Are you looking for a SEO GUIDE?? Hmm, well I have had
many SEO Guides in my pocket, but I chose the best to keep
on my website…
Please remember me in your prayers; I only need prayers from
you. I am proud that God chose me to spread this knowledge
I had many choices, but who can be better than Google? Here
is a Google SEO Guide.
Google's Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide
Version 1.1, published 13 November 2008
Welcome to Google's Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.
This document first began as an
effort to help teams within Google, but we thought it'd be
just as useful to webmasters that are new to the topic of
search engine optimization and wish to improve their sites'
interaction with both users and search engines. Although this
guide won't tell you any secrets that'll automatically rank
your site first for queries in Google (sorry!), following
the best practices outlined below will make it easier for
search engines to both crawl and index your content.
Search engine optimization is often about making small modifications
to parts of your website. When viewed individually, these
changes might seem like incremental improvements, but when
combined with other optimizations, they could have a noticeable
impact on your site's user experience and performance in organic
search results. You're likely already familiar with many of
the topics in this guide, because they're essential ingredients
for any webpage, but you may not be making the most out of
Search engine optimization affects only organic search results,
not paid or "sponsored" results,
such as Google AdWords Google's Search Engine Optimization
Even though this guide's title contains the words "search
engine", we'd like to say that you should base your optimization
decisions first and foremost on what's best for the visitors
of your site. They're the main consumers of your content and
are using search engines to find your work. Focusing too hard
on specific tweaks to gain ranking in the organic results
of search engines may not deliver the desired results. Search
engine optimization is about putting your site's best foot
forward when it comes to visibility in search engines.
An example may help our explanations, so we've created a
fictitious website to follow throughout the guide. For each
topic, we've fleshed out enough information about the site
to illustrate the point being covered. Here's some background
information about the site we'll use:
• Website/business name: "Brandon's Baseball Cards"
• Domain name: brandonsbaseballcards.com
• Focus: Online-only baseball card sales, price guides,
articles, and news content
• Size: Small, ~250 pages
Your site may be smaller or larger than this and offer vastly
different content, but the optimization topics we discussed
below should apply to sites of all sizes and types.
We hope our guide gives you some fresh ideas on how to improve
your website, and we'd love to hear your questions, feedback,
and success stories in the Google Webmaster Help Forum.
Create unique, accurate page titles
A title tag tells both users and search engines what the
topic of a particular page is. The <title> tag should
be placed within the <head> tag of the HTML document.
Ideally, you should create a unique title for each page on
The title of the homepage for our baseball card site, which
lists the business name and three
main focus areas Google’s Search Engine Optimization
If your document appears in a search results page, the contents
of the title tag will usually appear in the first line of
the results (If you're unfamiliar with the different parts
of a Google search result, you might want to check out the
anatomy of a search result video by Google engineer Matt Cutts,
and this, helpful diagram of a Google search results page.)
Words in the title are bolded if they appear in the user's
search query. This can help users recognize if the page is
likely to be relevant to their search.
The title for your homepage can list the name of your website/business
and could include other bits of important information like
the physical location of the business or maybe a few of its
main focuses or offerings.
A user performs the query [baseball cards]
Our homepage shows up as a result, with the title listed on
the first line (notice that the query
terms the user searched for appear in bold)
If the user clicks the result and visits the page, the page's
title will appear at the top of the
Titles for deeper pages on your site should accurately describe
the focus of that particular page and also might include your
site or business name.
A user performs the query [rarest baseball cards]
A relevant, deeper page (its title is unique to the content
of the page) on our site appears as a result
Good practices for page title tags
• Accurately describe the page's content - Choose a
title that effectively communicates the topic of the page's
• choosing a title that has no relation to the content
on the page
• using default or vague titles like "Untitled"
or "New Page 1"
• Create unique title tags for each page - Each of
your pages should ideally have a unique title tag, which helps
Google know how the page is distinct from the others on your
• using a single title tag across all of your site's
pages or a large group of pages
• Use brief, but descriptive titles - Titles can be
both short and informative. If the title is too long, Google
will show only a portion of it in the search result.
