When it comes to SEO, there is only a limited number of actions we can safely apply. There are also illegitimate or so called “black hat” techniques which used to provide results in the past but are not effective today. Nowadays, Google can recognise cheating patterns and penalise websites when “bad signals” are detected.
The basic principles of optimisation still remain the Google Status Quo, which is mainly Google’s official guidelines:
- Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines
- Don’t deceive your users
- 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, or to a Google employee
- Another useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?” Think about what makes your website unique, valuable or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.
Specific guidelines – Avoid the following techniques:
- Automatically generated content
- Participating in link schemes
- Creating pages with little or no original content
- Sneaky redirects
- Hidden text or links
- Doorway pages
- Scraped content
- Participating in affiliate programs without adding sufficient value
- Loading pages with irrelevant keywords
- Creating pages with malicious behaviour, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other badware
- Abusing rich snippets markup sending automated queries to Google
Follow good practices like:
- Monitoring your site for hacking and removing hacked content as soon as it appears
- Preventing and removing user-generated spam on your site
Another useful document is the Google Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, which is a public document used by Google to train their own raters. In this file you will find useful information regarding:
- the quality of the page quality content
- E-A-T – Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness
- Mobile User Needs
- Online Reputation
- User Intent
We hope you find this information helpful.
At TechVertu, we always execute SEO projects with the official Google guidelines in mind as we plan for medium to long term sustainable results for our clients. If you want to make sure your website is optimised for the right audience, call us on 01375 366 767 to arrange a free analysis of your website or drop us an email for more information.