Update as of December 13, 2017
Google has decided to deprecate the Google Webmaster Academy effective today (12/13/17).
In its place, however, they have created a new resource, their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide. It provides an updated version of the Webmaster Academy, to better align with the large number of changes and updates they’ve made to the algorithm in the past three years.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy the new resource linked above!
This week, Google announced that they are making basic search engine optimization training available to webmasters all over the world by way of their newly reworked Webmaster Academy.
While Webmaster Academy itself is no new concept, as it was originally launched in May 2012, this is a much more up-to-date version. The original WA was focused on helping small businesses get a basic website live, with SEO being only one of the modules available within the service. This new offering has a rather heavy focus on SEO.
What is Webmaster Academy and Who Will Use It?
Great question! Let’s look first at how Google is positioning the service today, in their own words. The following excerpt comes from the WA main page:
Thinking about creating a website? Great! Webmaster Academy has the information and tools to teach you how to create a site and have it found in Google Search.
Who should take Webmaster Academy?
Anyone who’s interested in creating or improving their website can take it. Whether you’re a business increasing your web presence or a photographer putting together an online portfolio, we can help you get started.
Based on the additional information provided, this sounds like a hybrid of a resource, a training tool, and a reference item.
SEO Training Modules in the New Webmaster Academy
According to the announcement on the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog, the following SEO Training modules are available now on Webmaster Academy:
- Making a great site that’s valuable to your audience (Module 1)
- Learning how Google sees and understands your site (Module 2)
- Communicating with Google about your site (Module 3)
In addition to the above modules, they have a Resources Section that lists out seven blogs, websites, and services that can help small business owners get a website off the ground.
The most notable listing under “Resources” is GYBO, which stands for Get Your Business Online. According to the Resources page, this service is a Google / Homestead partnership. The goal of it is to help small businesses register a site for free for a period of one year. Especially for less technical business owners, this is an awesome offering.
Webmaster Academy: Module Details
We took the liberty of clicking through to investigate exactly what will be covered under each of the modules listed above. Below is a listing of those sections for you to review before jumping over to the site.
Module 1: Make a great site
1.1 Set up a new website
1.2 Identify your audience
1.3 Create valuable content
1.4 Organize your site structure
1.5 Adapt to mobile users
Module 2: Learn how Google understands your site
2.1 How does Google Search work?
2.2 Does Google know about your site?
2.3 Webmaster Guidelines
2.4 HTML improvements
2.5 What is search engine optimization?
Module 3: Communicate with Google
3.1 Set up your Webmaster Tools account
3.2 Make sure Google can crawl your site
3.3 Monitor and manage your site
3.4 Submit your Sitemap
3.5 Get connected with Google
Check out the Webmaster Academy for Free SEO Training
This is a great new resource. Although it’s basic for me, I plan to review it to see if there is a nugget or two of new information worth reviewing. Go check it out for yourselfk, starting at the Intro to Google Webmaster Academy page. Enjoy!