Google’s John Mueller answers common SEO questions

Google’s John Mueller has answered common SEO questions on YouTube. Here are his answers:

1. Is a crawl-delay rule ignored by Googlebot?

The craw-delay directive can be added in the robots.txt file of a website. It tells web crawlers how long they should wait before requesting another page from the website. Since this value is not part of the standard, its interpretation is dependent on the crawler reading it.

John Mueller says that Google ignores the crawl-delay directive. Instead, they decide how many pages they visit based on the reaction of the server. If the server is slow, or if there are errors, Google will check fewer pages.

You can use the website audit tool in SEOprofiler to find out if your pages show errors to Google and other web crawlers.

2. My site’s template has multiple H1 tags. Is this a problem?

The H1 tag shows the main headline on a page. In general, it is good if a web page has a clear focus and a clear topic. John Mueller says that it’s not a problem to have more than one H1 tag on a page.

You can check the headline tags on your web pages with the Top 10 Optimizer tool in SEOprofiler. Having good header hierarchy helps people with screen readers. In addition, a clear focus makes your web page more relevant to a particular topic.

3. Subdomain or subfolder, which is better for SEO?

Is it better to use or for your blog? John Mueller says that Google is fine with both versions. You can use the setup that works best for you.

4. Do fixed penalties affect SEO?

Does Google hold a grudge if your website had a penalty in the past? John Mueller says that Google calls penalties “manual actions” because they are applied manually.

If Google applied a manual action to your website, you should remove the spam elements. After that, you can file a reconsideration request. When Google lifts the manual penalty, it can take some time until Google reprocesses everything. Google’s algorithm won’t hold a grudge.

The website will get its natural position, which is usually lower than then position that the website received through spamming. It is normal that a website returns to exactly the same place as before after lifting a penalty.

Check your web pages

There are many things that influence the position of your web pages in Google’s search results. Use the Top 10 Optimizer tool and the website audit tool in SEOprofiler to find out if your web pages have everything that is needed to get high rankings for your search terms:

Try SEOprofiler now

Tom Cassy

Tom Cassy is the CEO of SEOprofiler. He blogs about search engine optimization and website marketing topics at “”.