SEO. A Google guide to doing it right

It’s no mystery that SEO has changed drastically in the last few years. No more working the system with redundant keywords or link building with free press release sites, it doesn’t work. The only route through the Google noise now is with honest hard work. Writing good quality content, for the user, and building a website that is based on good practice is pretty much the only way Google will refer you as a trusted and relevant site. 

...now being trusted and relevant is easier said that done.

Do you write content in a way that is accessible to all, or technically accurate? Will writing duplicate content influence page authority (e.g. similar content for different audiences)? Or, from a technical side with technology constantly changing, what does best practice for web builds consist of?

Over the last year (…and more) Google has been putting together some quite amazing documentation on this, and if you are that way inclined, it’s well worth a read.

Google webmasters

Google webmasters admin service has long been a useful tool for web admins to check on what Google’s bots see or report on when your site is updated/crawled. We would highly recommend checking this every so often, especially if your site is not been seen on Google for even the most precise and explicit terms.

Now for the really interesting bit… It’s well known that Google keeps the details of its search algorithm’s closely under wraps, but they do give lots of insight away, for free. The Google Webmasters YouTube channel is one of the best resources for SEO advice, straight from the horse’s mouth.

Google web fundamentals (for techies)

This is the bit we are really excited about. Google is now building a resource website for modern web development. It includes such things as:

  • Building flexible sites for multiple devices (responsive build)
  • What to bear in mind for image formats
  • Optimizing performance
  • Optimizing forms

 Though this is fairly technical, as someone with modest web development knowledge, this really is hugely welcomed.

Plus there’s a starter kit (in beta) – for those with a bit of knowledge that want to get started quickly

> Go to web fundamentals 

+ a bonus: design

Although not necessarily pure SEO, as of this week Google launched their new design guidelines, called ‘Material’. Google has long been known for inconsistent products, often mashed together and confused. Well that’s (hopefully) about to change as these new design guidelines are implemented.

The reason we mention this is that they apply not only to Google products but across the board. There are some stunning guidelines on how to build a good digital user experience. For example, how should a menu react/animate on click, or how new levels of content could be introduced – all to convey context and meaning. It’s a great example of how it should be done, with some really practical tips and techniques for everyone.

> View the material design guidelines

In summary, please, please, please refer to Google’s own resources first before looking elsewhere. There is far too much third party advice out there, if Google writes it it is reliable, and if they don’t, then do some further research.

…assuming that you build, design and write for audiences which use Google (alternative search engines are available).