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John Mueller shares tips for improving web content

December 12, 2019 0 comments

Google rarely shares tips on how to improve content. So when an official source does share tips on how to improve web content, it is always worth talking about.

Recently, Google’s John Mueller was asked a question on how to improve web content. The question was specifically about moving the location of content within an HTML page to improve content focus.

Here is what the publisher asked:

“Do you think moving the images down and the relevant text up would help Google better interpret the focus of each of these pages?”

John Mueller replied that “shifting the location of content within an HTML page” does not play “a big role at all.”

Mueller further expanded on his answer and highlighted the importance of well-planned and structured pages of content. This includes multiple elements: text, images, and the heading of the web page, and, more importantly, how they related to each other.

The second tip came in the form of a warning that interstitials can, in fact, block a web page from being indexed in the SERPs. The specific example that John gave was that of a “country picker” — which, actually, is quite a common practice.

John said, “One thing I did notice when looking at that example page that you link to is that when I load it up, after a certain period of time, it switches to a country picker interstitial.

I don’t know how you’re triggering this, and if you trigger this in all locations, but for example, if you were to trigger this when Googlebot crawls and renders your pages that might also result in Googlebot not being able to index your pages properly.”

But what if a webmaster wants to use a country picker? What option is available for him if an interstitial can’t be relied upon?

John suggested using a banner or other user interface object — instead of an interstitial.

According to Mueller, “if you’re using a banner, then even if that does end up being rendered in Google’s systems, then it wouldn’t block the indexing of the rest of your content. Whereas if you have an interstitial that in the worst case takes out all of the old content and replaces it with this country or language picker, then we might not have that much content left on that page for indexing.”

It makes sense, doesn’t it?

So, to summarize:

  • Don’t worry about moving your content up and down. That won’t have a big impact on the search rankings. Instead, focus on the different elements (text, headings, images), and how they related to each other on a web page.
  • Second, interstitials are bad and can even block indexing of the page. Avoid them as much as possible.

If you want to watch the complete video, check out this Google Webmaster Hangout episode here.