What are Google Webmaster Guidelines?

Google Webmaster Guidelines

What are the webmaster guidelines? A guideline (manual) that describes the rules necessary for indexing (displaying) a website on Google’s search engine.
Crawlability and usability will improve if you take SEO measures by suppressing the main points of this ” Guidelines for Webmasters “.
As a result, it will be easier to be evaluated by Google, so you can expect SEO effects.

On the other hand, if you do not comply with the webmaster guidelines, it will be difficult for Google to evaluate you.
Worst case is a penalty and it may not be indexed.
To avoid this bad situation, make good use of the webmaster guidelines to improve the quality of your site.

Based on this point, this time, I would like to explain the points that are easy to understand for beginners, focusing on the definition, main points, and how to use the guidelines for webmasters.

What are Webmaster Guidelines?

What are the webmaster guidelines? A guideline (manual) that describes the rules necessary for indexing (displaying) a website on Google’s search engine.

For example, let’s say you want to display your web page on the Google search engine. In this case, do what is written in the ” Webmaster Guidelines
” by setting up a sitemap, linking from already indexed pages, etc. This makes it easier for Google to find your page. (It’s easier to crawl.) As a result, the content of the page is recognized and indexed well.

In this way, the guidelines that mainly write things for indexing in Google search are “Guidelines for Webmasters “.

Features of Webmaster Guidelines

A feature of the Webmaster Guidelines is that they are updated regularly.
It is also part of the Google Guidelines, divided into two main sections.
Moreover, it directly influences your search ranking.

  • Content updated regularly
  • there are two big sections
  • Directly impacts search rankings
  • Part of Google Guidelines (SEO Guidelines)

Read Also: What is Black Hat SEO and White Hat SEO?

Content updated regularly

Guidelines for webmasters Content is updated regularly.

For example, on September 20, 2012, we added the latest best practices for discovering, crawling, and indexing sites on Google.
Also, on October 27, 2014, we added to the technical guidelines that CSS and JavaScript resources should not be blocked.
Furthermore, in February 2016, it was significantly revised by consolidating the three sections into two.
As such, it has been updated many times in the past.

One of the features of the webmaster guidelines is that they are regularly updated.

By the way, the update date of the webmaster guidelines is written at the bottom of the page in a format like “Last updated 2021-01-21 UTC.”

there are two big sections

Guidelines for webmasters There are two main sections.

For example, when you visit our webmaster guidelines, the words “General Guidelines” and “Quality Guidelines” stand out in bold.
These are the two main sections.
Gradually scroll to the bottom of the page to see details for each section.

One of the features of the Webmaster Guidelines is that there are two main sections.

By the way, in February 2016, the guidelines for webmasters were significantly revised.
With this revision, the three sections “Design and Content Guidelines”, “Technical Guidelines” and “Quality Guidelines” have been combined into two sections: “General Guidelines” and “Quality Guidelines”.

Directly impacts search rankings

Guidelines for webmasters It directly affects your search ranking.

For example, one of the sections is quality guidelines, where specific guidelines are spelled out.
Create and publish sites that reflect violations without adhering to these specific guidelines.
Doing so increases your chances of getting penalized.
As a result, the search ranking will drop significantly and it will lead to index removal.

On the other hand, we will create a site that adheres to general guidelines and quality guidelines.
By doing so, it will be easier to be evaluated by Google, so you can expect an increase in the search ranking.

This direct impact on search rankings is one of the features of webmaster guidelines.

Part of Google Guidelines (SEO Guidelines)

Guidelines for webmasters It is part of the Google guidelines (SEO guidelines).

For example, if you go to Google’s SEO guidelines , you’ll find four categories (sections): “Webmaster Guidelines,” “General Guidelines,” “Content-Specific Guidelines,” and “Quality Guidelines.”
As you can see, “Webmaster Guidelines” are included.

As such, being part of the Google Guidelines is one of the features of the Webmaster Guidelines.

