Have You Read the Webmaster Guidelines Yourself? - Online Business Articles

We understand that when you are launching a new business, website or blog there a zillion things on your plate and this is why you hire out some of the tasks like creating your website and marketing but you can do yourself and your business a huge favour by taking time to personally read each of the webmaster guidelines published by the search engines and directories as part of your website planning. It may take you a few hours but in the long run it will mean the difference between success and failure.

Google Webspam Update (a.k.a. Penguin Update)

On April 24, 2012 Google released an update (later named Penguin) which has rocked the search engine optimization world and left some business owners scratching their heads why their traffic has suddenly dropped. The update was meant to further enforce Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Yes there are some sites affected that did not really deserve to be affected but there are also a lot of website owners whining, pleading ignorance about the Webmaster Guidelines.

Start Off Right – Follow the Webmaster Guidelines

Start your site off right by taking the time to read the webmaster guidelines. Google, Bing and Yahoo! all provide this information, you just have to take the time to read it.

Get a pen and paper, open word processing document or what ever works for you handy to make notes. You don’t have to be an SEO (search engine optimization) expert to pick up on specific dos and don’ts when reading the webmaster guidelines.

No more excuses. Sit yourself down in front of the computer and start reading.

Note: There are tonnes of SEO websites and blogs you can read out there but how do you determine who is promoting white hat, grey hat or black hat techniques? By…reading the webmaster guidelines yourself, that’s how.

Types of SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

  • White Hat SEO

    SEO techniques which do not upset the search engines.

  • Grey Hat SEO

    SEO techniques which border on pushing the limits of the search engine webmaster guidelines and uses some black hat SEO techniques.

  • Black Hat SEO

    SEO techniques which break the search engine webmaster guideline rules and include spamming techniques.

Google Webmaster Guidelines

Google has an extensive set of Webmaster Guidelines, videos and a PDF available.

Google Webmaster Guidelines were updated October 2/12. If you read them before this update you should read them again.

Best practices to help Google find, crawl, and index your site

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 or otherwise impacted by an algorithmic or manual spam action. If a site has been affected by a spam action, it may no longer show up in results on Google.com or on any of Google’s partner sites.

Webmaster Guidelines – Webmaster Tools Help

GoogleWebmasterHelp YouTube Videos

Matt Cutts, Head of Google Spam Department, posts helpful videos on YouTube.

About Google Webmaster Central

This is the official YouTube channel for Google Webmaster Central, your one-stop shop for webmaster resources that will help you with your crawling and indexing questions, introduce you to offerings that can enhance and increase traffic to your site, and connect you with your visitors. Learn more at http://www.google.com/webmasters/

GoogleWebmasterHelp – YouTube

If you use a RSS feed reader, you can follow the GoogleWebmasterHelp updates via their RSS feed.

Google Webmaster Related Blogs

Google has an extensive collection of blogs also. Start by following these:

If you are interested, there is a full list of Google blogs available – Google Blog Directory.

Google certainly has the most extensive set of webmaster guidelines and other information available for website owners but don’t put all your eggs in the Google basket.

Bing Webmaster Guidelines

November 16, 2012 Bing announced their new Bing Webmaster Guidelines. Everything all put together now.

Bing’s guidelines are bit more scattered than Google but you can start with this:

This white paper discusses the key new features of the Bing search engine results page (SERP) presentation that are relevant to webmasters and web publishers. It also discusses search engine optimization (SEO) considerations needed for Bing.

Bing: New Features Relevant to Webmasters white paper

Wonder how search engine optimization for Bing is different from Google? Here ya go:

The goal of Bing is to help searchers with complete tasks faster. This means finding the right content to answer a given query. That content can take many forms: text, videos, ratings and more. Our goal remains the same in all instances, however. Bing helps searchers complete tasks with fewer keystrokes and clicks.

How Bing is different from other search engines (Bing moved the article into their new Webmaster Guidelines)

For an extensive list of Bing Webmaster Help see their Bing Webmaster Tools home page for links to specific help articles.

Bing Webmaster Related Blogs

Bing also has some blogs you should start following:

Yahoo! Webmaster Guidelines

Even though Yahoo! is now fed data from Bing they still have their own webmaster guidelines posted.

This article outlines the quality guidelines for website inclusion in Yahoo! Search.


Yahoo! strives to provide the best search experience on the Web by directing you to high-quality and relevant web content in response to your search query.

Content quality guidelines

Wondering how to rank better in Yahoo!? They have an article explaining:

This article offers advice for improving your website’s position within the Yahoo! Search results.


In general, the best way to improve your site’s ranking is to include unique content targeted to your audience, however the following tips can also help your pages to be more easily found by a focused search on the internet:

Getting a higher rank for your website

More webmaster help from Yahoo! is available at Top Webmaster articles for Search

Yahoo! Webmaster Related Blogs

To keep up to date with what is happening at Yahoo! follow these Yahoo! blogs:

No More Excuses Not Knowing the Webmaster Guidelines

There are no more excuses for not knowing what is included in the webmaster guidelines for each of the major search engines. Get busy and start reading! We have found the major information links for you.

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