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4 Tools Google Gives You To Help You with SEO

google-512As small business owners, it sometimes feels like Google is the enemy.

One day you’re number one, and one of those algorithm changes comes along, and suddenly you’re out of favor again.

But if you think it through, it doesn’t make sense for Google to hate us.

Google needs web pages to satisfy its customers. We, the small business owners, are some of the people who create web pages. Naturally, we may sometimes disagree about what actually constitutes the best answer to the question “what page is the best match for this query”.

Ultimately, however, we’re attempting to accomplish the same goal – we want to give the people who use Google to search the best answer for whatever they seek.

Now, just because you use some of Google’s tools to get your site ranked, this doesn’t necessarily mean your rankings will magically rise or return if you use them. These tools may just make your life easier though, and your ultimate search goals that much faster to attain.

Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35291?hl=en

PDF | One page version

Did you know that Google has a guide for search engine optimization (SEO)? That’s totally free?

And that they aren’t against SEO or SEOs – just the scam artists at the edges. Even if you’ve gotten beyond the point where you can do your search engine optimization yourself, it’s good to know what Google considers taboo, so you can vet the people you hire to help you accordingly.

 You can pick the guide up in the SEO section of Google Webmaster Tools help. Which brings me to…

Google’s Webmaster Central

https://www.google.com/webmasters/

If you only have room in your brain to remember one Google tool, let this be the one you remember – at some point the resources in this section will likely lead you to all the other tools you need. From the main Google Webmaster Central page you can get to:

Not to mention that you can also log in to Google Webmaster Tools and:

  • Make sure Google can crawl your web pages

  • Submit your sitemap to Google, and get updates each time the crawl is completed

  • Find out how often your site is appearing in Google search as well as how many times links to your site are clicked

  • See some of the keywords people use to get to your site.

  • Find the top links to your site, and which ones get clicked the most

  • Be notified if Google detects that your site has been hacked

  • Get a list of “soft 404” errors and other problems Google has accessing your site

Google AdWords Keyword Planner

True, the Keyword Tool has been retired. But in its place is the Keyword Planner, although it requires you to have a Google AdWords account. There’s plenty of documentation in their support section to help you make the transition.

Google’s Free Analytics Training

http://www.google.com/analytics/learn/


Google Analytics isn’t exactly… intuitive. Whether you need to know the basics or you want to delve into the deep stuff, Google provides free training to get you on your way.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of all the Google tools you can use to help you improve your search engine optimization skills – if you have a favorite, please add it in the comments. So here’s another quick tip: if you want the official Google answer to a question about search, try prefacing your search with site:support.google.com – that will ask Google to search only its help pages to find your answer.

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