Updated: February 24, 2023.

Here is a list of the best SEO tips that will help you become a better SEO and always stay ahead.

List of SEO tips

The below SEO tips mostly come from Google documentation, my own experience as an SEO, and Google SEO Office Hours with John Mueller.

The newest tips come first.


SEO tip #70: Googlebot crawls from the US

This is just a reminder that Google sends its crawlers from the US and this is where 99% of crawling comes from. If you are blocking your site from users in the US, then you are blocking Googlebot as well. Be careful.

SEO tip #69: 3 months for redirects in place is too short

For your site migration to be successful, you should keep the redirects in place for at least a year.

SEO tip #68: SEO tools don’t show all backlinks and that’s OK

John Mueller explains on Reddit “There’s no objective way to crawl the web properly.

It’s theoretically impossible to crawl it all since the number of actual URLs is effectively infinite. Since nobody can afford to keep an infinite number of URLs in a database, all web crawlers make assumptions, simplifications, and guesses about what is realistically worth crawling.”

SEO tip #67: Thin content issues are site-specific, not always page-specific. 

Basically, if your site has problems getting crawled, indexed and/or ranked due to quality issues, then the problem usually relates to the entire website, not one specific article or two.

SEO tip #66: Google Search Console Links Report shows links for new sites in 7-10 days

Wondering how long it will take Google Search Console to show your newly acquired links? Links should show up within 7-10 days. Of course, note that Google will see them only if the pages on which they are added are indexed by Google.

SEO tip #65: Changes in the nav menu do not impact Google Discover traffic

Changes in the navigation menu constitute a quite serious change in the internal linking structure. These can impact the site’s rankings and visibility. John Mueller, however, says that Google Discover traffic is not impacted by this.

SEO tip #64: Google Search Console shows links from a redirected domain to a new domain 

If the links pointing to the new domain are redirected and you migrated from domain A to domain B, the links pointing to domain A will show up as pointing to domain B.

SEO tip #63: There is no technical method of winning a featured snippet

Of course, it is not difficult to find tutorials on how to get a featured snippet but I think what John Mueller said is interesting. She says “Given that there’s no technical method of achieving that, this seems somewhat futile as a primary goal. I’d recommend focusing on other things which are more related to what’s really useful for the site/business.”

SEO tip #62: Automatically generated content is not always against Google quality guidelines

Google updates its quality guidelines which now say “automatically generated content intended to manipulate search rankings”. This update is not surprising as AI tools are becoming more and more popular.

SEO tip #61: Don’t change URLs for SEO test

Changing URLs (and later changing them back) for the purposes of SEO tests is not a good idea. A new URL is a totally fresh page to Google and changing it may have effects similar to migration (you almost always lose some traffic). Keep them the same to send clear signals to Google.

SEO tip #60: Being on the edge of indexing is a quality issue

If your pages are in the “Discovered – currently not indexed” bucket in GSC, it may mean your site has a quality issue. 

SEO tip #59: It’s a good idea to have a separate XML sitemap for pages that change frequently

John Mueller shares a tip on Twitter saying that it’s a good idea to put newer URLs that frequently change into a separate sitemap. 

SEO tip #58: Google says they do not keep track of the order of links on a page

Barry Schwartz reports an interesting conversation on whether the order of links on the page matter. John Mueller says it does not.

SEO tip #57: Continuous scroll on mobile does not impact GSC reporting

Google explains that its new continuous scroll on mobile devices does not influence how the Google Search Console reporting works.

SEO tip #56: Google does not really look at specific images on pages

Google’s John Mueller said that when it comes to web search, Google does not “look at the specific images on the page” for web search or ranking purposes. For image search, Google does but for web search, John said no.

SEO tip #55: Checking if a site has some CMS templates pages indexed

You can quickly check if there are some template left-overs by doing a search for site:domain.com "lorem". You will really be surprised at how many sites contain such pages!

SEO tip #54: Using self-referencing canonicals can help clean up small SEO mistakes

John Mueller shares a tip suggesting that it’s usually a good practice to use self-referencing canonicals because you don’t know how people link to your web pages and self-referencing canonicals will make sure that the “link juice” flows to the right web page.

SEO tip #53: Robots.txt needs to have a user-agent specified

Glenn Gabe shares a great tip on using robots.txt directives properly so that they actually block pages. When adding disallow directives to your robots.txt, you always need to specify a user-agent, or these directives will be blocked.

SEO tip #52: A trick to modify Google Autocomplete

By putting your cursor after different words in your query, you will get different Google Autocomplete results. If you use Google Autocomplete to do keyword/topic research, then this will help you a lot!

