SEO Revealed: Do the Basics Well

November 13, 2008

The Webmaster Central Blog, published by Google, linked to a search engine optimization starter guide. You can read the original Google post here and download the PDF of the “Starter Guide” here. In my 2005 The Google Legacy, I presented in summary form more than 60 factors the Google PageRank algorithm seemed to use when determining a page’s relevance. I reviewed the data I collected in 2003 and 2004, and I was reminded that the individual factors such as how to present urls was mostly common sense. The problem then and now was that as an outsider running tests with different page set ups and features, it is difficult to know which factor carries the greatest burden in a particular context. no longer does much SEO because we have discovered that content, not tricks, works better for us over time. However, the value of this new Google guide is that it highlights certain factors that Google in late 2008 seems to suggest are important. Two quick examples are:

  • Emphasis on descriptive page titles
  • Descriptive meta tags.

We identified a number of minor factors, but this guide reminds me that Google wants the basics included in pages that its crawler identifies and its system processes. The real benefit for me is that this guide makes explicit which factors are important to Google. In my opinion, the guide also underscores how many basic problems plague the billions of Web pages that Google processes. Finally, the guide makes clear upon which factors Google wants Webmasters to focus. Google could easily charge for this publication. Its information is crisp and more authoritative than much of the information I have seen about search engine optimization.

Stephen Arnold, November 13, 2008


7 Responses to “SEO Revealed: Do the Basics Well”

  1. SEO’s Party Like Its 1999! (Inbound Linking No Longer Important?) | TekPopuli on November 13th, 2008 11:05 am

    […] around the world, throngs of SEO’s burst into the street whooping, celebrating, and laughing. The reason? […]

  2. mark rushworth on November 13th, 2008 12:20 pm

    Im going through the guide and trying to expand on the whys and wherefores of what its actually showing… if you’re interested take a peek at

  3. Stephen E. Arnold on November 13th, 2008 6:00 pm

    Mark Rushworth,

    Thank you for taking the time to comment.

    Stephen Arnold, November 13, 2008

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    How can an Article be a Link-Building Power?

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