Update: Best SEO Tips By Google January 2011

Best SEO Tips by Google is as of this date still valid and relevant to the subject matter. While there may have been some “small changes”, this SEO Report card covers pretty much what you need to know to get things started. To further help you with your Search Engine Optimization, get familiar with the updated features of Google’s Webmaster Tools and more recently, Matt Cutt’s reply to a query that was made on webmaster central about Social sites being included in their ranking factors.

When Google releases something that relates to SEO, I very quickly see what the fuzz is all about. The most recent information about SEO from Google is their SEO report card which they have made public. I have read this report thoroughly and I highly recommend for anyone to read it, regardless of what level of experience you have.

What’s In The Google SEO Report Card

First, let us understand what the Google Report Card is. Over to you Google (read carefully):

Google’s SEO Report Card is an effort to provide Google’s product teams with ideas on how they can improve their products’ pages using simple and accepted optimizations. These optimizations are intended to not only help search engines understand the content of our pages better, but also to improve our users’ experience when visiting our sites. Simple steps such as fixing 404s and broken links, simplifying URL choice, and providing easier-to-understand titles and snippets for our pages can benefit both users and search engines. From the start of the project we also wanted to release the report card publicly so other companies and webmasters could learn from the report, which is filled with dozens of examples taken straight from our products’ pages.

For short, the report card is the result of an almost self-audit which the Google team performed to analyzed their own pages and how they are performing on search engines. If you decide to read this report, please pay particular attention to not only the important SEO factors, but also the recommendations. These recommendations are by far what you should be focusing in while doing your SEO.

The full report has 49 pages of reading material. Before sending you there, I want to share with you some of the most interesting topics that I have found while reading this report. The report is divided into three main topics or subjects:

Best SEO Practices

Subject I: Search result presentation
Optimizing a page’s title tag, description meta tag, and the structure of your URL can seriously help in improving the presentation of your pages in the search results. This helps users make more informed decisions about the results they click on and at the same time improving your CTR (click through rate).

And as per the report:

A more descriptive title tag (optimized keywords) and URL naming structure can help the search engine understand the content of the page better. It is suggested to use a maximum of 60 characters on title tags as an opportunity to tell both users and search engines what the focus of the page is. There’s no need to go past this many characters, as most search engines will display ellipses ( … ) after this limit. Also, search engines may give less weight to words after a certain point.

SEO Meta DescriptionNote that meta keyword tag is missing – no longer important but would not hurt if you use it, after all, there are more than one search engine. In addition, look at the bold caption above and you will see (hopefully) that SEO is about search engines understanding what your page is about before anything else.

Subject II: URLs and redirects
URLs can take many different forms. With so many different forms of URLs, users face a daunting task knowing which URL format to use. Such varied URL behavior can lead to 404 pages and split reputation between multiple URLs, hurting the ranking of content.

Here are the top recommendations to help you with this:
• choose the easiest to remember form of the URL as the canonical
• be consistent with this canonical form across all products
• think of the most common URL forms visitors may try and 301 redirect these to the preferred/
canonical URL or use the rel=”canonical” link element if you cannot redirect

seo url reputationSubject III: On-page optimizations
The most important part of this report, in my opinion. You can even skip the second section for a while and jump directly to this part. If you still have the will, then scan through the section of URLs and redirects.

Optimizing on-page elements of your pages, such as keywords, heading tags, and internal links can help search engines better understand the content of these pages and how they’re structured. Also, many of these optimizations aid users’ navigation and usability of the site. On-page optimization is totally under your control so it really depends only on you to make it happen. Take a peek at the following elements where you have full control:

seo onpage optimizationAs you can see, there are hints and suggestions to learn from Google’s SEO Report Card. If you are really interested in ranking better on search engines, then I highly recommend you to read this document as I am convinced that it is one of the best single source of information you can find about SEO (only lags behind iBlogZone, hah). Plus it is simple to understand:) For the link. The full Google’s SEO Report Card.

Before I forget, at the very last part of the report Google provides additional resources, such as the Google’s SEO Starter Guide – How to get started with search engine optimization. This is very interesting as it is proven that this starter guide still contains valid information up until today. Good luck and to better rankings.

