Santa’s Search Tips – A Christmas Present From Google!

Yes it’s arrived! Hot in my Gmail right now is a message from our friends at Google with a Christmas gift!

I’m sure I’m not going to get in trouble for sharing this so here goes – it’s a delightful little flash based Santa game that gives you a little tip for optimizing your website each time you open a present – 15 tips in all!

You can play “Santa’s Search Tips” right here.

There is a full list of all the tips below, especially for those of you like me who feel they may have missed one or two  – there are some good ones that not even I was aware of, in spite of having been a  web designer/developer/webmaster for some 10 years now.

For example: I did not know I could change my Sitelinks (Tip #4 below) simply by accessing Web Master Tools!

Sitelinks are the links shown under our main Joomlabear listing on Google, as shown in the pic below (or  see a live example here.)


And here is the full list of Santa’s Search Tips

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. See our diagnostics checklist.

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.

Thanks to Pingable for compiling the list.


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  1. Enjoyed the way you share the information. Wishes I’d received that present for Xmas. :P
    Thanks for the useful info!

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