Thursday, July 26, 2012

New Page Descriptions Improve SEO for Google Sites

So, I was in page settings (under MORE), doing my thing - hiding links to subpages, attachments, and comments - and I saw a page description field. This is brand new! Let's look deeper on this small, but important update!

Page Description - Believe it or not, that wasn't there before. I promise.

For most, this will have a positive impact on public facing websites SEO. Now you can specifically create the meta data for pages.

Let's map out an example. You are an attorney who focuses on three different areas of practice: family law, criminal law, and estate law. The Site Description creates a blanket description for your website, so you might describe that you are a lawyer in Anytown, USA. Now let's imagine you have a page under Services called Family Law. Page title is very important, but it's good to follow that up with a good description explain that you handle Divorce and Child Custody. This page information will be factored in to your page rank for search engines.

For the intranet user the effect is less profound. This page description, so far, doesn't influence the search tool. So really this may only be a nice place for editors to leave notes about the use of a particular page, though a bit too conspicuous.

When looking at the Page Source Code you'll see that this Page Description creates meta data important for SEO.

This update tells us that the Google Sites team cares about public facing websites. It's been clear that Google Sites is foremost an internal tool, but this update really goes to show that Google Sites is a viable public website platform with competitive SEO options. It's always been good, but now it's even better.

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