SEO tip #51: Be careful when deleting old content for SEO

Deleting old content for SEO can harm your or your client’s site unless it’s done after a proper content performance report. 

SEO tip #50: Google does not see the content behind Captchas

If parts of your content are only visible after a Captcha code is verified, then Google cannot see this content. This is the question from the Google SEO Office Hours with John Mueller. 

SEO tip #49: The length of a URL is a very weak signal when it comes to canonicalization

The take-home message from this question asked on Twitter is that Google uses URL length very lightly for canonicalization purposes. 

SEO tip #48: The sitemap location in robots.txt does not matter

John Mueller answers a question about whether it makes any difference in terms of SEO if you indicate the URL of your sitemap in robots.txt. No, it does not matter.

SEO tip #47: Focus on one type of rich results per page

John Mueller shares a tip regarding using multiple rich results per page. Generally, it’s best to focus on only one type per page because if you add multiple types, then you will not have control over which ones are shown in SERPs.

SEO tip #46: Putting too much content on category pages is not a good idea

John Mueller during Google SEO office hours shares a tip on adding content to category pages. “A little bit of content I think is always useful but it’s not the case that you need to turn it into, kind of, an article about that kind of content. “

SEO tip #45: You should not remove old news from your site only because it’s old

Google advises against removing old content (especially old news) from your site only because it’s old. The fact that an article is old does not make it bad for SEO.

SEO tip #44: Self-referential canonical can help clean up small SEO mistakes

Since you don’t have control over how people link to your site (i.e. whether they link to a clean URL or a URL with parameters, setting up a self-referential canonical link on your pages can help fix these small SEO mistakes

SEO tip #43: Be careful because you can get a penalty for bad links in FAQ Schema

John Mueller was asked on Twitter whether a site can get penalized for linking to an external site from the FAQ Schema of a voucher/coupon site. The answer is YES. Remember that there is a manual penalty for abusing Schema. 

SEO tip #42: Google crawl rate setting needs a day to come into effect

Google’s John Mueller said on Reddit that if you want to slow Google from crawling your site (or speed it up), it can take about a day from when you set the crawl rate setting in Google Search Console for it to kick in. 

SEO tip #41: Google Lighthouse scores do not influence rankings

Your site may be all green or all red in Google Lighthouse. However, keep in mind that these are only lab metrics and they do not influence how the site ranks in Google. Any tricks to improve the Google Lighthouse metrics are basically a waste of time.

SEO tip #40: Google does not differentiate between category, tag, filter, or search pages

Google’s John Mueller said in a video hangout that Google Search does not specifically differentiate and treat differently category pages or filter pages or search pages or tag pages from other pages. 

SEO tip #39: Parameters in URLs don’t make links unnatural

This tip comes from John Mueller answering a question on Twitter. Basically, there is nothing wrong with links to URLs with parameters and it does not make these links unnatural.

SEO tip #38: Google Lighthouse scores do not influence rankings

Your site may be all green or all red in Google Lighthouse. However, keep in mind that these are only lab metrics and they do not influence how the site ranks in Google. Any tricks to improve the Google Lighthouse metrics are basically a waste of time.

SEO tip #37: It’s a good idea to have a separate XML sitemap for pages that change frequently

John Mueller, when asked a question on Twitter, shares a super cool tip that it’s a good idea to put newer URLs that frequently change into a separate sitemap.

SEO tip #36: Personalization in search results is very light and rare

Danny Sullivan confirms that personalization outside of location and language is very light and rare when it comes to being a ranking factor. 

SEO tip #35: Clicks to the site from newsletters and e-mails do not impact SEO

John Mueller answers the question about whether clicks received from newsletters and e-mails can have a positive impact on rankings. No, they don’t influence rankings similar to ads and social media. 

SEO tip #34: The site: command is not supposed to show all indexed pages

In the episode of #AskGooglebot, John Mueller answers why the site: command does not necessarily show all the indexed pages of the website and how Google indexes websites. The site: command is one of many Google search operators.

SEO tip #33: Having multiple links to the same URL is OK

Another myth many of us used to believe in in the past is that it is bad for SEO to have multiple links from one page to another page. John Mueller confirms it is not a problem for SEO and it sometimes makes sense to do that, i.e. usability reasons.