• using extremely lengthy titles that are unhelpful
• stuffing unneeded keywords in your title tags
Make use of the "description" meta tag
A page's description meta tag gives Google and other search
engines a summary of what the page is about. Whereas a page's
title may be a few words or a phrase, a page's description
meta tag might be a sentence or two or a short paragraph.
Google Webmaster Tools provides a handy content analysis section
that'll tell you about any description meta tags that are
either too short, long, or duplicated too many times (the
same information is also shown for <title> tags). Like
the <title> tag, the description meta tag is placed
within the <head> tag of your HTML document.
The beginning of the description meta tag for our homepage,
which gives a brief overview of
the site's offerings
Description meta tags are important because Google might
use them as snippets for your pages.
Note that we say "might" because Google may choose
to use a relevant section of your page's visible text if it
does a good job of matching up with a user's query. Alternatively,
Google might use your site's description in the Open Directory
Project if your site is listed there (learn how to prevent
search engines from displaying ODP data). Adding description
meta tags to each of your pages is always a good practice
in case Google cannot find a good selection of text to use
in the snippet. The Webmaster Central Blog has an informative
post on improving snippets with better description meta tags.
Snippets appear under a page’s title and above a page’s
URL in a search result.
A user performs the query [baseball cards]
Our homepage appears as a result, with part of its description
meta tag used as the snippet
Words in the snippet are bolded when they appear in the user’s
query. This gives the user clues about whether the content
on the page matches with what he or she is looking for. Below
is another example, this time showing a snippet from a description
meta tag on a deeper page (which ideally has its own unique
description meta tag) containing an article.
A user performs the query [rarest baseball cards]
One of our deeper pages, with its unique description meta
tag used as the snippet, appears as
Good practices for description meta tags
• Accurately summarize the page's content - Write a
description that would both inform and
interest users if they saw your description meta tag as a
snippet in a search result.
• writing a description meta tag that has no relation
to the content on the page
• using generic descriptions like "This is a webpage"
or "Page about baseball
• filling the description with only keywords
• copy and pasting the entire content of the document
into the description meta
• Use unique descriptions for each page - Having a
different description meta tag for each
page helps both users and Google, especially in searches where
users may bring up
multiple pages on your domain (e.g. searches using the site:
operator). If your site has
thousands or even millions of pages, hand-crafting description
meta tags probably isn't
feasible. In this case, you could automatically generate description
meta tags based on
each page's content.
• using a single description meta tag across all of
your site's pages or a large group of pages
Improve the structure of your URLs
Creating descriptive categories and filenames for the documents
on your website can not only help you keep your site better
organized, but it could also lead to better crawling of your
documents by Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter
search engines. Also, it can create easier, "friendlier"
URLs for those that want to link to your content.
Visitors may be intimidated by extremely long and cryptic
URLs that contain few recognizable words.
A URL to a page on our baseball card site that a user might
have a hard time with
URLs like these can be confusing and unfriendly. Users would
have a hard time reciting the URL from memory or creating
a link to it. Also, users may believe that a portion of the
URL is unnecessary, especially if the URL shows many unrecognizable
parameters. They might leave off a part, breaking the link.
Some users might link to your page using the URL of that
page as the anchor text. If your URL
contains relevant words, this provides users and search engines
with more information about the
page than an ID or oddly named parameter would.
The highlighted words above could inform a user or search
engine what the target page is
about before following the link
Lastly, remember that the URL to a document is displayed
as part of a search result in Google, below the document's
title and snippet. Like the title and snippet, words in the
URL on the search result appear in bold if they appear in
the user's query.
A user performs the query [baseball cards]
Our homepage appears as a result, with the URL listed under
the title and snippet
Below is another example showing a URL on our domain for
a page containing an article about the rarest baseball cards.
