This guide won't provide any secrets that'll automatically rank your site first in Google sorry! Search engine optimization SEO 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 web page, but you may not be making the most out of them.
You should build a website to benefit your users, and any optimization should be geared toward making the user experience better. One of those users is a search engine, which helps other users discover your content. Search Engine Optimization is about helping search engines understand and present content. Your site may be smaller or larger than our example site and offer vastly different content, but the optimization topics we discuss 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 1.
Guide Google It!: Getting Junk-Free Search Results
We hope you will enjoy the content and we hope to hear and integrate your feedback via our Google support Forums. Feel free to save, print off the guide responsibly and re-share it: let's improve the quality of the web. If you see results, you're in the index. For example, a search for "site:wikipedia. When our crawlers miss a site, it's frequently for one of the following reasons:.
Inclusion in Google's search results is free and easy; you don't even need to submit your site to Google. Google is a fully automated search engine that uses web crawlers to explore the web constantly, looking for sites to add to our index. In fact, the vast majority of sites listed in our results aren't manually submitted for inclusion, but found and added automatically when we crawl the web. Learn how Google discovers, crawls, and serves web pages.
We offer webmaster guidelines 4 for building a Google-friendly website.
While there's no guarantee that our crawlers will find a particular site, following these guidelines should help make your site appear in our search results. Google Search Console provides tools to help you submit your content to Google and monitor how you're doing in Google Search. If you want, Search Console can even send you alerts on critical issues that Google encounters with your site. Sign up for Search Console 5.
The rest of this document provides guidance on how to improve your site for search engines, organized by topic. An SEO "search engine optimization" expert is someone trained to improve your visibility on search engines. By following this guide, you should learn enough to be well on your way to an optimized site. In addition to that, you may want to consider hiring an SEO professional that can help you audit your pages.
Deciding to hire an SEO is a big decision that can potentially improve your site and save time. Make sure to research the potential advantages of hiring an SEO, as well as the damage that an irresponsible SEO can do to your site. Many SEOs and other agencies and consultants provide useful services for website owners, including:. Before beginning your search for an SEO, it's a great idea to become an educated consumer and get familiar with how search engines work. We recommend going through the entirety of this guide and specifically these resources:. If you're thinking about hiring an SEO, the earlier the better.
A great time to hire is when you're considering a site redesign, or planning to launch a new site. That way, you and your SEO can ensure that your site is designed to be search engine-friendly from the bottom up. However, a good SEO can also help improve an existing site.
The first step to getting your site on Google is to be sure that Google can find it. The best way to do that is to submit a sitemap. Learn more about how to build and submit a sitemap Google also finds pages through links from other pages.
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A "robots. This file, which must be named "robots. It is possible that pages blocked by robots. 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 Search Console has a friendly robots. 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.
Google It!: Getting Junk-Free Search Results
For more information on robots. Read about several other ways to prevent content from appearing in search results.
It only instructs well-behaved crawlers that the pages are not for them, but it does not prevent your server from delivering those pages to a browser that requests them. 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.
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Each page on your site should ideally have a unique title, which helps Google know how the page is distinct from the others on your site. If your site uses separate mobile pages, remember to use good titles on the mobile versions too. Titles can be both short and informative. If the title is too long or otherwise deemed less relevant, Google may show only a portion of it or one that's automatically generated in the search result. Google may also show different titles depending on the user's query or device used for searching. A page's description meta tag gives Google and other search engines a summary of what the page is about.
A page's title may be a few words or a phrase, whereas a page's description meta tag might be a sentence or two or even a short paragraph.
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.
Spotting and squashing spam on Search
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 informative posts on improving snippets with better description meta tags 18 and better snippets for your users We also have a handy Help Center article on how to create good titles and snippets Write a description that would both inform and interest users if they saw your description meta tag as a snippet in a search result.
While there's no minimal or maximal length for the text in a description meta tag, we recommend making sure that it's long enough to be fully shown in Search note that users may see different sized snippets depending on how and where they search , and contains all the relevant information users would need to determine whether the page will be useful and relevant to them.
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. 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. 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. 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.
Structured data 21 is code that you can add to your sites' pages to describe your content to search engines, so they can better understand what's on your pages. Search engines can use this understanding to display your content in useful and eye-catching! That, in turn, can help you attract just the right kind of customers for your business. For example, if you've got an online store and mark up an individual product page, this helps us understand that the page features a bike, its price, and customer reviews.
We may display that information in the snippet for search results for relevant queries. We call these "rich results. In addition to using structured data markup for rich results, we may use it to serve relevant results in other formats. We recommend that you use structured data with any of the supported notations markup to describe your content. Once you've marked up your content, you can use the Google Rich Results test 25 to make sure that there are no mistakes in the implementation.
If you want to give structured markup a try without changing the source code of your site, you can use Data Highlighter which is a free tool integrated in Search Console that supports a subset of content types. If you'd like to get the markup code ready to copy and paste to your page, try the Markup Helper tool. It also shows any errors we've detected. Correct structured data on your pages also makes your page eligible for many special features in Search results, including review stars, fancy decorated results, and more.