SEO tip #32: Changing the position of the link on the page does not affect SEO

We – SEOs – used to hear a lot about the importance of the placement of the link within a page, i.e. the higher the link is, the more value and “juice” it has. Even if it “worked” at some point in the past, it is not the case anymore. Changing the placement of the link will not boost the SEO of the linked or linking page

SEO tip #31: Linking to lower authority sites does not make your site worse

Many SEOs are afraid of linking to a “lesser” website because they believe it may make their site less relevant. John Mueller as always dispels the myth saying “One way to think about this is to consider the ultimate goal: provide relevant information. Does a link to a “lesser” website make a result less relevant? Do links on Wikipedia make it less useful? Not at all. (As an aside, no search engine uses DR/DA/PA/etc)”

SEO tip #30: Intrusive interstitials do not include these

Intrusive interstitials or annoying popups are terrible and should be avoided not only because they are part of the Google Page Experience factors but because they are so irritating for users. However, there are a few exceptions, such as legal interstitials (privacy policies, cookie notices), login prompts, or when content requires a subscription to be accessed.

SEO tip #29: Basic tips on making the site mobile-friendly

Mobile traffic has far exceeded desktop traffic, which means your website should be mobile-friendly. One of the most basic tips on making the site mobile-friendly is to 1) set meta viewport which makes sure that content is scaled up to the right size like <meta content="width=device-width" name=viewport> and 2) having a minimum height and width for tappable elements.

SEO tip #28: The rel=”canonical” element should point to the HTTPS version

It’s obvious that there is no place for websites without HTTPS in 2021, especially that you can get an SSL certificate (Let’s Encrypt) totally free of charge right now. With that in mind, you should always make sure that the rel="canonical" always points to the HTTPS version and all HTTP URLs are 301-redirected to HTTPS.

SEO tip #27: There is no need to hide affiliate links from Google

This tip comes from the #AskGooglebot video where John Mueller explains that it is totally OK to have affiliate links on the site and there is no need to hide them from Google. Google acknowledges that site owners need to earn money from their websites and affiliate marketing is a perfectly OK way.

SEO tip #26: Having a lot of affiliate links is OK if the content is high-quality and brings value

John Mueller answers a question during the Google SEO office hours and explains that there is no limit or a recommended number of affiliate links to be placed per page. It’s a matter of whether the content is useful and provides value for users rather than being created only to contain affiliate links.

SEO tip #25: Using shared hosting is OK as long as it does not slow down your website

In this #AskGooglebot video, John Mueller talks about hosting a website on shared hosting vs a dedicated server. Shared hosting is OK and you should not worry about the “bad neighborhood” i.e. low-quality sites hosted on the same IP. What you should care about regarding the server (whether it is a dedicated server or not) is its speed.

SEO tip #24: Removing a part of your website will most likely affect your rankings

This is a great reminder for less advanced SEOs. If you remove a part of your website, then your site will basically become a different site and it may rank differently. Removing a part of your website might have both a positive and negative effect on rankings, depending on what you exactly remove.

SEO tip #23: Best practices for a Google News sitemap

Some of the Google News sitemap best practices recommended by Google include 1) having one separate sitemap or sitemap index for Google news, 2) updating the sitemap with new articles as soon as they are published, 3) listing there only the articles published in the last 2 days, 4) adding up to 1000 per one sitemap.

SEO tip #22: No need to change rel=”nofollow” to rel=”sponsored”

People started to panic a bit after Google’s announcement – as part of the Link Spam Update -that all affiliate links, guest post links, or any other types of paid links should be qualified with rel="sponsored". Google confirms that rel="nofollow" links are OK and there is no need to change them into rel="sponsored"

SEO tip #21: Some file extensions in URL may confuse Google

John Mueller has recently shared a pro tip that using image file extensions like .gif or .jpeg in the URLs of web pages can confuse Google and make it impossible for the page to be indexed and displayed in search results.

SEO tip #20: You should keep a redirect live for at least a year for Google purposes

Gary Illyes shares a tip on keeping a redirect live for a year for Google Search purposes. The signals from original page A to destination page B will all be transferred and stick with page B even after the redirect is removed if that redirect is live for a year. Gary also recommends keeping it indefinitely (if possible) for the sake of users.

SEO tip #19: Google Core Updates can impact the People Also Ask (PAA) results

During one of the latest SEO office hours, John Mueller answers a question about whether a core algorithm update can impact whether a site is shown more or less in the PAA section. Yes, a core update can not only influence the PPA results but also rich results. 

