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Google Webmaster Guidelines

Take the time to read and understand Google's webmaster guidelines and in particular their quality guidelines. Then, observe these guidelines when designing, adding content to and marketing your website. The best way to keep your domain in the good graces of the Google search team and to avoid a costly and incredibly stressful Google penalty is by paying strict attention to these guidelines. Ignore them and you risk a world of costly aggravation.

Google Webmaster guidelines are divided into three distinct categories:
  • Design and Content Guidelines
  • Technical Guidelines
  • Quality Guidelines
First and foremost, avoid anything that may be considered by Google to be deceptive or manipulative practices intended to boost your website's rankings by tricking the search engines.

Do:
  • Make your web pages for visitors to your website, not for search engines. Translation: Quality content is key
  • Make your website stand out from your competition by calling particular attention to anything that makes it unique, valuable or engaging.
  • Monitor your website regularly for hacking and remove hacked content as soon as it appears.
  • Prevent and remove all user-generated spam that may be posted on your website.
Avoid:
  • Automatically generated content
  • Link building schemes
  • Cloaking techniques anywhere on your domain
  • Sneaky redirects in an attempt to trick the search engine
  • Hidden text and hidden links
  • Doorway pages
  • Scraped content
  • Affiliate programs that do not add sufficient and significant value to your domain
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Malicious behavior including phishing, viruses, trojans or any other badware
  • Abusing rich snippets markup
  • Sending automatic queries to Google

Remember, the best way to keep your website from being penalized by Google is to pay close attention to the Google Webmaster Guidelines. Provide your visitors with quality content and build organic natural backlinks and Google will reward your efforts by moving your website up in their rankings.