What's New & Important With Google's New Webmaster Guidelines

Oct 3, 2012 • 7:47 am | comments (10) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Webmaster ToolsAs expected, Google has updated their Webmaster Guidelines to really add more examples and go deeper on specific topics that might not have been covered before in the guidelines.

Honestly, most of everything in these guidelines should not be considered new to our daily readers but I wanted to point out what webmasters and SEOs found to be interesting and important in these revised webmaster guidelines.

I am sourcing content from WebmasterWorld and Google+, as I have been offline for two days and have not had a chance to review them in detail, by doing a compare and contrast.

  • Rich Snippet guidelines has been added.
  • The link schemes adds (1) Building partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking, (2) Using automated programs or services to create links to your site, (3) Text advertisements that pass PageRank and (4) Links that are inserted into articles with little coherence.
  • Keyword stuffing includes "Blocks of text listing cities and states a webpage is trying to rank for."
  • Added, "exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links; exchanging goods or services for links; or sending someone a “free” product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link."

There is a lot more and I hope to highlight more or link to a story that does in the future.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld and Google+.

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Praveen Sharma

10/03/2012 12:03 pm

I am not sure about the last one. How Google is going to track the last one? I mean if someone is genuinely writing a review about a product with a backlink to the original product page, will Google penalize it? If Yes, then the only solution to it is to make that backlink "nofollow". And if No, then how its gonna effect?


10/03/2012 12:46 pm

Sending a free product to a well known niche blog in hopes that they will review it and, by nature of reviewing it, link to the site...is now a no-no? Wait, what? Why? Should we send a note along that says: please talk about our red widget but for the love of Thoth don't link to us!

Adam Grunwerg

10/03/2012 01:13 pm

This is Google being stupid and not living in the real world again. It says in the guidelines you can't add optimised links in a forum signature. EVERYONE does this, not just for SEO but in general. Which is catchier to see in a forum signature - "Free SEO Advice!" or "SEOBunny.com". The fact they expect all editors to add rel no-follow to advertorial posts is dumb too. The clients/editors I work with can't even implement G+ authorship after I explain it to them let alone rel no follow.

Maximus Saint

10/03/2012 02:53 pm

I'm confused... i thought links exchange doesn't work anymore, at least not with google


10/03/2012 07:23 pm

I'm sure Google isn't going to hammer links like this without some type of validation. If a link profile is reviewed and there are a lot of "blogger reviews" of their product, but other signals are weak (social presence, site traffic, site freshness, content, product popularity, brand mentions, etc...) Google will be more likely to think the reviews are bogus / paid for.


10/04/2012 12:01 am

" (2) Using automated programs or services to create links to your site" what about using said programs to create links to your competitors sites?


10/04/2012 04:47 am

In the past, Google became one of the most powerful websites on the web because they were able to come up with a formula that uses off page signals to determine relevancy. It now shows that those signals are no more reliable than on-page signals. By the time Google finishes devaluing "certain" off page signals, relevancy wise, we will be back where we started...

Ashish Pratap Singh

10/04/2012 06:48 am

"Blocks of text listing cities and states a webpage is trying to rank for." What does that mean. If i am running a site selling medicine all over the world and i launched separate pages for cities like /buy-xyz-in-chikago, /buy-xyz-in-canada, /buy-xyz-in-gorgia /buy-xyz-in-sanfransisko, /buy-xyz-in-washikgton etc etc with quality content Will Google see this as a violation.

John Britsios

10/04/2012 11:33 am

What I find particularity interesting is the clarification in the "Link Schemes": "Links that are inserted into articles with little coherence, for example: most people sleep at night. you can buy cheap blankets at shops. a blanket keeps you warm at night. you can also buy a wholesale heater. It produces more warmth and you can just turn it off in summer when you are going on france vacation."


10/05/2012 06:26 pm

I think you should check your "Sponsored Links" sections as some of them are DoFollow and this could be counted as "(3) Text advertisements that pass PageRank " or "exchanging money for links"

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