Google’s John Mueller Providing Webmaster Support On Christmas

Every year, John Mueller, Senior Search Analyst / Search Relations team lead at Google makes a significant effort to help respond to SEO-related questions on Christmas. He has done this since at least 2007, so sixteen-years and counting, and has done it again this Christmas.

Here are the previous years of John offering support on Christmas. He did it last year in 2022, then in 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007.

This year, he seems to have stayed off X (formerly known as Twitter) likely for good reason, and posted mostly on Reddit. Here are the Reddit threads and responses he posted on on Christmas day:

  • Hreflang rendering – head or body? – “It sounds like (since you mentioned “rendering”) you’re adding hreflang with JavaScript. Technically, that’s possible, but debugging is going to be painful. I would imagine that many hreflang testing tools will have trouble seeing it, for example. Hreflang is hard on its own, I would try not to make it even harder. It sounds like you’re on top of things, just keep in mind that if the js injects an iframe in the head, you need to make sure the meta tags that you need for search are before the iframe. (The iframe will generally stop processing of the head at that point).”
  • Robots.txt unreachable – “This is almost certainly your server blockinng Googlebot, for example with a particularly spicy CDN configuration. This is not a bug in Search Console. If your robots.txt is not accessible to Googlebot, nothing will get crawled. The contents of the robots.txt file doesn’t matter for this issue – the problem is that Googlebot can’t even look at the file, so it assumes that your server wants to block all traffic.”
  • Google Cache is different from Search Console Live Inspection – “The cached page is not reflective of what’s indexed – the JS might not “run” there for technical reasons. Use Search Console instead.”
  • What SEO myths are you tired of hearing of? – “That some things are myths and should therefore never be followed / used.”
  • Any point in putting brand name on meta title for website pages? – “I like cheese, sorry.”

A couple days before the holiday, he posted his annual year-end SEO meme on X, click through to go through them all:

As I wrote last year, there are also tons of volunteers, Google Product Experts, and other volunteers that have answered dozens and dozens of questions throughout Christmas eve and day and over the weekends. Like I said last year, this shows how John deeply cares about webmasters. He knows that if a webmaster, site owner, or business owner is posting something concerning their website over the holidays, this webmaster must be in some distress, and he is there looking to help. We discussed this a bit when I interviewed him on my vlog – check it out over here.

In any event – John – thanks for everything you do, and wishing you, your family, and your colleagues a happy, healthy, peaceful, and successful holiday and New Year.

Here are some posts from other search reps wishing everyone a happy holidays:

And happy holidays to everyone out there!

Forum discussion at posts above.

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