Webmaster guidelines are established by search engines to let site owners, Webmasters, website designers, search engine optimization firms and search engine marketing companies know what are, and are not, acceptable practices. We have put together the following list to help business owners understand the importance of proper development of their website investment.
What Search Engines Want You To Do
- To create original and unique content that offers genuine value to the searchers.
- To design your website for your visitors, giving search engines secondary consideration.
- To create your site with a clear hierarchy.
- To offer a site map to make using your site easier for your visitors.
- To use text instead of images whenever possible.
- To use hyper-links to help your visitors find interesting and related content.
- To not be afraid to link out to great sites.
- To use meta data, including title and descriptions that accurately describe the content of each of your website pages.
- To use good website design in general.
- To ensure, if you participate in affiliate programs, that you provide your visitors with unique and valuable content that gives them reasons to come to your site beyond the affiliate program offering itself.
What Search Engines May Penalize For
- If you have multiple websites, to cross link them for the purposes of building up link popularity.
- To build your site for them.
- To steal someone else's content.
- To create pages that harm the accuracy, diversity or relevance of search results. This is bad for your business and bad for search in general.
- To create doorway pages whose sole purpose is to redirect traffic to another page.
- To create pages with content that is substantially the same. You will do much better with a 5-page website that contains solid content than you will with 100 pages of nearly identical content.
- To create pages using automatically-generated content of little or no value.
- To use hidden text.
- To use pages designed to artificially inflate search engine rankings. Good content combined with SEO creates relevance for a topic; solid SEM creates high quality, long lasting rankings.
- To use tactics that provide search engines with information that differs from what is provided to your website visitors.
- To misuse the names of your competitors.
- To create pages that seem deceptive, fraudulent or provide a poor user experience.
- To create sites that use excessive pop-ups.
Search engines offer these quality guidelines to benefit both business owners and searchers alike. When search engines deliver high quality results and when business owners deliver high quality websites, everyone wins.