Webmaster Guidelines Key Points

The webmaster guidelines have a lot of points to make your site easy to be evaluated by Google.
Reading and understanding all of this can be a daunting task, especially for beginners.
So, I would like to summarize and explain the points that are particularly important from the guidelines.

  • Ease of detection/understanding (ease of crawling)
  • ease of use
  • No Impersonation or Cheating

Ease of detection/understanding (ease of crawling)

Ease of crawling How easy it is for Googlebot to find and understand a web page.

For example, let’s say you place a link to a new page on an important page (a page with high quality).
In this case, important pages are more likely to be crawled.
So, Googlebot first crawls important pages to recognize their content.
It also crawls anchor text information (links) within that content so it can find new pages.

Also, make the title name, alt attribute, page hierarchy of the new page easy to understand, and appropriately include SEO keywords in the content.
This will help Googlebot understand what your content is about.

As a result, you can find a web page and facilitate understanding of that page.

This crawlability is one of the main points of our webmaster guidelines.

ease of use

Ease of useThis refers to the operability, visibility, and readability of web pages not only on desktops but also on mobile devices.

For example, suppose that when viewing a web page on a PC or smartphone, the width of the content fits neatly according to each device.
It also assumes that the font size is appropriate for each device.
That way, the content of the web page will be easy to see and you will be able to read the contents firmly in any environment.
As a result, the content becomes easier to handle for users.

Ease of use like this is one of the main points of our Webmaster Guidelines.

No Impersonation or Cheating

Prohibition of impersonation and fraud Stop ignoring or deceiving users’ convenience.

For example, let’s say you deliberately create a lot of superficial content.
In this case, it will be a low-quality site centered on content that overwhelmingly lacks the information users are looking for.

In addition, CSS is used to control text and links that include SEO keywords (keywords that you want to display at the top) so that they are not visible on the content. (Hidden text or hidden links)
In this case, crawlers (search engines) can see it, but users can’t.

In this way, ignoring or deceiving users’ convenience is prohibited by the guidelines.

Prohibiting such deception and cheating is one of the main points of our Webmaster Guidelines.

How to use the webmaster guidelines

In order to take advantage of the webmaster guidelines, SEO measures should be taken mainly by considering the main points of the guidelines.

  • improve crawlability
  • Enhance your page experience
  • Follow the rules to create content

Improve crawlability

To improve crawlability, Set up a sitemap.
For example, create an XML sitemap with a dedicated tool such as “sitemap.xml Editor” and upload it to the server.
Also, for WordPress, a dedicated plug-in for “Google XML Sitemap” will be introduced to automatically create an XML sitemap.
Then, send the XML sitemap URL (eg https://seolaboratory.jp/sitemap.xml) including the created file name from the search console.
That way, you can promote crawling to the target page URLs listed in the sitemap.
As a result, the content of each page is well recognized and indexed easily.

Thus, improving crawlability is the key to utilizing the Webmaster Guidelines.

By the way, robots.txt rejects crawling to unnecessary pages, reduces outbound links with poor performance, normalizes and removes duplicate pages (duplicate URLs), etc.
By doing so, crawling resources can be allocated to important pages, which leads to better crawlability.

Another effective way is to use structured data.

Enhance your page experience

To enhance your page experience, Removes interstitial ads that interfere with viewing the main content.
Also, SSL, mobile friendly, page loading speed optimization, etc.
This makes it easier for users to access the main content, making it more convenient for users. (The user experience will improve.)
As a result, it will be easier to be evaluated by Google.

Thus, enhancing the page experience is the key to leveraging the Webmaster Guidelines.

By the way, removing malicious content (such as malware) or bad content and resolving Safe Browsing issues can also improve your page experience.

