Google Outlines for Search Engine Optimization

The Google™ Terms and Conditions for Webmasters are available online at and These pages set out clearly what are not acceptable techniques to use to enhance the rankings of a website. By understanding these you can determine what is an ethical search engine optimisation company. This information is very important failure to adhere to these rules could lose your site positions and at worst your site could be removed from the Google index.

Quality Guidelines and recommendations:

Avoid hidden text or hidden links � Often you will find that search engine optimisation companies will recommend that it is possible to increase your search engine positions by using hidden text. Often this is done by making the background the same color as the text, moving the content offscreen or by using the noscript or noframes tags. To combat this Google has recently begun employing staff to inspect rankings and ensure the validity of the results returned. This has increased the chances of being caught so do not under any instances attempt to use this to obfuscate the search engine spiders.

Don't employ cloaking or sneaky redirects � Unethical Search Engine Optimization companies would get clients to purchase extra domains. These domains would be posted online and will contain text and appear to be a 'real' web site and are indexed and ranked. However when a user visits the site they are redirected to a different URL by javascript. Google is becoming more adept at following and understanding javascript links and the likelihood of detection is constantly increasing. This style of doorway page system is increasingly ineffective and can be detected without too much effort.

Don't send automated queries to Google - Google receives millions of queries every day - sending them more simply clogs up the search engine and slows it down for users. If you do this the IP which the requests are sent from can become blacklisted. If your server IP is blacklisted the ability of your site to rank in the Google indices will be seriously hampered. If you must query Google using tools and automated programs for Search Engine Optimisation of any other purpose please ensure that they operate using a Google web API key. The web API key is free and allows Google to know who is querying them and that the query is legitimate. This will allow you upto 1000 queries a day legally. There is no reason why any individual site should require to use the data more than 7000 individual queries a week.

Don't load pages with irrelevant words � In the past websites would attempt to rank for keywords unrelated to their online industry. This was often the case in the early search engine days. The use of semanticism has meant that Google can determine the relevancy of your pages from all the words on the page. Google can more easily determine unrelated words as being an attempt to spam. In any case, attempting to make a site rank for unrelated words to create traffic is of no use if you are trying to create qualified traffic that can be converted into sales of your product or service.

Don't create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content � If you do have more than one URL for your site such as a and a .com ensure they resolve correctly using suitable redirects. If you do not they may be picked up as spam domains and either or both may be demoted in the rankings. This is especially true with other websites stealing your well written well formatted content which benefits your pages. If this content is used on other sites your site may be the one that is demoted in the search engine indices. This perennial problem is hard for search engines to detect. If you find someone who has stolen your content they are breaching copyright laws in the UK. They will generally remove the offending content upon request but you must be vigilant on this issue.

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