Google Reveals How It Approaches SEO

Search professionals often struggle with the nuances of search engine optimization. This week Google shared the insight behind its experts' efforts to optimize content on more than 7,000 managed websites.

SEO is complex, agrees Sean O’Keefe, Google data scientist. In a blog post published Thursday, he acknowledged that the company's hundreds of product and marketing experts make an average of more than 200 changes a day to its 7,000 sites. All of these changes can influence a site's optimization efforts.

In the post, O'Keefe outlines Google's website SEO strategy and provides an SEO starter guide on how to optimize sites. He covers everything from helping Google understand the content of your sites to analyzing search performance.

Basic tips include starting small, embracing change, and consolidating where possible.

Start small and initially focus on incremental changes to a website's overall SEO strategy. For example, organic traffic typically increases after SEO improvements to Google My Business. In fact, it saw a nearly double increase in organic traffic, in part because the team implemented a number of web best practices, such as showing search engines which URLs to index by implementing canonicals.

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Embrace change: all kinds of change, from consumer behavior to changes Google makes to its properties.

Mobile phones generated 52.2% of website traffic worldwide in 2018, up from 35.1% in 2015 and 2.9% in 2010, according to Statista. Google search has been adapting in response, with new developments like AMP and Progressive Web Apps.

O'Keefe also wrote that improving Google's content in general may have led to his content being selected more often for featured snippets, leading to an additional 1,000 impressions daily.

Consolidate when possible. Duplicate content confuses users and search engines. Creating one big site instead of multiple microsites is the best way to encourage organic growth.

Even at Google, a recent audit revealed that over the years the company had developed a large number of near-duplicate sites based on different marketing campaigns or objectives. Content consolidation doubled the site's call-to-action click-through rate and increased organic traffic by 64%.

By: Joseph Angersoen
20 de March de 2019
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