Google Webmaster Guidelines
Below are the basic guidelines Google follows to find, index, and rank for your site. I tried my best to simplify and list all the important suggestions as per Google’s recommendations,
- All pages on the site should be reached by a link from any other another findable page.
- Provide a sitemap file with links that point to the important pages on your site.
- Limit the number of links on a page to a reasonable number, As per Google’s Guidelines, a few thousand at most should be ok.
- Make sure that your web server correctly supports the “If-Modified-Since” HTTP header.
- Use the robots.txt file on your web server to manage your crawling budget (Learn how to manage crawling with the robots.txt file)
- Follow steps to make your Site Google friendly (Refer Link for more details)
- Contents / Pages should be published primarily for users, not for search engines.
- Google strictly follows the principle of “Not to deceive your users.”
- Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings
- Pages should be designed and developed as per User needs not as per search engine needs.
Avoid (As per Google’s directions)
- Automatically generated content
- Participating in link schemes
- Creating pages with little or no original content
- Sneaky redirects
- Hidden text or links
- Doorway pages
- Scraped content
- Participating in affiliate programs without adding sufficient value
- Loading pages with irrelevant keywords
- Creating pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, Trojans, or other Malware/badware.
- Abusing rich snippets markup
- Sending automated queries to Google
Best Practices –
- Strictly adhere to Quality Guidelines.
- Monitoring and fixing your site from hacking and malicious activities.
- Preventing and removing user-generated spam on your site.
- Recommendations are to secure your site with HTTPS.
Recommended Testings –
- Optimize your page loading times.
- The site should support all device types and sizes, including desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
- Verify and test all major Browser compatibility (Browser compatibility)
- If Google finds if your site violates any of the above guidelines, then Google will take manual actions against it.
Further Readings –
Below are the tests recommended by Google and some sample snapshots of test results.
- Please refer to below video from Google which explains Webspam Content Violations in more detail.