Google On Mixed Content Types & Intent


Google’s John Mueller said when it comes to confusing Google around having different intent of content, it is more of an issue on the page-level and not on the site-level. John said “a lot of websites just have a mix of different kinds of content,” and that is an issue “page-level rather than on a website level,” he implied.

This came up at the 10 minute mark into a video hangout where Christian Kunz asked about an e-commerce site that has an informational blog – would that confuse Google in thinking the site is about an informational query versus a transactional query.

Christian Kunz asked “last time we talked about some problems with the website where we have– it’s an e-commerce website where we have informational stuff, and transactional stuff. And yeah, your advice was to separate this content a little bit into transaction-oriented and information-oriented pages. So I have another question regarding this. If you have, let’s say, an e-commerce website, and you have a huge blog, or a magazine, or something like that where you have loads of informational stuff, but it’s an old section. And on the other hand, you have all these product pages, and categories, and so on. So would this huge block with pure informational stuff give the whole website kind of an informational touch or character so that Google says, oh, we are not sure if this is a more, something where people can get information rather than buying stuff, or is this evaluation done on a per page base?”

John Mueller of Google responded “I don’t think we have that documented or defined. But my understanding is that this is more of a page-level thing. Because it’s– I mean, just purely from trying to think of it as– I don’t know– a practical way, like how you would implement it, and look at websites overall. A lot of websites just have a mix of different kinds of content. And then you try to figure out which of these pages match the searcher’s intent, and try to rank those appropriately. So my feeling is this is something more that would be on a page-level rather than on a website level.”

Christian replied “So we don’t have the– we don’t have the risk that by adding more and more text content that we kind of dilute the product pages or something?”

John replied to that “I don’t think so. I mean, you see that with news websites often– that they have kind of the recent events, but they also have sections for maybe older events that took place or– I don’t know– 9/11. Or for other big events, they kind of have an isolated archive section. And those are very different intents. If you want something really now that is happening or if you want some kind of informational research, evergreen-type content. And there too, we kind of have to look at it on a per page basis, and not say, oh, this is a research website because there’s some research content here.”

So it seems like you need to be more concerned about this when it this intent about informational, transactional or other intents are mixed on the same piece of content – but not across multiple pages on a site.

Here is the video embed:

Here is how Glenn Gabe summed it up with this GIF:

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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