Search Engine Optimization 2020

Who is this Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide for?

Search Engine Optimization Guide is meant for you. If you own, manage, monetize, or promote online content via Google Search, then you might be the owner of a growing and thriving business, the website owner of a dozen sites, the SEO specialist in a Web agency, or a DIY SEO ninja passionate about the mechanics of Search: this guide is meant for you.

If you’re interested in having a complete overview of the basics of SEO according to our best practices, you are indeed in the right place. This guide won’t provide any secrets that’ll automatically rank your site first in Google (sorry!), but following the best practices outlined below will hopefully make it easier for search engines to crawl, index, and understand your content.

A search engine optimization guide 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 Search Central Help Community1.

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.

Happy reading!

Glossary

Here’s a short glossary of important terms used in this Search Engine Optimization Guide:

  • Index – Google stores all web pages that it knows about in its index. The index entry for each page describes the content and location (URL) of that page. To index is when Google fetches a page, reads it, and adds it to the index. (Google indexed several pages on my site today)
  • Crawl – The process of looking for new or updated web pages. Google discovers URLs by following links, by reading sitemaps, and by many other means. Google crawls the web, looking for new pages, then indexes them (when appropriate).
  • Crawler – Automated software that crawls (fetches) pages from the web and indexes them.
  • Googlebot – The generic name of Google’s crawler. Googlebot crawls the web constantly.
  • SEO – Search engine optimization: the process of making your site better for search engines. Also the job title of a person who does this for a living. (We just hired a new SEO to improve our presence on the web)

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