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Google Updates HTTP Status Codes, Googlebot & Job Posting Help Documentation

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Google Updates HTTP Status Codes, Googlebot & Job Posting Help Documentation


Google has made changes to a few of its Google search help documentation over the past couple of days. The documents updated include HTTP status codes, the Googlebot and job posting help documentation. Note, the HTTP status code aspect is not new, the content was just moved from one location to another.

Googlebot

On the Googlebot how many bytes of textual content, such as HTML, Googlebot will crawl specifically over here. Here is the new lines of text:

Googlebot can crawl the first 15MB of content in an HTML file or supported text-based file. After the first 15MB of the file, Googlebot stops crawling and only considers the first 15MB of content for indexing.

Job postings

On the job postings, Google specified that when you use the jobLocation property, you must also include the addressCountry property.

HTTP Status Codes

The HTTP status codes document added a whole large section for 404 errors which was not there in the old version. Here is what has moved into this document:

soft 404 errors

A soft 404 error is when a URL that returns a page telling the user that the page does not exist and also a 200 (success) status code. In some cases, it might be a page with no main content or empty page.

Such pages may be generated for various reasons by your website’s web server or content management system, or the user’s browser. For example:

  • A missing server-side include file.
  • A broken connection to the database.
  • An empty internal search result page.
  • An unloaded or otherwise missing JavaScript file.

It’s a bad user experience to return a 200 (success) status code, but then display or suggest an error message or some kind of error on the page. Users may think the page is a live working page, but then are presented with some kind of error. Such pages are excluded from Search.

When Google’s algorithms detect that the page is actually an error page based on its content, Search Console will show a soft 404 error in the site’s Index Coverage report.

Fix soft 404 errors

Depending on the state of the page and the desired outcome, you can solve soft 404 errors in multiple ways:

Try to determine which solution would be the best for your users.

The page and content are no longer available

If you removed the page and there’s no replacement page on your site with similar content, return a 404 (not found) or 410 (gone) response (status) code for the page. These status codes indicate to search engines that the page doesn’t exist and the content should not be indexed.

If you have access to your server’s configuration files, you can make these error pages useful to users by customizing them. A good custom 404 page helps people find the information they’re looking for, and also provides other helpful content that encourages people to explore your site further. Here are some tips for designing a useful custom 404 page:

  • Tell visitors clearly that the page they’re looking for can’t be found. Use language that is
    friendly and inviting.
  • Make sure your 404 page has the same look and feel (including navigation) as
    the rest of your site.

  • Consider adding links to your most popular articles or posts, as well as a link to your
    site’s home page.
  • Think about providing a way for users to report a broken link.

Custom 404 pages are created solely for users. Since these pages are useless from a search engine’s perspective, make sure the server returns a 404 HTTP status code to prevent having the pages indexed.

The page or content is now somewhere else

If your page has moved or has a clear replacement on your site, return a 301 (permanent redirect) to redirect the user. This will not interrupt their browsing experience and it’s also a great way to tell search engines about the new location of the page.

Use the URL Inspection tool to verify whether your URL is actually returning the correct code.

The page and content still exist

If an otherwise good page was flagged with a soft 404 error, it’s likely it didn’t load properly for Googlebot, it was missing critical resources, or it displayed a prominent error message during rendering. Use the URL Inspection tool to examine the rendered content and the returned HTTP code. If the rendered page is blank, nearly blank, or the content has an error message, it could be that your page references many resources that can’t be loaded (images, scripts, and other non-textual elements), which can be interpreted as a soft 404. Reasons that resources can’t be loaded include blocked resources (blocked by robots.txt), having too many resources on a page, various server errors, or slow loading or very large resources.

Hat tip on this from Kenichi Suzuki on Twitter.


Those are the changes spotted in the past couple days to Google’s help documentation.

Forum discussion at Twitter.





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SEO

Daily Search Forum Recap: June 28, 2022

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Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.


We have yet another unconfirmed Google search ranking update rolling out now. Google said near duplicate URLs with canonicals still can lead to the wrong URL ranking. Google seems to be adding pros and cons to some snippets. Google Shopping Ads is testing a brand/merchant slider. Microsoft Bing autocomplete tab is awkward.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

  • Google Search Ranking Update Brewing Again June 27-28th

    After maybe four or five days of calm, we are seeing new signs of more larger Google Search ranking algorithm tremors and volatility. This new one seems to just be kicking off, some of the tracking tools are already picking up on it and we have chatter from within the SEO community about a possible update on June 27th and today, June 28th.

