Does your site follow the Google
webmaster guidelines?


not affiliated with Google Inc


Be clearly better

a webpage contrasted from others

Be distinctively better than other websites in your field. Create unique pages that help, delight and impress users.

Make pages for users

person liking a website

The most important thing that affects your ranking on Google is how much people are satisfied or pleasured by your webpages.

Create useful pages

useful pages

Useful and information-rich pages are what users crave. Your users should find content that is original and solves their problems.

Clear hierarchy & text links

a well defined webpage hierarchy

The way your website is organized defines what is important to your website. Using text links ensures that those links are functional.

Titles and alt tags

titles on a google search result

Accurate and descriptive webpage titles are essential for a healthy website. Alt tags should describe the image, not your keywords.

Give users a map

googlebot looking at a webpage

Site maps should be a useful way for your visitors to quickly and easily find the information they are seeking on your website.

Ensure Google sees

googlebot looking at a webpage

If Google can not see or understand your webpages, they can not be ranked in Google. Make sure your webpages are understood by Google.

Use of robots.txt

spider looking at a robots.txt file

The content of your robots.txt file tells search engine crawlers how they should visit your site. Don't block Google by mistake.

Block unuseful pages

some pages being blocked

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 Ads

money on a link

Paid links and advertisements should not pass pagerank. If it does on your webpages, you will likely be penalized.

Don't try to trick Google

chalkboard strategy

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.

Add value to affiliate pages

webpage with dollar sign on it

Affiliate web pages need to have original useful content to be ranked well in the Google results. Use of content provided by another website adds no value.

Avoid Auto generated pages

autogenerated page

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.

Avoid link schemes

link schemes

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.

Don't cloak

users and bots sent to different places

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.

Avoid sneaky redirects

shadowy figure redirecting a page

Hiding redirects in javascript or other manipulative methods is bad. Users should always be sent where they expect to go, and the same content and links should be seen by users and search engine spiders.

Don't use hidden text or links

illustation of barely visible links

Using hidden text or links on your webpages is easily detected by Google. Your site will be penalized if you do this.

Avoid doorway pages

several similar websites pointing to one central one

Doorway pages are webpages that are "optimized" for particular keyword phrases and only exist to capture that keyword phrase in search engine results.

Don't use scraped content

scraped content

Using scraped or stolen content is against the Google webmaster guidelines and it is also against the law. Not a good idea.

Don't keyword stuff your pages

keyword repetition

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 add badware to pages

badware

Don't be mean. Adding viruses, trojans, or other badware to your webpages is a sure fire way to lose trust, traffic, and ranking.

Don't abuse rich snippets

a spammy rich snippet

Misleading or false information in your rich snippet mark up will result in lower rankings

Use the right amount of links

a link illustrated by a chain

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.

Choose words wisely

chicago hotel word example

Make sure you are using words that accurately describe your content and include words in your website that are relevant for searchers.

Text links are more reliable

font symbols shown

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.

Broken links and correct HTML

person disliking a website giving a 404 error

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

webpage with complex code

Dynamic pages must be able to be understood by Google. They face special challenges which are described in this guideline.

Don't deceive users

shadowy figure deceiving users

Users hate being deceived. You hate being deceived. Google hates it too.

Support if modified since

http header response of 304

The if modified since http header lets Google know if your web pages have been updated.

Session IDs and tracking

confused googlebot

Don't confuse Googlebot with session id's and other tracking methods.

Submit content to Google

arrow pointing to a google submit page

It is very easy to add all kinds of content to Google. This guidelines tells you how.


*not affiliated with Google Inc


Patrick Sexton

by Patrick Sexton