By Kaitie Frank
26 Dec 2023

How to Maintain Your SEO, According to Google

Advanced SEO     SEO Strategy     Technical SEO

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It's not enough to simply set up your website for SEO success. Google is constantly updating its algorithms, spam policies, and search engine results pages (SERPs) features that can impact your website's short-term and long-term ranking. These updates can lead to a drop in traffic and in some cases, a long road to recovery. 

Maintaining your SEO is challenging, but keeping up with Google's guidelines is essential to improve your website's search engine rankings. This guide will cover the key areas Google recommends to ensure your SEO is effective and future-proof.

Control Crawling and Indexing

Google allows you to control crawling and indexing to prioritize pages important to your site and SEO goals. Follow these tips to regulate crawling and indexing on your site.

Organize Canonicals

Canonical tags play a crucial role in specifying the preferred version of a page. Ensure that canonical tags are correctly implemented, especially for pages with similar content, to prevent duplicate content issues.

Ensure All Resources Are Accessible

Ensure all essential resources such as CSS, JavaScript, and images are accessible to search engines. If search engine bots encounter difficulties accessing these resources, it may affect how well your pages are indexed.

Use Robots.txt Wisely

Robots.txt is a powerful tool to guide search engine crawlers on which parts of your site to crawl and which to avoid. Use it judiciously to prevent the crawling of sensitive or irrelevant content, like frequently used icons or logos. 

Use Sitemaps

Sitemaps provide search engines with a roadmap of your website's structure. Regularly update and submit sitemaps to help search engines discover new content and understand your site's hierarchy.

Categorize International Pages

For websites catering to an international audience, use hreflang tags to indicate language and regional targeting. This helps search engines display the most relevant version of your pages to users based on their location and language preferences.

Implement Redirects During Migrations

When migrating your site or making significant changes, use proper redirects (301 redirects) to ensure a smooth transition. This helps preserve the SEO value of the old URLs and directs users and search engines to the new, relevant pages.

More Crawling and Indexing Best Practices

Make Links Crawlable

Ensure that essential links within your content are crawlable. Search engines use these links to discover and index other pages on your site.

Use rel=nofollow for Paid Links

When dealing with paid or sponsored content, use the rel=nofollow attribute on links to indicate to search engines that these links should not pass PageRank. This helps in maintaining the integrity of your website's link profile.

Manage Crawl Budget

Optimize your website's crawl budget by eliminating duplicate content, improving server response times, and fixing crawl errors. This ensures that search engine bots spend more time crawling and indexing valuable content.

Switch to HTTPS

Google gives preference to secure websites. Switching to HTTPS not only enhances security but also positively impacts search rankings. Ensure that your SSL certificate is valid and properly configured.

Use Structured Data

Structured data (or schema markup) refers to data formatted in a specific way on a web page. With SEO, this data is categorized and tagged to help search engines understand a page's topic. This way, relevant search results can be displayed on the SERPs. 

These markups can also help showcase a website using different SERP features, such as Featured Snippets or Rich Results. This is because using structured data helps Google understand the context and intent of your page and, therefore, deem it worthy of these SERP features. Having your website displayed in these features can help improve user experience, as searchers can preview your page to understand the content better. 

How to Implement Structured Data

The most common way to add structured data to your content is through Here are the steps to setting up:

Adding structured data to HTML involves including specific markup in your HTML code to provide search engines with more context about the content on your page. The most common way to add structured data is by using markup. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  1. Understand Your Content:

Identify the type of content you want to mark up. It could be an article, a product, an event, etc.

  1. Choose the Appropriate Schema Type:

Visit and choose your content's most relevant schema type. Each type has specific properties that you can use to describe different aspects of your content.

  1. Add the Script Tag (JSON-LD Format):

Insert a <script> tag in your HTML document's <head> section. JSON-LD is the preferred format for structured data.

  1. Customize the Markup:

Replace the placeholder values in the script with your actual content details. Update the properties according to the schema type you've chosen.

  1. Verify Your Markup:

Use Google's Structured Data Testing Tool to check for errors and ensure your structured data is correctly implemented.

  1. Repeat for Multiple Items (Optional):

If your page includes multiple items of the same type (e.g., multiple articles or products), you can repeat the script for each item.

  1. Update and Monitor:

Keep your structured data up-to-date, especially if your content changes. Monitor search engine guidelines for any updates and make adjustments accordingly.

Remember, structured data helps search engines understand your content better, potentially leading to enhanced search results, such as rich snippets or knowledge graph entries. Always follow best practices and guidelines search engines provide to ensure effective implementation.

Implement structured data using schema markup. This markup language allows you to provide detailed information about your content, such as reviews, events, products, and more. Google's Structured Data Testing Tool can help validate your markup.

Create a Great User Experience

Improving user experience is vital for the ranking of websites. In 2020, Google introduced Page Experience to enhance the user experience of websites. Pages with suitable experiences are prioritized in search rankings as they provide relevant information to the search query and offer a good user experience.

To create a good page experience, you need to focus on several aspects, such as: 

  • Page speed
  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Safe browsing (HTTPS)
  • Content prioritization above the fold
  • Image optimization
  • Browser compatibility
  • Server response time minimization
  • Intuitive site navigation

Page experience is a combination of core web vitals and existing search signals. Ensuring that your core web vitals are acceptable is essential to kickstarting a good page experience.

Update Your Appearance in Search

Enhance your presence in search results by leveraging various search features. As stated, Google adds and improves SERP features to enhance the user experience. These SERP features can help users understand your site's content before they click on it. This can help increase the number of qualified traffic coming to your site. Using these features can also help increase the validity of your site, making users feel it’s safe to use. 

These SERP features include:

  • Favicons
  • Review stars
  • Embedded search site boxes
  • Rich snippets
  • Featured snippets
  • People also ask
  • Knowledge panel
  • Twitter and other social media badges
  • Shopping results
  • Video results

You can use these different SERP features by implementing structured data into the HTML of your site. 

Staying on top of SEO best practices is vital for the sustained success of your website. By focusing on crawling and indexing, implementing structured data, prioritizing user experience, and updating your appearance in search results, you can ensure that your website remains visible and competitive in the dynamic world of online search. Continually monitor changes in search engine algorithms and adapt your SEO strategies accordingly to maintain a robust online presence.

Kaitie Frank

Kaitie is a copywriter and content writer for Page One Power who specializes in SEO-optimized content. She has written for various niches and prides herself in knowing random tidbits of information. In addition to putting words to paper, she indulges in physical fitness and telling her cat why he is, in fact, a good boy.