Archive for November 25th, 2008

More Content Guidelines

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

Following on from yesterday’s blog, Google recommends all websites adhere to the following content guidelines:

Use Text Headings - Many sites use images to display headings and links.  Whilst this may be appropriate in many situations, be aware that spiders will not recognise the text displayed by an image.  To some degree, this can be compensated for by proper use of alt tags but it is worth including all important headings and links within text rather than images.

Use Accurate Alt Tags - Spamming alt tags is an old black hat technique that should be avoided.  Use keywords in alt tags where appropriate but remember that these tags are there for accessibility reasons.

Avoid Broken Links - Periodically checking links in a broken link checker is advisable. Broken links are a fairly common problem on sites where pages are changed or removed frequently.  This can create big problems for your site but can easily be identified with regular checks.

Use Search Engine Friendly URLs - If you have a dynamic site and the pages within it have a lot of “unfriendly” characters such as ampersands and question marks, it is a good idea to use a rewrite command to remove these characters and make your URLs more SEO friendly.

Limit Page Links - Google’s webmaster guidelines recommends less than 100 links per page. This is a very generous amount and it is best to keep well under this guideline.  Too many links on a page can give the appearance of a link farm and is likely to trigger filters that devalue your site.  There are many other downsides to having a lot of links; too many to discuss in this post.

In tomorrow’s post, we will discuss the technical guidelines laid out by Google.