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Google Webmaster Central

For anyone that designs, creates, or maintains a website, the question that always seems to come up is "How do I get higher rankings on Google?" While there is not a simple magic bullet that will put your site at #1 overnight, there are numerous tools available from Google and other search engines as well, such as Yahoo to help you design your site to be search engine friendly and (hopefully) improve your search rankings. Here are a few of the tools I've used for a while and highly recommend:

Google Webmaster Central

Google Webmaster Central provides a lot of helpful advice and insight into how Google sees your sites, problems or errors the Googlebot finds when crawling your site, and general advice on how to improve your site. One document I would highly recommend everyone reading, especially those that are new to the idea of SEO is the Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide (PDF). This guide gives a basic overview of how to design and organize your site and is very informative for beginners.

Google Webmaster Central Youtube Channel

I actually just found this today, which is why I'm writing this article. Matt Cutts is a software engineer at Google and is the star of the Webmaster Central Youtube videos. He responds to questions sent in by people all over the world regarding best practices for SEO and answers some questions about what Google looks for in your site.

Yahoo Site Explorer

I am not as familiar with this tool as I am with the Google Webmaster Central, but this provides basically the same service, except for Yahoo. Even though Google is the king of search engines right now, I would still recommend checking this tool out as well to see how you can improve on other search engine listings.