Google updated the SEO Starter Guide

Google updated its SEO beginning guide for the third time today. This version is intended mainly for those who are new to SEO, and it is around half the size of the second edition.

Google’s SEO Starter Guide was first made available in PDF format in 2008. The most recent modification was made in 2017.

What was altered. The new edition is a “pocket-sized version of the SEO Starter Guide,” according to a Google announcement. Also, according to Google, the updated edition “better focuses on a starter audience and the topics we think a person who’s just dipping their toes in SEO should focus on and why.”

Google removed:

  • Glossary section: Google replaced it with a context-rich explanation of each term on the page.
  • Structured data section: Google eliminated this part because it described it as “more of an advanced topic that starters don’t have to think about.” Google added that “if someone is using a content management system (CMS) like Wix or Squarespace, they might try using a plugin and not have to worry about adding code to their website.”
  • Mobile-friendliness section: Google concluded this was no longer necessary after noting that “the majority of new sites and platforms are already mobile friendly.”
  • Analyzing site performance section: Google removed this, stating that it is “more of an advanced topic” and that it would be a “next step” SEO task in order to keep the document focused on beginning SEOs.

Google added:

  • The reason. Google added parts without “why should I do this?” “why is this thing not here?”
  • What’s. Google explained duplicate content and how to repair it and added a short video part.
  • SEO theories and concepts. Google introduced a section on SEO theories and where people shouldn’t focus. Google also added a section on impact time.

Google compressed a lot of content including:

  • Sections asking if you’re on Google: condensed into a single piece that focuses on the fastest approach to determine whether Google has indexed your website and the initial actions a site owner should take if their website isn’t showing up in search results.
  • Section “Do I Need an SEO”: Google condensed its separate page into two sentences and included a link to the complete guidance.
  • Section with title links and snippets: Google significantly condensed this section in favor of the longer standalone documents.
  • Section on Images: Alt text is the more crucial advice for a beginner audience.
  • Section labeled “Opt out of Google Search”: “While it’s an important topic that should be mentioned, the reader is probably not working through the guide for that reason,” Google stated.
  • Part on Links: Google condensed this part while maintaining the same message, emphasizing the benefits of linking for both people and search engines.
  • Website promotion: In addition, Google condensed this part and provided a link to Google for Creators, which offers a more thorough tutorial on the subject.
  • Section on site structure: The majority of this section remained intact, however Google deleted the following sections:Navigation section: Rather, emphasis was placed on strongly linking key onsite URLs.
    Google stated in the 404 section that “site owners should just do whatever makes sense for their users and we really don’t care about 404 pages.”
    Clearly defined breadcrumb setup: Google took it down since it was more of an advanced topic.
  • More will follow. Google stated that while it will “continue making our documentation clearer and easier to understand in the coming months,” it hopes to never alter this basic guide.

Why it matters to us. Many beginning and seasoned SEOs have read the Google SEO starter guide at some time in their careers. You should all definitely have a quick look at it now that it has been updated to see what has changed.

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