Looking for more SEO Tips?

Visit my page where I feature the Top SEO Tips and Resources, according to users feedbacks.


DiTesco is a Business and Inbound Marketing Consultant, and founder of iBlogzone.com. iBlogzone's main objective is to help startups and small business owners achieve success in their online ventures. | More About Me and my Digital Marketing Services in SP Brazil.

87 thoughts on “Google Releases Best SEO Tips Ever

  • With all the brouhaha over Facebook last 24 hours, I missed this one. Thanks for pointing it out. Downloaded, will read it.
    .-= Dave Doolin invites you to check this out.. Building Outposts: Amplify Your Blog Post in Seconds =-.

    • Hi Dave. I am well aware of the latest news about FB and I understand that this has been diverting too much attention for a lot of people. I am glad that you found out about this report through my blog though:) After you finish reading it, I would appreciate you letting me know what you think about it..

  • This should make for some easy bedtime reading! I downloaded it and will read it thoroughly. This is virtually a road map to understanding Google’s SEO, what a great tool for the beginner blogger, knowing what Google looks for BEFORE hitting the publish button. Question is, who will take advantage of it!
    .-= Dick invites you to check this out.. Is Readability a Threat to MMO? =-.

    • Well said Dick. A virtual road map indeed. I have to admit that after reading it, I have already started to implement some changes as Mr G suggest. No reason why anyone can’t enhance their SEO skills after reading this. Your feedback will be appreciated, after the bedtime read:)

  • Excellent methods. I have liked this post. I was wondering about the LSI technique.
    .-= Jena Isle invites you to check this out.. Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus the Juvenile Diabetes =-.

    • Hi Jen. Thanks for dropping by and liking this post. LSI? Care to elaborate:)

  • A very useful and informative post. Google SEO report is certainly a guidebook for all those SEOs out there. Hopefully, these tips will work out for them. Thanks for sharing.
    .-= Aswani invites you to check this out.. IPL Scam – The Inside Story =-.

    • Hi Aswani. This guide will certainly work for everybody provided that the suggestions contained herein are implemented. Hopefully, if you decide to download the document, it will also help you in many ways.

  • Hi Ditesco,
    Very helpful tips, specially for noob like me. Thanks with link will download the guide right away.
    .-= Jhong Medina invites you to check this out.. Does Blogging Require Time? =-.

  • Wow, that would be some read DiTesco, way too much for me. I gather from your post though that a lot of the things included in that report are things that most people, at least those that have been blogging for awhile, do as a matter of course.

    It’s time like this that I wish I could speed read.
    .-= Sire invites you to check this out.. Is Disqus Costing You Comments? =-.

    • yeah! I agree Sire – speed read will be a good thing right now. Anyway, although the report seems to be big (49 pages), I think that the second section could easily be skipped. Plus there are huge screen shots to illustrate examples, so it really is not that much of a read. And Yes, most of the things that are covered there are those that most people already know, if you have been blogging for a while. I did learn something more though:)

  • I didn’t know that Google gave out tips on SEO. I thought it was a big secret on their part 😉 Does this also help with PR then?
    .-= ConnieFoggles invites you to check this out.. Gift Baskets Mother’s Day Gift Guide Event =-.

    • Hi Connie. I do not think that this guide is tailored to improve your PR, but ranking well on the search engines is a start to help. If you rank well, you get more traffic and more users will visit your site. The more users that visit your site, the more likely will someone link to your posts. The more inbound links you have the better your chances are in obtaining a better PR. Does that make sense to you?

  • @mikezawitkowsi did you see? Via @lizstrauss RT @ditesco: Google Releases Best SEO Tips Ever http://bit.ly/cJLFdS /via @ConnieFoggles

  • Thanks for sharing. This must be some kind of a report card.
    .-= ZXT invites you to check this out.. What’s Hot on YouTube =-.

