Google’s Eight Deadly Sins for Web Designers
Google’s Eight Deadly Sins for Web Designers
In an effort to give the highest quality search engine results for internet queries, Google constantly crawls every web site to check it for integrity compliance. Google is an ever evolving system and because of this what works one week to trick Google may not work (Probably won’t) in the next few weeks. The best policy for web designers is to familiarize yourself with what Google lists as quality guidelines for web designers and follow those guidelines, while avoiding the things Google expressly forbids. The forbidden fruit list is linked to detailed explanations for each “no-no”. Here is a summarized recap of eight of the deadly sins to help you avoid some of the dangers that await web designers. I also recommend that you check Google frequently as it evolves so that you can stay current and keep your site(s) off the naughty list. I’ve heard that once you get blacklisted, resubmitting a site might be filled with lots of potholes before you get back in good standing.
Sin #1- using automatically generated content
This may include connecting RSS or other types of feeds from several different sites and not adding anything of real value. Google is real big on content giving added value to viewers.
Sin # 2- link schemes
Web designers may not participate in any type of link scheme that links their site to another site for the express purpose of manipulating page rank. This may include “I’ll link your site if you link mine” deals or deals for buying, selling, exchanging goods or services for page ranking. Partner pages would fall in this category. Large scale article posting or buying guest blog posts to get excessive keyword articles in order to manipulate page rank can also be penalized under this sin.
Sin # 3- low or no original content with value pages
Web designers who use programs to automatically generate text for them are heavily penalized when Google discovers thinly developed sites or spam material posing as original content. You may get by with it for a short time but eventually the Google crawler will spot these robotically generated pages.
Sin #4- Cloaking
Sounds like Star Wars, doesn’t it? Cloaking is when the web designer purposely serves a page of HTML text to a search engine but shows another type of page (flash, images, etc.) to users. This also may be where the designer inserts texts (keywords, or descriptors) only when the searcher is a search engine and not a regular user.
Sin # 5- sneaky redirects
When you redirect a visitor to a different page than what the search engine is displaying, this is illegal and worthy of a penalty from Google. A valid redirect would be when your website has been rebuilt and visitors need to be redirected to the new URL. In this case there would be no penalty since the search engine should also get the same redirect.
Sin # 6- Hidden texts or links
You may NOT hide text by using white font on a white background or zeroing out the size of the font or hiding it in an image. In short you cannot get credit for text (keywords) that is not legible. “Tricking Google” is not looked upon favorably. When evaluating your site, always ask yourself is there anything here that is only here for the purpose of a search engine?” If it is, remove it.
Sin # 7- Doorway Pages
Doorway pages are multiple pages or domain sites from various areas that are set to rank higher for specific queries. They tend to lead the user in the same direction or to very similar pages and in the end the user ends up on the same page no matter which site he chooses. Google considers this harmful to the quality of results given for that query and will penalize developers of doorway pages.
Sin #8- affiliate program sites that have “no added value” content
Remember Google strongly recommends and requires web designers to develop sites that have content that has value for the user. Often times affiliate sites are almost mirror images of the parent affiliate site without real content or information about the business that is offering the services the user is seeking. Web designers need to use affiliate pages wisely and sprinkle them amongst value driven content related to the site owner.
While there are a few other “sins”, avoiding these top 8 will help web designers stay off the slippery slope of Google deletion. Remember Google is not out to get you, but they have a reputation and business to build and they are very careful to preserve the integrity of both.
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