Santa Search Tips from Google

I received the strangest email from the Google Adsense team an hour ago…Santa Search Tips. Basically it is a simple game designed by Google to help you understand some of Google’s search basics SEO Tips. The site is a, so it is possible that the email only went out to New Zealand Adsense publishers. It is all good stuff. I have gone through the pain of finding all 15 of the tips for you:

Tip #1 If you’re unsure…

if all your pages are being seen by Google, search for your site’s address after the command “site”, ie When you see your pages in the results, check your snippet content and page titles. Include information that matches the product or category of products on a particular page. If anything is missing or you want more details, you can also use the Content Analysis Tool in Webmaster Tools.

Tip #2 Did you know?

if you upload new products faster then Google crawls your site, you should submit a Google Sitemap to include a refresh rate.

Tip #3 Remember to…

label your images appropriately. Don’t miss out on potential customers because of [001.jpg] instead of [NintendoWii.jpg] Images Search is one of the largest search properties out there, so take advantage of it.

Tip #4 Make sure you…

manage your Sitelinks. Your most valuable links may not be the ones that Google chooses as Sitelinks, so remember to remove any that you don’t think will benefit your users.

Tip #5 Don’t forget to…

check for error and keyword traffic in Webmaster Tools.

Tip #6 It’s important to…

serve accurate HTTP status codes. If you’re permanently out of a product, serve a 404. I you have permanently moved a product to a new page, serve a 301. The more we know about your old pages, the better.

Tip #7 Consistency is key…

if your website directs customers to a brick and mortar store, make sure you double check you business listing in Google Local.

Tip #8 Take a few minutes…

to test the usability of your checkout process. Ask yourself if a user can get from product page to checkout without assistance? Is your checkout button easy to find?

Tip #9 There’s no doubt about it…

users and search engines like fresh content. We recommend original product descriptions or a product review section on your site.

Tip #10 Have you thought of?

reading our recently released SEO Starter Guide?

Tip #11 Would you like an overview of our top tips?

Watch our Tutorials for Webmasters.

Tip  #12 You can always…

find out what information Google has about your website in Webmaster Tools.

Tip #13 For even more tips…

get the latest updates from the Webmaster Central Blog.

Tip #14 You can always…

answer your other questions in our Webmaster Help Center.

Tip #15 It’s never too late to…

ask your last-minute questions in the Webmaster Help.

74 thoughts on “Santa Search Tips from Google”

  1. Pretty cool tips. I haven’t received these. I’m an Adsense publisher based in Europe, so I think you’re right about them sending it to Adsense publishers in your region.

  2. Pingback: Santa’s Search Tips - Christmas Gift From Google | BIG BEAR’S BLOG
  3. As you’d expect, most of the tips are pretty obvious & well known. I hadn’t thought that image keywords were so important though.

    The 404 for an out of stock product is madness though. No real online store is going to serve up a 404 for a discontinued product line. They’re going to want to redirect to an explanation and list of similar products or alternatives.


  4. I use the first 9 tips all the time. Some of the others i use sometimes. I have to see if they sent me the email i have not checked email today.

    I see so many sites not use tip number 3 all the time. Everyone should use it and alt tags.

  5. these are some great tips, when i was searching i didn’t think this would be a post focused on the other side of commerce but i got a lot of good info out of it anyhow. thanks.

  6. Thanks for the great tips. I think this is very suitable for a business site, that sells merchandise online, however there is some great info out there for the rest of us.

  7. these are some great tips, when i was searching i didn’t think this would be a post focused on the other side of commerce but i got a lot of good info out of it anyhow. thanks.

  8. It’s interesting that they came out with those tips. Still, it’s a bit strange. I wonder what the thought process there was. I wonder if there’s any misdirection involved here.

  9. I played that game for so long, it was pretty fun. Thanks for getting all the tips so I didn’t have to keep playing. The last six aren’t even tips, just links. I would’ve expected a little more effort from Google.

  10. Whatever happened to Google being sort of ‘against’ SEO? Reading the comments on this post, I also think someone’s trying some misdirection by using the Google name…

  11. Thanks for the great resource. It seems like The Big G (no the other Big G) is trying to give us hints as far as what we need to do to get the most out of the system. At least I hope so and it doesn’t turn out to be red herrings.

  12. Thanks for the list of tips. They all sound great and very useful. Google is full of good SEO advice if I take the time to search it out. This list will save a lot of time.

  13. On tip#1 you mentioned checking to see if Google is seeing all of your pages. Well, what do you do if Google is missing a page? Do you have tips for “forcing” Google to look at it?

  14. Wow, this list is good. Number 8 is very important. It would be a shame to build a site and have people not be able to find their shopping cart. We have all been to some of these sites. Fortunately this aspect seems to be improving of late.

  15. Some of these tips I haven’t seen before.
    “Tip #9 There’s no doubt about it…

    users and search engines like fresh content. We recommend original product descriptions or a product review section on your site.”

    That can be applied to any time of site, not just ecommerce. Fresh content will keep Googlebot coming back to your site. Plus the more content you add, the great potential to draw in more visitors.

  16. Never, ever, knowingly serve a 404, EVER!!!!

    Either leave the page there with an explanation that you no longer stock the item, 301 it to a related product page, or 301 it to your home page.

    Never, ever, ever… 😉

  17. Aw I missed this one from Google – either I’m not signed up for their emails or they didn’t send it to US publishers.

    I’m really curious about the sitelinks – I’ve noticed them on some sites but none of mine. They don’t show up when I search for my site – I’ll have to see if I can figure out a way to get them for my sites.

  18. The only email I received from Google Adsense team talked about the need for publishers to update their privacy policy to include Google’s use of cookies to serve ads.

  19. I suggest everyone pay extra close attention to Tip #3, there is no exaggeration when I say this one is spot on.

    I check my site stats a lot, or some of them at least and I get dozens and dozens of hits a day on my gay pride jewelry blog from people searching images. That and my beauty blog get the most hits through image searches.

  20. Another tip that I recommend is link internally. Link the appropriate keywords on some pages to others on your website. These pingbacks help on a couple of levels, especially by making your pages easier for Google to find and crawl. Internal linking like this is super easy to do as well.

  21. My webmaster tools have been down for several days now, have been trying to diagnose the source of the error. It’s been quite useful in the past to find out what google is seeing.

    Maybe because it’s still in beta? 🙂

  22. I use most of these all the time anyway, but have never bothered with a sitemap, something I am going to look into now. Thanks for the tip 🙂

  23. I am an Adsense publisher and an Ebay EPN affiliate. One of the problems I have run into is trying to create too many sites too fast. By doing that I violated a Google rule 9. I clicked the link called fresh content in rule 9 and it specifically describes “thin sites” of which I was guilty. I have since changed my site building parameters and have enjoyed some success and rewards from Google by achieving a position on Google SERPs page one. The tips do work. Thanks

  24. great post i have just started blogging and my road down internet marketing and web site building have a look at my site a feel free to give comments I built it in microsoft expression

  25. Thanks a lot for the tips mate 🙂 They seem extremely useful! I’ll definitely apply this and wait for the results.

  26. Very nice list of tips. I didn’t know about their SE guide.. i downloaded it now, but it’s nothing fancy.. it’s basic info that you can find anywhere on the internet. the only difference is it comes right from the source 🙂

    looks like they provide us with quite a lot of info, all we have to do is to follow their guidelines, make the sites for users, and we’re good 🙂

  27. Well, I totally agree. Google updated their algorithm a few months ago and now, they favored blogs that have been updated frequently. I recommend to update your blog and always right quality content.

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