The words in the URL might appeal to a search user more than
an ID number
A user performs the query [rarest baseball cards]
A deeper page, with a URL that reflects the type of content
found on it, appears as a result
Google is good at crawling all types of URL structures, even
if they're quite complex, but spending the time to make your
URLs as simple as possible for both users and search engines
can help. Some webmasters try to achieve this by rewriting
their dynamic URLs to static ones; while Google is fine with
this, we'd like to note that this is an advanced procedure
and if done incorrectly, could cause crawling issues with
your site. To learn even more about good URL structure, we
recommend this Webmaster Help Center page on creating Google-friendly
Good practices for URL structure
• Use words in URLs - URLs with words that are relevant
to your site's content and structure
are friendlier for visitors navigating your site. Visitors
remember them better and might be
more willing to link to them.
• using lengthy URLs with unnecessary parameters and
• choosing generic page names like "page1.html"
• using excessive keywords like "baseball-cards-baseball-cards-baseball-cards.htm"
• Create a simple directory structure – Use a
directory structure that organizes your content
well and is easy for visitors to know where they’re
at on your site. Try using your directory
structure to indicate the type of content found at that URL.
• having deep nesting of subdirectories like “…/dir1/dir2/dir3/dir4/dir5/dir6/
• using directory names that have no relation to the
content in them
• Provide one version of a URL to reach a document
- To prevent users from linking to one version of a URL and
others linking to a different version (this could split the
reputation of that content between the URLs), focus on using
and referring to one URL in the structure and internal linking
of your pages. If you do find that people are accessing the
same content through multiple URLs, setting up a 301 redirect
from non-preferred URLs to the dominant URL is a good solution
• having pages from subdomains and the root directory
(e.g. "domain.com/page.htm" and "sub.domain.com/page.htm")
access the same content
• mixing www. and non-www. versions of URLs in your
internal linking structure
• using odd capitalization of URLs (many users expect
lower-case URLs and remember them better)
Make your site easier to navigate
The navigation of a website is important in helping visitors
quickly find the content they want. It can also help search
engines understand what content the webmaster thinks is important.
Although Google’s search results are provided at a page
level, Google also likes to have a sense of what role a page
plays in the bigger picture of the site.
All sites have a home or “root” page, which is
usually the most frequented page on the site and the starting
place of navigation for many visitors. Unless your site has
only a handful of pages, you should think about how visitors
will go from a general page (your root page) to a page containing
more specific content. Do you have enough pages around a specific
topic area that it would make sense to create a page describing
these related pages (e.g. root page -> related topic listing
-> specific topic)?
Do you have hundreds of different products that need to be
classified under multiple category and subcategory pages?
The directory structure for our small website on baseball
A sitemap (lower-case) is a simple page on your site that
displays the structure of your website, and usually consists
of a hierarchical listing of the pages on your site. Visitors
may visit this page if they are having problems finding pages
on your site. While search engines will also visit this page,
getting good crawl coverage of the pages on your site, it's
mainly aimed at human visitors.
An XML Sitemap (upper-case) file, which you can submit through
Google's Webmaster Tools, makes it easier for Google to discover
the pages on your site. Using a Sitemap file is also one way
(though not guaranteed) to tell Google which version of a
URL you'd prefer as the canonical one (e.g. http://brandonsbaseballcards.com/
or http://www.brandonsbaseballcards.com/; more on what's a
Google helped create the open source Sitemap Generator script
to help you create a Sitemap file for your site. To learn
more about Sitemaps, the Webmaster Help Center provides a
useful guide to Sitemap files.
Good practices for site navigation
• Create a naturally flowing hierarchy - Make it as
easy as possible for users to go from general content to the
more specific content they want on your site. Add navigation
pages when it makes sense and effectively work these into
your internal link structure.
