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Our Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide covers around a dozen common areas that webmasters might consider optimizing. We felt that these areas (like improving title and description meta tags, URL structure, site navigation, content creation, anchor text, and more) would apply to webmasters of all experience levels and sites of all sizes and types.
Google's SEO Starter Guide
2008-11-12 - [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com...]
It should end a few arguments (eg meta descriptions), and start a few more - I think the URL structure advice could have been clearer. It doesn't settle the hyphens debate, for example.
I like the stuff on content, but I'll need to read it a few more times in case there's hidden meanings ;)
I was pleased to see the 'useful 404' advice - I'm getting sick of saying it.
Finally, I was pleased to see nofollow included as part of basic (read essential) SEO - that should put a cat among the pigeons.
A useful resource.
personal commentary: ...
We all think we know why they haven't told people all these things for all this time.
why everyone who wanted Google traffic had to 'read between the lines' and hunt for even the basics.
It's both a joy and frustrating to see the basics summed up, officially, and published.
done in a way as if ...like it wasn't 2008.11. Like it hadn't been n years since the launch of the system.
as if it was a blog post, one in a hundred.
casually, just like that.
Apparently it sums up everything very well.
makes one happy, sad and furious at the same time.
why wasn't this available before? what's in it that was a threat to Google in 2004? 2006?
MSN or Yahoo! would have stolen the 'technology'? No, SEOs knew these things for ages, and so did the competition.
All the people who I know or knew to have (had) sites, and STILL thought that Google ranks are based on traffic.
... i could go on all day praising and bashing this company - one of those that helped reshape business through the net. Their service saved a lot of companies. And probably also ruined quite a few, without telling either businesses why things happened and even warning AGAINST those who knew. ( thnx btw )
Search Quality Team
thnx go out for those who came up with the idea and wrote/posted it.
but no thnx for Google Corp. for NOT DOING THIS ANYTIME SOONER IN THE PAST DECADE.
wanted to see an informal 'apology' but there's no mention of the fact that they were way too late with this...
"I know I should have told you before all the gossip reaches your ears and all. I feel very sorry about my timid nature but please understand I didn't know how you'd react... whether you'd turn against me or... whether we could finally join up as a real family. I guess it's because I've burned myself too many times with friends and colleagues whom I felt real close to me, but even so, I should have no excuses. I know it's coming late and you've probably guessed it by now, but I wanted to tell you myself. Let me say it like I should have said a long time ago...
...Luke, I am your father."
Pay special attention to the section on rel="nofollow" as they DO NOT mention anything about PR sculpting or using it for internal website links. That leaves some white space for the sculpters to fiddle with. ;)
Q. "I am thinking about setting up a website to allow me to quit my day job in 3 years time by religiously following the invaluable information provided in your most informative guide. What should I do next?"
A. "Think about doing something else instead."