Google recently released to the public a very helpful, and revealing, document. Entitled Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide and positioned by Google as their “official” SEO guide, it is a 22-page PDF giving the basics of SEO from the Google perspective.
The guide is easy to read and covers the basics of optimizing web pages to be Google and search engine-friendly. By following the Guide’s code examples and “good practice” tips anyone who can code even a little HTML should be able to optimize their web pages. You can find out more and download the guide at Google’s site.
The Guide also provides useful tips for improving site navigation and the “right ways” to promote your site. Suggestions for content writing are given as well.
Two very helpful pages contain links to all the Google webmaster tools and other webmaster resources.
While Google makes a point of telling readers that the Guide “…won’t tell you any secrets that’ll automatically rank you site first… ” a close reading reveals many practices that, if you’re not careful, will put you in the Google doghouse. For example, many of the “good practice” sections also include lists of things to “avoid.”
Ignore these warning at your peril, in my opinion.
We here at GreatCircle Studios believe that this document lays out, for the first time, the fundamenals of good optimization practice. While little in the Google guide is new or surprising, taken as a whole it lays out precisely what Google wants to see when it indexes a website and, perhaps more importantly, what Google does NOT want to see!