Design and Content Guidelines

It’s good practice to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or links on your site. Google and other search engines focus on text that can be found and read on pages. The words on a page help search engines understand what a page is about and the context in which it might be useful to a potential searcher. If you use images for textual content, consider using the “alt” attribute to include a few words of descriptive text since Googlebot doesn’t recognize text contained in images. Also think about the words users would type to find your pages and make sure that your site actually includes those words. As always, check for broken links and correct HTML. Broken links or pages that don’t show up correctly can frustrate visitors to your site.

Make pages for users, not for search engines: When you make changes to your site, make sure you’re doing so to enhance the user experience, not to try to rank better in search results. A useful question is, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”

Create high quality and original content

Technical guidelines

  • Make reasonable efforts to ensure that advertisements do not affect search engine rankings. For example, Google’s AdSense ads and DoubleClick links are blocked from being crawled by a robots.txt file.
  • If your company buys a content management system, make sure that the system creates pages and links that search engines can crawl.
  • Use robots.txt to prevent crawling of search results pages or other auto-generated pages that don’t add much value for users coming from search engines.
  • Test your site to make sure that it appears correctly in different browsers.
  • Monitor your site’s performance and optimize load times. Google’s goal is to provide users with the most relevant results and a great user experience. Fast sites increase user satisfaction and improve the overall quality of the web (especially for those users with slow Internet connections), and we hope that as webmasters improve their sites, the overall speed of the web will improve.


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