How Google Improves Their Own Internal Websites
Generally speaking – change can be intimidating. It is natural to develop a comfort zone and then simply stay there. But in order for anything to develop and grow, change is essential – especially when it comes to ranking high in search engines. Google provided a rare glimpse into the changes they are seeing and implementing throughout their own internal sites. EGC Group is sharing a recap below, along with agency insights from Director of Search and Analytics, Evan Calafates.
Don’t fear change
The most important point that Sean O’Keefe, a data scientist at Google, emphasized is to abandon fear and embrace change. Two factors that will never stay the same are customer demands and technology; what worked yesterday is not guaranteed to work tomorrow. The powers that be at Google state how the more open they are to change and experimentation with the sites they manage, the greater the SEO results. By fixing errors to its AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) project through different trials and retrials, Google helped increase impressions by over 200-percent.
Evan: "Experimentation can be great for SEO. Giving something new for the Google bots to see each time they crawl the website can help with indexation, but make sure to control your experiments – and have a reason. Optimizations centered around only one tactical approach to SEO could have diminishing returns. Sometimes, the best experiment is to let things sit on the website, and increase your efforts for off-site."
Small changes lead to big results
The first and foremost equation to be mindful of is: For large websites, small changes make a big impact where search rankings are concerned. What we all need a reminder of is that putting change into action does not have to be difficult. In fact, it can be easy to carry out. The trick is adapting our attitudes and practices about change, one of which is: start small. This applies to everything, everywhere. Google knows…
Evan: "Change the phrasing in your page title, bring a prominent search phrase higher on the page, or add some rich content like a .pdf or video to your page. The best way to judge if a change has worked is to apply it to your site and see how Google reacts. The ball is in your court with Google…"
Consolidate all year long
Trying to keep on top of every site of every web page is challenging, if not impossible; it is easy to understand how a lot of content on all of these pages can build up – and keep building. This situation inevitably leads to errors on websites. Whether they are duplicate sites, 404s, or “Content Not Found,” any error leaves a bad impression on the user, and thus, such pages spiral downward in search results.
To help guard against this, Google strongly encourages consolidating websites to as few pages as possible with the highest quality of content. The Google Retail site was recently streamlined from six different websites into one up-to-date site. The call-to-action click-through rate doubled, and organic traffic increased by 64-percent as a result of this consolidation project.
The topics for which Google offered its words of wisdom have one common unifier: simplicity. Your 2019 SEO words to live by:
- Changes should be small but steady
- Adapting careful changes should be welcomed
- Consolidating and removing excess from a website will metaphorically cut its losses and enable it to rise to the top.
And all of these tasks are practicable and easier to conduct than might be on first glance.
If you’re looking to get your SEO in shape for 2019, our experts are here for you!