Sean O’Keefe, a data sci­en­tist at Google, on Thurs­day shared how Google thinks about their own inter­nal SEO efforts for the 7,000 web­sites they man­age. O’Keefe said Google makes on aver­age over 200 changes to these sites on a dai­ly basis and man­ag­ing the SEO for those changes can be com­plex.

It’s a rare glimpse inside Google’s own SEO prac­tices.

Small changes make a big impact. Google’s first point is that often with large sites, mak­ing small changes can make a big impact and return when it comes to search rank­ings. Google plot­ted the growth of one of the 7,000 web­sites, the Google My Busi­ness mar­ket­ing site, show­ing how adding canon­i­cals, hre­flang to their XML sitemaps, and improv­ing their meta­da­ta all result­ed in gains in their organ­ic traf­fic in search.

Embrace change. Google also rec­om­mend­ed that web­mas­ters do not fear mak­ing changes to their sites. Google gave AMP and Pro­gres­sive Web Apps, both Google-backed projects, as two exam­ples of changes Google embraces.

Google said they “found that the more we embrace them [change] and exper­i­ment with them, the bet­ter our SEO results.” Google said they fixed Google Search Con­sole errors, imple­ment­ed struc­tured data, and added AMP to the Think with Google site, it helped impres­sions increase by 200 per­cent. They also improved a lot of the con­tent on that site, which they said led to an “addi­tion­al 1,000 impres­sions a day.”

Con­sol­i­da­tion. For the past sev­er­al years, many SEOs have been say­ing “less is more.” Mean­ing, hav­ing few­er sites and few­er pages with high­er qual­i­ty con­tent often leads to bet­ter SEO results. Google says that works for them and they have been work­ing on con­sol­i­dat­ing their sites. Google said they found a “large num­ber” of near dupli­cate sites across their prop­er­ties.

Dupli­cate con­tent is not only con­fus­ing for users, it’s also con­fus­ing for search engines,” Google said. Google added, “Cre­at­ing one great site instead of mul­ti­ple microsites is the best way to encour­age organ­ic growth over time.”

In one case study Google pro­vid­ed with the Google Retail site, they took six old web­sites and con­sol­i­dat­ed the con­tent. They made “one great web­site” and it lead to them dou­bling the site’s call-to-action click-through rate and increased organ­ic traf­fic by 64%.

Why it mat­ters. All com­pa­nies, even large search engines, need to wor­ry about their SEO efforts. In this rare Google post, Google shares some case stud­ies of how some SEO strate­gies have helped them suc­ceed with their organ­ic traf­fic improve­ments. Google also rec­om­mend­ed you check out their SEO starter guide and while you are at it, check out our SEO sec­tion.

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