I wasn’t aware that Google Sites existed until we acquired a new client who was using this web site builder to manage their web site. If you like me had not heard of Google Sites in the past, it is Google’s free version of a web site builder like Squarespace, Wix or even WordPress. However, is it comparable to other web site builders on the market?

In this article, I’m not going to review any of the “site building” features of Google Sites. Rather, I want to explore the simple question, “Is Google Sites SEO friendly or not?”

The quick answer is a resounding, “No!”

In fact, Google Sites is the most “SEO-unfriendly” site builder I have had the displeasure to work with to date. Maybe SEOs should stop listening to “SEO advice” from Google employees!

Let me explain why Google Sites is one of the most SEO-unfriendly site builders on the market.

No Ability To Add/Edit Title Tags

Title Tags remain one the most important on-page SEO factor and the fact Google Sites offers no way to add or edit these boggles my mind. Title Tags are simply formed from whatever the title is for each page. So, your About Us page will have a Title Tag that looks something like this – “Company Name – About Us.”

No Meta Description Tags

While Google Search will often generate a description from content on your pages when displaying your site’s pages in the SERPs, having a well crafted Meta Description Tag that describes the overall topic of the page is a beneficial on-page SEO factor to have control over. Not with Google Sites. The option is not there, nor is anything related to a Meta Description Tag present in the HTML.

No XML Sitemap

You can verify the site within Google Search Console but you can’t add an XML sitemap because Google Sites doesn’t generate one. Crazy, right? Once upon a time, Google Sites did generate XML sitemaps but the option was removed March 1, 2021.

This might not be a big deal for a smaller site with only a handful of pages, so long as the pages are accessible via navigation from a site’s Home Page. For me though, it is just another reason not to use Google Sites as your web site builder.

No Title Attributes For Images

While Google Sites does allow the addition of “Alt Attributes” for images, there is no option to add “Title Attributes” for images. Why does this matter?

Well if you use Google’s Chrome browser, it does not display Alt Attributes as “tool tips” when mousing over images. It does display Title Attributes however but unfortunately, Google Sites does not have any ability to add them to your images.

Not only is this unfriendly for SEO best practices, it is very likely an ADA non-compliant issue.


The only benefit I see to using Google Sites is that it is free. But remember, you get what you pay for.

For an average business site, I always favor WordPress over anything else. Because WordPress is comprised of an open source content management system and your site is essentially a mySQL database, it is a digital asset you own, one of which can be hosted anywhere you like. And if you are more interested in a paid hosted web site builder, Wix is probably the best on the market right now.

For our client, we were able to convince them to allowing us to build them a WordPress site.

David Wallace

David Wallace

David Wallace, co-founder and CEO of SearchRank, is a recognized expert in the industry of search and social media marketing. Since 1997, David has been involved in developing successful search engine and social media marketing campaigns for large and small businesses.

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