Google released the new SEO Starter Guide on February 2, 2024, and SEOs have much to say about it.
In an X post, Google Liason Danny Sullivan announced:
“Today we're putting our pencils down and publishing a refreshed SEO Starter Guide, with a better focus on a starter audience.”
The new guide is shorter and free of redundancy, as per Gary Illyes and Lizzi Sassman, who shared their views on an earlier Search Off the Record episode.
Gary Illyes elaborated on the new guide's features in a LinkedIn post, mentioning that it includes the basics of search engine optimization without boring the SEO professionals.
“We have a refreshed SEO Starter Guide and it's... short. This makes me not unhappy.
If you're an SEO professional it probably bores you to read about the basics, but there are tons of people out there who are still just thinking about dipping their toesies in the scary waters of SEO. This guide is for them and now it's compact enough that you don't need to have a bottle of Bunnahabhain next to you to be able to read it. Yet, it still touches on the things that we think are important when it comes to search engine optimization.
I don't wanna tell you how to live your life, but check out the blog post for more info on this refresh.”
Google has removed some advanced concepts from the guide, such as the Glossary, Structured Data, Mobile-friendliness, and Analyzing Site Performance sections, as they are not relevant to beginners. Additionally, Google has simplified several sections in the guide. It has added new content to the "duplicate content" section and introduced new sections on video, common SEO theories and ideas, and the time required to see results.
The new guide has stirred up some controversy, with some users claiming that it does not follow Google's own rules. It has also raised questions about the E-E-A-T factor, which Google has confirmed is not a ranking factor in the guide. Lilly Ray has commented on this issue, stating that this should put the "is E-E-A-T a ranking factor?" question to rest.
Overall, the response to the new SEO Starter Guide is a mixed bag. It aims to provide a concise and practical overview of search engine optimization for beginners, while still covering essential topics. Whether you're new to SEO or a seasoned pro, it's worth checking out Google's new SEO Starter Guide to keep up with the latest best practices and strategies.