Latest Advice On SEO

There are few who carry more legendary status in SEO circles than John Mueller. His words of wisdom are instinctively heeded by those who know insightful advice when they hear it.

If anything, the only problem with Mr Mueller’s advice is how thick and fast it comes. Keeping track of his latest and greatest pointers isn’t easy, which is where this summary could help.

Here are just a few of the most important things we have learned from John Mueller as of late - all solid-goal insights for SEOs and website owners:

Duplicate Content Does Not Harm SEO Performance

First up, duplicate content across multiple pages will not count against you in SEO stakes. It’s just that the duplicate content will be ignored by Google, and therefore will not help your cause, either.

As explained by Mr Mueller:

“So if you have the same content on multiple pages then we won’t show all of these pages. We’ll try to pick one of them and show that. So it’s not that there’s any negative signal associated with that. In a lot of cases that’s kind of normal that you have some amount of shared content across some of the pages.”

Customer Reviews Are Not a Ranking Factor

Contrary to popular belief, customer reviews are not a ranking factor in the conventional sense. They can boost the performance of an online business in local search stakes, but have no direct impact on broader rankings:

“As far as I know we don’t use the number of customers or reviews when it comes to web search, with regards to ranking. Sometimes we do pull that information out and we might show it as kind of a rich result in the search results.”

The Number of Back Links You Have is Inconsequential

The only thing that matters with backlinks is quality…period. Mr Mueller went on record to state that you could have millions of low-grade links pointing to your website, and not a single one of them would bring you any benefits whatsoever:

“You could go off and create millions of links across millions of websites if you wanted to, and we could just ignore them all. Or there could be one really good link from one website out there that is, for us, a really important sign that we should treat this website as something that is relevant because it has that one link… So the total number essentially is completely irrelevant.”

Disabling Blog Comments is a Bad Idea

Even if it means dealing with spam and taking the time to moderate contributions, keeping blog comments enabled is important. Simply because disabling them could have a negative impact on your site’s SEO performance:

“I think it’s ultimately up to you. From our point of view we do see comments as a part of the content. We do also, in many cases, recognize that this is actually the comment section so we need to treat it slightly differently. But ultimately if people are finding your pages based on the comments there then, if you delete those comments, then obviously we wouldn’t be able to find your pages based on that.”

Product Price Does Not Affect Rankings

Last up, competitiveness (or otherwise) of product and service prices has no direct impact on SEO performance or rankings. Undercutting the competition with the aim of achieving a high SERP position simply doesn’t work:

“Purely from a web search point of view, no, it’s not the case that we would try to recognize the price on a page and use that as a ranking factor. So it’s not the case that we would say we’ll take the cheaper one and rank that higher. I don’t think that would really make sense.”