SEO insights from Google’s John Mueller

Google’s webmaster trends analyst John Mueller provided us with many remarkable answers to our SEO questions.



Make sure mobile versions aren’t oversimplified.

Make sure to keep relevant content and descriptive sections.


All HTML is read + used by Google, even if its commented out.

Google doesn’t treat HTML content differently depending on whether it is visible or not.

Use rel=canonical over no-index for duplicated content.

No-indexed signals bots to drop this content, it’s better to set a preferred version with rel=canonical.

Google will index duplicate pages, yet only shows the most relevant content.

Google will index all versions of duplicate content, but will only show the most relevant, this is based on relevancy and personalization factors.


Crawl-budget is only a problem for large websites.

Googlebot can crawl sites with “a couple hundred thousand pages” effortlessly.


Serving a 410 error can remove pages faster than a 404.

410 & 404 errors are equal in the long-term, but in the short-term, a 410 will de-index a page couple of days faster than a 404.

Structured data

Structured-data is only used if a site is a trustworthy and high-quality site.

Google needs to consider a site as trustworthy and high quality before it will show rich snippets.

Site architecture

Page importance is determined by click depth, over URL structure.

When deciding how important a page is, Google gives more weight to click depth over URL structure.

New content should be linked above-the-fold in the site structure.

Above the fold matters, it makes all the difference if new content is linked from the homepage or high up in the website structure.


User experience metrics are used to determine page speed.

With the page speed update, Google now uses real user experience metrics from chrome to determine page speed, alongside several other factors.

Page speed is measured on a scale.

Google now assesses page speed on a scale, based on several metrics. Before the update, Google only distinguished between pages that loaded within a reasonable time range and slow (bad) pages.

Relevance & quality

Focus on improving relevance (“medic” core update).

Mueller recommends that sites hit by the medic update should focus on improving their pages, so they are more relevant for searchers. just remember it takes time for google algorithm to account and grade relevance.

Isaac Adams-Hands

Full Stack Developer, Digital Marketer, and InfoSec enthusiast. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Western Sydney and his Business Diploma from Georgian College before joining various marketing positions in search portals, e-commerce, higher education, and addiction recovery services.

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