“We as a company spend a lot of time thinking about search engine optimization, or SEO.”
That telling statement is from a fairly recent blog post by Googler Sean O’Keefe. O’Keefe is a data scientist at Google and wrote about how Google markets its own websites to, well, Google.
There’s a lot you can learn from O’Keefe’s post, but here are 4 takeaways that are my favorites:
1 – You Need to Keep Up With Google Updates
Google makes changes to their search algorithm. LOTS of changes. According to their own published data, in 2017 they conducted over 200,000 experiments (it makes me exhausted to even think about it) which resulted in over 2,000 changes to search.
Of course most of those changes are minor and don’t affect search results dramatically, but some are major and require you to alter course.
This is why organizations like Search Engine Academy, which focuses on helping you stay current in the world of search without having to devote your life to following search (like WE do 🙂 ), are so critical to helping you to do just that.
2 – Google Has Over 7,000 Websites that it Uses for Marketing – And They Don’t Get Special Treatment in Search
This tells us a couple of things. First of all, web marketing is critical to Google’s effort to reach new customers (after all, many of these websites market products that have nothing to do with their search engine, but still generate revenue and customers for Google).
And since Google encourages those hundreds of teams managing those thousands of websites to implement SEO best practices, it’s not a waste of time.
3 – You Don’t Have to Know Everything About SEO to See Improvements
We teach our students this regularly: try not to be overwhelmed. Focus on what matters. O’Keefe discusses the significant positive impacts of small SEO changes to your website over time.
This is where one of our workshops can really help you out. As the article concedes, “It can be easy to get overwhelmed.” And although the article offers a couple of examples of things to focus on, since there are hundreds of possible places for you to focus, having an expert discuss your own web challenges with you (which is what we do during our workshops) can help you pinpoint where exactly you need to drill down to get results.
Google claims (and charts in the article support their claim) that some simple changes have led to dramatic improvements to the search visibility of their websites. And as mentioned above, Google’s own websites don’t get favorable treatment in search, so the changes were the driver for improvements.
4 – Don’t be Afraid to Mix Things Up
Often it’s a bit scary to make changes to your website. After all, as the article acknowledges, any of the changes Googlers make to their own website projects can potentially hurt their SEO. And yet, across their many web properties, they still make an average of 200 changes EVERY DAY.
Even though change is intimidating, “internally we’ve found that the more we embrace [the changes] and experiment with them, the better our SEO results.”
Of course, changes that you make must be SEO-aware. In the same article where O’Keefe talks about embracing change, he also mentions how their teams implemented “fundamental best practices.”
Google often refers you to their SEO starter guide to learn about these best practices. But as we mentioned above, the trick is to know which of the many best practices you need to focus on for your site.
Our conclusion: it’s not enough for businesses to just build a website and hope. It’s also not enough to learn something about SEO and then feel that you’re done.
Just as a business person doesn’t stop reading articles about how to manage people, or inventory, or the marketplace, businesses and SEO professionals must step into regular learning about what search engine optimization practices will move their business web marketing in a positive direction, and where they need to protect themselves from changes.
Search Engine Academy Can Help You
Search Engine Academy is a business built on helping to educate web professionals and business people, so our goal is not to sell you consulting services, but to empower you. There are two ways we can help you:
First, the ultimate in taking on SEO is to enroll in one of our live workshops. In a small workshop environment you not only can learn more effectively, we apply the lessons you’re learning to your specific website challenges and goals.
Secondly, we are aggressively expanding and updating our “on demand” SEO educational materials in our members area. From just $29 a month you can purchase a subscription that will give you access to dozens of great lessons, including our 2-day SEO Basics online course.
To stay current with Google and SEO, stay current with the Search Engine Academy. After all, when it comes to SEO, all of us (including Googlers like Sean O’Keefe it seems) are in this together.