Webmaster Guidelines

Webmaster Guidelines for Search Engines

Following these guidelines will help search engines like Google, Yahoo, and MSN find, index, and rank your site. Pay close attention to the Things to Avoid to make sure your site does not get penalized and entirely removed from a search engine.

Once your site is ready:

  • Have other Pertinant and relavent sites link to yours.
  • Submit it to Googe at http://www.google.com/addurl.html.
  • Submit a sitemap to search engines so they can learn about the structure of your site and increase coverage of your web pages.
  • Make sure all the sites that should know about your pages are aware your site is now online.
  • Submit your site to relevant directories such as Open Directory Project (www.dmoz.org), Yahoo, MSN, and any other pertinant industry specific expert sites.
  • MSN - "BING" - webmasters can now signup and submit sitemaps through BING. http://www.bing.com/webmaster

Layout and content guidelines

  • Make the site with a clear structure and text links. Every page should be reachable with at least 1 text link.
  • Create a site map for your users that point to the important content on your site. If you have more than a 100 links, consider breaking the content into mulitple pages.
  • Be creative and write informative useful pages that are clear and accurately describe your content.
  • Think about words and phrases users would type to find your pages, and make sure you use those words and phrases in your page.
  • Try to use text instead of images to display important content, names, and links. Most Search Engine Crawlers, like google, do not recognize text in an image.
  • Make sure that your TITLE tags and ALT attributes are accurate and descriptive.
  • Check for broken links and correct HTML.
  • Keep the links on a given page to under 100. If you need more, consider breaking the content into multiple pages.

Technical guidelines:

  • Examine your site the the Lynx text browser. Most search engine spiders will see your site similiar to Lynx.
  • Allow search engine bots to crawl your site without a Session ID or Argument that tracks their path through your site.
  • Make sure your web server supports the If-Modified-Since HTTP Header.
  • Use a robots.txt file to tell the crawlers which directories are allowed or disallowed to be crawled. It is very useful in blocking content that does not add much value for users coming from search engines.
  • If your company buys a content management system (CMS), make sure you buy one that search engines spiders can crawl.

Things to avoid:

  • Avoid tricks.
  • Avoid link schemes.
  • Avoid hidden text and hidden links.
  • Don't use cloaking or sneaky re-directs.
  • Don't send Automated queries to the Search Engines.
  • Don't load pages with irrelevant keywords.
  • Don't create mulitple pages or domains with duplicate content.
  • Don't create pages that install virurses or Trojans.
  • If your site participates in an affiliate program, make sure you provide unique and relevant content so users might visit you first. Once again, this is to avoide duplicate content.