Google Information for Webmasters
Following these guidelines will help Google find, index, and rank your site.
Even if you choose not to implement any of these suggestions, we strongly encourage
you to pay very close attention to the "Quality Guidelines," which outline some
of the illicit practices that may lead to a site being removed entirely from the
Google index. Once a site has been removed, it will no longer show up in results
on Google.com or on any of Google's partner sites.
Design and Content Guidelines:
- Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links. Every page should be
reachable from at least one static text link.
- Offer a site map to your users with links that point to the important parts
of your site. If the site map is larger than 100 or so links, you may want to
break the site map into separate pages.
- Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and
accurately describe your content.
- Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure
that your site actually includes those words within it.
- Try to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or
links. The Google crawler doesn't recognize text contained in images.
- Make sure that your TITLE and ALT tags are descriptive and accurate.
- Check for broken links and correct HTML.
- If you decide to use dynamic pages (i.e., the URL contains a "?" character),
be aware that not every search engine spider crawls dynamic pages as well as
static pages. It helps to keep the parameters short and the number of them few.
- Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number (fewer than 100).
- Use a text browser such as Lynx to examine your site, because most search
cookies, session IDs, frames, DHTML, or Flash keep you from seeing all of your
site in a text browser, then search engine spiders may have trouble crawling
- Allow search bots to crawl your sites without session IDs or arguments that
track their path through the site. These techniques are useful for tracking
individual user behavior, but the access pattern of bots is entirely different.
Using these techniques may result in incomplete indexing of your site, as bots
may not be able to eliminate URLs that look different but actually point to
the same page.
- Make sure your web server supports the If-Modified-Since HTTP header. This
feature allows your web server to tell Google whether your content has changed
since we last crawled your site. Supporting this feature saves you bandwidth
- Make use of the robots.txt file on your web server. This file tells crawlers
which directories can or cannot be crawled. Make sure it's current for your
site so that you don't accidentally block the Googlebot crawler. Visit http://www.robotstxt.org/wc/faq.html
to learn how to instruct robots when they visit your site.
- If your company buys a content management system, make sure that the system
can export your content so that search engine spiders can crawl your site.
- Don't use "&id=" as a parameter in your URLs, as we don't include these
pages in our index.
When your site is ready:
- Have other relevant sites link to yours.
- Submit it to Google at http://www.google.com/addurl/?continue=/addurl.
- Submit a sitemap as part of our Google Sitemaps (Beta) project. Google Sitemaps
uses your sitemap to learn about the structure of your site and to increase
our coverage of your webpages.
- Make sure all the sites that should know about your pages are aware your
site is online.
- Submit your site to relevant directories such as the Open Directory Project
and Yahoo!, as well as to other industry-specific expert sites.
Quality Guidelines - Basic principles:
- Make pages for users, not for search engines. Don't deceive your users or
present different content to search engines than you display to users, which
is commonly referred to as "cloaking."
- 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. Another useful test is to ask, "Does this help my users?
Would I do this if search engines didn't exist?"
- Don't participate in link schemes designed to increase your site's ranking
or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or "bad neighborhoods"
on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.
- Don't use unauthorized computer programs to submit pages, check rankings,
etc. Such programs consume computing resources and violate our Terms of Service.
Google does not recommend the use of products such as WebPosition Gold™ that
send automatic or programmatic queries to Google.
Quality Guidelines - Specific recommendations:
- Avoid hidden text or hidden links.
- Don't employ cloaking or sneaky redirects.
- Don't send automated queries to Google.
- Don't load pages with irrelevant words.
- Don't create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate
- Avoid "doorway" pages created just for search engines, or other "cookie
cutter" approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content.
These quality guidelines cover the most common forms of deceptive or manipulative
behavior, but Google may respond negatively to other misleading practices not listed
here (e.g. tricking users by registering misspellings of well-known websites). It's
not safe to assume that just because a specific deceptive technique isn't included
on this page, Google approves of it. Webmasters who spend their energies upholding
the spirit of the basic principles listed above will provide a much better user
experience and subsequently enjoy better ranking than those who spend their time
looking for loopholes they can exploit.
If you believe that another site is abusing Google's quality guidelines, please
report that site at http://www.google.com/contact/spamreport.html. Google prefers
developing scalable and automated solutions to problems, so we attempt to minimize
hand-to-hand spam fighting. The spam reports we receive are used to create scalable
algorithms that recognize and block future spam attempts.