The Google Webmasters Unconference is an innovative event where the webmaster community engages with Google’s team in an open, collaborative format. Unlike traditional conferences, it features interactive sessions where attendees actively participate, suggest topics, and lead discussions. This format fosters direct communication with Google experts, enabling attendees to gain insights, share experiences, and discuss the latest trends in SEO and webmaster best practices.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced either the cancellation or the digitization/virtualization of many events across the globe. Google has announced that rather than cancel their conference, this year they are offering a virtual version, known as the “Unconference”.
These events are hard to get into – and this year is no different. The website states that people can register to attend until August 19th, and be alerted about their attendance status by August 20th. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing on August 10, registration is already closed. While many are hopeful it will open again, chances are slim.
The conference starts at 8 a.m PDT on August 26th, and won’t have formal presentations. Instead, there will be a series of “interactive discussions.” Attendance is free for all registered users – but you aren’t officially registered until you get the confirmation from Google.
Google writes, “In this event, you decide what sessions will happen and will actively shape the content in them, by taking part in discussions, feedback sessions, and similar formats that need your input.” They go on to say attendees are expected to “actively participate in sessions you’re interested in, either through a voice or voice/video call through Google Meet.
Registrants have been asked to select two sessions from the list of proposed sessions, discussed below, that they would like to be part of. Only the sessions that receive the most votes will take place on the day of the event. Google also notes, “Depending on your feedback during registration, some of these sessions may not take place and we will group the sessions into two blocks.”
The Possible Session Topics at Google Webmasters Unconference
These are presented exactly as on the official event website. I’ve added links to more information about the topics/subjects themselves where I see fit.
Ads and SEO Mythbusting
How can ads impact/not impact your SEO?
- Tell us about your experience with Ads and SEO
- What makes people believe that Ads affect SEO?
- Who’s spreading this? Where is it coming from?
Tips to Get Your Content Displayed in Discover Feed
Google recently updated the help document on Google Discover. In this session, attendees can learn about tips to increase their presence in Discover.
Approaches to Improve Core Web Vitals for Non-Tech Savvy Webmasters
There are many ways to improve CWV. Some of them are easy to implement but some of them aren’t.
In this session, attendees can learn about the optimization of CWV that is relatively easy to implement while showing noticeable improvements.
Web Performance: What Metrics are Important, How to Measure, and How to Spot What is a Priority
- What ways are there to gather details?
- How do you access them currently?
- What do the metrics mean for you / your site?
- What aspects confuse you or don’t work for your situation?
This is aimed at mid-level and advanced users.
Mobile/Desktop Diffing – Parity Findings
- Why is it important to find the gaps
- What’s truly at risk when prioritizing fixes
Helping You (or Your Clients) Understand How Their WordPress Site is Doing on the Web with SIte Kit
- How do you combine information from different Google products to understand how your site is doing?
- How do you set goals for your site and translate them to specific metrics to track
- If you maintain sites for clients, what key metrics are they interested in and how do you share those with them?
- Do you have to educate clients on how to set goals for their site?
- If you use Site Kit, what can we do to make your life easier?
Brainstorming Session: How Can the Search Console Team Further Help Publishing on the Open Web?
The Search Console team invites you all to a brainstorming session where we want to hear about your day-to-day challenges with publishing on the open web and try to think together of additional tools we can provide to help with these challenges.
E-Commerce SEO 101: Best Practices for Optimizing Online Stores
E-commerce stores come in all shapes and sizes -from commercial platforms such as Magento, Prestashop or WooCommerce, to custom-built and enterprise ones, online shops often face challenges coming up with the right SEO setup.
This session will cover common issues, solutions, and best practices that developers, webmasters, and SEOs should keep in mind when building and optimizing e-commerce sites.
CrUX Show and Tell
Bring your Chrome User Experience (CrUX) tools and show off how you use the dataset to understand real-user experiences. For any custom solutions, describe how you built it and what your feature wishlist looks like.
In this session, we want to talk about:
- Ramifications of neglecting accessibility testing at-scale
- Prioritizing fixes
Hreflang: How to Implement, When to Implement
Taking a look at the different approaches to specifying hreflang (tag, header, sitemaps)
- When should you use them?
- When shouldn’t you?
- What issues do people experience?
Improving Search Documentation
How can we improve documentation to help SEOs to beginners to developers? Bring examples and suggestions! Are case studies helpful? How do you use them?
Mobile-First Indexing and How to Prepare For it
Are you confused about what mobile-first indexing is? Do you feel lost on how to prepare your site for it? Bring your questions!
We’ll help to address your confusion.
Talking About Talking About SEO
I think Google’s messages & information about SEO are getting better & clearer, but we often get flak for being vague. How can we improve in ways that help the average person? Bring examples & suggestions!
Communicating Our Publisher Policies and Monetized Updates
Policy updates: How do monetized policy changes change your experience? Our policies are constantly evolving. How can we convey updates to you in a way you can understand?
Timeline: We’ve gone from site level to page level (granular policies and enforcement) – to restrictions – how can we make your life easier/fairer as a partner?
Policy communication: Are our Policy documentation and training materials clear? What are we missing? Bring your ideas!
Fun with Scripts!
Show and tell! We bring a few examples:
- txt diff checker – automated!
- Mixed content warnings – identifying assets per page
Common Issues With Structured Data for Rich Snippets
Google documents guidelines for a gallery of rich results that you can obtain via structured data. This is an opportunity to talk about your struggles to enable those sought after enhancements and to discuss possible improvements.
How are Attendees Chosen?
Google maintains they have limited spots, so they may have to select attendees based on their demographics and background so as to ensure a good mix of perspectives in the event.
Will the Sessions Be Recorded?
Google notes that the sessions will not be recorded. It’s reasonable to assume they are doing things this way to keep it simple, keep the event intimate, and best mimic the in-person attendance experience. Instead of releasing recordings of the sessions hosted throughout the day, Google says it will instead publish a blog post that highlights some of the “top learnings” after the event.
After the event, I’ll come back with a summary of what was covered and any insights that may help you in your digital marketing and SEO journey.