Google ‘Design & Content Guidelines’: Part 1

Google Webmaster Central ‘Design & Content Guidelines’: A Series

Under its ‘Design and content guidelines,’ Google’s Webmaster Central has outlined 10 guiding principles for optimizing a search engine’s ability to find, index, and rank your website.  In a 10-part series, we will be exploring each one of these guidelines and how your website can benefit by implementing them.

Google Design and Content Guideline #1: “Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links. Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link.”

In non-tech speak this means: cleanly order your web pages and connect them with html or text-based links.

Web pages are indexed on search engines by the use of search engine “bots.”  Think of bots like Pacman.  They will index/eat any web page(s) that they come across.  The more pages that a search engine can find, the more likely they are to be indexed.  Thus, a clear and logical web page hierarchy will improve the ability of a search engine bot to find and index all of the pages on your site.

In your website’s hierarchy, the homepage is the root.  All important and frequently-searched for content on your website should link directly off of the homepage, because pages that are directly linked to a homepage are the most easily-found by Google.  All secondary and less-important content should link off that “first layer” of the hierarchy. 

Static links are links that are formed by html or normal text.  Websites made with Javascript, Flash, or other more complex forms of coding format links in a way that do not allow the bots to find them.  If the bots cannot find your link, they cannot follow it to a page, and they cannot index that page.  Furthermore, ensuring that every page is connected by at least one link ensures that it is easy for the bots (and people!) to jump around your website and find all of your pages.

Stay tuned for more ‘Google Design & Content’ Best Practices.

Writing Web Words Inc:
Based in Toronto, Ontario, we are a full service Web Writing and Content Development Company that helps small and mid-sized companies maximize their online potential via Search Engine Optimization (SEO), SEO Copywriting, Social Media Marketing and other leading edge interactive marketing services.