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Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide for SEO HERO

Welcome to google's search engine optimization starter guide


This document first began as an effort to help teams within Google, but we thought it'd be just as useful to webmasters that are new to the topic of search engine optimization and wish to improve their sites' interaction with both users and search engines. Although this guide won't tell you any secrets that'll automatically rank your site first for queries in Google (sorry!), following the best practices outlined below will make it easier for search engines to crawl, index and understand your content.

Search engine optimization 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.

Even though this guide's title contains the words "search engine", we'd like to say that you should base your optimization decisions first and foremost on what's best for the visitors of your site. They're the main consumers of your content and are using search engines to find your work. Focusing too hard on specific tweaks to gain ranking in the organic results of search engines may not deliver the desired results. Search engine optimization is about putting your site's best foot forward when it comes to visibility in search engines, but your ultimate consumers are your users, not search engines.

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.

From here on, I'll be
explaining various points
on search engine
optimization (SEO)!


An example may help our explanations, so we've created a fictitious
website to follow throughout the guide. For each topic, we've fleshed
out enough information about the site to illustrate the point being
covered. Here's some background information about the site we'll

Website/business name:
"Brandon's Baseball Cards"
Domain name:
Online-only baseball card sales, price guides, articles,
and news content
Small, ~

50 pages

Search engine optimization affects only organic search results, not
paid or "sponsored" results such as Google AdWords

Create unique, accurate page titles

Indicate page titles by using title tags

A title tag tells both users and search engines what the topic of
a particular page is.

The <title> tag should be placed within the
<head> tag of the HTML document (1). Ideally, you should create a
unique title for each page on your site

Page title contents are displayed in search

If your document appears in a search results page,
the contents of the title tag will usually appear in the first line of the results
(if you're unfamiliar with the different parts of a Google search result, you might want to check out the anatomy of a search resultvideo by Google engineer Matt Cutts, and this helpful
diagram of a Google search results page). Words in the title are bolded if they appear in the
user's search query.

This can help users recognize if the page is likely to be relevant to their search

The title for your homepage can list the name of your website/
business and could include other bits of important information like
the physical location of the business or maybe a few of its main
focuses or offerings


Search engine : Computer function that searches data available on the Internet using keywords or other specified terms, or a program containing this function.

<head> tag : An element that indicates the header in an HTML document. The content of this
element will not be displayed in a browser.

HTML : Abbreviation for HyperText Markup Language, a language used when describing web
page documents. It denotes the basic elements of web pages, including the document
text and any hyperlinks and images embedded within

Search query : Single or multiple terms which are input by the user when performing a search on search engines

Best seo Practices

Accurately describe the page's content

Choose a title that effectively communicates the topic of the page's content

Avoid :

Create unique title tags for each page

Each of your pages should ideally have a unique title tag, which helps Google know how the page is distinct from the others on your site

Avoid :

using a single title tag across all of your site's pages or a large group of pages


Use brief, but descriptive titles

Titles can be both short and informative. If the title is too long, Google will show only a portion of it in the search result

Avoid :

SEO Hero note : But even if titles are long, google take portion if it's pertinent.

Page titles are an important aspect of search engine optimization

Seo hero ressources :

The anatomy of a search result

Diagram of a Google search results page


Make use of the "description" meta tag

Summaries can be defined for each page

A page's description meta tag gives Google and other search
engines a summary of what the page is about

Whereas a page's title may be a few words or a phrase, a page's description meta
tag might be a sentence or two or a short paragraph.

Google Webmaster Tools provides a handy content analysis section that'll tell you about any description meta tags that are either too short, long, or duplicated too many times (the same information is also shown for <title> tags). Like the <title> tag, the description meta tag is placed within the <head> tag of your HTML document

What are the merits of description meta tags?

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.
Alternatively, Google might use your site's description in the Open Directory Project if your site is listed there (learn how to prevent search engines from displaying ODP data).

SEO Hero note : Dmoz will end this march 2017

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 an informative post on improving snippets with better description meta tags

Words in the snippet are bolded when they appear in the user's query
This gives the user clues about whether the content on the page matches with what he or she is looking for.

is another example, this time showing a snippet from a description meta tag on a deeper page (which ideally has its own unique description meta tag) containing an article.


Snippet : text displayed beneath the title of a corresponding web page on the search results
pages of a search engine. A web page summary and/or parts of the page that match
the search keywords will be displayed.

Open Directory Project (ODP)

The world's largest volunteer-run web directory (a list of Internet links collected on a
large scale and then organized by category)


An address on the Internet that indicates the location of a computer or network. These
are administrated to avoid duplication, like


Best seo hero practices

Accurately summarize the page's content

Write a description that would both inform and interest users if they saw your description meta tag as a snippet in a search result.

Avoid :


Use unique descriptions for each page

Having a different description meta tag for each page helps both users and Google, especially in searches where users may bring up multiple pages on your domain (e.g. searches using the site: operator).

Avoid :

using a single description meta tag across all of your site's pages or a large group of pages

Use description meta tags to provide both search engines and users with a summary of what your page is about!

This page is about the SEO hero guidelines to rank on google in natural way.

More ressources :

Content analysis section

Prevent search engines from displaying ODP data

Improving snippets with better description meta tags

site: operator


Improve the structure of your URLs

Simple-to-understand URLs will convey content information easily

Creating descriptive categories and filenames for the documents on your website can not only help you keep your site better organized, but it could also lead to better crawling of your documents by search engines. Also, it can create easier, "friendlier" URLs for those that want to link to your content. Visitors may be intimidated by extremely long and cryptic URLs that contain few recognizable words.

URLs like (1) can be confusing and unfriendly. Users would have a hard time reciting the URL from memory or creating a link to it. Also, users may believe that a portion of the URL is unnecessary, especially if the URL shows many unrecognizable parameters. They might leave
off a part, breaking the link

Some users might link to your page using the URL of that page as the anchor text.
If your URL contains relevant words, this provides users and search engines with more information about the page than an ID or oddly named parameter would

URLs are displayed in search results

Lastly, remember that the URL to a document is displayed as part of a search result in Google, below the document's title and snippet. Like the title and snippet, words in the URL on the search result appear in bold if they appear in the user's query (). To the right is another example showing a URL on our domain for a page containing an article about the rarest baseball cards. The words in the URL might appeal to a search user more than an ID number like "" would

Google is good at crawling all types of URL structures, even if they're
quite complex, but spending the time to make your URLs as simple as
possible for both users and search engines can help. Some webmasters try to achieve this by rewriting their dynamic URLs to static ones; while Google is fine with this, we'd like to note that this is an advanced procedure and if done incorrectly, could cause crawling issues with your site. To learn even more about good URL structure,
we recommend this Webmaster Help Center page on creating Google-friendly URLs


Exploration of websites by search engine software (bots) in order to index their

Data provided in the URL to specify a site's behavior.

ID (session ID)
Data provided for the identification and/or behavior management of a user who is
currently accessing a system or network communications.

301 redirect
An HTTP status code (see page 1). Forces a site visitor to automatically jump to a specified URL.

A type of domain used to identify a category that is smaller than a regular domain (see page 6).

Root directory : Directory at the top of the tree structure of a site. It is sometimes called "root".