Google introduced the first ever Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) starter guide in November of 2008, to serve as a guideline for webmasters to better understand how to improve their websites for search engines and users using SEO best practices.
The first update to the guide was way back in September of 2010. A lot has happened in digital marketing in the 7 years since Google made changes to their SEO starter guide, and Google recently announced that the guide had been revamped.
What is Google’s SEO Starter Guide?
The guide was put in place as a guideline to webmasters new to SEO practices who need to better understand how to improve websites performance in a way that provides the best user experience as well as cater for search engines.
- The guide has been merged with Google Webmasters Academy.
- The guide is no longer in PDF format.
- The guide encourages the hire of SEO practitioners.
- The guide is reduced from 40 to 9 languages including English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Turkish.
What The Guide Provides
The guide provides step-by-step guidelines to SEO best practices, an in-depth explanation of what every best practice entails and how to implement each one on your site. There are links to explanatory YouTube video by industry experts like Matt Cutts to offer more insight on the best practices, and the guide is set up in a way that provides solutions as well as the best support to prevent being overwhelmed. There are snippets that explain what to avoid when implementing SEO practices on your site.
Best Practices Include:
- Make use of robot.txt.
- Optimise your site for mobile usability.
- Ensure that links on your site are from credible sites.
- Ensure that you are internally linking to your content.
- Write unique and credible content.
- Structure data on your site by implementing meta, alt and header tags in content.
Content is king: Invest in unique and useful content that adds value and credibility to your site. This will ensure your site provides users with relevant information to their queries. The more useful content you provide, the more Google will see the site as trustworthy, bare in mind that Google rewards credible websites.
User experience is essential: The main focus is on user experience, your site should provide users with the best experience in order to keep coming back. Good user experience ensures that users can easily navigate your site, find relevant information regarding their search queries and be able to complete simple tasks like getting in contact with you, finding a product or services and completing an order online with ease
Google’s main focus is providing users with useful information and the best online experience possible. Your site should be dedicated to producing relevant and useful content that caters to both search engines and users alike.
The updated guide does not reveal any previously unknown information about SEO, but if you’re a beginner, then it’s a good starting point to understand the basics of SEO (which have essentially remained unchanged for pretty much as long as there has been SEO). Using this guide will not only help your website to perform at its best, but it also ensures that users are exposed to your offered product or services.
You can access the updated SEO guide here: Google’s SEO Starter Guide.