The Webmaster guidelines help Google in locating and indexing the client’s website in search engines. Paying attention to the suggestions helps the client in avoiding illicit practices that may penalize or remove the site entirely from Google search results page. The Webmaster suggestions are classified under design and web content guidelines, technical guidelines and quality guidelines.
The design and content guidelines helps the website owners to develop a site that has a distinct methodology and text links. This includes having every page of the website reachable from at least one static link. Other design and content guidelines include implementation of a site map for users’ assistance. The site map with links indicates the important segments of the site while creating an information rich site facilitates explanation of the web content accurately. Often it has been found that comprehending in advance the words browsers normally type to locate web pages and to include these words in the text has been proven to be beneficial. This suggestion has brought immediate results in the website’s page ranking. Another vital factor is usage of text instead of images while displaying names, content or link. Checking of broken links is also important. Links should be kept less than one hundred in any website while, if the web owner is using dynamic pages, it is best to minimize the numbers as all search engines do not crawl dynamic pages.
The technical guidelines offered by Webmaster are also very informative and useful. Lynx, a text browser, is used to examine a website as most search engines view those sites that have been examined by Lynx. If fancy features like Java Script, Cookies, DHTML or Flash keep the pages invisible from web owners, this text browser would suggest that search engine crawlers have problems crawling the site. Allowing the search bots to crawl the client’s site is helpful as they are designed to track individual user behavior. The web owner should also ensure that the web server supports “IF modified http header”. This feature permits the web server to inform the search engine Google whether the site has modified its content since it was last crawled. Using the robots.txt file on web server informs Google and other search engines which directories may or may not be crawled. This utilization has to be periodically updated so that it does not accidentally block the Googlebot crawler. If the management buys a Content Management System, the website owner has to guarantee that the system creates pages and links which search engine can crawl.
The basic principles of quality guidelines suggested by Webmaster include making pages primarily for users and not for search engines and avoiding tricks to improve search engine ranking. Using unauthorized computer programs to submit pages or for manipulating ranking in search engines should beavoided. Other quality guidelines suggested by the Webmaster covers not using hidden texts or hidden links, avoiding cloaking, not sending automated queries to search engines, not to load web pages with irrelevant keywords and refraining from creating multiple pages, sub domains or domains with duplicate content. Providing unique and fresh content would give users a reason to visit the site. If the site participates in affiliate programs, the client has to be sure that the link site adds value to their website.