Google Rebrands Webmaster Guidelines As Search Essentials”

Google Rebrands Webmaster Guidelines As “Search Essentials”

Search Essentials is the new name for Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and is a fundamental part of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

If you haven’t come across this before, these are essentially best practices from Google so it can more easily find, index and rank your site. If your site violates one or more of these guidelines, the search engine may take manual action against it.

Along with the new name, the idea behind the update is to make these guidelines easier to understand. It’s not the first time recently the term ‘webmaster’ has been removed from the search juggernaut’s branding – Google Webmaster Central, for example, is now known as Google Search Central.

Indeed, Google says it feels the word is something of an outdated expression which doesn’t cover all those content creators eager for their content to rank within the search results.

Within Google Search Essentials, there are just three categories, namely:

  1. Technical requirements
  2. Key best practices
  3. Spam policies

As mentioned, there’s nothing especially radical about these updates – essentially, the same information is there, just in a refreshed format.

Technical requirements

Google says most websites meet these without even trying. In brief, your page needs to work properly, have indexable content and not block Googlebot (the generic name for Google’s web crawler). In other words, Google needs to be able to index your content and access it.

That’s just the basics, though – getting a web page to actually rank is another matter.

Key best practices

There are a number of these extra considerations for creating content so that people find it easily in the search listings.

They include factors such as making content helpful and links crawlable, along with specific guidelines for video, images and structured data (among others).

Spam policies

These cover tactics and behaviours which could lead to a page or website ranking lower or even getting de-indexed from Google Search.

Most of the topics covered were originally in Google’s existing guidelines. However, the corporation’s Search Quality team has rewritten the page, including particular examples and language that are relevant to today.

The idea, according to Google, is to “help site owners avoid creating content that Search users absolutely hate”. Specific examples include link spam, malware and malicious behaviours as well as hacked content.

Get in touch

At Front Page Advantage, we understand these latest Google updates in detail. Feel free to get in touch for a chat if you’d like to discuss any aspects of the newly christened Webmaster Guidelines.