There is a free legitimate Google SEO Guide called The Official Google SEO Starter Guide which offers basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) advice to newbie webmasters, but it contains mostly vague advice and warnings about what not to do.
What The Official Google SEO Guide Doesn’t Say
The Google SEO Guide won’t tell you about specific useful techniques such as guest posting to get backlinks or using link bait to quickly increase incoming links.
The Google SEO Guide also won’t tell you how to implement various techniques. For example, it mentions that you should include the meta description tag on your pages, but it won’t tell you how to access that tag through WordPress or other popular Content Management Systems (CMSes).
Finally, the Google SEO Guide is especially vague about blackhat SEO techniques—the techniques which are forbidden by Google. Maybe this is a good thing—but maybe it’s a bad thing too.
If you know how to implement a blackhat SEO technique, you also know how to avoid it. But if all you know is that Google doesn’t like it, you might accidentally implement it on your site without
It would be awesome to have a clear black hat guideline to avoid like the plague. Then we would never have to worry about trying to recover from Google updates.
Where To Find A Better Google SEO Guide
If you’re absolutely new to SEO, I suggest you read the Google SEO Guide, but everyone else should seek alternative sources of information. Not only will you learn more, but you’ll get more actionable advice.
As you learn more, also remember to pay attention to what other successful sites do. Google frowns on several techniques, but sites which use those techniques can thrive.
For example, Google tells you to never pay for links—but what would you call Amazon.com’s affiliate program which pays for referrals made through incoming links? Would Amazon rank as highly for nearly every product in the search results if it didn’t pay for incoming links?
Even Google violates its own guidelines from time to time, as is the case when it comes to cloaking (described in the Google SEO Guide). So, in short, don’t automatically trust what you read in the Google SEO Guide.