Google Guidelines: The Beginners Guide to SEO
Google webmaster guidelines are a set of suggested practices given by Google. This is the footprint of SEO. The first step of SEO is to follow the guidelines.
01. Create Pages for Users
When it comes to creating pages. Create them for your user, not for the search engine or how you primarily would want it.
02. Optimize For Speed
Optimize your pages load times. No one likes waiting and not every user has fast internet connections. It will improve the overall quality of the users experience. Google has the need, the need for speed.(Sorry, for the terrible Top Gun reference)
03. Mobile Device Optimization(responsive design)
When building your site. Make sure you’re using a responsive design. You want to cater to all types of devices not just desktops.
04. Titles and ALT tags
You want all of your title elements and ALT attributes to be accurate and descriptive. It will improve your overall SEO score and help index your media.
05. Hierarchy Text Links
You want your site links to have a clear hierarchy. Every page should be reachable from one static text link.
06. Give Users A Sitemap
Offer your users a sitemap that has your links pointing to the important parts of your website.
07. Don’t Block Resources
Remember anything that can’t be seen cannot be ranked. You want to make sure Google can understand all of your pages
08. The Robot.txt File
This files tells Google’s crawlers how to react to your pages. Don’t block Google by mistake
09. Paid Links and Ads
When it comes to paid links or advertisements. They should not pass pagerank. If they do Google will most likely punish you for it.
10. Block Unuseful Pages
Blocking pages that don’t add much value to the search engines cane really boost your rankings. Every page Google indexes from your site should be of great quality.
11. Avoid Auto-generated Pages
Google Has a hard time interpreting auto-generated pages or content and will not rank it well.
12. Avoid Linking Schemes
I have covered this before in a previous article ” What You Should Know About SEO” but I cannot stress this enough! Your backlinks affect your rank. So don’t try to scam Google with link schemes. Who links to and from your site should be relevant, trusted, and authoritative.
13. Don’t Cloak
What is cloaking? “Cloaking is sending users to a different place than Googlebot or other search engine spiders.” Cloaking is heavily penalized by Google.
14. Don’t Try to Trick Google
Spend the time making improvements to your site. Don’t try to shortcut the system with SEO tricks. Google will know and you will be ranked lower for it or even penalized.
15. Avoid Sneaky Redirects
Don’t hide redirects in your code or by other sneaky methods. Users should always be sent where they expect to go. Being sneaky is a fast way to be considered untrusted.
16. Avoid Doorway Pages
These are pages that are optimized for a particular keyword and their sole purpose is capture that keyword in the search engine. Google will penalize you for this behavior.
17. Choose Words Wisely
When it comes to your content. Think about the words your users would use to find your pages. When creating the content make sure your pages include those words naturally. Don’t over do it or you will be considered as keyword stuffing. Once again, that is no bueno and you will be penalized.
18. Don’t Abuse Snippets
Misleading or false information in your rich markup will result in lower rankings.
19. Don’t Use Too Many Links
Too many links will overwhelm a user. Make sure each link you use has a purpose of being there.
20. Never Deceive Your Users
This should go without saying but you should never try to deceive your users. You don’t like it when it happens to you. So neither will your users and definitely not Google.
21. Don’t Keyword Stuff Your Pages
Keyword stuffing is using keywords over and over unnaturally on your page. Not only is it against Google’s guidelines but it will piss off your users.
22. Support If-Modified-Since HTTP Header
Your web server should correctly support the If-Modified-Since HTTP header. This feature directs your server to inform Google that your content has changed since you last crawled your site. This feature will save you a lot of bandwidth and overhead.
DJB Innovation does not own the images used in this post. They belong to Varvy. Varvy.com is a great free SEO tool that you can use to check your website against Google’s webmaster guideline. You guys should check the tool out it works great and was built flawlessly. The guys over there are doing an amazing job! This guideline is inspired by Varvy’s free SEO tool. DJB Innovation is in no way affiliated with varvy.com or an affiliate of Google Inc.