• creating complex webs of navigation links, e.g. linking
every page on your site to every other page
• going overboard with slicing and dicing your content
(it takes twenty clicks to get to deep content)
• Use mostly text for navigation - Controlling most
of the navigation from page to page on
your site through text links makes it easier for search engines
to crawl and understand your site. Many users also prefer
this over other approaches, especially on some devices that
• having a navigation based entirely on drop-down menus,
images, or animations (many, but not all, search engines can
discover such links on a site, but if a user can reach all
pages on a site via normal text links, this will improve the
accessibility of your site; more on how Google deals with
• Use “breadcrumb” navigation – A
breadcrumb is a row of internal links at the top or bottom
of the page that allows visitors to quickly navigate back
to a previous section or the root page. Many breadcrumbs have
the most general page (usually the root page) as the first,
left-most link and list the more specific sections out to
Breadcrumb links appearing on a deeper article page on our
• Put an HTML sitemap page on your site, and use an
XML Sitemap file - A simple
sitemap page with links to all of the pages or the most important
pages (if you have
hundreds or thousands) on your site can be useful. Creating
an XML Sitemap file for your
site helps ensure that search engines discover the pages on
• letting your HTML sitemap page become out of date
with broken links
• creating an HTML sitemap that simply lists pages without
organizing them, for example by subject
• Consider what happens when a user removes part of
your URL - Some users might navigate your site in odd ways,
and you should anticipate this. For example, instead of using
the breadcrumb links on the page, a user might drop off a
part of the URL in the hopes of finding more general content.
He or she might be visiting ttp://www.brandonsbaseballcards.com/news/2008/upcoming-baseball-card-shows.htm,
but then enter http://www.brandonsbaseballcards.com/news/2008/
into the browser's address bar, believing that this will show
all news from 2008. Is your site prepared to show content
in this situation or will it give the user a 404 ("page
not found" error)? What about moving up a directory level
• Have a useful 404 page - Users will occasionally
come to a page that doesn't exist on your site, either by
following a broken link or typing in the wrong URL. Having
a custom 404 page ,that kindly guides users back to a working
page on your site can greatly improve a user's experience.
Your 404 page should probably have a link back to your root
page and could also provide links to popular or related content
on your site. Google provides a 404 widget that you can embed
in your 404 page to automatically populate it with many useful
You can also use Google Webmaster Tools to find the sources
of URLs causing "not found"
• allowing your 404 pages to be indexed in search engines
(make sure that your
webserver is configured to give a 404 HTTP status code when
pages are requested)
• providing only a vague message like "Not found",
"404", or no 404 page at all
• using a design for your 404 pages that isn't consistent
with the rest of your site
Offer quality content and services
Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence
your website more than any of the other factors discussed
here. Users know good content when they see it and will likely
want to direct other users to it. This could be through blog
posts, social media services, email, forums, or other means.
Organic or word-of-mouth buzz is what helps build your site’s
reputation with both users and Google, and it rarely comes
without quality content.
A blogger finds a piece of your content, likes it, and then
references it in a blog post
While the content you create could be on any topic imaginable,
here are some recommended best practices:
Good practices for content
• Write easy-to-read text - Users enjoy content that
is well written and easy to follow.
• writing sloppy text with many spelling and grammatical
• embedding text in images for textual content (users
may want to copy and paste the text and search engines can't
• Stay organized around the topic - It's always beneficial
to organize your content so that visitors have a good sense
of where one content topic begins and another ends. Breaking
your content up into logical chunks or divisions helps users
find the content they want faster.
• dumping large amounts of text on varying topics onto
a page without paragraph, subheading, or layout separation
• Use relevant language - Think about the words that
a user might search for to find a piece of your content. Users
who know a lot about the topic might use different keywords
in their search queries than someone who is new to the topic.
For example, a long-time baseball fan might search for [nlcs],
an acronym for the National League Championship Series, while
a new fan might use a more general query like [baseball playoffs].
Anticipating these differences in search behavior and accounting
for them while writing your content (using a good mix of keyword
phrases) could produce positive results. Google AdWords provides
a handy Keyword Tool that helps you discover new keyword variations
and see the approximate search volume for each keyword. Also,
Google Webmaster Tools provides you with the top search queries
your site appears for and the ones that led the most users
to your site.
• Create fresh, unique content - New content will not
only keep your existing visitor base coming back, but also
bring in new visitors.
