Manning Search Marketing

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Google webmaster guidelines covering a range of topics from general to some more advance topics. These guidelines are to help make sure that your site will stay listed in Google. Not following them will result in your site not getting listed in the search engine results page (SERPs). This article will touch on a few of the points.

Design and Content Guidelines Main Points

Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links.

Every page should be accessible from at least one static text link.

Provide a sitemap to users with links that point to the important parts of your website.

For sitemaps with extremely large number of links, break these sitemaps into multiple pages.

Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number.

Create useful information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and correctly explain your content.

Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it.

Try to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or links.

Google’s crawler doesn’t identify text contained in images. If you do use images for textual content, use the “ALT” tag to include words of descriptive text.

Make sure that your <title> tags and ALT tags are descriptive and accurate.

Check for any broken links and correct HTML.

If you decide to use dynamic pages (i.e., the URL contains a “?” character), be aware that not every search engine spider crawls dynamic pages as well as static pages. It helps to keep the parameters short and the number of them few.

Technical Guidelines Main Points

Use a text browser such as Lynx Viewer to make sure there are no problems with the spiders crawling your site.

Session Ids, JavaScript, Frames, Flash, Frames, Cookies and DHTML can keep your content from getting fully indexed in the search engines

avoid using “&id=”, Google mentions that they don’t include these in their index.

Allow search engine spiders to crawl your site without session IDs or arguments

When your website is ready and online:

get relevant sites to link to it

submit your site to relevant directories such as DMOZ, Yahoo and other industry specific related directories

Submit your sitemap to Google SiteMaps

Quality Guidelines – Google Basic principles:

Make pages for users, not just the search engines

avoid trying to trick the search engines for rankings and/traffic.

Avoid link schemes to boost PageRank and avoid bad neighborhoods on the web

Quality Guidelines – Google Specific recommendations:

Don’t Cloak

No hidden text or links

Don’t create multiple pages, domains and sub domains with similar content

Avoid doorway pages

Now, after seeing some of the highlights, and checking with the complete version on Google, chances are, it will not take too long for you to find a site that is using some of these techniques that Google does not approve of. It is only a matter of time before they get caught.