    • It is some kind of report card ZXT. I suggest you read it and take action on what you learn. It helps a lot

  • Nicely written, DiTesco. I remember last year there was this guy who considerd himself a SEO expert (don’t we all) who said it was a waste of time using description tags because Google would better define who you were and would rank you better, and I disagreed saying I’d rather have the opportunity to tell what I’m about than wait for Google to figure it out. Great stuff here.
    .-= Mitch invites you to check this out.. Facebook Changes And Alter Egos =-.

    • Well it so seems that you have disagreed nicely at that time as it is proven that up until today, it is better to tell everyone what you are about rather than expecting “anyone” to figure it out (Google included). As you said, there are many SEO experts but there are actually a few who are practical SEOs:)

  • I like the sound of that – “practical SEO’s” and if ever I became a master SEO guy I would prefer practical over guru!
    I thought this post so important I wrote about it on my blog for beginners, then submitted it to Blogengage. Very timely article for me and a must read for bloggers. http://bit.ly/dd7CNf
    .-= Dick invites you to check this out.. Is Readability a Threat to MMO? =-.

    • Saw your post Dick and commented on it. Thanks for the mention.

  • Description meta tag seems important to me as i have used and got good results for me….but many think that google do not care of meta tags like keywords, but i think keywords are also important tags
    .-= Mike invites you to check this out.. Using Podcasts To Increase Traffic Flow To Your Website =-.

    • True Mike. Some things may or may not be important for Google, but they could be for other search engines. Bing, Ask and others rely also on very good descriptions, and some of them still use as a ranking factor the meta keywords. So YES, if it does not hurt why not do it. Thanks for your input

  • RT @lizstrauss: RT @ditesco: Google Releases Best SEO Tips Ever http://bit.ly/cJLFdS /via @ConnieFoggles

  • I really need to go through all of these details and analyze what Google has to say about my site. I’ve seen a few posts about this report card, but since YOU said we need to check it out, I guess it’s time to take action.

    • Hi Tina. It is always so good to see you here. I still remember when you told me once that “we’ll” see how it goes and take it from there. Remember, the exchange links?

      Anyway, YES – this is a must read if you want to at the least see if you are doing your SEO the proper way. Taking action for those items you are not doing is definitely recommended:) Have a great day

  • Thanks for the heads up Ditesco i will certainly check this website out but as you mentioned this will be of good use to us coming from you it definately deserves the visit
    .-= lawmacs invites you to check this out.. What should be the length of your blog post =-.

    • Wooot. Thanks for the “trust” you are putting on this Lawmacs. As I have said to @tina_t, it is a must read and will help a lot, specially for people like us that monetize our blogs.

  • Really glad you brought this to my attention. I think the report will be a great asset for improving SEO and finding out exactly what the big “G” looks for.

    If you say it’s a must read, then I must read it. You haven’t steered me wrong yet:-) Thanks again for another informative post.
    .-= Robert invites you to check this out.. What Is Cost Per Action (CPA) Marketing? =-.

    • Ho Barry. Thanks for your kind words. And YES, it is a must read. I still have to give you some homework to do, right, lol. Kidding, but not the part about giving it a look. I have learned extra stuff from it:)

  • These are all tremendous reminders of what it takes to succeed with Google. It’s the little things that we often forget, but there are just so many of them…
    .-= Richard@How To Videos invites you to check this out.. How To Enable IMAP in Gmail =-.

    • Precisely Richard. This is why I like this report card, it reminds us about those thing that we forget and instead of trying to complicate, focusing on what matters is what counts

  • Hi DiTesco
    Lots of info there that I understand and use.
    Good to see that old fashioned Title tags and Headings still carry some weight.

    I’ve only just started using relevant image filenames so nice to see it mentioned.

    I’ll read the full report when I get time but this is a great precis.
    .-= Keith Davis invites you to check this out.. Flying in formation =-.

    • Hello Keith. Yes, it is good to know that some “old fashioned” techniques still work and most importantly that they matter. Unless a search engine figures out a way to find out about what you are talking about, Title tags, headings and descriptions are still extremely important.

  • Hey, Ditesco, I’m back on your blog.

    Sorry for being so late, but your blog looks great…any coffee here? LOL!

    Man, this studying of SEO thing is really like full-time job…need to download and study this.

