Write a description that would both inform and interest users if they saw your description meta tag as a snippet in a search result. While there's no minimal or maximal length for the text in a description meta tag, we recommend making sure that it's long enough to be fully shown in Search (note that users may see different sized snippets depending on how and where they search), and contains all the relevant information users would need to determine whether the page will be useful and relevant to them.
Thanks for sharing these tips, Brian. Agree with all of these, except maybe #3 Delete zombie pages. A better strategy would be to update these pages with fresh content and convert them into a long form blog posts/guides. Deleting them entirely would mean either setting up a 404 or 301 redirect – both of which can hurt your organic traffic in the short run.
While most of the links to your site will be added gradually, as people discover your content through search or other ways and link to it, Google understands that you'd like to let others know about the hard work you've put into your content. Effectively promoting your new content will lead to faster discovery by those who are interested in the same subject. As with most points covered in this document, taking these recommendations to an extreme could actually harm the reputation of your site.
Hi Brian – I couldn’t agree more on the tip “delete zombie pages” to raise rankings. We’ve been blogging for 11 years now, and have been through the dark times when you were supposed to publish 400-600 blogs posts per minute in order to rank. Needless to say we had a lot of thin content… A few years back we embarked on a journey to cut out the dead wood, combine the good stuff, and create the long form content you espouse on your website. And guess what? Over those 2 years, traffic us up 628%. We’re down to around 72 pages / posts and couldn’t be happier. It gives us time to update the content when necessary and keep it fresh, rather than scratching our heads trying to figure out what new and exciting way to spin divorce mediation!
After you hit “Get ideas,” you will see the number of average monthly searches for the term you entered, plus other related search terms that you may want to use as keywords on your website. Create a list of the keywords and search terms you want to rank for, and fold them in to your website copy and content as naturally as possible. As Google sees your website using these keywords, it will view your site as a relevant and quality search result.
Using HTML frames to surround linked content is a completely different matter. For an example of this, click on this link to the W3C about link myths. Some companies have successfully sued to have their pages removed from these frames because it can make some readers believe that the linked page is actually a part of the originating site, and possibly owned or authored by that same site. But, in most cases, if the owner of a linked site objects to the frame and it's removed, there isn't any legal recourse.
Description meta tags are important because Google might use them as snippets for your pages. Note that we say "might" because Google may choose to use a relevant section of your page's visible text if it does a good job of matching up with a user's query. Adding description meta tags to each of your pages is always a good practice in case Google cannot find a good selection of text to use in the snippet. The Webmaster Central Blog has informative posts on improving snippets with better description meta tags18 and better snippets for your users19. We also have a handy Help Center article on how to create good titles and snippets20.
One of my favorite ways to give content a boost is to run ads on Facebook targeting people with interests that are relevant to the content. It’s fairly low cost since you are offering a free piece of content. By targeting people with relevant interests to your content, you drive the right people to the content and into the top of your funnel. And if your content resonates with them, they’ll share, link, and engage with the content in ways that will help Google see its value.
For example, a plumber could first find a service that has search volume on Google, but may not be talked about that in-depth on their competitor’s websites. In this example, a service like “leak detection” may be listed with a small blurb on your competitor’s sites, but none of them have elaborated on every angle, created FAQs, videos, or images. This represents an opportunity to dominate on that topic.
Interact with customers by responding to reviews that they leave about your business. Responding to reviews shows that you value your customers and the feedback that they leave about your business. High-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your location. Encourage customers to leave feedback by creating a link they can click to write reviews. Learn more
I did want to ask you about the section on “Don’t Focus on Long Tail Keywords”. This is topical for me as I actually have a tab opened from a recent post on the MOZ blog from Rand Fishkin that details reasons why you should focus on long tail keywords. I know you have said that “they have their place”, but as I say as a newbie to all of this, ever so slightly differing opinions from two authoritative people in the industry (that’s you and Rand of course 🙂 frazzles my brain somewhat and I’m not sure whether to turn left or right!
Additionally, the title must also be interesting enough that people will actually want to click on it! A good example of this would be PT from PTMoney.com, who wrote a great post about "making extra money." However, rather than a boring title, like "Make Extra Money," he titled it "52 Ways to Make Extra Money." Now that is something I would want to read.

I was wondering if you by this reply really meant 410? Also, what is your take on the many suggestions out there saying that making 301 redirects is always better than deleting pages? I understand that reason is that it is (or is in risk of) being spam-ish to just redirect everything. Also I’m guessing that too many redirects will slow down the page.
Think about the words that a user might search for to find a piece of your content. Users who know a lot about the topic might use different keywords in their search queries than someone who is new to the topic. For example, a long-time football fan might search for [fifa], an acronym for the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, while a new fan might use a more general query like [football playoffs]. Anticipating these differences in search behavior and accounting for them while writing your content (using a good mix of keyword phrases) could produce positive results. Google Ads provides a handy Keyword Planner34 that helps you discover new keyword variations and see the approximate search volume for each keyword. Also, Google Search Console provides you with the top search queries your site appears for and the ones that led the most users to your site in the Performance Report35.
Write a description that would both inform and interest users if they saw your description meta tag as a snippet in a search result. While there's no minimal or maximal length for the text in a description meta tag, we recommend making sure that it's long enough to be fully shown in Search (note that users may see different sized snippets depending on how and where they search), and contains all the relevant information users would need to determine whether the page will be useful and relevant to them.
Kelly Main is a staff writer at Fit Small Business specializing in marketing. Before joining the team, she worked as an analyst at firms like Lincoln Financial Group. She has also founded a number of successful startups, including OpenOnion under the Google Tech Entrepreneurs Program, which was later acquired under the name Whisper. She holds an MS in International Marketing from Edinburgh Napier University.
Make it as easy as possible for users to go from general content to the more specific content they want on your site. Add navigation pages when it makes sense and effectively work these into your internal link structure. Make sure all of the pages on your site are reachable through links, and that they don't require an internal "search" functionality to be found. Link to related pages, where appropriate, to allow users to discover similar content.
While most of the links to your site will be added gradually, as people discover your content through search or other ways and link to it, Google understands that you'd like to let others know about the hard work you've put into your content. Effectively promoting your new content will lead to faster discovery by those who are interested in the same subject. As with most points covered in this document, taking these recommendations to an extreme could actually harm the reputation of your site.
Unstructured citations include things like a mention of your business in an online newspaper article, press release, online job board, and other sites. Unstructured citations and links are important because they let Google know that people are talking about your business. To get the most unstructured citations, work on getting positive reviews, host events, send out press releases to the media, and engage with customers online.
×