  • Google: Near Duplicate URLs With Canonical Still Can Lead To Wrong URL Ranking

    There is an interesting thread on Reddit on a topic we touched on here several times, the topic of Google ranking the wrong version of the URL in Google Search. It all stems back to the URLs you want Google to rank being near duplicate to the URL Google ends up ranking.
  • Google Adds Pros & Cons To Search Result Snippets

    Normally when someone sends me a sophisticated search result snippet from Google and I dig in, I find a reason for how Google came up with this snippet. But it seems like in this case below, Google is being a bit more sophisticated and showing pros and cons in the snippet without the web site having mentioned pros and cons specifically.

  • Google Shopping Ads Tests Retail Brand Slider

    Google seems to be testing a new feature for shopping ads, where as you slide through the shopping ads carousel, it shows you which stores retail brands are being displayed.
  • Bing Autocomplete Tells Searches To Use Tab To Fill In

    Microsoft Bing is testing a new annotation in the autocomplete search results to communicate to searchers that they can tap the tab key to finish the autocomplete without clicking on the term. Here is a screenshot of this that I can replicate – no you cannot click on the word “tab” but using tab on your keyboard does do the work.

  • Mundo Bita At Google Brazil Office

    I saw this photo on Instagram, used Google Lens to figure out who this cartoon character is and discovered his name is Mundo Bita. They were at the Google Brazil office I think for some YouTube subsc

Other Great Search Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Other Search

Feedback:


Have feedback on this daily recap; let me know on Twitter @rustybrick or @seroundtable, you can follow us on Facebook and make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or just contact us the old fashion way.





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Marketers want better features from their martech solutions

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How did you change up your stack? Take the 2022 MarTech Replacement Survey


Marketing organizations are still doing it. Ripping out martech solutions in favor of alternatives with better features, better integration capabilities and more data centralization.

And that includes mission-critical solutions like marketing automation and CRM.

The 2022 MarTech Replacement Survey showed a continuation of some of the trends detected in 2021. Organizations are still re-training team members to handle new technology rather than bringing on new hires. Proving ROI has always been important, but the importance is growing. Businesses are still switching from homegrown to commercial technologies. And the voice of marketing operations is getting louder.

Solutions replaced. It never ceases to surprise us to see so many marketing teams facing the challenge of trading their existing marketing automation and CRM platforms for something new. It’s easier to swap out SEO tools, and that’s the third most frequently replaced category in this report.

Up this year was the replacement of project management, ABM and e-commerce platforms — but respondents seem to have figured out virtual events in 2020 and 2021, because there was less activity in that category in this latest report.

A deep dive. The survey, based on responses from almost 300 marketers, not only looks at which solutions were replaced, but also:

  • The key reasons for the changes.
  • Who championed the changes.
  • How the new implementations were managed.
  • How long the replaced solutions had been in place.

Download the 2022 MarTech Replacement Survey here. It’s free and requires no registration.

Why we care. Marketing technology is no longer a nice add-on that supports campaigns and creative initiatives. In fact, it stopped being that a number of years ago. The martech stack is at the center of marketing, determining what marketing organizations can attempt and achieve, defining viable and exceptional strategies, and creating the conditions for success — or failure.

Within the constraints of budgets and the need to demonstrate ROI, every savvy marketing team sees the stack as something constantly evolving and hopefully improving. You’re all on a journey — what we are humbly trying to do is help show you the way.


Get the daily newsletter digital marketers rely on.


The 2021 MarTech Replacement Survey is here.


About The Author

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space.

He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020.

Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.



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Mundo Bita At Google Brazil

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Mundo Bita At Google Brazil


I saw this photo on Instagram, used Google Lens to figure out who this cartoon character is and discovered his name is Mundo Bita. They were at the Google Brazil office I think for some YouTube subscriber milestone.

I found the character interesting and fun so figured I’d share it here.

This post is part of our daily Search Photo of the Day column, where we find fun and interesting photos related to the search industry and share them with our readers.





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