Posted by Danny Dover

Update: [May 1st, 2008 – 1:02pm] I have updated the Web Developer’s SEO Cheat Sheet (PDF) to include suggestions from comments. This new version has more useful information and clears up some ambiguity. Thank you to everyone in the comments who helped make this better!

When I first started at SEOmoz about 9 months ago, I was the web development intern. My experience prior to the internship was limited entirely to writing code. Since then, I have spent literally hundreds of hours expanding my knowledge into different areas. Specifically, I have focused on accepted SEO techniques and small business practices. My beginner SEO checklists of the last few weeks have been the tangible result of my newly acquired knowledge. In an effort to return to my roots, I spent the majority of the day compiling what I believe to be the mother of all technical SEO cheat sheets. The recommended viewing format of this cheat sheet is as a PDF rather than the traditional blog post (I found the blog posts inconvenient to print). Let me know if this new format works better for all of you. I also included snippets below so you can see what is on the cheat sheet before you download it. Enjoy!

The Web Developer’s SEO Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet Front Side
Overview of front of Web Developer’s SEO Cheat Sheet

Important SEO Html Tags

mportant SEO HTML Tags
This section includes all the important SEO HTML tags. In addition to listing the tags, it also provides code examples.

Search Engine Indexing Limits

Search Engine Indexing Limits
This part includes common indexing limits imposed by search engines on sites that don’t hold a lot of authority.

Recommended Title Tag Syntax

Recommended Title Tags
This box includes the recommended title tag syntax. Although many great formats exist, this one has proven especially useful to SEOmoz members.

Common Canonical Issues

Common Canonical Issues
This covers the most common canonical issues people face and provides an easy solution.

301 Redirect

301 Redirect
This section includes the server side code for 301 redirects on Apache. 301 redirects on IIS are setup using the provided GUI and therefore were not included on this cheat sheet. (Plus, I am useless when it comes to configuring IIS web servers.)


Backside of the Web Developer’s SEO Cheat Sheet.

Important Search Engine Robot User-Agents

Important SE Robots
This portion includes a list of all the spider user-agents of the important search engines. The versions on this list will eventually go out of date, but the list will remain useful by helping to identify oddly named spiders (Ex. IA Archiver =

Common Robot Traps to Avoid

Common Robot Traps
This box includes a list of the most common ways webmasters unintentionally stop spiders from crawling their sites.

Robots Meta Tag Syntax

Robots Meta tag Syntax
This section includes documentation for the robots meta tag. This includes all of the available arguments as well as search engine compatibility.

Robots.txt Syntax

Robots.txt Syntax
A example of a simple robots.txt. This illustrates how to block specific robots from both entire directories and specific files.

Sitemap Syntax

Sitemap Syntax
This section shows the standardized sitemap.xml syntax. It also lists the default places search engines look for sitemaps.

Download Available Here

Note: File updated May 1st, 2008 at 1:02pm to include even more suggestions from the comments.

I look forward to hearing from the more experienced SEOs in the comments. Please let me know how I can improve this sheet. If any of you (experienced or inexperienced) decide it would be preferable to contact me privately, please feel free to e-mail or private message me using the information available in my profile. Thanks!

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