Changes To Some Of The Google Search Help Documentation

Nov 1, 2022 - 7:11 am 0 by

Google Search Documentation

Google has made some changes to its sitemap documentation and title links documentation but has yet to document those changes. Here are a list of the changes, some might be considered more than "minor" but since Google did not document them, I assume they are super minor.

PageRank Reference Removals

Google removed the reference to PageRank throughout many of the Search Essential documentation as noted by Marie Haynes:

Sitemap Docs Change

On the Sitemaps documentation, Google wrote:

Don't include session IDs and other user-dependent identifiers from URLs in your sitemap. This reduces duplicate crawling of those URLs.

Previously it read:

Don't include session IDs from URLs in your sitemap. This reduces duplicate crawling of those URLs.

So Google added, "and other user-dependent identifiers." Why? John Mueller from Google said because of the "internet" - meaning, the internet is doing this and Google noticed.

Title Link Doc Changes

Google changed the name of the title link document from "Control your title links in search results" to "Influencing your title links in search results" - that was the big one.

Google also updated the section to be shorter for "Avoid repeated or boilerplate text in title elements" to read:

Avoid repeated or boilerplate text in title elements. It's important to have distinct text that describes the content of the page in the title element for each page on your site. Titling every page on a commerce site "Cheap products for sale", for example, makes it impossible for users to distinguish between two pages. Long text in the title element that varies by only a single piece of information ("boilerplate" titles) is also bad; for example, a common title element for all pages with text like "Band Name - See videos, lyrics, posters, albums, reviews and concerts" contains a lot of uninformative text.

One solution is to dynamically update the title element to better reflect the actual content of the page. For example, include the words "video", "lyrics", etc., only if that particular page contains video or lyrics.

Google expanded the "same language" section and it now reads:

Use the same language and writing system (meaning, the script or alphabet for a given language) as the primary content on your pages. For example, if a page is written in Hindi, make sure to also write the title element in Hindi (don't write title text in English or transliterate the title into Latin characters).

Google tries to show a title link that matches the primary language and writing system of a page. If Google determines that a title element does not match the writing system or language of the page's primary content, we may choose a different text as the title link.

Those are the changes I noticed to the documentation.

Forum discussion at Twitter.


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