How Google does SEO: the 3 things to know

Google building - headquarters

Earlier this year, Google released an article through their ‘Think with Google’ blog titled ‘Inside Google Marketing: 3 ways we think about SEO’.

It wasn’t your usual article. Google shared its own perspective and its own internal experiences with SEO.

From the article, there were three key takeaways:

1. Start small

The first takeaway is that if you want big results, you must start small. There’s no quick fix to SEO. Successful SEO campaigns involve long term commitment and continual work.

Big changes to existing sites, often involve big risks. Migrations and new builds, for example, need to be carefully planned and implemented.

Google recommends that the best approach to SEO is to make consistent and small updates to a website over an extended period of time.

It’s about incremental and sustainable growth.

2. Embrace change

Google is evolving every day, and as a consequence, the tactics you use to improve your website SEO are also evolving. What this means for your strategy, then, is that you need to be malleable and open to change.

As explained by Google themselves:

‘It can be easy to get overwhelmed by these changes, but internally we’ve found that the more we embrace them and experiment with them, the better our SEO results.’

One of the biggest changes we’ve seen as marketers is the importance of technical SEO. Never before has it been more important.

In our new mobile-first world there’s no room for second best. Your site needs to be fast, well optimised and offer great mobile UX. The indexing of your site should be controlled and monitored. Site and page performance should be continually tested and tweaked. Technically, everything needs to be perfect.

All of this takes time and requires expertise, providing yet another good argument to consider outsourcing your marketing to professionals.

In Google’s words:

Delightful web experiences are fast, integrated, reliable and engaging.

Web Fundamentals

AMP, Progressive Web Apps and the ever-changing SERP landscape are important considerations in today’s web.

The Google My Business marketing site saw a 2 fold increase in organic traffic by implementing simple technical changes. High on that list was the implementation of canonicals.

3. Consolidate

Along with freshness and matching user intent consolidating and controlling what’s indexed is key.

Keeping your site clean and making sure that only your best content is indexed is increasingly important.

We’re continually bombarded with information. You need to make sure that the information you provide is useful, relevant and the best it can be. Keep it short and actionable.

Your audience, like you, is very busy. Readers will not only thank you for your clarity, but also for respecting their time by not wasting it.

A good approach to take and something I often tell clients to consider is:

Your website is only as good as your worst piece of content.

Go through all pages that are indexed and ask your yourself

  • Is this page necessary?
  • Does it work?
  • Can it be improved?

And this consolidation applies at a page and domain level.

The days of creating multiple websites, each containing similar content to target specific demographics and customers, without proper language and country targeting, are over.

‘Duplicate content is not only confusing for users, but it’s also confusing for search engines,’ explains Google.

Google Retail had six separate websites targeting six different customer groups. It was only when they consolidated these sites into one site with simple, clear and value-adding content that they saw an increase in organic traffic by 64 percent.

Consolidate, refresh and control.

Experiment and grow

A big part of SEO, known as CRO – conversion rate optimisation, is about experimenting with your website to see what works and what doesn’t.

It’s about A/B testing the small things like website copy, image placements, social sharing buttons and comments boxes to see what people are responding to, and then building on from that.

As Google put it:

‘Just like other companies, Google doesn’t always get SEO right, and we’re constantly working to make improvements to our own sites.’

The word ‘constantly’ is key here.

Without constant experimentation and learning, growth can’t occur.

About John Kramer

My name is John Kramer, and I am a Malaga-based SEO fanatic. Marketing is my passion. With over 15 years of experience in digital, I am constantly energised by the ever-changing landscape of search. A seasoned marketer with a passion for helping small and mid-sized businesses succeed in the digital age. Proud father, husband, and outdoor enthusiast.