Google Office Hours with John Mueller January 28th, 2022 Recap

Today I’ll be recapping the Google Office Hours with Google’s John Mueller from January 28th, 2022. As always, I’ll provide a synopsis of the question and answer, my opinion, and a link to the question in the video. The video ran an hour, I’ll try to summarize this for you in about ten minutes.

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How does Google recognize paid links?

They have a lot of factors that they look into, not just did someone report this as a paid link.

Does Google care where the internal link is located in the site, header / content / footer?

Internal links help understand the context, with regards to anchor text, but links in any area are fine, whether header, sidebar, footer, so long as Google can crawl the site. Google does care about placement of content, the center part of the page that does change is where Google focuses.

Running a blog type site without any actual products, but more information about products, they want to know if Google will treat it as a classic product review site?

Google doesn’t really classify sites in that way, but if you fall into one of those categories, they do have documentation that should help you out.

Local Directories:

Does Google really care if you are listed on local directories and the information is correct?

Different directories may be better than others, but John didn’t want to go on record saying that you need directory links.

For name address phone number consistency, finding the same information on multiple places on the web does help ensure the information is accurate. This usually plays into the knowledge graph, or knowledge panel. But for things like hours, having the information accurate across the board does ensure that Google trusts the data and is more likely to show it.


Are there any issues with linking to a site that is also linking to you?

That’s fine, as long as what you are doing is reasonable. The example John gave was a new article about you that you would link back to.


Are there any myths or inaccuracies that you see out there that you can just debunk right now?

It’s something they may consider doing some segments on, but really, he said a lot of the old myths have been dying out and most of the new ones have some root in facts, but maybe they were trying to help and went a bit too far. In the end, do what you think makes sense.


Malware is still being shown in the search results.

Check to make sure they really are removed, some make it look like they aren’t when you visit directly, but it still shows up from a google search. Use the removal tool for the top 100 or so pages that you want removed that have the most visibility.

Expect a couple months for lots of urls to be crawled to make changes to the indexed pages.

A tool to help index sites faster:

Use the submit to indexing tool. Remember, Google doesn’t index everything.

Emojis in titles and descriptions:

Google doesn’t show all emojis in search results, especially if it disrupts the search results. Google does interpret the emoji for the equivalent word, but it doesn’t help because your title has more color in it.

Search Console API Data Accuracy:

Is the data from the API more accurate than the web interface? 

They both come from the same source.

You can get more rows in the APi vs the web interface.

The web interface overall numbers do include some numbers that have been filtered for privacy reasons, so that number may be a bit more accurate, but only when you look at totals.

FAQ Schema:

Our schema looks good from a technical perspective, but isn’t showing on Google.

1 – Need to be technically correct

2 – Need to be compliant with policies

3 – The site needs to be trustworthy

Seasonal content:

What should we do with content that’s seasonal like Black Friday?

Try to keep the URLs the same, don’t have Black Friday 2021, then Black Friday 2022. Just have a page called Black Friday. 

CWV Impact?

Of the 3 metrics, my CLS isn’t passing, how much of an impact will that have?

There isn’t a fixed number with how strong these scores work. The factors for page experience will change year after year. This will keep all the signals from over the years that will work in your favor. Delete and bring back, or just keep alive, both are fine. The desktop factor is still coming into play later this year.

Will CWV impact crawling?

No, this will factor into the page experience ranking factor, and not indexing or a qualifier.

Page speed may impact just because the time to crawl will be slow.

Migrating from a subdomain:

The subdomain is old, like 20 years, and we’re looking to migrate to the main domain.

What’s important is that Google will look at the new website overall, they have to re-evaluate the whole thing. But it’s hard to know what will happen. You are merging different parts of your website. Make sure everything is moved properly, and crawl the new site to ensure the structure is working properly. It will probably take a couple weeks to settle down.

New Local Site Starting out:

What signals should we look out for or pay attention to.

Google My Business (Business Profiles)

Local Directories (for your niche)

The tld doesn’t matter.

Geo redirects on site:

Should you geo-redirect on a new site?

It makes it hard for Google to find content. They follow that redirect, they typically crawl from California. Google may not be able to see your webpage.

Googlebot may not be redirected on some of the examples.

Be careful of duplicate content on your site.

The last question had to do with branded search – I don’t think it was relevant as it seemed they may have other issues, but feel free to watch that part if you are having any issues with your branded search being visible.