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Tips from Google on better SEO

An interesting article on the Think With Google blog explains how the company approaches its own SEO. The company may create the rules, but it also has to abide by them, and there’s probably no reason to think that their own website managers have any better way of reverse-engineering the Google search engine algorithms than we do. They say: “We at Google own 7,000 websites that are managed by hundreds of product and marketing teams all over the world. Over 200 changes are made to these websites every single day, all of which could potentially affect a site’s SEO. When it comes to how Google sites appear in Search, they receive the same treatment as any other site on the web, and our teams follow the same external guidelines provided to webmasters.”

They’re big fans of making small, sensible improvements and watching the cumulative results mount up. We’re directed to the best practices documentation that Google has published, and the ‘URL Inspection’ tool available in Search Console. They also like technical changes: “For example, last year we focused on fixing Google Search Console errors, implementing structured data, and adding AMP to the Think with Google site. After we fixed one common AMP error on a number of URLs, those impressions increased by 200%. We also found that improving our content overall may have led to us being selected more often for featured snippets, which led to an additional 1,000 impressions a day.” If you’ve got a good web developer to hand, they should be able to investigate all of these opportunities for you.

Finally, the folks at Google recommend consolidating sites, something I’ve promoted for years. Do you really need more than one website for your company? I can understand why people might want to launch a separate website for a specific campaign, particularly if it’s going to be redundant after a while and SEO isn’t really part of the marketing requirement. But the days of ‘microsites’ for different product ranges and services are over, if you want the best possible results from the search engines.