Tips for effective SEO are in no short supply. Everyone knows the essentials of search engine marketing (content, linking, structure, keywords etc.) but what a lot of people are unaware of, are the sometimes mysterious idiosyncrasies of Google indexing practices.

A lot of them tend to turn traditional SEO practices on their head, or at least warp them a bit. We explore some of the ways Google search engine optimization for websites differs from the conventional.

They Penalise Over Optimization

Google places a lot of emphasis on the fact that SEO on a page should be unapparent. If they can tell you’re trying too hard, they may penalise you. Google haven’t strictly defined over-optimization so it’s a bit hard for a company to guard against.

Generally though, it refers to any SEM activity that’s done in excess. As their aim is to add-value to users of their search engine, they tend to see any obvious SEO as an effort to compromise that ideal.

Google Wants To See You in Different Places

Just having a well optimized website isn’t good enough for Google. When they explore related websites they want to see links to you, testimonials, reviews and general mentions. This shows that you have authority on the internet past your own website. Beware though, these should be on reputable and popular website otherwise you may suffer a bad neighbourhood penalty.

In addition, having profiles on their various vertical search engines and other popular social media websites is essential to good Google SEO. Such as:
• Google+
• Google Places
• Google Shops
• Twitter
• Facebook
• Industry blogs

There’s a Lot Less Space on The First Page

Well not insofar that there are less results displayed but rather that the results are a lot more diverse. Despite Wikipedia being an almost 1st rank standard for most queries (depending on the search term) could include video results, shop results, some images, paid advertisements, local websites and international websites.

That’s not a lot of room for you on that keyword, which is why these broad search terms are dominated so heavily. Rather focus keyphrase strategies around long to medium tail terms.

They Watch Links Very Closely

Because of intensely unethical linking practices Google had singled out linking as SEO public enemy number one. If they find paid or spam links on a website, they’re known for removing the site from the index entirely. The key is to be completely above board with your linking when using Google for Search Engine Optimization.

Tools are available to analyse your link profile to make sure it appears cleans.

There is No Strict Google Search Engine Optimization Guide

For starters, each time one of their algorithms is updated, the best practices change. The only real way to get the optimum balance of SEO elements on your page is through trial and error.

Google are especially withholding of their ranking factors and their relative weight, so much of what we know is down to inference. But if you’re struggling to rank as well on Google as other search engines, It’s probably down to Google finding spam on your site (be it an erroneous accusation or not).