Search London January 2015 follow-up

I spoke at Search London on 26 January 2015 about Google indexing in 2015 alongside Danny Denhard. I didn't want to share my slides as they would be without the context my voice-over gives, so here is a summary of what I talked about with the links I shared. Danny's slides are here.

By the way, just like during my talk, I'd love it if you take this quick survey. Thank you!

Rendering pages

In May last year, we announced that we render webpages just like a normal browser does as part of our indexing proocess. Since then we've seen a couple of common mistakes that I mentioned:

  • Blocked resources: Many sites disallow the crawling of the JavaScript and CSS files needed to render the pages correctly. The fix is simple: change the robots.txt directives to allow crawling of JS and CSS resources. Remember that the applicable robots.txt file could be on a different host, like your CDN. To make sure all is well, use the Use Fetch and Render in Webmaster Tools to test.

  • Dynamic serving of resources: I wrote about this recently on my Google+ as it's a growing problem. We sometimes ee JS and CSS files being dynamically served depending on the user-agent. This can cause problems and there is no need to do it! For JavaScript, you can use simple code (an if statement) embedded in the HTML to fetch different JS files for the different user-agents. For CSS, you can use different media queries to download the right CSS file. And finally for images, you can use the element or srcset attributes as described by the Responsive Images Community Group.

Mobile websites

I talked about the need for a mobile-friendly website. The important concept is to think about task completion, that is, making sure that whatever your users can do on a desktop, they can do on the mobile site. I call it the task completion parity. It's a simple idea but very powerful once you get into that mindset. Do it :)

To help you build mobile-friendly sites, we have two great resources that I mentioned at Search London:

App indexing

App Indexing is when you tell us how to open the content already found on your website using your Android app. Once we know of the connection, a signed-in searcher who has your app installed will get the choice to open your content on the website or in the app. It's pretty neat and I talked about the common mistakes: blocked app resources, just like blocking on JS and CSS, and Android app errors.

For blocked resources, make sure all URLs your app fetches are crawlable by Googlebot. Don't forget this includes the APIs that actually fetch the content :)

Structured data

We recently revamped our Structured Data Testing Tool and our documentation. We also expanded support for the JSON-LD syntax to make it even easier to include structured data in your pages. At Search London, I gave examples of how we user SD in our search results. Dig into the docs for this fascinating world!

NAP is not enough! It misses opening hours

A common acronym in local search is "NAP", meaning name, address, and phone number. That's not enough because a very common query is to know when the business (or venue, whatever) is open. You need to make it easy for users to find these opening hours, and so it's best to think in terms of NAPO, not just NAP.

What makes for an easy way to share NAPO information? We have just the docs for you :)

Finally, a favor please

During my talk, I did a few quick polls of the audience and was surprised by the results. Can you please take this quick survey to help us understand a bit more about you and how we can help? Thanks!

If you have any questions, I can try to answer them here, but I prefer if you ask through our official channels like our forums.