Major search engines like Google or Yahoo! are interested in keeping their search results clean, and thus try to compell webmasters to act professionally when it comes to website optimization.
I write lots of articles on search engine optimization, Internet marketing, and even website usability. All these tips can help bring your website to top positions in search engine rankings, and also increase conversion rates and revenues. However, it is always useful to get information directly from the source and compare your knowledge with it. Luckily the search engines are kind—and smart—enough to provide us with such information. They want to help us out in our SEO efforts, and this in turn benefits them, since better-educated webmasters will play the game fairly.
Recently Google published its “Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide,” which outlines all the SEO basics and even gives hints on how to make your website Google-friendly. Though the guide is filled with promotions of Google’s (mostly free) services, there are real-life examples of SEO best practices. For someone who doesn’t know much about Internet marketing, especially its technical elements, this can be quite helpful.
One critique: “Although this guide won’t tell you any secrets that’ll automatically rank your site first for queries in Google (sorry!), following the best practices outlined below will make it easier for search engines to both crawl and index your content.”
But don’t take my word for it. This information is available for free and you can download it here: http://www.google.com/webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf
Another great new addition is Google’s Webmaster Help Forum, a place where you can ask questions and get answers quickly from other website owners—or even Google employees. This forum is at: http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Webmasters?hl=en
If you were wondering about how your web resource could become a Google-friendly site, most of your questions might be answered here: http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/topic.py?topic=8522
Finally, important stuff about Google and webmasters’ interaction can be found on this page of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines: http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35769
While Google brags more than 70 percent of all searches in the world, other smaller search engines also try to offer guidelines to website owners and webmasters. Below are three useful links provided by Yahoo.com, Live.com, and Ask.com:
- Yahoo! Search Content Quality Guidelines: http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/search/basics/basics-18.html
- Live Search Webmaster Center Help: http://help.live.com/help.aspx?mkt=en-us&project=wl_webmasters
- The Ask Website Crawler FAQ: http://about.ask.com/en/docs/about/webmasters.shtml
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