General SEO Insights from John Mueller

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General SEO Insights from John Mueller

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    Google’s John Mueller helps SEO experts every week by holding live Q&A sessions. He offers interesting insights on all aspects of SEO. 

    Here are some key takeaways from Mueller regarding General SEO – its current state and facts. 

    These points have been covered from the office-hours hangouts, SEO specific threads on Reddit and Twitter that will help you learn about the general aspects of SEO.

    1. SEO will not become obsolete in the future. 

    It is an ongoing concern among the SEO professionals that Google’s Advanced Machine Learning Algorithms might make their SEO implementations redundant, and there will be no need for SEO in the future.  

    When asked by a user about the future of SEO, John Mueller states that SEO will still be popular in the future. However, he doesn’t think that search engines will advance to the point that SEO will not be needed. 

    2. Now is the right time to start an SEO Side Hustle

    With the Page Experience Update launch in June, Mueller states on a Reddit post that now is a good time for SEO professionals to level up their skills and begin a side hustle. 

    If the SEO practitioner enjoys working on low-level sites, has hands-on experience with CDNs, Plugins, Frameworks, they should level up their expertise and offer their services for a reasonable fee.

    Site owners will hire SEO Experts that have the experience of improving the page experience of different websites, over other practitioners due to their results and expertise. 

    3. SEO might not always be the solution

    SEO does not always help a website improve its ranking. 

    To bring a little context over this point, a site owner asked a question on Reddit if hiring an SEO expert would help improve his website, which lost all its traffic over six years ago.

    John Mueller replied in the thread stating that SEO might not help. In 6 years, the Search Engine has evolved. It might not be a technical issue, but the site strategy has become obsolete.

    4. Mobile versions of pages are indexed by default

    Mobile-First Indexing means Google will index the mobile versions of web pages rather than the desktop versions as users use Google search more on their phones. 

    In the case of websites that use m-dot to separate their desktop and mobile pages, Google takes the them-dot version as default for indexing.

    5. Traffic from Google Discover tends to be inconsistent.

    Referral Traffic from Google Discover will probably fluctuate, as Google Discover is not based on a specific query. Therefore, it is unclear as to how many people are interested in a certain topic and where your content would show up.

    Google’s system may or may not show certain content in Discover. It is also not possible to predict website traffic from Google Discover. 

    6. Digital PR is a good Link Building Practice

    John Mueller has a positive opinion on using Digital PR in Link Building Strategy. Digital PR is not considered spam, and it may be as critical as Technical SEO.  

    7. Desktop and Mobile Rankings differ due to Personalization and Context

    Mueller explained that in the case of some searches, the users’ needs might differ depending on the type of device they are using. This can lead to different rankings on Mobile and Desktop. 

    He goes on to explain that ranking might differ due to speed, mobile-friendliness or other technical factors. He further explained the intention of the users might also affect the rankings.

    For example, If a user is searching for a query using a mobile device, chances are that they are looking for local information. But the intention might be different while searching on a desktop.

    8. Syndicating Content can impact your ranking

    Republishing your original content is still duplicate content. If you syndicate or republish the content on other websites, the chances of your website ranking for the same target keyword will be reduced. But if your goal is to reach a wider audience, republishing is a good idea.

    John Mueller recommends picking your goals and selecting the work that helps you achieve them.

    9. Search is not a science

    All the websites don’t need to follow the same strategy that other websites use to rank on Google. There can be different ways to achieve favorable results.

    Mueller says that there are multiple ways to get ranked on Google, suggesting not to follow just one ranking factor to get to the result. 

    10. Core Updates Impact Google Discover

    Google’s Core Updates in Search Results can also impact how the content is shown on the Discover. Google uses the same quality algorithms in Discover as they do in web search. 

    If your rankings are stable, but there’s a variation in traffic after the update, it could be due to the changes in Google Discover.

    When a broad core update rolls out in Web Search, you will see similar changes in Discover.

    11. Google does not index all pages

    Google doesn’t index all the pages of your website even if it’s aware of it. 

    The fluctuations in indexing are completely normal for websites that are mid-size or larger.   Muller says that it’s normal to not have all the pages of your website be indexed on Google. 

    12. No “Sandbox” Or “Honeymoon” Period

    Mueller has stated that there is no ‘Sandbox’ that holds back new pages from appearing on Search Results. 

    There is no ‘Honeymoon Period’ either,  which boosts New Pages because Google prefers fresh content. Google doesn’t explicitly promote or demote new content.

    When a new page is live, Google makes assumptions about where it should rank on the SERP. Sometimes the assumptions are incorrect and you might see a sudden drop in the ranking of a page.

    13. Low Traffic does not mean Low Quality

    Low Traffic on a website does not necessarily mean that the page is low quality.

    The majority of the traffic goes to the head pages, and tail pages, although useful, acquire smaller audiences.

    John Mueller recommended not removing web pages that don’t get traffic because these pages are still useful and high quality despite less traffic. 


    SEO is an ever-changing field and as SEO experts, we need to keep up with the latest trends and technological changes. 

    John Mueller is a Search Advocate at Google and often answers queries on Twitter and Reddit. You can follow him on Twitter – @JohnMU

    You can follow Google Search Central on YouTube – where you will find all the information about Google, its related tools and SEO solutions.

    You can subscribe to our Newsletter to keep up with the latest happenings in the Digital World.

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    General SEO Insight From John Mueller

    General SEO Insights from John Mueller