Google only uses the first 15MB of your webpage for its search rankings

Google updated its help document on how its Googlebot ranks pages. The tech giant clarified that it now only crawls the first 15 MB of a webpage, and everything after this cut-off is not included in rankings calculations. This announcement came as a shock to many marketeers. Does this mean all the SEO efforts are pointless if the first thing on your website is a video banner? duomedia, your PR- and communication agency, did some research to provide answers.

Most likely nothing. Very few pages on the internet are bigger in size, and you are unlikely to be the owner of one since the average html file size is roughly 500 times smaller: 30 kilobytes (kB). However, if you do have an html page that is over the 15 MB mark, make sure Googlebot can crawl and index the part of the page within the first 15 MB.

What does this 15 MB limit mean to me?

Most likely nothing. Very few pages on the internet are bigger in size, and you are unlikely to be the owner of one since the average html file size is roughly 500 times smaller: 30 kilobytes (kB). However, if you do have an html page that is over the 15 MB mark, make sure Googlebot can crawl and index the part of the page within the first 15 MB.

Will a video banner impact your Google ranking?

In its help document, Google specifies that “any resources referenced in the html such as images, videos, CSS and JavaScript are fetched separately”. Whether a video or a large image will affect how Googlebot ranks your page will depend on whether they are encoded directly into the html.

Most likely your video banner is embedded from somewhere else (Media library, Youtube, Vimeo) and will not bring all your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) efforts to waste.

What you can do

The Google report left some in the SEO community wondering if this means that Googlebot would completely disregard text that fell below images at the cut-off in HTML files. To ensure that it is weighted by Googlebot, important content must now be included near the top of web pages.

This means code must be structured in a way that puts the SEO-relevant information with the first 15 MB in an html or supported text-based file.

 

Again, it also means whenever possible you should make sure that images and videos are compressed and are not encoded directly into the html. Get to know more on how you can improve your SEO for your website in our blogs.

More about the author

Louis De Nolf is general manager of duomedia. With his background in marketing and sales, he combines creativity with a realistic approach to communication campaigns. 

He is a trend watcher who likes to share his views on the latest developments within PR, marketing and communication. 

Mireia is the newest member of the duomedia team. As an account executive, she assists the account managers and the digital marketing team. Mireia is Spanish, therefore she enjoys food, and in her spare time she practices yoga and boxing.

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