When the the king of search looks to optimize its own content for search results, you know it’s not by going out and buying back links. They get those free of charge by their millions of users who love their resources. So what can Google do to improve their own rankings? They optimize their code on-site.
The SEO Report Card for Google
Last week Google blogged about their own SEO report that they conducted on themselves. You can read the report in PDF format yourself: Google’s SEO Report Card.
If you look at Section III of the report, On-page optimization you will find the first thing listed is the use of heading tags. When I saw that they not only looked at heading tags, but had it listed as the first item of business, it made me smile. It’s what I keep telling clients, and readers on this blog to pay attention to.You need to know how to use heading tags to build a website.
Another item they pointed to was the importance of having a well developed title for each page of your site. Poor title quality ranked #9 on my report for top website mistakes in 2009. See a post I made a while ago about how to title your site pages. In that post I mention trying to stay less than 65 characters in length. In Google’s SEO report card they suggest 60 or less. A quality title is vital!
The report is stuffed with a ton of great info, and though it is an SEO report, a great deal could be learned in regards to basic web design. Many of the items they looked at are found in my usability analyses. This supports the long standing concept that SEO can be an important step in improving a websites usability. To me, it’s just one more reason to use W3C’s method to site validation.
If you want to improve your SEO or HTML knowledge, reading their report would be a highly recommended step.
Download: Google’s SEO Report Card – PDF file