Google has announced it will be offering an online clinic for US webmasters to provide advice that can be applied to websites.
The service will be provided via a US-based site clinic on Google’s Webmaster Central blog and is exclusively available for the non profit organizations only.
Google announced that its Search Quality team ‘will determine trends and share corresponding best practices to improve site quality and user experience’ and by offering this free service Google aims to help participating websites prepare for higher ranking in the search engines.
Google has outlined a few guidelines for participants including:
- Your site must belong to an officially registered non-profit organization.
- In order to ensure that you’re the site owner, you must verify ownership of your site in Google Webmaster Tools. You can do that (for free) here.
- To the best of your ability, make sure your site meets our webmaster quality guidelines. We will be using the same principles as a basis for our analysis.
Google will be accepting submissions for the clinic until Monday November 8th 2010, so if your website meets the criteria, then you can submit it for consideration here.
While this clinic is a benefit for many website owners, established SEO consultants worldwide will not be as excited with this announcement as such free clinics pose a direct competition to them.
Matt McGee from Search Engine Land has pointed out that Google may have deliberately avoided any mention of “SEO advice” in its announcement of the clinic and for a very good reason.
They’ve offered similar clinics before in Spain, India, and Norway. In the latter, Google’s post specifically suggested that its employees’ advice might help make participating websites “better geared toward search engines, which will give better results in such as Google search.” That led many in the SEO industry to cry foul that Google was offering SEO advice (even though they’ve been doing that for years at various conferences and via other venues, too).
Although the clinic is directly for non-profit organizations, chances are Google’s advice will also be useful for your website also. Once more details on the clinic are available we will be sure to let you know.