Google Webmaster Guidelines

What are the Google Webmaster Tools?

Google Webmaster tools is a set of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tools that are provided by Google to assist us in managing our site’s visibility in Google Search results. Together with the Google Search Console, they give you all the information you need to improve your search ranking.

Google Webmaster Guidelines

The Google Webmaster Guidelines are essential in order to attain long-time SEO success by utilizing strategies that meet Google’s requirements.

If you don’t abide by these rules or guidelines, expect that you will be penalized. You can anticipate being completely blacklisted from Google SERPs in the most serious circumstances. The only approach to avoid potential mistakes and future damage to your site is to fully comprehend the standards.

The Google Webmaster Guidelines are basically grouped into three; Webmaster guidelines, general guidelines, content-specific guidelines, and quality guidelines.

Webmaster Guidelines

Webmaster guidelines refer to the basic best practices that will help you create your site so that it appears in Google Search more easily; while the rest of the rules include those that restrict your site from showing up in search results.

General Guidelines

General Guidelines refer to the best practices to help your site look its best in the Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs.)

  • Keep your website’s URL structure as simple as possible. A URL should be both distinct and definitive. A user should be able to tell what to expect from a website simply by looking at its URL. Consider organizing your content in such a way that URLs are easy to understand by humans. Instead of using auto-generated to long ID numbers, use phrases that are simple to understand. For readability, hyphens can also be used to separate words, but underscores and spaces should be avoided.
  • Make sure your pages are linked to each other. Linking your pages together will improve the site’s navigation. Crawlable links improve the user experience while also allowing Google to crawl and comprehend your site. Make sure you don’t use generic anchor text for these links, and that you employ keyword terms to describe the destination page.

Linking your pages with each other will also enable search engines to understand the hierarchical structure of the pages on your site and reinforce the topical relevance of the pages.

However, having numerous links on a single page isn’t recommended. Instead of aiming for many links, try practicing giving users few but useful links.

  • Keep your content unique. Having duplicate content on your website can cause you some SEO problems, and it’ll be harder for you to rank on SERPs. When there are multiple similar content pieces on a website, search engines have a hard time distinguishing which version of the same content is more relevant to a certain query.

Duplicate content can hurt your rankings, but identifying which is correct and having it canonicalized should help.

Content-Specific Guidelines

Content-specific guidelines refer to the specific forms of content on your sites, such as photographs, videos, and other media.

  • Publish only original content on your site. Publishing original and high-quality content can help your page rank higher in search results. It can also help you get the position as an expert on your niche and increase your credibility. Always remember that publishing insightful, interesting, and instructive content can increase your website’s engagement.
  • Use high-quality photos. Lead conversions can also be supported by high-quality images. If you notice, sites with high-quality images to relevant and distinctive content receive more views than sites having texts only. High-quality photos help increase your user engagement, which results in more site visits.
  • Use accessible videos. When your site has useful and high-quality videos, people will mostly stay on your website longer. People tend to be more engaged with content if a video is used. Also, the video you will be making has to get as much online exposure as possible. This exposure can only be achieved if Google comprehends the video’s key ideas.

Quality Guidelines

Quality guidelines refer to all methods that are prohibited and can result in your page being removed from the SERPs.

  • Use of “Safe” SEO strategies only. Taking a safe approach to marketing is a very effective technique, though lengthy and methodical procedure, on improving the page’s search engine ranking.

Using “unsafe” SEO tactics, on the other hand, might cause a slew of issues despite providing quick results. You may be penalized, for example, by having your site blacklisted by search engines or being removed from the SERPs.

  • Secure your site and keep an eye for hacking. Getting your site hacked, causing your site down, will put all your generated content at risk. Fortunately, there are things that can be done to prevent attacks.

Following all of Google Webmaster’s Guidelines will ensure that your website will be safe as possible. Google will only display your users safe and high-quality sites; so, if your site appears to have been hacked, Google will not display it in searches.

Violation of Google Webmaster Guidelines

If you break Google’s rules, the consequences might range from a temporary penalty for particular URLs to the complete removal of a domain from the index. Google Search Console typically gives consumers warnings concerning penalties, such as a warning about artificial or spammy links. Webmasters can use a so-called “Reconsideration Seek” to request a new examination of the URLs in question after the aspects specified in the warning have been rectified.

Indications of a Penalized Website

  1. A site search using the query gives you no results.
  2. Without any modifications from your end, your SERPs positions are falling back to low-ranking pages.
  3. Your website no longer ranks well for your brand name.
  4. Decreasing page rank score.
  5. Over a 24-hour period, your website has been erased from Google’s cached search results.
  6. Google doesn’t prioritize your site’s homepage for keywords directly related to it.

What to do if Penalized by Google

  1. Monitor your backlinks and disavow bad links.
  2. If your penalty is manual, you can request some consideration from Google. A manual penalty is issued by a human reviewer at Google, as opposed to an automated penalty. After a reviewer concludes that the site does not follow Google’s criteria, the penalty is imposed.
  3. Wait. It can take Google a long time to act on your updates and disavow requests, and it can also take a long time for Google to re-crawl your site.