Google’s Guidelines to Web Mastering
There are very specific things you can do to make Google better recognize your website. It’s very important that Google is able to not only find your website, but to also crawl it effectively, index it, and rank it. Another reason to pay attention to guidelines for web mastering are recognizing wrong techniques or practices that may cause Google to disregard your site completely or classify it as spam. There are three main guideline areas to pay attention to: design and content, technical, and quality.
- Design and Content
When you design your website, make sure you establish an easily recognizable hierarchy between your pages, making sure text links connect pages succinctly. Your site map should highlight important parts of your website and make that clear to users, and if need be, be broken up into multiple pages. It shouldn’t be bogged down by a great number of links.
It’s most important to create quality content that’s rich in information, and relevantly displays content with ease. Put yourself in your user’s position, and you’ll better be able to come up with keywords and search strategies that bring people to your site. When it comes to media and images, make sure to include appropriate text descriptions such as the ‘alt’ function, because Google does not crawl images.
Always remember to go over your HTML for broken links, and that not all search engines crawl dynamic and static pages, so it’s best to limit the number of dynamic pages you use.
Once you’ve set up your site pretty much the way you want, you’re going to want to go over it with a text browser. Search engines can’t read much of the technical stuff in websites, so text browsers will allow you to see what the engine can see, and allow you to modify your content accordingly. Don’t use session Ids or arguments when bots crawl your site, as it will cause them to incorrectly index it.
Another important feature is the If-Modified-Since HTTP header, which allows the Google crawler to tell if the site has been modified since the last time it was crawled. Make sure to use the robots.txt file, which will effectively limit which part of your website you don’t want to be crawled at all. Use the robots.txt file also to filter out any advertisement settings you have which can affect your rankings, along with results and auto-generated pages.
Test your website within different browsers to make sure it works across a wide span of formats. You can use a variety of tools to monitor your site’s performance, some of the main choices being Page Speed, YSlow, and WebPagetest.
It’s safe to say that if you are a webmaster who tries to manipulate or deceive search engines through various practices, it is your site which will suffer in the long run. Google and other search engines are built to detect such practices, so it’s best to stay on the safe side and keep it clean. Most of Google’s quality solutions are handled automatically, and thus if you are reported as spam you will generally be blocked throughout the entire system. It’s also important to keep an eye out for other sites who engage in such activity, and to file a spam report with the system.
In general, you can hope to follow these simple guidelines to avoid any interference. Simply put, design your website mainly for your visitors, and not with the express goal of manipulating a search engine. Anything that tries to be deceiving harms not only the experience and content of the user and the site, but will be a detriment to that site’s optimization performance. Don’t focus on trying to use the latest gadget or manipulation. Simply design and produce content that will be most beneficial to your users, and your site will naturally do well with search engine interaction.
By Candy Lowe