crawl budget & 404s

I have a large site and removed lots of irrelevant pages for good. Should I return 404 or 410? What’s better for my “crawl budget”? (more from the depths of my inbox) The 410 (“Gone”) HTTP result code is a clearer sign that these pages are gone for good, and generally Google will drop those pages from the index a tiny bit faster. However, 404 vs 410 doesn’t affect the recrawl rate: we’ll still occasionally check to see if these pages are still gone, especially when we spot a new link to them.

crawl budget & 404s »


HTTPS & HSTS: 301, 302, or 307? If the combination of these letters & numbers mean anything to you, you might be curious to know why Chrome shows you a 307 redirect for HSTS pages. In the end, it’s pretty easy. After seeing the HTTPS URL with the HSTS header (for example, with any redirect from the HTTP version), Chrome will act like it’s seeing a 307 redirect the next time you try to access the HTTP page.

307s »

Mobile sites suck

I was using my phone more on the weekend, and your mobile-friendly sites blew me away. Way too many of these are just horrible. Subscription interstitials, app interstitials, browser popups asking for my location, impossible to fill out search forms, login interstitials, tiny UI elements, cookie & age interstitials, “you’re in the wrong country, idiot” interstitials, full-screen ads, “add to homescreen” overlays, etc. One - popular & well-known - site had four levels of popups/overlays on a page.

Mobile sites suck »

A search-engine guide to 301, 302, 307, & other redirects

It’s useful to understand the differences between the common kinds of redirects, so that you know where to use them (and can recognize when they’re used incorrectly). Luckily, when it comes to Google, we’re pretty tolerant of mistakes, so don’t worry too much :). In general, a redirect is between two pages, here called R & S (it also works for pages called , or pretty much any URL). Very simplified, when you call up page R, it tells you that the content is at S, and when it comes to browsers, they show the content of S right away.

A search-engine guide to 301, 302, 307, & other redirects »

JS SEO in 2016

An update (March 2016) on the current state & recommendations for JavaScript sites / Progressive Web Apps [1] in Google Search. We occasionally see questions about what JS-based sites can do and still be visible in search, so here’s a brief summary for today’s state: # Don’t cloak to Googlebot. Use “feature detection” & “progressive enhancement” [2] techniques to make your content available to all users. Avoid redirecting to an “unsupported browser” page.

JS SEO in 2016 »

HTTPS Migrations

Planning on moving to HTTPS? Here are 13 FAQs! What’s missing? Let me know in the comments and I’ll expand this over time, perhaps it’s even worth a blog post or help center article. Note that these are specific to moving an existing site from HTTP to HTTPS on the same hostname. Also remember to check out our help center at # Do I need to set something in Search Console?

HTTPS Migrations »

Soft-404s & your site

We call a URL a soft-404 when it is essentially a placeholder for URLs that no longer exist, but doesn’t return 404. Using soft-404s instead of real 404s is a bad practice, and it makes things harder for our algorithms – and often confuses users too. We’ve been talking about soft-404s since “forever,” here’s a post from 2008: for example. In 2010 we added information about soft-404s to Webmaster Tools ( http://googlewebmastercentral.

Soft-404s & your site »

Indexing email confirmation links

Every now and then I hear from someone who accidentally got a bunch of email addresses indexed as parameters to some script on their site. There’s sometimes an easy solution to that, which will (temporarily!) take care of it fairly quickly: If there’s a common part of the path that identifies these URLs, use a “directory” URL removal request in Search Console (verify ownership first). For example, you can submit “email.

Indexing email confirmation links »


Looking for something simple & easy to do during the holidays? Double-check your site’s contact forms to see that they actually work. We occasionally reach out to webmasters who have technical issues that aren’t easily visible in Webmaster Tools. Sometimes not fixing those issues will result in us dropping your website completely from our search results. If your website doesn’t have an email address on it, and your contact form is an error-page, then you’re gonna have a bad time, and we’re not going to be able to warn you of those issues.

Forms »

robotted resources

I see a bunch of posts about the robotted resources message that we’re sending out. I haven’t had time to go through & review them all (so include URLs if you can :)), but I’ll spend some time double-checking the reports tomorrow. Looking back a lot of years, blocking CSS & JS is something that used to make sense when search engines weren’t that smart, and ended up indexing & ranking those files in search.

robotted resources »