Google Search Masters Conference Updates

By digitalSRC
Mar 5th, 2009

I mentioned about making a detailed post about the Google Search Masters conference as I could not live blog the entire session due to some technical issue. It is pretty late to do that as I suppose most readers have already got a fair idea about the things discussed in the conference from other blogs, however, I would just take this opportunity to post about a few small and easy to ignore points that caught my attention during the various talks in the conference.

a) The Googlers repeatedly stated the importance of joining and participating the webmaster communities, particularly Google Webmaster Help Forum and the Official Google webmaster community in Orkut. Also encouraged the use of Google Webmaster Central and the data available there.

b) If you are buying a old domain, it is important to verify & check links through Webmaster Central. If you see any possible issues it is important to file a reconsideration request.

c) In answer to one of the question Adam Lasnic clearly agrees that Google analytics data is used to judge the quality of the website.

d) In another conversation it comes up that while the directory structure of a website doesn’t really matter to Google, they definitely look at how many clicks it takes to reach a page to judge the importance of a page in a website.

e) In answer to a qustion about Link building, Adam stated, “Do not worry too much about relevancy” – thrashing the well established concept of having back links from related websites. He mentioned it is good if you have related back links but even non related links are good as long as they are natural and comes from good quality websites.

f) Table based HTML Vs. CSS layout – Adam stated clearly the Google have no preference as such and it can crawl almost all possible HTML structures unless the internal navigation structure is not horribly bad or the pages are protected by robots.txt

g) Also mentioned Validation is great for usability but not a factor that Google considers for ranking.

h) If a site that we link to changes hand and the content on that website undergoes complete change and becomes a part of bad neighborhood – is that a risk for our website ? In answer to this Adam mentions that Google doesn’t look at each link individually, rather it looks at overall trends and aggregates. Google understands legacy so change in nature of link due to change of website ownership would not affect any website.

f) Is there a possibility of duplicate content penalty if your content is copied by other websites ? Adam said that Googlr has got the technology to identify original source of content and this type of situations typically does not initiate any penalty. Google however, does not look at the time of publication because Google might index content in a copied website before it indexes the original source.

In case of synidcated content like article directories as long as there is a “Follow” link to the original source Google is able to identify the original source of the content and credit it for the same.

g) Microformats – Google does not understand Microformats at present but they are working on it and in near future as Microformats become more popular they should be able to index them.

h) Adam repeatedly stressed on the use of sitemaps both HTML and XML to make it easier for Google bot to index all the pages. He clearly mentioned that this would not help with organic rankings though.

i) For multimedia content like video, images and audio files it is important to add context to it by putting good content around them. This helps search engines to judge the multimedia elements

j) For Geo targeting, Google uses the TLD, physical location of server, information obtained through Geo targeting tool in GWT as well as the language used.

k) It is important to test websites in browsers with JavaScript turned off. That gives a clear idea of what Google bot gets to see while crawling the page.

Besides the above points there were discussion on Google Custom Search Engine where Dr. Rajat Mukherjee explained the concept of custom search engine and how this can be used.

Ankit Gupta gave a nice presentation on the Mobile friendly websites – why they are needed, wat are the things to keep in mind while building websites for mobile users, the challenges etc. I will make another post covering these points soon.

Deepak Jain had a talk on Google Analytics & website optimizer. He explained how these tools work and the advantages of using them. He also focused on the metrics that should be tracked and how the data can be used to improve conversion.

Some Photos From Google Search Masters 2009

Google Search Masters 2009 Conference

In discussion with Adam Lasnic

Google Goodies 🙂

Some more photos from Google Search Masters 2009

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Check out the About SRC Page for more details about Saptarshi Roy Chaudhury.

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