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Google On Knowing If Best SEO Was Applied

Google's John Mueller answers a question about being assured of having done the best effort for SEO

In a recent Google office hours recording, Google’s John Mueller answered a question about how one knows if their SEO coverage is complete and if there are any tools that can spot something that they might have missed.

That question the way it was originally asked sounds somewhat strange and that may be because of a language translation issue. The person asking the question has an Indian name so it’s quite possible that the oddness of the question (how do I know my SEO is perfect) was due to language.

That the question makes more sense if it’s  understood as how does one know that their SEO is optimal and that nothing was left undone. That’s a legitimate question and fits into the idea of SEO that is free from flaws, given that the definition of “perfect” is being as free as possible from flaws.

Here’s the question and answer as read by John Mueller:

“Charan asks: How to know if my SEO is perfect? Are there any tools, apps or websites available for it?”

What the person asking the question appears to be asking is if there are any standards or best practices to measure their SEO efforts against.

That’s why they also asked if there are any tools or websites that could offer a support in that direction.

Mueller answered the question as asked, without taking into account that the person asking the question may have had a different intent apart from the literal meaning of the question.

Mueller Offers “Disappointing” Answer

John Mueller offered what he self-described as a disappointing answer.

Given that there may have been a language issue, maybe answering the literal question of “what is perfect SEO,” wasn’t the most nuanced approach.

Here’s Mueller’s response:

“Sorry to disappoint, Charan, but your SEO is not perfect. In fact, no SEO is perfect.

The Internet, search engines, and how users search is always changing, so SEO will evolve over time as well.

This includes both technical elements, like structured data, as well as considerations around quality. Just because you can’t do perfect SEO shouldn’t discourage you though!”

A Less Disappointing Answer

Mueller’s right that search engines and user queries are constantly evolving.

SEOs are focused on keeping up with Google but keeping up with users is not a bad idea, given that’s what Google is doing.

Nevertheless, there are standard best practices and it’s good to know what they are.

So, another way to answer that question is to think in terms of what Google recommends as a best practice.

Google makes that easy because it offers an SEO starter guide that breaks down the process of optimizing SEO into a series of steps that can become the basis of an SEO checklist to measure your SEO against.

Here are a selection SEO topics covered:

  • Create a sitemap
  • Can Google access appropriate JS and CSS to render the website?
  • Are titles unique and precise?
  • Are meta descriptions relevant to the content?
  • Do heading elements accurately summarize blocks of content on the webpage?
  • Is there structured data and is it used appropriately?
  • Does the site use a hierarchical site structure?
  • Are URLs simple and convey user-friendly useful information?
  • Is the content useful, unique and interesting?

There’s a lot on that one page that can form the basis of an SEO plan to check if you’re efforts have covered the fundamentals of SEO.

Suggested reading:

Why Google Recommends Hierarchical Site Structure For SEO

Six SEO Concepts You Need To Know

A Complete Local SEO Checklist

A 10-Point Ecommerce SEO Checklist for Marketers

How to Do an SEO Audit: The Ultimate Checklist

The Complete Guide to On-Page SEO

What E-E-A-T Really Means For SEO

Listen to the Google Office Hours recording at the 19:12 minute mark:

Featured Image by Shutterstock/Vectorium


Category News SEO
SEJ STAFF Roger Montti Owner - at

I have 25 years hands-on experience in SEO and have kept on  top of the evolution of search every step ...

Google On Knowing If Best SEO Was Applied

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