Search Engines Share Goals That Are Similar With The SEO Industry

The search engines want to assist you in succeeding. In fact, Google even offers its own Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide, similar to the Beginner’s Guide. They are also supportive when it comes to efforts of the SEO community. Digital marketing conferences like SearchLove, MNsearch, Unbounce, and Moz’s own MozCon, frequently attract representatives and engineers from the primary search engines. Google assists SEOs and webmasters through their Webmaster Central Help Forum, and in the way of hosting office-hour live hangouts. (Unfortunately, Bing shut their Webmaster Forums down in 2014). While the webmaster guidelines will vary from one search engine to the next, the main principles remain the same. Avoid trying to trick or fool the search engines. Rather, focus on providing your potential customers and visitors with a good online experience. In order to achieve this, you need to follow the guidelines of the search engines, and fulfill the user intent.

Google Webmaster Guidelines

The Basic Principles

  • Make your pages mainly for your users and not for the search engines
  • Do not deceive or try to trick your users
  • Avoid the tricks that are focused on improving your search engine ranking. A good rule to follow is to ask yourself whether you feel confident explaining what you have done to your website to an employee at Google. Another test that is useful would be to ask “Does this help my users?”, or “Would I do this if search engines did not exist?”
  • Think about things that make your website engaging, valuable, or unique

Things You Should Be Avoiding

  • Content that is automatically generated
  • Participate in any of the link schemes
  • Create pages that feature no or very little original content (i.e. copied from somewhere else)
  • Cloaking- this practice involves showing the search-engine crawlers content that is different from what your visitors see
  • Hidden links and text
  • Doorway pages- the pages that are created for ranking well for a specific search or searches in order to funnel more traffic to the site
  • It is a good idea to become familiar with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. You should be making the time in order to know what they are about
  • Bing Webmaster Guidelines
  • Pages that display mostly affiliate links or ads, thin content, or redirect visitors to other websites do not rank very well
  • Link tactics that are abusive which aim to increase the nature and number of the inbound links like buying links, or participating in a link scheme, which can result in de-indexing
  • Use concise, clean, keyword-inclusive URL structures. Parameters that are dynamic can dirt the URLs up and result in duplicate issues when it comes to content
  • Your URLs need to be short, descriptive and keyword-rich as much as possible while avoiding the non-letter characters
  • Burying your links in Silverlight, Flash, or Javascript, make sure your content also stays away from these
  • Duplicate content.
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Cloaking, the practice where you show the search-engine crawlers content that is different from what your visitors see

The Basic Principles

  • Provide deep, engaging, clear, and content that is easy-to-find on your website
  • Keep your page titles relevant and clear
  • Links are seen as a sign of popularity. Bing rewards such links which have been organically grown
  • Social shares and social influence are positive signs and may have impacts on how you are ranking organically over the long-run
  • Page speed is vital, in addition to useful and positive user experiences
  • Make use of the alt attributes in order to describe your images. This helps Bing to understand the content better