When I write up an SEO analysis of a website for a new client, I include about 20 topics that over time have been proven to help improve the rankings of a website in the search results.
These topics are what I call the science of SEO.
There are a lot of other topics that I included that are related to the business goals of the client, how they envisage their website, and the part it plays in their overall business plan. I include recommendations for organic, paid and social web promotion, design, look and feel, and more, depending on the business, and on what they’ve told me.
These topics are what I call the art of SEO.
A few days ago, Google came out with a really excellent Primer, “Google’s SEO Starter Guide“, which includes a great explanation of the best practices that make up the science of SEO.
They touch on things like: Titles, Description tags, URL structure, navigation, content, anchor texts, images and “no-follow” tags. Pretty much the same types of things I talked about in my “No-No’s of Website Promotion” presentation to Marcshoret last week.
Someone asked me at the presentation why I “reveal” my SEO “secrets”, and people are asking the same thing about Google’s Starter Guide.
The answer is really simple.
- I want to have SEO-savvy customers
- I want them to understand why I’m doing what I’m doing to promote their site
- I want them to be a partner in the ongoing process of SEO
- I want them to understand that it’s a lot of work
- And lastly, I want them to understand that the same way I’m promoting their site, hundreds or thousands of their competitors are having their sites promoted – all of which affects my customer’s site too.
With Google it’s pretty similar – it’s all about helping you and I find relevant content on the internet. The more sites that are designed and put together with the Google best practices in mind, the more chance we all have (according to Google) of finding the most suitable content for our needs.
With Google, the idea is that if you have the best content, organized in the most user-friendly manner, and lots of other websites also think you have a great site (i.e. they link to you), then you will rank high up in the search results.
Which is why, at long last, Google have put to together this booklet on the science of SEO.
Note, however, that they haven’t put together anything (yet?) on the art of SEO. That’s because each SEO professional has developed his or her methods, and honed them to a fine art, and no two SEO professionals “do it” the exact same way.
And last but not least.
If you have the understanding, inclination, competitive advantage, and time to SEO your own site, that’s really great – go for it.
If you are missing any of those, then you know who to come to, and you know that a real SEO professional doesn’t want to “hide” ALL his or her “secrets” (of course, we will keep some things to ourselves 🙂 ).
So, pleasant reading!
What do you think about Google having written this guide book? Good idea or not? Will those of you using an SEO company continue using them? And if so, why? If not, will you try it on your own?
I’d love to hear what you have to say.
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