SEO tip #18: Google ignores PDFs for Core Web Vitals & Mobile Friendliness

PDF files may show up in the Google Search Console Mobile Usability and Core Web Vitals reports as, of course, not passing CWV and not being mobile-friendly. John Mueller says you don’t need to worry about these. They don’t influence your overall Core Web Vitals and/or Mobile Usability assessment.

SEO tip #17: No, forum links do not work for SEO

Building forum links is a technique that was famous more than – I guess – 10 years ago. Some people still do build forum links or even sell forum links. Google again confirms that there is no use in this SEO technique. The only situation where I can imagine a forum link can have any SEO value is when it was really placed by someone as true recommendation and people visiting the forum are actually interested in this content and click that link.

SEO tip #16: Google core algorithm updates don’t influence the local SEO results

Barry Schwartz noticed that local SEO tracking tools showed big ranking fluctuations that ideally correlated with the July 2021 Core Update. However, Google has confirmed multiple times that core algorithm updates do not influence local SEO rankings.

SEO tip #15: Google treats these redirects as 302 (temporary) redirects

And here is another pro-tip about redirects. Google treats 302 (found), 303 (see other), HTTP 307 (temporary redirect), meta-refresh (>0 seconds), HTTP refresh (>0 seconds) redirects as 302 (temporary) redirects. This information can be found in the revised Google documentation on redirects.

SEO tip #14: Google treats these redirects as 301 (permanent) redirects

In case you were wondering, Google treats 301 (moved permanently), 308 (moved permanently), meta-refresh (0 seconds), and HTTP refresh (0 seconds) redirect as 301 (permanent) redirects. This information can be found in the revised Google documentation on redirects.

SEO tip #13: Do not link from all pages to all pages

John Mueller shares a very valuable piece of advice (especially for less advanced SEOs) that it is OK and it’s even expected to link to the homepage from all other pages but it’s not a good idea to link to all pages from all pages. The only situation when it may make sense is a very small website.

Linking to all pages from all pages would make a site’s structure too flat and would probably prevent Google from understanding what pages are the most important ones, which is communicated through internal linking.

SEO tip #12: Be careful when adding multiple Schema properties

During the last SEO office hours, John Mueller provided excellent advice on adding multiple Schema properties on one page that can be classified as an FAQ, a how-to, or an article.

  • The Schema properties should match the primary content of the page.
    If a page is a recipe but has a small FAQ section at the bottom, then it should only include the recipe markup.
  • Some rich results can combine with certain types of structured data while others cannot.
    For example, a recipe can be combined with ratings and shown together in one rich results type. However, an FAQ and a how-to will not be combined in one single search result and Google will have to pick one of them to be shown.

SEO tip #11: Google Page Experience update concerns all websites without exception

John Mueller says that when it comes to the Google page experience update there are no exception lists or whitelists. What it means in practice is that every website on the internet is assessed regarding its page experience. Even CNN, NYT, and Amazon are no exceptions.

SEO tip #10: Be careful not to block the entire site from crawling in robots.txt

This is a very basic and very common mistake. If you put the below directive into robots.txt, then it will block the entire site from crawling. This is definitely something you don’t want to do.

User-agent: *
Disallow: /

The opposite of this directive looks like below. This allows the crawling of the entire site.

User-agent: *
Allow: /

The pro SEO tip here is to make sure that there is always some unique content in the above-the-fold section of your site. Cookie banners and other generic types of content above the fold are OK as long as there is some unique content as well.

SEO tip #9: Websites should have unique content in the above-the-fold section

The above-the-fold section is the area that users see before they start scrolling down the website. This is also the section that is especially important for Google because it helps Google determine the topic and relevance of the page.

The pro SEO tip here is to make sure that there is always some unique content in the above-the-fold section of your site. Cookie banners and other generic types of content above the fold are OK as long as there is some unique content as well.

SEO tip #8: It does not matter for Google whether a page is static or dynamic

Google cannot tell the difference between a static page and a page that is dynamically created (e.g. product pages in some extra huge online stores). Therefore, it does not impact the SEO visibility of these two types of pages. Both stand the same chance of ranking highly in Google.

SEO tip #7: Multiple links to the same page are OK

In the old days of SEO, we avoided adding multiple links to the same page so as not to waste and dilute link juice flowing from the linking site. A little bit later, we tried to put the most important link (with the most important anchor text) as the first.

In June 2021, John Mueller officially confirms that it does not matter if you have multiple links to the same page and Google does not pay special attention to the first link.

The takeaway is to link naturally so that it helps your users navigate through your site and allows Google to crawl your pages.

SEO tip #6: When to delete a tag and/or category page

During SEO office hours, John Mueller was asked a question about whether and when it is a good idea to delete tag and/or category pages from a WordPress site.

