Google have just updated their webmaster guidelines to provide even more information for website owners looking to follow Google best practices. Google inclusion is a vital source of exposure and traffic for many websites, so understanding and adhering to the Google Webmaster Guidelines is critical for all website owners – especially those just starting out.
Matt Cutts announced the overhaul to the webmaster guidelines, or more specifically the quality guidelines, at Danny Sullivan’s recent SMX conference in Seattle. Google had obviously been working on updating the guidelines for some time, but considering the spate of questions Matt received in the previous days Q&A session, the release of the update was perfect timing.
While I recommend everyone head over to Google Webmaster Help Center and have a read of the complete guidelines (worth a re-read if it’s been a while), I have provided some quick reference links below to the quality guidelines and the expanded information that Google has just added.
Quality guidelines – specific guidelines
If a site doesn’t meet our quality guidelines, it may be blocked from the index. If you determine that your site doesn’t meet these guidelines, you can modify your site so that it does and then submit your site for reinclusion.
IMPORTANT NOTE: While Google suggests that once you’ve remedied any guideline wrong doings, you can submit your site for reinclusion, the time to get re-listed in their index can take as long as it did to get included in the first place (2-3 months for some sites). So it’s a simple lesson – avoid the penalty in the first place.