• rehashing (or even copying) existing content that
will bring little extra value to users
• having duplicate or near-duplicate versions of your
content across your site
(more on duplicate content)
• Offer exclusive content or services - Consider creating
a new, useful service that no other site offers. You could
also write an original piece of research, break an exciting
news story, or leverage your unique user base. Other sites
may lack the resources or expertise to do these things.
• Create content primarily for your users, not search
engines - Designing your site around your visitors' needs
while making sure your site is easily accessible to search
engines usually produces positive results.
• inserting numerous unnecessary keywords aimed at search
engines but are annoying or nonsensical to users
• having blocks of text like "frequent misspellings
used to reach this page" that add little value for users
• Deceptively hiding text from users, but displaying
it to search engines
Write better anchor text
Anchor text is the clickable text that users will see as
a result of a link, and is placed within the anchor tag <a
This anchor text accurately describes the content on one
of our article pages
This text tells users and Google something about the page
you're linking to. Links on your page may be internal—pointing
to other pages on your site—or external—leading
to content on other sites. In either of these cases, the better
your anchor text is, the easier it is for users to navigate
and for Google to understand what the page you're linking
to is about.
Good practices for anchor text
• Choose descriptive text - The anchor text you use
for a link should provide at least a basic idea of what the
page linked to is about.
• writing generic anchor text like “page”,
“article”, or “click here”
• using text that is off-topic or has no relation to
the content of the page linked to
• using the page’s URL as the anchor text in most
cases (although there are certainly legitimate uses of this,
such as promoting or referencing a new website’s address)
• Write concise text - Aim for short but descriptive
text—usually a few words or a short phrase.
• writing long anchor text, such as a lengthy sentence
or short paragraph of text
• Format links so they're easy to spot - Make it easy
for users to distinguish between regular text and the anchor
text of your links. Your content becomes less useful if users
,miss the links or accidentally click them.
• using CSS or text styling that make links look just
like regular text
• Think about anchor text for internal links too -
You may usually think about linking in terms of pointing to
outside websites, but paying more attention to the anchor
text used for internal links can help users and Google navigate
your site better.
• using excessively keyword-filled or lengthy anchor
text just for search engines
• creating unnecessary links that don't help with the
user's navigation of the site
Use heading tags appropriately
Heading tags (not to be confused with the <head> HTML
tag or HTTP headers) are used to present structure on the
page to users. There are six sizes of heading tags, beginning
with <h1>, the most important, and ending with <h6>,
the least important.
On a page containing a news story, we might put the name
of our site into an <h1> tag and the topic of the story
into an <h2> tag
Since heading tags typically make text contained in them
larger than normal text on the page, this is a visual cue
to users that this text is important and could help them understand
something about the ,type of content underneath the heading
text. Multiple heading sizes used in order create a hierarchical
structure for your content, making it easier for users to
navigate through your document.
Good practices for heading tags
• Imagine you're writing an outline - Similar to writing
an outline for a large paper, put some thought into what the
main points and sub-points of the content on the page will
be and decide where to use heading tags appropriately.
• placing text in heading tags that wouldn't be helpful
in defining the structure of the page
• using heading tags where other tags like <em>
and <strong> may be more appropriate
• Erratically moving from one heading tag size to another
• Use headings sparingly across the page - Use heading
tags where it makes sense. Too many heading tags on a page
can make it hard for users to scan the content and determine
where one topic ends and another begins.
• Excessively using heading tags throughout the page
• putting all of the page's text into a heading tag
• using heading tags only for styling text and not presenting
Optimize your use of images
Images may seem like a straightforward component of your
site, but you can optimize your use of them. All images can
have a distinct filename and “alt” attribute,
both of which you should take advantage of.
The “alt” attribute allows you to specify alternative
text for the image if it cannot be displayed for some reason.
Our alt text here is a brief but accurate description of
Why use this attribute? If a user is viewing your site on
a browser that doesn’t support images, or is using alternative
technologies, such as a screen reader, the contents of the
alt attribute provide information about the picture.
