4 September 2012
Googles guide to good website building
- Your website should have clear navigation so that people can find their way around with ease. There should be static text links within the site for all pages – including sub-pages.
- You need to offer a Sitemap – A breakdown of the important parts of your website. People will be able to find what they’re looking for faster.
- Do not spam any page with a large number of links.
- The content of the site should be original and clear, accurate and relevant to your business.
- You need to think about the phrases people are going to use within your site. Ensure that you include these within the text.
- Important names, links or content should be displayed by text instead of images. If you must use images, make sure to give them a title, or ‘ALT tag’.
- Ensure that these ALT tags and your page titles are relevant to your content. They must also be descriptive, but concise.
- Make sure that there are no broken links within your site, and that all HTML is correctly written.
- A good idea is to check your website with a text browser. This will show you what most search engine ‘spiders’ will see when they look at the site. You can then make sure that nothing is keeping the search engines from viewing all of your important content.
- Allow any search bots to look through your website without the use of session IDs. Whilst being useful for tracking the behaviour of potential customers, it can limit the indexing of the website within Google.
- Your web server must support the ‘If Modified Since’ HTTP header. This helps Google know whether the content of your website has changed since it was last crawled.
- Make sure that adverts do not get in the way of Google crawling your website.
- If you purchase a content management system, you must make sure that it creates links and pages which are crawl able by search engines.
- Test your website within different browsers to make sure that it performs correctly across them all (Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and so on).
- Make sure that your pages are created primarily for your users, do not build them specifically for search engines. If you try to deceive users or display different content to the search engines, you will be penalised and your site will drop from Google rankings.
- Avoid using any ‘tricks’ to improve your search engine optimisation (SEO). Any ‘black hat’ SEO can also result in your site being dropped by Google.
- Don’t take part in link schemes with other websites. You do not know the quality of the site’s coding and so on. Any link to or from a poorly ranked site can drastically decrease your position within Google and similar search engines.
- Do not use unauthorised programs to check your site’s rankings, to submit extra pages and so on. Many of these violate Google’s Terms of Service. This could result in your site being removed from Google completely.
- Avoid hidden text or links, duplicated content, irrelevant keywords and ‘spamming’ – the over use of keywords or phrases in an attempt to get the site ranked within Google.
Once you have made sure that your website follows all of the above guidelines, you can re-submit your site to Google. Good Luck!