In our last blog, we showed you some technical tricks to help Google find your website.
In our final blog in the ‘Helping Google find your website’ series, you are going to learn about Google’s quality guidelines.
Nobody likes spam, and Google will respond negatively to attempts to spam and be deceptive on the web by refusing to approve and rank websites that use deceptive or manipulative techniques to try and increase their ranking.
Keep your website Google-friendly by following these guidelines…
1. Make your website for users, not search engines.
2. Don’t deceive your website’s visitors by presenting different information to them than you present to search engines. This is referred to as ‘cloaking’ and is a big no-no!
3. Avoid using tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. There is a difference between legitimate Search Engine Optimisation and so-called ‘black hat’ techniques to try and trick your way to the top. If you would feel comfortable explaining your technique to a competitor, it’s probably ok. If you would include something in your website even if search engines didn’t exist, then it’s worth including.
4. Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking. Your own ranking can be harmed by associations with known spammers.
5. Don’t use unauthorised computer programs to submit your web pages, check your rankings etc. These programs send automatic queries to Google to try and manipulate your ranking.
6. Avoid using hidden text or hidden links on your website. Text is hidden by using white text on white background, putting text behind an image, or setting the font size of text to zero, among other methods. Hidden links are made with hidden text and are designed to be crawled by search engines to trick them into indexing the site differently.
7. Don’t fill your web pages up with irrelevant keywords that rank well but have nothing to do with your site’s content. This is called ‘keyword stuffing’ and will mean your site does not comply with Google’s standards, and it won’t be indexed or ranked.
8. Don’t create multiple pages with essentially the same content to try and increase the number of keywords you have on your site. Sometimes this is done in a non-malicious way, for example when you have discussion forums, different versions of your website for mobile devices, or printer-only versions of your site.
9. Obviously, don’t create websites that will install viruses, Trojans or other badware on your visitors’ computer. That’s just mean.
10. Don’t use ‘doorway pages’ – these are low quality pages, full of keywords that are designed to rank well but also funnel users to another website (usually to sell you something, surprise surprise!)
So there you have it – now you know how to make your website compliant with Google, making it possible and easier for Google to find, index and rank your website.