On September 18, 2015 Google released a note to website owners regarding the recent increase in Webmaster Guidelines violations. The Google post alerted website owners about the automated and manual actions that are taken against websites that violate the listed Webmaster Guidelines. Website owners can now see which areas of their site have violated the guidelines. The sites can then be fixed to realign with the listed guidelines. Once the site has been fixed it can be submitted as a “reconsideration request” to Google. By taking the steps needed to fix the site, the manual action can be removed. However, if you want to avoid a violation in the first place, then there are several steps that you should take.
Steps To Take To Avoid Webmaster Violations
The first step to avoiding a Google webmaster violation is to understand the nuances of the Webmaster Guidelines. The purpose of these guidelines is to help Google find, index, and rank each page of your site. To do this, Google follows a set of design, content, technical, and quality guidelines. Below are a few of the highlights for each section, which should be followed when you are creating or updating the content of your website.
Design and content guidelines:
- Create a site that is easy to follow by including a clear hierarchy. Each page on your site should have static text links, so that users can easily navigate to any page.
- Provide a sitemap that contains links to the most important parts of your site.
- Do not use an over abundance of links.
- Design content with the user in mind and do not fill your pages with spam content.
- Make sure that Google can “troll” or “crawl” every aspect of your site.
- Diligently monitor your site’s performance. Each page of your site should be optimized to have quick loading times.
- Remember that Google’s goal is to provide users with relevant information.
- Design each page for the users that you want to attract
- Don’t try to “trick the search engines,” with keyword stuffing or other content that is not relevant to the website.
- We live in a consumer’s world; as such, always cater to the needs of your users. When writing content ask yourself “will this help my user?”
- Create content that is valuable and engaging. Make your website unique from all other sites.
Once you have created a site that follows the Webmaster Guidelines, you will be ready to submit it to Google. To do so, send it to:http://www.google.com/submityourcontent/. You can also submit a sitemap to the Google Search Console, which will enable Google to better understand the structure of your site. After submission, remember to always monitor the performance of your site, update your site in accordance with the Webmaster Guidelines, and adjust content on a regular basis so that it meets the needs of your users.
By performing these simple steps you can avoid repeated violations of the Webmaster Guidelines. Remember that if your site continuously violates the guidelines, then Google will no longer distribute your site in its search results. Stay tuned to the official Google Webmaster Central Blog for additional information and updates.