Following these guidelines will help Google find, index, and rank
your site. Even if you choose not to implement any of these suggestions,
we strongly encourage you to pay very close attention to the "Quality
Guidelines," which outline some of the illicit practices that may lead
to a site being removed entirely from the Google index or otherwise
penalized. If a site has been penalized, it may no longer show up in
results on Google.com or on any of Google's partner sites.
When your site is ready:
- Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links. Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link.
- Offer a site map to your users with links that point to the
important parts of your site. If the site map has an extremely large
number of links, you may want to break the site map into multiple pages.
- Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number.
- Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.
- Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it.
- Try to use text instead of images to display important names,
content, or links. The Google crawler doesn't recognize text contained
in images. If you must use images for textual content, consider using
the "ALT" attribute to include a few words of descriptive text.
- Make sure that your <title> elements and ALT attributes are descriptive and accurate.
- Check for broken links and correct HTML.
- If you decide to use dynamic pages (i.e., the URL contains a "?"
character), be aware that not every search engine spider crawls dynamic
pages as well as static pages. It helps to keep the parameters short and
the number of them few.
- Review our image guidelines for best practices on publishing images.
- Use a text browser such as Lynx
to examine your site, because most search engine spiders see your site
session IDs, frames, DHTML, or Flash keep you from seeing all of your
site in a text browser, then search engine spiders may have trouble
crawling your site.
- Allow search bots to crawl your sites without session IDs or
arguments that track their path through the site. These techniques are
useful for tracking individual user behavior, but the access pattern of
bots is entirely different. Using these techniques may result in
incomplete indexing of your site, as bots may not be able to eliminate
URLs that look different but actually point to the same page.
- Make sure your web server supports the If-Modified-Since HTTP
header. This feature allows your web server to tell Google whether your
content has changed since we last crawled your site. Supporting this
feature saves you bandwidth and overhead.
- Make use of the robots.txt file on your web server. This file tells
crawlers which directories can or cannot be crawled. Make sure it's
current for your site so that you don't accidentally block the Googlebot
crawler. Visit http://www.robotstxt.org/faq.html
to learn how to instruct robots when they visit your site. You can test
your robots.txt file to make sure you're using it correctly with the robots.txt analysis tool available in Google Webmaster Tools.
- Make reasonable efforts to ensure that advertisements do not affect
search engine rankings. For example, Google's AdSense ads and
DoubleClick links are blocked from being crawled by a robots.txt file.
- If your company buys a content management system, make sure that the
system creates pages and links that search engines can crawl.
- Use robots.txt to prevent crawling of search results pages or other
auto-generated pages that don't add much value for users coming from search engines.
- Test your site to make sure that it appears correctly in different browsers.
- Monitor your site's performance and optimize load times. Google's
goal is to provide users with the most relevant results and a great user
experience. Fast sites increase user satisfaction and improve the
overall quality of the web (especially for those users with slow
Internet connections), and we hope that as webmasters improve their
sites, the overall speed of the web will improve.
Google strongly recommends that all webmasters regularly monitor site performance using Page Speed, YSlow, WebPagetest, or other tools. For more information, tools, and resources, see Let's Make The Web Faster. In addition, the Site Performance tool in Webmaster Tools shows the speed of your website as experienced by users around the world.
These quality guidelines cover the most common forms of deceptive or
manipulative behavior, but Google may respond negatively to other
misleading practices not listed here (e.g. tricking users by registering
misspellings of well-known websites). It's not safe to assume that just
because a specific deceptive technique isn't included on this page,
Google approves of it. Webmasters who spend their energies upholding the
spirit of the basic principles will provide a much better user
experience and subsequently enjoy better ranking than those who spend
their time looking for loopholes they can exploit.
If you believe that another site is abusing Google's quality guidelines, please report that site at https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/spamreport.
Google prefers developing scalable and automated solutions to problems,
so we attempt to minimize hand-to-hand spam fighting. The spam reports
we receive are used to create scalable algorithms that recognize and
block future spam attempts.
Quality guidelines - basic principles
- Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines. Don't
deceive your users or present different content to search engines than
you display to users, which is commonly referred to as "cloaking."
- Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule
of thumb is whether you'd feel comfortable explaining what you've done
to a website that competes with you. Another useful test is to ask,
"Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn't
- Don't participate in link schemes
designed to increase your site's ranking or PageRank. In particular,
avoid links to web spammers or "bad neighborhoods" on the web, as your
own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.
- Don't use unauthorized computer programs to submit pages, check
rankings, etc. Such programs consume computing resources and violate our
Terms of Service. Google does not recommend the use of products such as WebPosition Gold™ that send automatic or programmatic queries to Google.
Quality guidelines - specific guidelines
If you determine that your site doesn't meet these guidelines, you can modify your site so that it does and then submit your site for reconsideration.