General

Getting started with SEO

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Who is this guide for?
If you have online content, manage it, monetise it or advertise it via Google search, this guide is for
you. It's also for you if you're a growing business owner, the owner of a dozen or so sites, an SEO
specialist in a web agency, or just a hobbyist with an interest in SEO and a passion for the mechanics
of search. If you want a complete overview of the basics of SEO and our best practices in this area,
you've come to the right place. However, this guide will not provide you with a magic bullet to get
your site automatically to the top of Google search results. However, we hope that following good
practice will make it easier for search engines to crawl, index and interpret your content.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) often involves making small changes to parts of your site. When
considered individually, these changes may seem small, but when combined with other
optimisations, they can have a significant impact on the user experience and performance of your
site in natural search results. You may already be familiar with many of the topics covered in this
guide, as they are essential ingredients to any web page, but perhaps you are not making the most of
them.

The purpose of a website is to meet the needs of its users, and any optimisation should be aimed at
improving their experience. One of those users is a search engine, which helps people discover your
content. SEO is about helping search engines interpret and present content. Your site may be smaller
or larger than the one we're using as an example, and may have very different content, but the SEO
topics covered in this guide apply to sites of all sizes and types. We hope that our guide will give you
some new ideas for improving your website.

Internet search engine

Determine if your site is in the Google index
Do a site search on the URL of your site's home page. If you get results, you are in the index. For
example, a search for site:wikipedia.org will return these results.

If your site is not on Google
Although billions of pages are crawled, it is impossible to include every site. When our crawlers do
not find a site, it is usually for one of the following reasons:

There are not enough websites with links to your site.
You have just launched a new site, and we have not yet had time to crawl it.
The design of the site does not allow us to properly explore its content.
We have encountered an error while trying to browse your site.

Your rules prevent us from crawling the site.
How can I get my site to appear on Google?
Getting listed in our search results is easy and free. You don't even need to send us your site. Google
is a fully automated search engine that uses robots to constantly crawl the web for sites to be
included in our index. Most of the sites that appear in our results have not been manually submitted,
but have been detected and added automatically as we crawl the web. Learn more about how we
detect, crawl and distribute web pages

We provide guidance to webmasters to help them design websites that are optimised for Google
search. We can't guarantee that our crawlers will find a particular site, but these guidelines help
increase your chances of having your site included in our search results.

Google Search Console provides tools to help you submit your content to us and monitor your
ranking in Google search. If you wish, Search Console can even send you alerts if we detect critical
issues with your site. Sign up for Search Console.

Here are some basic questions to ask yourself about your website when you're first starting out.

Does my website show up on Google?
Is the content I'm offering good?
Does my local business show up on Google?
Is my content quickly and easily accessible on all devices?
Is my website secure?
There is more information on how to get started at https://g.co/webmasters.

The rest of this document provides tips, listed by topic, on how to optimise your site for search
engines.

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