The Google webmaster guidelines are a set of suggested practices that Google has provided to webmasters as guidance. These guidelines help ensure a web site can be found, ranked and indexed by Google. Websites that violate these guidelines can lose their ranking and be penalized by Google.
The most important thing that affects your ranking on Google is how much people are pleasured by your webpages.
Accurate, compelling and descriptive webpage titles are essential for a healthy website. Alt tags should be accurate and describe the image well.
Be better than other websites in your field. Create unique pages that solve problems and pleasure users. Why your website is better should be obvious to your users.
Spend time improving your webpages, not on SEO tricks or shortcuts. If you use tricks or shortcuts, you will be ranked lower than your competitors.
If Google can not see or understand your webpages, they can not be ranked in Google. This guideline describes how to make sure your webpages are understood by Google.
Auto-generated pages or content will not rank well in Google. Pages that are constructed mostly of machine translated text, feeds, spun content, or other such nonsense is against the Google guidelines.
Who you link to and who links to you affects your ranking in the Google results. Make sure you are not in any bad neighborhoods. Link relationships are described in depth.
Cloaking is sending users to a different place than Googlebot or other search engine spiders. Make sure you are not doing this as this behavior is heavily penalized by Google.
Using hidden text or links on your webpages is easily detected by Google. Your site will be penalized if you do this.
Doorway pages are webpages that are "optimized" for particular keyword phrases and only exist to capture that keyword phrase in search engine results.
Using scraped or stolen content is against the Google webmaster guidelines and it is also against the law. Not a good idea.
Affiliate web pages need to have original useful content to be ranked well in the Google results. If you are only using content provided by another website, your pages have no value.
Keyword stuffing is not only bad for your users, it is against the Google guidelines. Using keywords over and over unnaturally will not please your users.
Don't be mean. Adding viruses, trojans, or other badware to your webpages is a sure fire way to lose trust, traffic, and ranking.
Misleading or false information in your rich snippet mark up will result in lower rankings
The way your website is organized is important and defines what is important to your website. Using text links ensures that those links are functional.
Site maps should be a useful way for your visitors to quickly and easily find the information they are seeking on your website.
Too many links can overwhelm a user. There are not many good reasons to have several dozens or hundreds of links on one page. Make sure every link has a truly good reason to be there.
Useful and information-rich pages are what users crave. Make sure that anyone finding your page is glad that they did by providing great content that is original and solves problems.
Make sure you are using words that accurately describe your content and include words in your website that are relevant for searchers.
Text is well understood by search engines, images are not. If you use images for important links on your page, they might not be understood or recognized as well as text is.
No one enjoys clicking on a link that seems to be exactly what they are looking for only to find that no web page is there. Correct HTML displays well across different browsers and devices.
Dynamic pages must be able to be understood by Google. They face special challenges which are described in this guideline.
Users hate being deceived. You hate being deceived. Google hates it too.
The if modified since http header lets Google know if your web pages have been updated.
The content of your robots.txt file tells search engine crawlers how they should visit your site.
Don't confuse Googlebot with session id's and other tracking methods.
It is very easy to add all kinds of content to Google. This guidelines tells you how.
Blocking pages that do not add much value can really boost your rankings. Every page Google has indexed from your site should be amazing.
Paid links and advertisements should not pass pagerank. If it does on your webpages, you will likely be penalized.
*not affiliated with Google Inc