John suggests analyzing individual tag and category pages in Google Search Console to check if they have any visibility and organic traffic. If a given page has no or almost no traffic and visibility, then it’s perfectly fine to delete it.

SEO tip #5: Affiliate links should have a rel=”nofollow” attribute

Affiliate links (the links that point to products on other websites and through which you earn a commission if someone buys the product) should have the rel="nofollow" or rel="sponsored" attribute.

This is an official recommendation from Google. If you earn money through a given link, you should add one or both of these two attributes to stay completely in the clear.

You are now probably wondering whether this is a serious issue to have dofollow affiliate links or whether this is something you can safely ignore. It depends (like everything is SEO).

  • If you have a few do-follow affiliate links here and there, nothing is going to happen.
  • However, if you actively sell guest posts on your site or add a lot of affiliate links, then you should definitely use rel="nofollow” or rel="sponsored".
  • If the site really overdoes with external do-follow links that are clearly sponsored links, then the site may get a manual penalty for outbound links. This means that any external links from this site to other sites will be completely ignored by Google.

SEO tip #4: How Google Search works in a nutshell

In a nutshell, there are three basic steps that Google needs to follow to be able to generate search results (what you see in SERPs):

  • Crawling which is about Google learning about new pages on the web. Google can discover new pages only through crawling the web. Crawling is basically about discovering and following links from one page to another page.
  • Indexing which is about Google trying to understand what a web page is about and storing this information in the Google index.
  • Serving (and ranking) which is about Google showing the most relevant results from its index. The results to be served are selected on the basis of many factors, including quality, relevance, authority, and tons more.

SEO tip #3: Technical SEO tips on how to get your content discovered (and indexed)

Having high-quality content that offers a great user experience is not enough for Google to discover and index your content. Unless your content is OK in terms of technical SEO (it’s indexable and crawlable), then it won’t appear in Google’s SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

Google crawls the web and your website by following links, so your task is to make sure the links on your site are technically OK.

Here are a few things to know and remember:

  • Google ranks and indexes web pages, not websites.
  • Each page needs to have a separate URL that Google can access, see and crawl.
  • Always use an HREF attribute in links so that Google can see and follow them (HTML links are the best as opposed to JavaScript links)
  • Google does not follow or index fragmented URLs (like seosly.com/pro#learn) that point to a specific section on the site.

SEO tip #2: How to check if a site has some interesting PDF files indexed by Google

Some sites do it on purpose while others totally forget about blocking PDF files from being indexed by Google. A lot of sites, especially in the SEO industry, have valuable guides or e-book in PDF format.

  • To check what PDF files a given site has interesting PDFs, type site:domain filetype:pdf into Google.
  • To display relatively new PDF files, click on Tools and choose Past month or Past year.

Some domains worth checking out include moz.com, semrush.com, and ahrefs.com. Did you manage to find some interesting stuff?

SEO tip #1: How to find new easy keyword opportunities in Google Search Console

Google Search Console provides a ton of data about how your site performs in search and what technical SEO issues it has. One of the super practical ways to use Google Search Console is to look for new keyword opportunities for your site.

Fortunately, this is both super simple and super powerful. Here is all you need to do:

1. Log in to Google Search Console (you need to have a Google search console account).

2. Go to Performance > Search results or only Performance if your site does not have other Performance reports available.

3. Check Average position on the chart.

4. Click on the inverted triangle in the table with the dimensions below. Check Positions.

5. Drop down the filter and choose Greater than. Type 11. This will show you the phrases for which your web pages rank on position 11 or higher (on the second page of SERPs or higher).

6. Change the number of Rows per page to 100 to see more keywords on one page.

7. Analyze the keywords to find possible new keyword opportunities.

Some extra tips:

  • Make sure to analyze each and every keyword on the list by paying special attention to its search intent.
  • Look for keywords that you have not covered on the site yet. These may be perfect topics for new articles. If your site already ranks for these keywords, the chances are that new content targeting specifically this topic will easily rank on page one.

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Olga Zarr is an SEO consultant with 10+ years of experience. She has been doing SEO for both the biggest brands in the world and small businesses. She has done 200+ SEO audits so far. Olga has completed SEO courses and degrees at universities, such as UC Davis, University of Michigan, and Johns Hopkins University. She also completed Moz Academy! And, of course, has Google certifications. She keeps learning SEO and loves it. Olga is also a Google Product Expert specializing in areas, such as Google Search and Google Webmasters.