Wednesday, March 03, 2010
How many of Google's web pages use a descriptive title tag? Do we use description meta tags? Heading tags? While we always try to focus on the user, could our products use an SEO tune up? These are just some of the questions we set out to answer with Google's SEO Report Card.
Google's SEO Report Card is an effort to provide Google's product teams with ideas on how they can improve their products' pages using simple and accepted optimizations. These optimizations are intended to not only help search engines understand the content of our pages better, but also to improve our users' experience when visiting our sites. Simple steps such as fixing 404s and broken links, simplifying URL choice, and providing easier-to-understand titles and snippets for our pages can benefit both users and search engines. From the start of the project we also wanted to release the report card publicly so other companies and webmasters could learn from the report, which is filled with dozens of examples taken straight from our products' pages.
The project looked at the main pages of 100 different Google products, measuring them across a dozen common optimization categories. Future iterations of the project might look at deeper Google product web pages as well as international ones. We released the report card within Google last month and since then a good number of teams have taken action on it or plan to.
We hope you find our SEO Report Card useful and we'd love to hear your feedback in the comments below or in the Webmaster Central Help Forum. And if you'd like to do your own SEO tune up, a good place to start is by reading our SEO Beginner's Guide.