Our image wasn't displayed to the user for some reason, but
at least the alt text was
Another reason is that if you're using an image as a link,
the alt text for that image will be treated similarly to the
anchor text of a text link. However, we don't recommend using
too many images for links in your site's navigation when text
links could serve the same purpose. Lastly, optimizing your
image filenames and alt text makes it easier for image search
projects like Google Image Search to better understand your
Good practices for images
• Use brief, but descriptive filenames and alt text
- Like many of the other parts of the page targeted for optimization,
filenames and alt text (for ASCII languages) are best when
they're short, but descriptive.
• using generic filenames like "image1.jpg",
"pic.gif", "1.jpg" when possible (some
sites with thousands of images might consider automating the
naming of images)
• writing extremely lengthy filenames
• stuffing keywords into alt text or copying and pasting
• Supply alt text when using images as links - If you
do decide to use an image as a link, filling out its alt text
helps Google understand more about the page you're linking
to. Imagine that you're writing anchor text for a text link.
• writing excessively long alt text that would be considered
• using only image links for your site's navigation
• Store images in a directory of their own –
Instead of having image files spread out in numerous directories
and subdirectories across your domain, consider consolidating
your images into a single directory (e.g. brandonsbaseballcards.com/images/).
This simplifies the path to your images.
• Use commonly supported filetypes - Most browsers
support JPEG, GIF, PNG, and BMP image formats. It's also a
good idea to have the extension of your filename match with
Make effective use of robots.txt
A "robots.txt" file tells search engines whether
they can access and therefore crawl parts of your site.
This file, which must be named "robots.txt", is
placed in the root directory of your site.
The address of our robots.txt file
All compliant search engine bots (denoted by the wildcard
* symbol) shouldn't access and crawl the content under /images/
or any URL whose path begins with /search You may not want
certain pages of your site crawled because they might not
be useful to users if found in a search engine's search results.
If you do want to prevent search engines from crawling your
pages, Google Webmaster Tools has a friendly robots.txt generator
to help you create this file.
Note that if your site uses subdomains and you wish to have
certain pages not crawled on a particular subdomain, you'll
have to create a separate robots.txt file for that subdomain.
For more information on robots.txt, we suggest this Webmaster
Help Center guide on using robots.txt files.
There are a handful of other ways to prevent content appearing
in search results, such as adding
"NOINDEX" to your robots meta tag, using .htaccess
to password protect directories, and using
Google Webmaster Tools to remove content that has already
been crawled. Google engineer Matt
Cutts walks through the caveats of each URL blocking method
in a helpful video.
Good practices for robots.txt
• Use more secure methods for sensitive content –
You shouldn’t feel comfortable using robots.txt to block
sensitive or confidential material. One reason is that search
engines could still reference the URLs you block (showing
just the URL, no title or snippet) if there happen to be links
to those URLs somewhere on the Internet (like referrer logs).
Also, non-compliant or rogue search engines that don’t
acknowledge the Robots Exclusion Standard could disobey the
instructions of your robots.txt. Finally, a curious user could
examine the directories or subdirectories in your robots.txt
file and guess the URL of the content that you
Don’t want seen. Encrypting the content or password-protecting
it with .htaccess are more secure alternatives.
• allowing search result-like pages to be crawled (users
dislike leaving one search result page and landing on another
search result page that doesn't add significant value for
• allowing a large number of auto-generated pages with
the same or only slightly different content to be crawled:
"Should these 100,000 near-duplicate pages really be
in a search engine's index?"
• allowing URLs created as a result of proxy services
to be crawled
Be aware of rel="nofollow" for links
Setting the value of the "rel" attribute of a link
to "nofollow" will tell Google that certain links
on your site shouldn't be followed or pass your page's reputation
to the pages linked to. Nofollowing a link is adding rel="nofollow"
inside of the link's anchor tag.
