Google Website Clinic Recap

Google Website Tips

I love it when Google gives search engine marketing advice because who better to hear it from right? Google often shares many good pieces of information to people who want to hear how they should be structuring their website so the search engines like them that much more. When Google tells you something is important for your website or your online approach than you should listen to them. It is human nature to want to have things move quicker but cutting corners behind Google’s back is not going to help you in the long run. Google recently had a website clinic in London where they discussed a variety of website topics business owners should be conducting.

Here are some of the more important topics:

Meta Data & Title Tags

“Title tags and meta description tags are easy ways to improve your site’s visibility in Google search results, yet we still see webmasters not fully utilizing their potential. We have a bit of help available about writing good page titles and descriptions which you can read to brush up on the subject. That said, you can ignore the meta keywords, at least as far as Google is concerned.”

Website page meta data is a very important part of having a search friendly website. The hair on my neck stands when I hear “gurus” telling people that meta data does not matter any longer, hogwash. This is still an important area to have uniquely written content.

Clean Site Structure

“Just as we recommend you structuring pages logically, it is similarly important to structure the whole website, particularly by linking to related documents within your site as necessary. This helps both users and search engine bots explore all the content you provide. To augment this, be sure to provide a regularly updated Sitemap, which can be conveniently linked to from your site’s robots.txt file for automatic discovery by Google and other search engines.”

Sloppy site structure will not benefit your website or your business. It has to be clean and precise for the search bots to be able to read it and also understand it correctly. Don’t make the bots scratch their little bot heads.

Duplicate Content Problems

“Duplicate content and canonicalization issues were discussed for many websites reviewed at the site clinic. Duplicate content within a website is generally not a problem, but can make it more difficult for search engines to properly index your content and serve the right version to users. There are two common ways to signal what your preferred versions of your content are: By using 301 redirects to point to your preferred versions, or by using the rel=”canonical” link element. If you’re concerned about setting your preferred domain in terms of whether to use www or non-www, we recommend you check out the related feature for setting the preferred domain feature in Webmaster Tools.”

Duplicate content can get you a website penalty with Google. Make sure you understand how to properly position duplicate content on your site if you absolutely have to have it.

Sneaky “Marketing” Tactics

“Ranking for misspelled queries, e.g. local business names including typos, seems to be an area of concern. In some cases, Google’s automatic spelling correction gets the job done for users by suggesting the correct spelling. It isn’t a wise idea to stuff a site’s content with every typo imaginable. It’s also not advisable to hide this or any other type of content using JavaScript, CSS or similar techniques. These methods are in violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and we may take appropriate action against a site that employs them. If you’re not sure how Googlebot “sees” your pages, e.g. when using lots of JavaScript, you can get a better idea by looking at the text-only version of the cached copy in Google web search results.”

Don’t ever get sneaky with your marketing efforts. Google does a pretty good job of finding the loop holes and it is not worth having your website pulled out of the search results.

Speed Up That Website

Users love fast websites. That’s why webpage loading speed is an important consideration for your users. We offer a wide range of tools and recommendations to help webmasters understand the performance of their websites and how to improve them. The easiest way to get started is to use Page Speed Online, which is the web-based version of our popular Page Speed Chrome extension. Our Let’s make the web faster page has great list of resources from Google and elsewhere for improving website speed, which we recommend you to read.

Google realizes that there is massive amounts of data pumping through the search tool. With that much data and information eventually things are going to slow down so they have made it a requirement to speed up your website.

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