The Webmaster Guidelines have now been rebranded as “Search Essentials” which is now easier to understand and has come with a refresh of three sections.
The main reason for the change in name is because Google wants to steer clear of the ‘webmaster’ name and brand – for example previously “Google Webmaster Central” was rebranded as “Google Search Central.”
The three sections that Google Search Essentials now consists of are:
– Technical requirements
– Key best practices
– Spam policies
Essentially, all the information is the same as Webmaster Guidelines but they have just arranged it into a different format.
Looking into the three sections a bit further, the Search Essential document give us the following information:
Google says that the majority of websites and pages pass the technical requirements without even trying. There are only three technical requirements that a webpage needs to get into Google Search, these are:
– Googlebot isn’t blocked
– The page isn’t an error page
– The page has indexable content
Getting a webpage to actually rank on Google takes a bit more work, they have advised of the following practices to help with this:
– Create good, helpful content.
– Use keywords throughout the text, titles and headings.
– Make links crawlable
– Enhance how your site appears in search with rich snippets.
Finally, this section covers all the behaviours that can cause a web page to rank lower or be de-indexed completely. Some examples include:
– Hacked content
– Hidden text and links
– Keyword stuffing
– Spammy content
– Scam and fraud
View more information about Google Search Essentials here.