Do Google Sites Rank Better?
When you’re building and maintaining a website, so much of your to-dos revolve around making Google happy. In other words, you want Google to (a) crawl and index your website and then (b) rank it highly in search results.
In an effort to do anything and everything possible to get your site on Google’s good side, you may think that using a Google website gives you a better chance of getting noticed. Today, we’ll be answering this question: Do Google sites rank better than non-Google websites?
What is a Google Website?
When talking about Google websites and trying to determine, “Do Google sites rank better?” there are three types of sites to consider:
- Websites with a URL purchased through the Google Domains service.
- Websites built with the Google Sites builder.
- Sites that Google owns and runs.
Since all three kinds of websites are somehow affiliated with Google, people often wonder, “Do Google sites rank better?” Before we answer that question in detail, here’s a quick overview of each type of Google site:
Through Google Domains, you can find and register domain names. This service integrates with Google Workspace, which offers additional services like professional email, collaboration tools and Google Drive features.
Google Sites is Google’s website builder tool, and it’s part of the Google Workspace suite.
Google Sites’ main feature is that you can create responsive websites. Since it doesn’t require any coding knowledge, it’s geared toward beginners who don’t have a lot of experience and/or want to get a website created fast.
It’s also useful for Google Drive users because Drive is used to create the website’s files.
Google’s Own Websites
Google has certain websites that it runs and owns. An example of this is Google Search Central.
Do Google Sites Rank Better?
You’d think that Google would favor websites it’s somehow connected to, but it doesn’t.
This is true for sites using a URL from Google Domains, a website built with Google Sites, and Google’s own websites. (That’s right — even Google-owned websites don’t always rank first in search results.)
Google sites don’t automatically rank better than websites that aren’t affiliated with Google.
Now, that doesn’t mean that a Google website will never rank better than a non-Google site, just that the Google affiliation doesn’t impact ranking. Google uses the same algorithm for both types of websites to determine ranking, and it doesn’t favor a Google site over another type of site.
Also, there isn’t a manual element that can be changed to impact Google rankings. So, for example, a Google employee can’t manipulate a setting to improve the ranking of a Google site.
It’s Always Important to Focus on SEO for Your Website
Your website can outrank another website, Google site or otherwise, by following SEO best practices. Those include:
- Answering user queries, particularly FAQs that you can find through keyword research.
- Creating thorough, topically relevant content that focuses on main keywords.
- Organizing website navigation so it’s easy for users to find their way around.
- Satisfying the needs of the user, such as by appealing to search intent.
- Using internal and external linking strategies to build connections between pages.
If you can do all of this better with a Google Sites website, for example, then your Google site may outrank the competition. But that’s not because it’s built with Google; it’s because it’s well-optimized.
Here’s another SEO tip to keep in mind: You can use Google Sites to build backlinks to your main website.
A backlink is a link that goes from another website to your website, and Google considers it a vote of confidence for your site.
For instance, you could use Google Sites to create a simple website that provides brief recaps of the content on your main website. You’d then add links from the Google website to your own website.
Now, without your new Google-built website having a lot of domain authority, it’s not going to have a huge impact on your ranking. But by adding SEO content to it, it’s a simple way to enhance your backlink profile and possibly increase your reach online.
You may find our article with the best free websites for backlinking useful, too.
Do Google Sites Rank Better? Final Thoughts
It’s common to wonder, “Do Google sites rank better?” And while a search engine as prominent as Google could rank its own sites better than others, it doesn’t.
In essence, Google wants to please its users by matching them to the best results when they search online. Sometimes, a Google site is the best match; sometimes, it isn’t.
Using some type of Google site, whether that’s one with a URL from Google Domains or one built with Google Sites, doesn’t award you any special treatment.
By creating thorough, high-quality, optimized content that meets the user’s needs, you have the best chance of ranking highly in search results regardless of the type of website you have.
To recap, while a Google site won’t automatically rank higher because of its connection to the Google search engine, it does have the potential to rank higher based on SEO.
You may find our ultimate guide to website SEO helpful when optimizing your site.