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Pages That Look Like Error Pages Can Be Considered As Soft 404s | W1 January 2022

By janice on January 7, 2022

Oh my gosh! It’s already the end of the first week of January. That being said, our weekly SEO news still perseveres so here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Pages that look like error pages can be considered as soft 404s
  • Google: Quality of the languages on a multilingual site can impact each other
  • Google: Rel sponsored not needed for internal links to affiliate product reviews
  • Google may be showing more web stories in top stories

3/1/2022- Pages that look like error pages are considered as soft 404s

Someone talked to John Mueller about their page reporting many soft 404 errors on Google Search Console as the page had “Sorry, we don’t deliver to this location.”. 

John Mueller responded that Google Search will consider pages that look like error pages as a soft 404 and remove them from the search results. We already knew that this would happen for pages that return “results not found” but it looks this expands to other negative and error looking pages as well.

4/1/2022- Google: Quality of the languages on a multilingual site can impact each other

If you have multiple versions of your site (on the same domain name), and one version is deemed high quality by Google while the other version is deemed low quality by Google, the low quality version will negatively impact the high quality version.

An SEO asked: do you consider the language quality of each language version on the same domain independently or can there be some sort of negative or bad neighborhood effect so that if one language version is of poor quality, all the other language versions on the same domain suffer as well?

John Mueller basically said yes and that it’s more focused on the quality overall

5/1/2022- Google: Rel Sponsored Not Needed for Internal Links to Affiliate Product Reviews

You do not need to nofollow or use a rel sponsored attribute on your internal links, even if those internal links lead to sponsored reviews content with affiliate links to those products.

You do not need to nofollow or use a rel sponsored attribute on your internal links, even if those internal links lead to sponsored reviews content with affiliate links to those products.

Lily asked “If you have pages on your site that offer a sponsored review of a brand/product w/ affiliate links (and that’s the entire purpose of the page), should internal links to those pages contain any attributes (rel=sponsored, etc.)?”

John responded “Nah, within the site is not really an issue, since you’re just linking from one part of your site to the other part.” He did add “I will try not to think about this when I’m not fully awake though. How recursive is a sponsored link?”

There’s zero need to add this attribute to internal content that contains affiliate links, just add them to outbound links

6/1/2022- Google May Be Showing More Web Stories in Top Stories 

John Shehata shared a chart from his Newzdash service that showed how Google is showing more web stories in the top positions of the top stories carousel in the mobile search results. John said on Twitter “I am starting to see more and more web stories in Google Search Top Stories (News Box) carousels. The numbers are still small.”

Here is that chart showing more top placements in the top stories carousel for these web stories:


Updated: 9 August 2022

About Janice

A cocoa drink and game enthusiast. Janice often spends her time reading up on the latest SEO or digital marketing news

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