Gary Illyes from Google Answers Your SEO Questions On LinkedIn

Gary Illyes Google Analytics provides guidance on large robots.txt files, the SEO impact of website redesigns, and the correct use of canonical tags.

Illyes is taking questions submitted via LinkedIn direct message and answering them publicly, providing valuable insights for the SEO community.

It’s already in the news that a Google employee shares SEO tips. That’s especially so considering Illyes isn’t as active on social media as colleagues like John Mueller and developer advocate Martin Splitt.

Over the past week, Illyes has offered advice and guidance on the following topics:

Given the engagement his posts are getting, there will likely be more to come. Here’s a rundown of what you’ve been missing if you’re not following on LinkedIn.


Keep Robots.Txt Files Under 500KB

In regards to a previously published survey on Robots. Read also : Indianapolis SEO Company Offers Free SEO Marketing Strategy Session.txt file sizes, Illyes shares a PSA for those with file sizes over 500kb.

Screenshot:, January 2023.

Illyes recommends paying attention to the size of your website’s robots.txt file, especially if it’s larger than 500kb.

Google’s browsers only process the first 500kb of the file, so it’s crucial to make sure the most important information appears first.

Doing so can help ensure that Google crawls and indexes your website correctly.

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Website Redesigns May Cause Rankings To Go “Nuts”

When redesigning a website, it’s important to remember that its search engine ranking can be affected. This may interest you : Meta Tags: What You Need to Know for SEO.

Illyes explains that this is because search engines use the HTML in your pages to understand and rank your website content.

If you make changes to the HTML structure, such as breaking paragraphs, using CSS styling instead of H tags, or adding unnecessary tags, HTML parsers may produce different results.

This can significantly affect your website’s ranking in search engines. Or, as Illyes puts it, rankings can cause you to go “nuts”:

Screenshot:, January 2023.

Illyes recommends using semantically similar HTML when redesigning a website and avoiding adding unnecessary tags to minimize SEO impact.

This will allow HTML parsers to better understand your website content, which can help maintain your search rankings.

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Don’t Use Relative Paths In Your Rel-Canonical

Don’t take shortcuts when setting real-canonical tags. On the same subject : Google Helps Content Development Improve Customer Experience and SEO Strategy. Illyes recommends typing the full URL path:

Screenshot:, January 2023.

Storing a few bytes in the rel-canonical tag using a relative path is not worth the potential problems.

Using relative paths can cause search engines to treat them as different URLs, which can confuse search engines.

Entering the full URL path eliminates potential ambiguity and ensures that search engines identify the correct URL as the preferred version.

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In Summary

By answering direct mail questions and offering his expertise, Illyes is giving back to the community and providing valuable insights on a variety of SEO-related topics.

It’s a testament to Illyes’ dedication to helping people understand how Google works. Send us a DM, and your question may be answered in a future LinkedIn post.

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