Follow the rules to create content

To follow the rules and create content, Consider specific guidelines .
For example, in specific guidelines, it is prohibited to copy the contents of other sites as they are and publish them.
So, with this in mind, I create content that incorporates my own experiences and experiences.
That way, the content will be highly unique and will not violate the guidelines.
As a result, it becomes easier to be evaluated by Google.

In this way, following the rules and creating content is the key to making the most of the webmaster guidelines.

Things to avoid when using webmaster guidelines

When using the webmaster guidelines, it won’t work if you don’t keep the main points down and take SEO measures.

  • Deny crawling of important pages
  • Make content difficult to understand
  • make it difficult to use
  • violate guidelines

Deny crawling of important pages

Important pages refer to pages that are frequently accessed.
If you refuse to crawl this important page, Crawlability worsens.

For example, Disallow URLs of important pages in robots.txt.

1Disallow:/example.html

If you write this, Googlebot will not crawl example.html (important page).
If so, that important page cannot be found.
As a result, it is not indexed (not displayed in search results), so search traffic cannot be expected.

As such, denying crawls of important pages is a point you want to avoid when leveraging webmaster guidelines.

By the way, if you refuse to crawl a specific page such as an important page, Googlebot (crawler) will not crawl that page.
If that happens, the links on that page will not be detected either.
As a result, the destination page of the link will not be found either, which may increase the number of pages that are difficult to index.

Make content difficult to understand

If the content is difficult to understand, Crawlability and usability will suffer.

For example, suppose you don’t enter an alt attribute for an image of a child kicking a ball.
In this case, when the image is crawled by Googlebot, specific information cannot be obtained.
In addition, users cannot obtain image information in an environment where images are not displayed.
If that happens, the content will have poor crawlability and usability.
As a result, it becomes difficult to be evaluated by Google.

Making your content difficult to understand is something you want to avoid when using the webmaster guidelines.

By the way, it can be said that content with many typos and omissions, or content that contains only keywords that are not in demand for users, is also difficult to understand.

Make it difficult to use

If it is difficult to use, User convenience is reduced.

For example, display an ad covering the main content immediately after the page loads.
In this case, users who land on that page will not be able to quickly reach the information they are looking for.
This reduces user convenience. (It is easy to lead to bounces and withdrawals)
As a result, it will be difficult to be evaluated by Google.

As such, making things difficult to use is something you want to avoid when using webmaster guidelines.

By the way, it would be difficult to use if the same design content as the desktop (PC) is displayed when viewed on a smartphone.

Violate specific guidelines

Violation of specific guidelines receive a penalty.

For example, let’s say you want to rank higher for a specific keyword.
Now let’s say you overstuff that particular keyword in your content.
This practice violates specific guidelines because it involves repeating the same word or phrase to an unnatural amount.

  • Create auto-generated content
  • Participation in the link program
  • Creating pages with little or no original content
  • cloaking
  • bad redirect
  • hidden text or hidden links
  • Creating a doorway page
  • Creating unauthorized content
  • Creating Affiliate Sites That Don’t Add Enough Value
  • Stuffing the page with irrelevant keywords
  • Creating pages with malicious behavior such as phishing or installing viruses, Trojan horses, or other malware
  • Abuse of structured data markup
  • Submitting Automated Queries to Google

These are the most prohibited actions.
If you do these actions, you will be penalized as a result, which will lead to index deletion and a significant drop in search rankings.

Violation of specific guidelines like this is what you want to avoid when using webmaster guidelines.

Use these webmaster guidelines to improve the quality of your site

Take advantage of webmaster guidelines improve your site quality.
To that end, we will take SEO measures by suppressing the main points of the guidelines.
This will improve the crawlability and usability of your site.
As a result, the quality of the site improves, so it becomes easier to be evaluated by Google.

On the other hand, ignoring the guidelines and creating and publishing content, or taking internal measures.
Doing so will increase the chances that you will end up with a low-quality site, which will make it harder for Google to rank you.

To avoid such bad situations, make good use of the webmaster guidelines to improve the quality of your site.