djbaxter

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Google Webmaster Guidelines Have Been Beefed Up
by Michael Guta, SmallBizTrends.com
February 9, 2016

Changes to Google?s Webmaster Guidelines are not an everyday occurrence, so even the smallest tweak makes news. However, this time around there are several updates businesses, site developers, SEO practitioners and others should take a look at. This latest update comes after Google revamped its Webmaster Home with a new look and three new features for the new portal, which include Webmaster troubleshooter, Popular Resources and Event Calendar.

The changes to the layout of the general Google Webmaster guidelines include the addition of three drop-down menus that explain how Google finds and understands your pages, as well as how visitors use your pages. Before you dismiss these changes, it is important to note the language Google has used to emphasize the need to follow the new guidelines.

While in the past Google has said, ?Even if you choose not to implement any of these suggestions,? it has now replaced the wording with just, ?We strongly encourage you to pay very close attention to the Google Webmaster Quality Guidelines.? This is a not-so-subtle hint you should be following the Webmaster Guidelines with strict adherence.

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mborgelt

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Thanks for the share there's a lot of direct language and great hints at necessities of a site. I didn't think sitemaps for users were helpful in the least bit.
 
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I thought the sitemap for users was a strange choice as well... modern web UI (on sites that know what they're doing at least) are set up the way the are for a reason. I don't know that I believe there's a universal map that would be helpful for every site, and even if there was, I don't think users have been trained to know how to use one, or to even think to look for one. If anyone's got any data on whether maps helps/are used by users, or if it seems to be a ranking signal (instead of just a suggestion) I'd be really interested in seeing that.
 
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