Google has been expected for a good long while to update their Webmaster guidelines. In many people’s opinion it should have been done months ago as the guidelines were not fully explained and needed more examples.
Well, good news – Google have finally updated their guidelines and the changes they have made should be well-known by webmasters
Here’s the official word from Google’s Search Quality Team on the updated guidelines:
Both our basic quality guidelines and many of our more specific articles (like those on links schemes or hidden text) have been reorganized and expanded to provide you with more information about how to create quality websites for both users and Google.
The main message of our quality guidelines hasn’t changed: Focus on the user. However, we’ve added more guidance and examples of behavior that you should avoid in order to keep your site in good standing with Google’s search results.
Here are a few examples of the changes you will need to know about Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
- Exchanging money for links. More information about exchanging goods and services for links or giving someone a free product or service for writing a review about the link or product and taking that link and putting it on a website.
- Rich Snippet. A rich snippet guide and guidelines have been added to help users understand how to use it and how not to use it.
- Link schemes. Making sure that building partner pages are just for cross-linking and nothing else as well as using programs or services to create links that go back to your site. In this the PageRank guidelines are also included. There are also rules against links placed in articles that do not make any sense or are otherwise unreadable.
- Keywords. There are new guidelines about keywords including making sure that keywords are not overused and using blocks of texts that list cities and areas that the webpage is trying to get feedback and traffic for.
The full list of guidelines is here. You will need to make sure that you pay close attention to this if you plan on updating your website to allow for Google’s ranking algorithm and to avoid being manually penalized by Google.