Multilingual Sites
8.1. Use Hreflang if you have the same content in multiple languages.
Topic 3: Google Search Console
After a short break, Gary Illyes continued the topic of Google Search Console.
1. The purpose of the new Search Console aims to serve technical (Geeky) and non-technical (ie. Business owner) users.
2. For Geeky:
2.1. Accessible on mobile.
2.2. Actionable Insights.
2.3. Improved User Workflows.
2.4. Faster Feedback Loops
3. For Non-Technical Users:
3.1. Allow them to focus on running their business.
3.2. Not bother them with tech terminology.
3.3. Get them insights right into their CMS (via official GSC collaboration with Wix and Squarespace).
4. Partnership with WIX SEO WIZ (May 2017)
4.1. Allow users to complete GSC verification, managing sitemap &etc. without leaving WIX CMS.
5. Partnership with Squarespace (May 2018)
Allow users to see GSC data straight from Squarespace CMS. See report straight from SERP.
Topic 4: Partnering with Google Search & Assistant
Stacie Chan (Google Partnerships Managers, Search & Assistant) keep the crowds enlightening with the following points:
1. Own your brand’s presence
1.1. Claim your Knowledge Panel(s)
1.2. Start Posting
1.3. Record Cameos
2. Enhance your informational content
2.1. Markup your FAQ, Q&A, and How-To content.
3. Make your videos shine
3.1. Add video markup
4. GIF-ify your content with Tenor
4.1. Send us your video files
Topic 5: Image Search – What Is SEO?
Gary Illyes, again, making his fans (and me) crazy for tons of useful technical knowledge:
1. Ensure your media are accessible to Googlebot!
2. Add sitemaps so Googlebot can find your images and videos fasters!
3. The surrounding text, the title and description of the page should be relevant to the images and videos on the page!
4. Add structured data to your pages so your images stand out more in the search results and your videos get a higher chance to be indexed!
Topic 6: Towards a Safer Web
This topic shared by another three prominent Googlers: Aldrich Christopher (Google Trust & Safety Outreach), Takeaki Kanaya (Google Senior Search Evangelist) and Duy Nguyen (Google Senior Search Quality Analyst).
1. Compromised Sites
1.1. Hacked types:
1.1.1. Gibberish hack
1.1.2. Japanese keyword hack
1.1.3. Cloaked keyword hack
2. Addressing hack
2.1. Build a support team.
2.2. Quarantine your site.
2.3. Use Search Console.
2.4. Access damage.
2.5. Identify the vulnerability.
2.6. Clean and maintain your site.
2.7. Request a review.
3. A website becomes a potential target based on technical signals
(eg. Outdated software, missing HTTPS)
4. Security best practices
4.1. Safer login: how to create a strong & easy to remember password, 2 steps verification (2SV) 4.2. with Security Key, Google Authenticator.
4.3. Safer website: updated system & plugin, backup regularly.
4.4. Safer connection: Implementing HTTPS best practices, HSTS.
Topic 7: SEO Mythbusting
Gary Illyes made the SEO community eye-popping and jaw-dropping by explaining in details for the following 15 SEO mythbusting!
SEO Mythbusting #1:
Descriptive page titles and good meta descriptions are important for better search ranking.
SEO Mythbusting #2:
But content is still KING.
SEO Mythbusting #3:
There is a minimum and a maximum limit of words for an article for it to rank better.
SEO Mythbusting #4:
There is an optimal keyword-density that can help rank better for the desired keyword.
SEO Mythbusting #5:
It is super important to fix all the 404 error warnings that are shown in Search Console.
SEO Mythbusting #6:
Google recommends Responsive Web Design.
SEO Mythbusting #7:
Responsive web design is preferred by Google’s ranking algorithms.
SEO Mythbusting #8:
The older the domain, the better it ranks.
SEO Mythbusting #9:
Legacy TLDs (.com, .net, …) are a sign of a more authoritative site than other TLDs (.guru, .xyz,…).
SEO Mythbusting #10:
Buying expired domains with high PageRank makes your new site rank better.
SEO Mythbusting #11:
Keyword rich domain names always rank better.
SEO Mythbusting #12
Google prefers subdomains to subdirectories.
SEO Mythbusting #13:
HTTPS is recommended for all types of websites.
SEO Mythbusting #14:
With Mobile First Indexing, there is a separate index for mobile and desktop pages.
SEO Mythbusting #15:
A gTLD can be geo targeted with respect to search results.
Topic 8: Let’s Talk About Links
Next amazing Googler: Duy Nguyen continued to talk about links (one of our most anticipated topic!). Gary Illyes also told the audiences, Google had never been publicly discussing links in the past 10 years! Here’s the critical tips:
1. Out going link can make sure that people can verify your claims easily.
2. Linking out will help people recognize that your site is more authoritative.
3. Use NOFOLLOW sparingly, and use it if:
3.1. You don’t trust the site or
3.2. You got something for placing the links! (ie. money, gift & etc.)
Link myth busting #1:
The internet doesn’t need links because Google can magically discover pages.
Link myth busting #2:
Nobody clicks on links anyway.
Link myth busting #3:
My site is dynamic (JS) so Google probably won’t see the links anyway.
Link myth busting #4:
The more money I pay for a link, the less likely it will be considered spammy.
Link myth busting #5:
My DA/PA are very good and I’ll rank top of Google for sure.
Topic 9: Interactive Q&A and Panel Discussion
The conference lowered its curtains after Googlers solved tons of questions from the crowds. Some questions including crawl issues, content duplication across multinational sites to be solved by using Canonical Tag & Hreflang Tag, page loading speeds within 3 seconds realistic?, Google links penalty & recovery duration (typical 3 – 6 weeks waiting for Google to response). Attendees cames from local prominent organizations, including Zalora, 123RF, The Star Media Group & many more.
The information above captured by Laney Siew, an SEO Specialist and Blogger-In-Chief of RelaxPenang.com. I will share more details (216 Google slides) for each chapter soon.
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