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When businesses think about search engine optimization, they often go straight to thinking about how well they can rank in Google's search results. Interestingly enough, the search engine giant has released an SEO report card that outlines how Google's own products and webpages rank in the company's search engine. Despite what you may expect, Google has a fair amount of SEO work to do for its own web properties according to the report. 

4 Lessons to Learn from Google's SEO Mistakes

1. Successful Search Engine Marketing Needs Processes -- From the sheer volume of data and aspects of search engine marketing covered in the report, it is easy to see that a wide range of factors and executions impact both on-site and off-site SEO. When it comes to tasks like URL naming, redirects, title tags, etc., having not only a clear strategy but also a defined organizational process will help to ensure that all the small but critical aspects of SEO get completed every time.

2. SEO Impacts Branding -- Does your company website or blog impact how your brand is perceived? Yes. Take a minute to think about what many of your customers see before they even arrive at your website: your search results in Google. Take a look at the image below that shows a result from a Google property in which the search result, instead of a brand-friendly description, included legal policy text. The Web is not linear; potential customers come from different places and visit your site from various pages. Ensuring that your brand is properly represented in search results is an important branding measure.  

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3. Pick a URL Format and Stick with It -- URL structure is a simple but important aspect of search engine marketing . When potential customers see URLs for your web properties, they need to be consistent. For example, if your organization uses the format CompanyDomain.com/ProductPages, as you expand the site, this format needs to remain the same. Additionally, other popular URL types such as Product.CompanyDomain.com should send visitors to the preferred URL format CompanyDomain.com/ProductPages. This type of consistency helps to set user expectations.

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4. Conduct a Regular Audit of Web Properties --  In the examination of Google's data, it is easy to overlook that the most important thing Google did was to invest the time and resources to actually conduct an audit. By setting a regular audit, it makes the process easier to maintain. Audits, while time consuming, can be great projects for marketing team members to better understand how search engines work.

Check out the entire SEO Report Card and further examine other ways your business may learn from Google.

Does your business conduct a regular audit of its online properties?

 

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Originally published Mar 3, 2010 2:28:00 PM, updated October 20 2016

Topics:

Technical SEO