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  Don't Believe Me? Ask Google!

SEO is a funny thing.

Try googling "SEO". You'll get the phone book back, I'm talking more than a BILLION results. So I was sitting around the house one day and it dawned on me, maybe one of those billion or so pages isn't correct in the information that they're reporting. It could happen. So I thought, how do I validate the actual SEO data, instructions, and courses of action to take? How do I know what I'm reading is correct? Well I thought the answer to that would come right from the source, so I got into my Google Webmaster account and poked around a little bit, and wouldn't you know it....

Google publishes this guide - albeit rather broad and not full of a whole lot of specifcs - to help you understand the basics of SEO, at least as it relates to Google. The real benefit here is that this guide goes into some details about what NOT to do, which in the world of SEO is pretty important. Try employing any of the older, "black-hat" SEO techniques are you'll end up getting banned from Google. And I hear gettting reinstated to the Google search engine results pages takes a little more than a note from your mother.

It's actually an easy read, it's only about 32 pages long and is laid out in small chunks, so just about anyone should be able to comprehend this document. It even has some entertaining illustrations with Google's "Googlebot". Remember Microsoft Help's Paperclip? Yup, that.

My understanding is that Google updates this document fairly often and I think it was last updated earlier this year (Spring 2011?) So the next time you read someone's blog posting about a trick or a clever way around a Google problem, try looking at this PDF first. You may save yourself some time but more importantly you may avoid doing something wrong, very wrong....


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