Google Adds New Valid Page Metadata Help Document

Google has added a new help document called Valid Page Metadata which explains how Google can deal with invalid or inconsistent HTML code with invalid markup issues. Google has also updated its title links help document with a new section on “no clear main title” in the troubleshooting section.

Valid Page Metadata Help Document

The new “use valid page metadata” help document can be found here, and it reads: “Using valid page metadata ensures that Google can process the HTML markup on your pages. “Google tries to understand HTML even when it’s invalid or incompatible with standard HTML, but errors in markup can cause problems with your website in Google Search,” the document adds. For example, if you use an invalid element in the header, Google ignores all elements that appear after the invalid element.

This is more of an issue for structured or schema data, but it can also impact other areas where Google may not understand an element of your HTML code.

Google said you should only place valid metadata inside the . Valid metadata includes the following HTML elements:

  • title
  • meta
  • link
  • script
  • style
  • base
  • noscript
  • template

Google added not to use invalid elements in the header:

The following items are invalid when used in the , and therefore aren’t supported by Google Search when placed in the :

  • iframe
  • img
  • Any other HTML element

Updated help document title link to troubleshooting item

Google also updated its title link help document, which was originally published in October 2021. Google first renamed the subtitle to “Avoid common problems with title elements” to “Troubleshooting Common Problems”.

Google has also added a new section named “no clear main title” which reads:

When there is more than one important and prominent title and it is not clear which text is the main title of the page. For example, a page has two or more titles that use the same styling or heading elements. If Google Search detects that there are multiple large and prominent titles, it may use the first title as the text for the title link. Consider making sure your main title is distinctive from other text on a page and stands out as the most important on the page (e.g. using a larger font, placing the title in the first h1 element visible on page, etc).

Why we care about ourselves

SEOs, in general, should be up to date with the google search developer help documentation. Many of you have already read these documents once or twice. Learning about new documents released and changes to existing documents can save you time to understand what has changed or how Google views SEO and Google Search.

These two changes can help you communicate to your stakeholders how to create better pages that work better for Google Search.

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About the Author

Barry Schwartz is editor of Search Engine Land and a member of the SMX events programming team. He owns RustyBrick, a New York-based web consulting company. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on highly advanced SEM topics. Barry can be tracked on Twitter here.

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