SEO Basic Tip #2: Just Read Google’s Webmaster Guidelines…for Cryin’ Out Loud!

This SEO tip starts with a confession.  You know all those clichès about men?  I hate to admit how much they apply to me (please don’t tell my wife about this post).  Like the fact that we don’t ask for directions, don’t read instructions, don’t put the toilet seat down…  Just thinking of those three I’m guilty of at least 2.  (I’ll let you guess which 2.)

caution sign about reading instructions applied to Google guidelinesLet’s take my resistance to reading instructions.  Why is it that reading instructions is such a pain?  Why do I avoid it so energetically and to my own detriment?  I think part of it has to do with laziness.  It takes effort to read instructions, and that effort sometimes seems enormous when I’m sitting in the middle of a pile of packing materials already pissed off because manufacturers never put their own lousy products together anymore.  (Except when it comes to food, which is ever more processed before it hits the consumers lazy and grubby paws, all of retail consumption is moving toward “assemble it yourself.”)

Part of it is pride.  Why do I need to read instructions that bother to give me a picture of a Phillips screwdriver when there are only Phillips head screws in the box.  Really?  You need to draw me a picture.  Some things do require a picture, but since I’ve already jumped to an admittedly prideful conclusion about the grade level of the intended reader, I miss those parts and end up putting things together wrong half the time.

And then of course part of it is impatience.  I just want to get this job done and move on to the next tedious Honey-do.  If I can get by without the added time burden of reading instructions, I’m ahead.

image of gears to represent the internal workings

Let's Understand This

If you’re already getting impatient with me, I’ll get to the point: Let’s face it, reading Google’s webmaster guidelines is a lot like reading the instructions.  I don’t want to do it because 1) I’m lazy, 2) I’m prideful and I already know all this stuff and 3) I’m ready to get started, don’t slow me down.

Unfortunately, those are usually bad reasons in the world of home improvement projects, and they’re bad reasons in the world of SEO.  The tip for today is force yourself…yeah I said force yourself…to read those annoying guidelines at least once a year.

So I forced myself to review them before I wrote this article (just so I can avoid immediate hypocrisy) and again I’m impressed how fundamentally sound they are.  If you just make a good faith effort to follow their guidelines you’ll be ahead of the 95% of webmasters who ignore them.  Here’s a direct link, now go read ’em!  Google Webmaster Guidelines.

Ross Barefoot

Ross Barefoot is Chief Technical Officer with Horizon Web Marketing in Las Vegas, Nevada.He also is the founder of FLEXISS Digital Design and a Certified Search Engine Optimization Trainer for the Search Engine Academy.

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