This was a rare chance for people in Malaysia to get answers from a Googlers, face-to-face, instead of Google the Search Engine.
- When? August 02, 2019.
- Where? Aloft Kuala Lumpur Central.
- Who? Googlers from the search team including Gary Illyes, Stacie Chan, Lucian Teo, Takeaki Kanaya, Duy Nguyen, Anna Ogawa, Cherry Sireetorn Prommawin, and Aldrich Christopher.
- Why? It’s a conference for website owners, digital marketers, web developers, and SEO professionals.
- Event details: https://events.withgoogle.com/wmckualalumpur/
There were 9 talk sessions and 1 Q&A / panel discussion in the fully-packed 7 hours event. Titles and topics covered were:
- Keynotes / welcomes – by Lucian Teo
- How search works – by Cherry Sireetorn
- What’s new in search – by Gary Illyes
- Search console – by Gary Illyes
- Partnering with Google Search and Assistant – by Stacie Chan
- Image Search – by Gary Illyes
- Towards a safer web – by Aldrich Christopher & Takeaki Kanaya
- SEO mythbusting – by Gary Illyes
- Let’s talk about links by Duy Nguyen
Per Googler’s on-stage talks and guidance
- eCommerce spending in Asean is estimated to hit US$250 billion by year 2025.
- Content is king.
- Businesses should focus on its core and worry less about SEO
- Rankings are tailored to moment. Search engine crawl, index, and rank content in real time.
- HTTPS is a must – make use of free SSL like Let’s Encrypt .
- Link out to trustable resources – it helps Google understand the web better and your site rankings.
- Any links that are obtained with exchange of money should be “nofollow”.
- Google human raters will check and compare search results before an core update goes live.
- Speed up your site.
- Google is working with other relevant orgs to standardize robots.txt
- New sites discovered by Google will fall under mobile first indexing.
- Google now renders a web page when crawling a website – just like how users would see the page on browser.
- Fun story – Facebook used up Google storage capacity when the two tech giants team up to test out hreflang implementation.
- Use “hreflang” to gain more localised traffic, but prepare to lose traffic if you take it off.
- Businesses are encouraged to control their online presence by claiming their knowledge panel and creating content on Google Posts and Cameos.
- Use schema markup to help Google understand your website better – including the new FAQ and How-to markup.
- You can now markup your videos with spreadsheets.
- Make use of Tenor.com, one of Google’s latest acquisitions, to improve your brand visibility.
Q&A (in private and during panel discussion)
- How users interact with content affects how Google understand intent (in real time); how Google understand intent affect how they serve their results in real time.
- First meaningful content paint is what matters the most to Google in measuring speed.
- When a website roll back to single-language from a multilingual setup, it will retain its (bigger) crawl budget for short term, which allow new pages get discovered quicker. This elevated crawl budget would be reduced and normalised based on the website size eventually.
In overall I think it’s a well-organised event.
- Plenty to networking opportunities with other digital marketers and developers.
- Plenty of good food – breakfast, lunch, and two tea breaks, to whack throughout the session.
- Plenty of clear guidance and tips for newbies and local businesses.
A few attendants I met mentioned their disappointment with the depth of the topics. In overall they thought what covered on stage were too basic and lack of insights.
(Biasa-lah.. Of course the Googlers are not here to teach us how to SEO and manipulate their system.)