Webmaster Level: Beginner

Want to eat healthier and exercise more in 2010? That's tough! Want to learn about search engine optimization (SEO) so you can disregard the rumors and know what's important? That's easy! Here's how to gain SEO knowledge as you go about your new start to 2010:

Step 1: Absorb the basics
  • If you like to learn by reading, download our SEO Starter Guide for reading while you're on an exercise bike, training for Ironman.
  • Or, if you're more a video watcher, try listening to my "Search Friendly Development" session while you're cleaning your house. Keep in mind that some parts of the presentation are a little more technical.

  • For good measure, and because at some point you'll hear references to them, check out our webmaster guidelines for yourself.

Step 2: Explore details that pique your interest
Are you done with the basics but now you have some questions? Good for you! Try researching a particular topic in our Webmaster Help Center. For example, do you want more information about crawling and indexing or understanding what links are all about?


Step 3: Verify ownership of your site in Webmaster Tools
It takes a little bit of skill, but we have tons of help for verification. Once you verify ownership of your site (i.e., signal to Google that you're the owner), you can:


A sample message regarding the crawlability of your site


Step 4: Research before you do anything drastic
Usually the basics (e.g., good content/service and a crawlable site with indexable information) are the necessities for SEO. You may hear or read differently, but before you do anything drastic on your site such as robots.txt disallow'ing all of your directories or revamping your entire site architecture, please try: