According to acronymmonster, the Google Webmaster Guidelines comprise a collection of guidelines for optimizing websites. With this catalog of guidelines, Google provides guidelines that webmasters should adhere to. Because the violation of the guidelines is followed by a penalty by the search engine in the context of a deteriorated ranking in the search results. In severe cases, there is also the option of removing the entire page from the index.
Why are there Google guidelines for webmasters?
Because quality makes the decisive difference:
As gatekeepers of digital information makes Google knowledge has been making available and also affected the traffic of websites. In order to guarantee more relevant and high quality results than other search engines, the Google guidelines for webmasters serve as a uniform set of rules for website operators. Webmasters are thus forced to provide high quality websites. Otherwise you have to fear penalties from the search engine.
The same rules for everyone:
If a website wants to rank in the search results of Google, it must consistently adhere to the webmaster guidelines. The search engine uses these guidelines to optimize the indexing of websites. At the same time, the guidelines indicate which actions are considered a violation.
The Google Webmaster Guidelines are used for the automated identification of attempts at deception, manipulation and spam so that the user does not come across this content in his search.
Are you affected by a penalty? We can help you: Help with Google Penalty
Which Google Webmaster Guidelines are there and when are they met?
The guidelines concern the design, content and technical aspects of a page. The list of these requirements is divided into two sub-areas:
- General guidelines (best practices)
- Quality guidelines (description of typical manipulation attempts)
The information and the added value come first
User deception and too much focus on search engine optimization to improve the ranking damage the quality of the website. Google supports pages that place the visitor, and thus not the search engine, at the center of their activities. Provides a website:
- good usability with a uniform structure
- user-centered content
- appropriate link structure
then, according to the Google Webmaster Guidelines, there is no reason for punishment. This means that nothing stands in the way of the ranking of the domain, i.e. its placement in the search results.
How can you check compliance with the Google Webmaster Guidelines?
A page can be monitored using the Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools). A text-based browser allows all functions of a website to be checked. The indexing is to be controlled by a bot. We also recommend using a robots.txt text file to define content that can be scrolled on the website.
What are the general measures of the Google guidelines?
The general guidelines for webmasters contain tips to help you find, index and place websites.
In order for Google to find a page, a link from an already indexed website is necessary. At best, this link contains an alt attribute.
There is also the option of indexing manually using the Google Search Console.
It also makes sense to submit an XML sitemap so that Google has a good overview of the page.
The search engine also emphasizes an appropriate number of links.
In principle, every page of a domain should be accessible through at least one link. This makes it easier for the crawlers to index. In addition, all outgoing links must be checked for errors.
The clear navigation and the uniform design of all subpages increase the usability of a website. Because Google recognizes a page more easily if it provides relevant and defined information.
In addition, the guidelines provide specifications that relate to an optimized loading time and usability of the website via mobile devices.
User-friendliness is also created through a clear page hierarchy.
It is important to note that the page can be accessed under HTTPS.
In order for the indexing by Google to succeed, the most important content must be formulated as text.
Images and image files need to be optimized with the help of Alt attributes.
In addition, the search engine makes recommendations for the visibility of the elements on the page and shows how problems with indexing can be avoided. This includes, for example, the use of valid HTML.
It should also be checked that a website is displayed correctly in different browsers.
What do Google’s quality guidelines say?
Tactics that are often used to deceive Google are summarized by Google in the quality guidelines. This is a list of practices that mislead both the user and the search engine and thus negatively affect the quality of the results.
By declaring these manipulation attempts, the so-called black hat SEO is counteracted. With this SEO practice, there is a deliberate violation of the guidelines in order to achieve a better ranking. Once recognized, these methods lead to a direct penalty or even to the deletion from the index.
Therefore, Google recommends avoiding the following techniques.
1. Automatically generated content
These are texts that a program has created. They do not offer the user any added value, as their sense suffers from the overly strong focus on keywords.
2. Misleading redirects
This affects the transfer of users to non-topic URLs.
3. Participation in link exchange programs
The acquisition, purchase or the excessive exchange of links up to the creation of unnatural links in the context of search engine optimization contradicts the guidelines of Google and is therefore punished.
If the Googlebot encounters other content on the website than a user, there is a violation of the quality guidelines. This is the case if, for example, content is first made available through payment or registration.
5. Hidden text & hidden links
This practice corresponds to the procedure for cloaking. While Google receives texts or links, they are withheld from users.
6. Bridging sides
These are subpages on a domain that are supposed to rank for a keyword and are only geared towards the Googlebot. They redirect the user to another page.
7. Copied content
Google doesn’t like plagiarism. Stolen content from other sites is generally of no value to the visitor.
8. Participation in affiliate programs without sufficient added value
This applies in particular to websites from the affiliate network without original content.
9. Loading pages with irrelevant keywords
This SEO practice exists if an excessive use of superfluous keywords without relevance can be recognized.
10. Creating websites with malicious features
This category includes all black hat measures including the installation of malware, the insertion of unwanted files during a download, phishing attempts, viruses or Trojans.
11. Abuse of Rich Snipped Markup
This involves the improper integration of markups in order to generate rich snippets. For example, users of the method advertise events in the markups even though they are not events.
12. Sending automated requests
If there is no express confirmation to send automated inquiries, it is a violation of the Google Webmaster Guidelines.
What measures are required if a competitor violates the requirements?
Anyone who finds spam, paid links or malware on a website can send a report to the Google Search Console. Evidence demonstrating the violation of the guidelines is essential for this report.
What to do if your own domain violates the Google Webmaster Guidelines?
If the Google Webmaster Guidelines are violated, the Google Search Console will notify you. With this report, the operator of the site receives information on the type and scope of the violating measures. In this case, webmaster of the so-called should Reconsideration Request to Google connect and make a request for reconsideration.