A few more changes have been quietly going on in Google camp this month, this time to the Webmaster Guidelines, but with none of the speculation that accompanied the recent changes to the core algorithm.
Changes made to Googles Webmaster Guidelines
The guidelines are virtually the only documented, official sources of best practice and recommendations that come direct from Google. Whereas it’s not unusual for Google to update its documents from time to time, these changes would usually be announced in a blog post.
These most recent updates have been focused on the General Guidelines section which in basic terms is a framework that sets out exactly what makes a strong webpage from Google’s perspective, giving clear advice on things such as visitor satisfaction, content categorisation and ensuring pages are easy for Google to index.
Although the changes that Google has made to the guidelines seems fairly substantial, this is mainly in the amount of text that has been changed, removed or added, rather than to the guidelines themselves. Rather than changing or adding lots of new guidelines, Google has added clarification to existing ones also adding links and resources to support its original advice. That being said, there have also been a few new additions, examples of which are;
“If possible, secure your site’s connections with HTTPS. Encrypting interactions between the user and your website is a good practice for communication on the web.”
“Design your site for all device types and sizes, including desktops, tablets, and smartphones. Use the mobile friendly testing tool to test how well your pages work on mobile devices, and get feedback on what needs to be fixed.”
“Make your site’s important content visible by default. Google is able to crawl HTML content hidden inside navigational elements such as tabs or expanding sections, however we consider this content less accessible to users, and believe that you should make your most important information visible in the default page view.”
A line by line breakdown of all changes, revisions and additions has been compiled by The SEM Post
With updates also having been made recently to Google’s Webmaster portal, it’s possible that there could be much more to follow in the coming months.