If you link to a site that you don't trust and don't want
to pass your site's reputation to, use
When would this be useful? If your site has a blog with public
commenting turned on, links within those comments could pass
your reputation to pages that you may not be comfortable vouching
Blog comment areas on pages are highly susceptible to comment
spam. Nofollowing these user- added links ensures that you’re
not giving your page’s hard-earned reputation to a spammy
site. Many blogging software packages automatically nofollow
user comments, but those that don’t can most
likely be manually edited to do this. This advice also goes
for other areas of your site that may involve user-generated
content, such as guestbooks, forums, shout-boards, referrer
listings, etc. If you’re willing to vouch for links
added by third parties (e.g. if a commenter is trusted on
your site), then there’s no need to use nofollow on
links; however, linking to sites that Google considers spammy
can affect the reputation of your own site. The Webmaster
Help Center has more tips on avoiding comment spam, like using
CAPTCHAs and turning on comment moderation.
A comment spammer leaves a message on one of our news posts,
hoping to get some of our
site's reputation Another use of nofollow is when you're writing
content and wish to reference a website, but don't want to
pass your reputation on to it. For example, imagine that you're
writing a blog post on the topic of comment spamming and you
want to call out a site that recently comment spammed your
blog. You want to warn others of the site, so you include
the link to it in your content; however, you certainly don't
want to give the site some of your reputation from your link.
This would be a good time to use nofollow.
Lastly, if you're interested in nofollowing all of the links
on a page, you can use "nofollow" in your
robots meta tag, which is placed inside the <head> tag
of that page's HTML. The Webmaster Central Blog provides a
helpful post on using the robots meta tag. This method is
written as <meta name="robots" content="nofollow">.
This nofollows all of the links on a page
Promote your website in the right ways
While most of the links to your site will be gained gradually,
as people discover your content through search or other ways
and link to it, Google understands that you'd like to let
others know about the hard work you've put into your content.
Effectively promoting your new content will lead to faster
discovery by those who are interested in the same subject.
As with most points covered in this document, taking these
recommendations to an extreme could actually harm the reputation
of your site.
Good practices for promoting your website
• Blog about new content or services - A blog post
on your own site letting your visitor base know that you added
something new is a great way to get the word out about new
content or services. Other webmasters who follow your site
or RSS feed could pick the story up as well.
• Don't forget about offline promotion - Putting effort
into the offline promotion of your company or site can also
be rewarding. For example, if you have a business site, make
sure its URL is listed on your business cards, letterhead,
posters, etc. You could also send out recurring newsletters
to clients through the mail letting them know about new content
on the company's website.
• Know about social media sites - Sites built around
user interaction and sharing have made it easier to match
interested groups of people up with relevant content.
• attempting to promote each new, small piece of content
you create; go for big, interesting items
• involving your site in schemes where your content
is artificially promoted to the top of these services
• Add your business to Google's Local Business Center
- If you run a local business, adding its information to Google's
Local Business Center will help you reach customers on
Google Maps and web search. The Webmaster Help Center has
more tips on promoting
your local business.
• Reach out to those in your site's related community
- Chances are, there are a number of sites that cover topic
areas similar to yours. Opening up communication with these
sites is usually beneficial. Hot topics in your niche or community
could spark additional ideas for content or building a good
• spamming link requests out to all sites related to
your topic area
• purchasing links from another site with the aim of
getting PageRank instead of traffic
Take advantage of web analytics services
If you've improved the crawling and indexing of your site
using Google Webmasters Tools or other services, you're probably
curious about the traffic coming to your site. Web analytics
programs like Google Analytics are a valuable source of insight
for this. You can use these to:
• get insight into how users reach and behave on your
• discover the most popular content on your site
• measure the impact of optimizations you make to your
site (e.g. did changing those title and description meta tags
improve traffic from search engines?)
For advanced users, the information an analytics package
provides, combined with data from your server log files, can
provide even more comprehensive information about how visitors
are interacting with your documents (such as additional keywords
that searchers might use to find your site).
Lastly, Google offers another tool called Google Website
Optimizer that allows you to run experiments to find what
on-page changes will produce the best conversion rates with
visitors. This, in combination with Google Analytics and Google
Webmaster Tools (see our video on using the "Google Trifecta"),
is a powerful way to begin improving your site