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Google's search engine optimization starter guide

Two weeks ago, Google released a so-called search engine optimization starter guide for webmasters.

Of course, the Google document does not tell you how your website can be listed on Google's first result page. It is more a checklist of things that you shouldn't do if you want Google to index your web pages.

If you avoid the following things, it will be easier for Google to index your web pages:

1. Things that you should not do in your web page titles

  • Do not use web page titles that have no relation to the content on the page.
  • Do not use general web page titles such as "Untitled" or "New Page".
  • Do not use the same title for more than one web page.
  • Do not use very long titles that do not help your users.
  • Do not stuff unnecessary keywords in your title tag.

2. Things that you should not do in your meta tags

  • Do not use meta description tags that have no relation to the web page content.
  • Do not use general descriptions such as "My web page" or "About kittens".
  • Do not use only keywords in the description.
  • Do not copy the entire content of the web page in the meta description tag.
  • Do not use the same description tag on more than one web page.


3. Things that you should not do with your URLs

  • Do not use lengthy URLs with unnecessary parameters and session IDs.
  • Do not overuse keywords in your URL (kittens-cute-kittens-all-about-kittens.htm).
  • Do not use too many sub directories (../here/there/down/2/buried/deep/down/content.htm).
  • Do not use directory names that have no relation to the web page content.

4. Things that you should not do with your website navigation

  • Do not show the same content with different domains or sub-domains.
  • Do not mix www. and non-www. versions of your URLs in your internal links.
  • Do not use capitalization in your URLs.
  • Do not link every page of your website to every other page of your website.
  • Do not over-segment your web page content. Users should be able to access any content with a few clicks.
  • Do not base your entire navigation on drop-down menus or images.


5. Things that you should not do with broken links

  • Do not use broken links on your web page.
  • Do not block search engines from indexing your 404 not found pages.
  • Do not use non-descriptive 404 not found pages. Better use 404 web pages that help your website visitors to find the correct page on your website.
  • Do not use a 404 not found web page design that is not consistent with the rest of your website.

6. Things that you should not do with your web page content

  • Do not use text with many spelling and grammar errors on your pages.
  • Do not embed text in images because search engines cannot read it.
  • Do not write text about varying topics on a single page without paragraphs, sub-headings or layout separation.
  • Do not copy content from other web pages that has no extra value to your website visitors.

The tips above won't help you to get high rankings on Google. They only make sure that Google indexes your web pages correctly. If you want to get top rankings on Google, analyze your web pages with IBP's Top 10 Optimizer.

IBP's Top 10 Optimizer will check all elements of your web page and it will tell you in plain English what you have to change so that Google will give you a high ranking for your chosen keyword.

IBP even checks the readability of your web pages and it makes sure that your website gets the best possible rankings on Google and all other major search engines.

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November 2008 search engine articles