In this special Whiteboard Friday, Matt Cutts joins Rand in front of the Whiteboard, and reveals a couple of Google gems that go beyond his usual “content is king”.
“If-Modified Since” Header
As bandwidth used to be a big issue, Google used to really support its use. Now, it’s still good standard practice, but it won’t necessarily get you crawled faster.
Should Webmasters Use 503 Status Codes for Downtime?
If you have a page under construction or having problems, 503 it. It will prevent the page being crawled and indexed. You can’t specify when Google will be back, but they won’t index the maintenance page.
How many URLs does Google pay attention to?
Google crawls the web in PageRank order, so they see the best part first. About 28% of what they see is duplicate content. There is also a difference between popularity of a site and the PageRank of the site – popularity doesn’t equal high PageRank.
Is it a bad idea to chain redirects? (301- 302-301)
GoogleBot can cope with a couple of redirects, but more than 3 pushes it and probably won’t be followed.
Is a trailing / important in URL structure?
Matt would slightly prefer using a trailing / to indicate it is a folder, not a document. However, Google is usually pretty good at differentiating it.
Does Google crawl from one geo-location or many?
Google crawls from one IP address worldwide, as there is only one index. To work with this, don’t show users in different countries significantly different content. To do this, show everyone the same content initially, then allow access to geo-specific site areas.
Does the Number of Outbound Links from a Page affect PageRank?
Today, there is no need to hoard all your link juice on your page. There can be benefits to linking out, and the analysis is much more cyclical and iterative.