Sharing What I Learned Today – Google Webmaster Guidelines
We have a few websites and are about to hire someone to do our SEO. I personally don’t like feeling like an idiot, and so decided to get educated about how these things work rather than have someone pull the wool over my eyes. Here’s a brief of what I read and learned today, perhaps it will help someone out there.
Make sure to stay away from anything that could negatively impact your sites performance on Google search. I’m hoping, you have a website to provide something of quality to your customers/fans/audience, whether it be information or a product. So let quality content be the focus of your website – make sure it’s useful. Your high quality content will then be discovered and displayed by Google’s crawler to your audience in search results. According to Google, there are some guidelines to be followed, seems pretty simple to me if one has half a brain:
1. First and foremost, when working on content for your website, put yourself in your audience’s shoes and think of what words they would use to search for whatever service/ product/information it is you’re providing and make sure those words and phrases are a part of your content. And basically just make sure you’re providing good, quality content for your audience.
2. Use text instead of images to provide info about names, links and your most important content. Words help search engines understand the copy on your web page and figure out whether or not it is useful to your search audience. Search engines can’t recognize text on pictures, so if you have a lot of pictures with text on it, ask your programmer to use the “alt attribute” to describe your pictures within html (if you’re not sure what this is, please ask Encyclopedia Google:).
3. Check for broken links and make sure they all work correctly, do it doesn’t chase away your audience.
The robot.txt file instructs search engine crawlers about what pages to crawl or not to crawl but you don’t need this file if you want all the pages on your site to be crawled. Test if Google can access pages in your site by using the Fetch as Google tool or testing Urls in the blocked Urls section in Webmaster Tools.
4. Don’t deceive your audience in any way, like redirecting them somewhere else automatically, this can be really annoying and you may lose them forever.
5. Make sure your SEO guy or gal avoids tricks to improve search engine rankings, it’s not going to take your website very far when it comes to rankings.