    Thanks bro 😀
    .-= elmot invites you to check this out.. My Brute Cheats Master Codes for Ipod, Iphone and Ipad =-.

    • Hi Elmot. As they say, better late than never. Glad you liked the new look:) As for the studying thing, it can be a full time job but you can really get this pinned down in a jiffy:)

  • Great find Ditesco! I must read that Google Report to improve my SEO skills. Thanks!! 🙂
    .-= Kelvin Servigon invites you to check this out.. Why Domain Reselling Can Be A Great Way to Make Money Online? =-.

    • Thanks Kelvin. And I agree, if you read the report you will most likely improve your SEO skills. Let me know how it goes

  • RT @ditesco: Google’s SEO Report Card. Best SEO Tips Ever http://su.pr/4FFHpm #iblogzone

  • Well that is a great read for all the SEO experts. I will definitely have a look at it. Learning SEO from Google itself is a really cool idea.
    .-= Ricky invites you to check this out.. Download FIFA World Cup 2010 iPhone Application =-.

  • if getting a better ranking by google is important to you, you will thank me later for this http://bit.ly/bjL0ZW

  • RT @Sirjohn_writer: if getting a better ranking by google is important to you, you will thank me later for this http://bit.ly/bjL0ZW

  • RT @Sirjohn_writer: if getting a better ranking by google is important to you, you will thank me later for this http://bit.ly/bjL0ZW

  • Best SEO Tips by Google http://goo.gl/B4wF #SEO If you are into SEO, you gonna have this. Update 2010.

  • Best SEO Tips by Google http://goo.gl/B4wF #SEO If you are into SEO, you gonna have this. Update 2010.

  • Best SEO Tips by Google http://goo.gl/B4wF #SEO If you are into SEO, you gonna have this. Update 2010.

  • Report card nice I have downloaded .It give betters knowledge of SEO .How to optimize on page and other tricks .New blogger should once see the report card .It will help for promotion . One of my friend have report card link .. http://www.xpressabhi.com…anyway .I got here link.
    .-= jai prakash invites you to check this out.. Remove your comment mistakes-Use Jquery Comment preview plugin =-.

    • Good to know that you have downloaded it Jai. Now take action on those that you have not applied yet and see how it goes. To your success

  • Awesome share, I’ll try to download and see how it goes. Thanks!

  • Good tips DiTesco. Thanks for breaking it down for us. I’ve been guilty of not giving images alt tags, and I am sure others are as well. It’s 100% fre onpage improvement, so we should all take time and crawl our sites for empty or missing ALT text and put some relevant phrases inside of them. I’ve had good success in doing this for friends and business partners, and its relatively easy to do.

    • Hi Aaron. Welcome to my blog. It seems that this is the first time I see you around here. I hope you find useful information here and wish you the best of luck. As for not giving the proper meta for the images, it is good to know that you are at least aware that by not doing so, you are neglecting a very important element of optimization in your content. I have some images that rank well and they provide a good amount of traffic. If you have noticed, my slogan is “every bit counts” 😉

  • This is a great break down. you point out some things that people often overlook. Good incite I can see why this is one of your most viewed posts.

  • Hi. I treasured to drop you a quick note to express my thanks. I’ve been watching your blog for a month or so and have plucked up a heap of good information as well as enjoyed the way you’ve structured your site. I am attempting to run my own blog however I think its too general and I would like to focus more on smaller topics. thanks


  • This is quite a breakdown of Google’s report card DiTesco. Quite thoughtful of Google to come up with something like this and of course thoughtful of you to blog about this in detail. You know, no matter how long an internet marketer has been in business, there seems to be always something new for him/her to learn.

  • Hello Ditesco,
    Thanks For sharing google’s Report in detail. I have to admit that most of the times these SEO tips are overlooked by bloggers and website owners.I am going to download it and have a look.

  • I’m glad that I found your website searching for SEO’s. Thanks for sharing about what you know with Search Engine Marketing.

  • Thanks for the heads up Francisco. I don’t know why, but there is something about Google and Google products that makes me go “yeah, another great too that I can actually trust and use” and also “not again! is Google trying to take over the world?”
    Anyway thanks, I’ll give it a try and see if it works with me and my style.

