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Google Replace Webmaster Guidelines with Google Search Essentials

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Google Search Essentials Guidelines

It was 20 years ago, Google announced 'Google Webmaster Guidelines' for all site owners and SEO experts that gave an overview of best practices for building a site. 

Since then Google added lots of information to these guidelines to help site owners build the site that's right for their users who visit through Google Search. Time-to-time Google regularly updates the contents of the guidelines which help lots of SEO expert to follow the Google recommendations guide.

So, today Google has renamed its Webmaster Guideline and now it will be called 'Google Search Essentials'.

Why Google renamed Webmaster Guidelines with Google Search Essentials

In the blog post, Google says that a lot has changed since 2002. The updated guidelines are streamlined, simplified, and have been updated “to ensure people have clear guidance for how to build sites that serve people well”.

Yes, there are a lot of things that have changed in terms of technology, Google search results, its quality, and even in web development languages. 

So to make the guide useful and easier to understand and to help site owners focus on things that matter for your site, Google announced a refreshed, simplified version of the Webmaster Guidelines.

What New in Google Search Essentials

Even after making make updates time-to-time to old Google Webmaster Guidelines, Google decided it was time for a major refresh, so Google renamed Webmaster Guidelines with Google Search Essentials.

In addition to changing the name, the new Google Search Essentials introduced three categorizations of the points where it covered all the former Webmaster Guidelines.

1. Technical requirements:- In this section, Google guides all publishers to publish content in a format that Google can index, and allow Google to access that content.

2. Spam policies:- Within the Spam Policies section, Google has updated its guidance for the Google Search policies against spam. They cover common forms of spam and behavior that could lead to a site ranking lower or not appearing at all in Google web search results. 

Note that most of the content in these spam policies has already existed on Google Search Central and Google Quality Guidelines. However, Google makes new additions and notable modifications, which are:

  • New deceptive behavior related-topics such as misleading functionality
  • New section on other behaviors that can lead to demotion and or removal, such as online harassment, scam, and fraud
  • Consolidated topics related to link spam and thin content

3. Key best practices:- Key best practices is a set of practices that Google recommends people should consider while creating websites. By following the guidelines recommended by Google helps site owners to ranks their sites easily in Google Search Results.

Other changes include organizing the content in a more logical structure and consolidating similar pages. Furthermore, Google added new pages for the various Google ranking updates that have been introduced over the past couple of months. Google noted that the information isn't new; the pages contain consolidated information from previous ranking updates.

The Notable changes include:

  • Google Search Essentials: Replaces the Webmaster Guidelines overview page. It includes new sections: technical requirements, spam policies, and key best practices.
  • Google Search technical requirements: Covers what Google needs from a web page to show it in Google Search.
  • Spam policies for Google web search: Replace the Quality Guidelines section of the Webmaster Guidelines. It's been rewritten to cover more relevant examples and use more precise language. Notable updates include:
    • Link spam: Consolidates previous pages on Paid links and Link schemes.
    • Malware and malicious behaviors: Consolidates information that was previously in the Security section on our site.
    • Hacked content: Consolidates information that was previously in the Security section on our site.
    • Thin affiliate pages: Consolidates previous pages on Thin content and Affiliate programs.
New sections include:

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