Discover how to harness the potential of ChatGPT for advanced keyword research in SEO with our comprehensive guide.
Although it may feel like a short while since Google’s Webmaster Guidelines were introduced, in fact they first appeared two decades ago. Since then, a lot has changed in the online world and the original Webmaster Guidelines were no longer fit for purpose. For that reason, Google carried out a full refresh of those Guidelines, and part of that refresh involved them being given a whole new name – Google Search Essentials.
Not only were Google’s Webmaster Guidelines 20 years old, but an enormous amount of change has taken place since 2002, not only with regard to Google Search, but with the entire internet as a whole.
The original guidelines were in desperate need of an update, and now the updated version has been simplified and streamlined so everyone can have the clearest possible guidance to help them build websites that can serve users well. Google’s aim in refreshing the guidance was to make it simpler to understand and more useful than ever before in helping website owners focus on the things that are most important to their site.
A lot of former guidelines have been moved to different specific sections inside Google Search Central’s website. There are now three different point categories that were covered in Google’s Webmaster Guidelines now in Google Search Essentials including:
It’s important to note that there have been no fundamental changes. If you already have familiarity with the old Google Webmaster Guidelines then you’ll find the same information contained in Google Search Essentials. The primary difference is in the format that it takes.
Google Search Essentials includes the following:
Technical requirements – some technical things must be done to your web page if you want it to rank on Google Search. However, Google has been reported as saying most websites pass its technical requirements even without trying. These technical requirements include:
Essentially, you simply need to ensure that your content is published in a suitable format for Google to index and access it. However, it isn’t quite as easy to get your web page to rank. That’s where the next section proves to be so important.
Best practices are extra considerations that content creators must keep in mind in order to ensure their content can be easily found by users in their search results. The best practices suggested by Google include:
If you’ve got any content you want to remain unfound by Google Search, you need to make sure you’ve blocked it from the Google crawlers.
Finally, the section regarding spam policies includes information about tactics and behaviours that may lead to your website or webpage being de-indexed or given a lower rank on Google Search. Google’s policies regarding spam include:
Most of these topics have been taken from the former Google Quality Guidelines as well as other existing related guidelines. Specific examples have been provided that have relevance in the modern day in an attempt to help website owners to avoid the creation of content that is hated by search users.
Although there have been a number of updates carried out across the years to Google’s original Webmaster Guidelines, this latest version is a total overhaul, with many aspects having been altered. The changes include:
Some other changes that have been made include organising the content into a structure that is more logical, with similar pages being consolidated, although the content in these areas haven’t been changed to any significant extent.
As the Google Webmaster Guidelines have been the key resource that users could go to in order to learn more about the best practices for SEO in the Google Search engine for the last two decades, it’s easy to see why changing its name and making such significant updates is so important for marketers and content creators.
Publishers, site owners, marketers, and indeed, anybody who manages or owns a website today should definitely take the time to review the changes made to Google Search Essentials.