Page speed is a ranking factor in technical SEO
While page speed is already an indirect ranking factor, many newcomers to technical SEO don’t understand how important it is. Google is constantly changing the algorithms, and in May 2021 they added “Core Web Vitals” to their ranking factors, including page speed. Google is a major player in search engine optimization, and ensuring your site loads quickly is essential. The faster your page loads, the better your rankings will be.
The performance metric used in the Core Web Vitals algorithm is called Max Potential First Input Delay, and it measures the number of round trips needed to process a request. The more round trips, the higher the latency. The opportunities section provides details of improvements that can speed up your site’s performance. Google’s algorithm includes a list of metrics, each with a score between 0 and 100. Each metric has a different weight and a different meaning, so it’s advisable to follow this recommendation to the letter.
Google defines thin content as “content that has little or no added value.” It may be keyword-packed, not make any sense, or copied from other pages. Thin content is often the result of webmasters’ attempts to use SEO to boost their rankings. In some cases, webmasters make up pages with hundreds of words but no authentic content. Google will punish such a site if it is found on search results.
When Google discovers thin content, it penalises websites that do not have enough content to justify a click. A searcher will immediately recognize a page that is only there to market a particular product or service. Google will punish a website that is too thin by penalizing it. But there are ways to fix the issue. First, you can conduct a content audit of your website. This audit will reveal any areas where your website may be lacking relevant content.
Incorrect canonical URLs
When optimizing your website for search engines, it’s important to implement canonical URLs in your website. Google recognizes these as directives, and it will ignore any link that does not reference the correct canonical URL. Listed below are some tips to make sure you’re implementing them correctly.
The link tag can also accept relative URLs, but it’s vital to ensure you use a fully-qualified URL in your canonical URLs. Incorrectly defining the base URL can lead to errors, which makes your entire canonical setup invalid. Google has acknowledged this issue, and has made it very clear that the correct URL should be used. For multilingual websites, Hreflang tags are typically used to store different versions of webpages and display them based on the region of the user.
Incorrect hreflang tags
Incorrect hreflang tags are a common SEO mistake. Google introduced the hreflang attribute to help websites reach people in multiple countries. Thousands of sites started receiving notices for incorrect hreflang implementation. This error is caused by content that has regional variations, which may include multiple languages or even a mix of languages. Listed below are some steps to correct the problem.
The first step is to check if you have the correct language codes. The language code must be in the ISO 639-1 format, while the optional region code must be in the ISO 3166-1 Alpha 2 format. Avoid using region codes such as “EU” and “UK”. This is because hreflang is intended to target users in their own language, not a specific region. Also, avoid specifying country codes.
The next step is to make sure your hreflang tags are in the right places on all pages. Ideally, hreflang tags should be placed as close to the head of the page as possible. This allows search engine bots to read them and crawl them. The problem with this approach is that many sites only implement the hreflang tag on their home pages, which Google doesn’t understand.