No, your eyes do not deceive you.
Google has released its very own guide to SEO, the aptly named ‘Search Engine Optimization
Starter Guide’. Developed by Google’s very own search quality team, it goes into a lot of the on-page SEO considerations such as:
- Title Optimisation
- Page Naming
- Page Structure
- Image Optimisation
- Robots Management
All in all a decent starting point, however it is interesting to see one major aspect of modern day SEO missing or more precisely hidden and not at all prominent.
Surely some more detailed referencs to linkage, and the role it plays in the optimisation process. The only real references to ‘promotion’ in the document are:
Good practices for promoting your website
• Blog about new content or services – A blog post on your own site letting your visitor base
know that you added something new is a great way to get the word out about new content or
services. Other webmasters who follow your site or RSS feed could pick the story up as well.
• Don’t forget about offline promotion – Putting effort into the offline promotion of your
company or site can also be rewarding. For example, if you have a business site, make sure
its URL is listed on your business cards, letterhead, posters, etc. You could also send out
recurring newsletters to clients through the mail letting them know about new content on the
• Know about social media sites – Sites built around user interaction and sharing have made
it easier to match interested groups of people up with relevant content.
- attempting to promote each new, small piece of content you create; go for big,
- involving your site in schemes where your content is artificially promoted to the
top of these services
• Add your business to Google’s Local Business Center – If you run a local business,
adding its information to Google’s Local Business Center will help you reach customers on
Google Maps and web search. The Webmaster Help Center has more tips on promoting
your local business.
• Reach out to those in your site’s related community – Chances are, there are a number
of sites that cover topic areas similar to yours. Opening up communication with these sites is
usually beneficial. Hot topics in your niche or community could spark additional ideas for
content or building a good community resource.
- spamming link requests out to all sites related to your topic area
- purchasing links
Source: Google Search Engine Starters Guide
Whilst it does refer to a number of methods of acquiring linkage to the site, I can’t help thinking this may provide a slightly lobsided view of the importance of off-page in the SEO process to beginners. Yes on-page is important but lets face it MoneySupermarket would be nothing without the million odd links it has pointing to it, neither would Tesco etc etc, and thus anyone reading this could be forgiven for thinking merely implementing such tactics without any offpage would give them a reasonable chance of competing (which on non-competitive terms/sectors – such as rarest baseball cards – may be the case – but not likely when we are talking casino, car insurance or the like). I guess the real worry here is many DIY-SEO’ers may (continue) to look at SEO as merely an on-page exercise with little consideration to the promotion/off-page aspect of the process.
I will finish with the fact It is a good document, and certainly worth a read (would suggest if you are a intermediate to expert SEO there is very little you will get out of it). Its not really going to tell you anything amazing, however it is good to see Google out there, and at last having more of a say in SEO.