    • Hi Satrap. LOL, that.s make the two of us. You might have noticed that I am somewhat pro-Google and when they come up with something like this I also go yay! Or oopss. Depending on the case 🙂 In this guide however, I have to admit that after reading it and applying some of the techniques that I was still not doing, I have seen great improvements in rankings. So, I hope it does the same for you. Gotta take action though and do it.

  • I’d always wondered whether or not to put full description or just product name for a lot of my product sites. This makes it pretty obvious. Cheers.

    • Hi Ryan. This guide will certainly provide you with additional tips on how you should “create” your title tags, meta descriptions to make them more compelling and better call to action. Good luck

  • It’s worth revisiting Googles magic formulas for SEO by a guy that gets it. Thanks for this article DiTesco, I keep preaching to my clients that the free blogs are not optimized for SEO, that a site has to be built with SEO as it’s first priority if they want to have a prayer at good exposure online. Don’t you agree?

    • Hi Dick. Yes, I agree. Although free blogs can have some workaround, such as blogger.com, the amount of on-page SEO you can do is very minimal and at the end of the day, it could be less competitive compared to its peers. Nothing better than a small investment in self hosted blog to ensure that everything that is critical is properly addressed. Good to see here, its been a while. Hopefully you have been off to something good 🙂

  • Yes, this mini-SEO guide is all you need to know about SEO. In my opinion, Off-page SEO is 95 % of the whole SEO procces, so on-page is just 5 %.

    • What? Off-page SEO stands for 95% of the process? Hell no.

      Content does. Without any content – you can’t rank high. Sure, links mean a lot. But content does as well.

      This post would suit beginners great. But as for me: I’m looking for some more advanced SEO tips 🙂


      • HI Nabil. Agreed, SEO is more about “content” (not only), but is definitely one of the most important factors. As far as “advanced” SEO tips, if you would be more specific, I can try to do some research and maybe come up with something :). Having read Google’s SEO report card myself, I found that it is good for all levels and I have to admit that I learned an awful lot. Thanks for stopping by.

    • HI Ted. Did you mean to say that Off-page is 5% of the whole process? I’m not sure I agree with you if this is the case. SEO starts from your on-page optimization and then off-page kicks in at a later phase, so maybe you were trying to say was the other way around 😉

  • Google recently announced changes in their algorithm to devalue link farms, and increase value to social media sharing… ie. facebook, twitter. These are crucial factors that are changing the world of SEO dramatically. Google’s trying to clean up the spam.

  • Great tip, constantly looking for new things to read about SEO and it’s nice when people give tips.
    Anyway great post

  • Solid tips that i can use, thanks!

    • Hi Will. You are welcome. Hope you find these tips useful. Now take “action” on it, lol. Thanks for stopping by

  • Really awesome. I have already downloaded the guide and have to admit that it is very thorough. I specially like the part about Mobile SEO. Guess that’s the next “big” thing 🙂 Thanks for sharing

    • Welcome. Hope you enjoy the guide. It does provide some real good insights and helpful tips.

  • These methods are no doubt advanced in the sense that they are new and progressive, sometimes more difficult than basic SEO or require special tools and expertise. Some of the tactics are no short term tactics, they’re probably strategies.

    Also I’ll attempt to debunk the wide spread notion that just a few tactics out there are somehow advanced SEO by virtue of their sheer complexity, difficulty in implementing or tediousness.

  • DiTesco,
    You’ve earned my loyalty. I have been to many marketing sites. This is in the top 2. You give the most FREE quality info. I am subscribing.

    • Hi Rob. Thanks for the kind words. Feedbacks like this is what motivates me to move further ahead and continue on with my online endeavors. Thanks and if there is anything I can be of help with, do let me know.

  • I’d always wondered whether or not to put full description or just product name for a lot of my product sites. This makes it pretty obvious. Cheers.

  • Ive still working more &more on SEO. Thia article will be very helpful how to add meta title & description

  • Great post. Definitely comes in handy to discover more on SEO

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