Google Webmaster Guidelines Is Now Google Search Essentials With Lots Of Changes

Oct 14, 2022 - 7:51 am 19 by

Google Search Quality Raters Guidelines

Google has replaced the Google Webmaster Guidelines with the Google Search Essentials. The name change is Google's ongoing efforts to remove the term "webmaster" so that these tools and documentation do not narrow the focus to just "webmasters," but expands it to publishers, site owners, developers, creators, and so on.

Before I even started blogging (which was in 2003), Google launched the Google Webmaster Guidelines back in 2002 - yes, two decades ago. The name stuck for 20 years but now Google decided it was time to change the name and refresh the guidelines in a very big way.

What Changed

Google changed more than just the name, Google also changed the overall format, added clearer terms and examples and also tried to simplify them for easier consumption. Google explained they updated the:

  • Technical requirements: It is a new section to help people understand how to publish content in a format that Google can index and access.
  • Spam policies: Google updated its guidance for its policies against spam, to help site owners avoid creating content that isn't helpful for people using Google Search. Google explained that most of the content in these spam policies has already existed on Google Search Central in the "Quality Guidelines", Google did make a few additions to provide clearer guidance and concrete examples for issues like deceptive behavior, link spam, online harassment, and scam and fraud.
  • Key best practices: Google published new guidance with key best practices that people can consider when creating sites, to create content that serves people and will help a site be more easily found through Google Search.

The new spam section has content on:

  • 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, and scam and fraud
  • Consolidated topics related to link spam and thin content

Drilling in, here is the list of changes from Google:

SEO Community Diving In

Here are some of the observations made from the SEO community on the changes here, mostly from Marie Haynes and Glenn Gabe:

Forum discussion at Twitter.

 

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