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Meet the author:
Jill Olkoski

Jill has a MA in Clinical Psychology, a BS in Computer Science, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering.

She currently owns Aldebaran Web Design in Edmonds (near Seattle WA) and enjoys educating her clients on topics related to small business website design.

In Jill's previous life, she spent 17 years in the engineering and quality organizations of a Fortune 100 tech company.


What are Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and Questions to Ask Your Web Designer to See if They are Following Them

April 24th, 2012

Maybe you’ve heard it’s impossible to know what Google’s search engine algorithm is and how it is constantly evolving. This is true. However Google published it’s Webmaster Guidelines for small business owners and their website designers to follow. I think it’s important for small business owners to know about these guidelines, and talk to their web designers to make sure they are being followed.

Here’s the link to the actual Google Webmaster Guidelines.

Here are some of the highlights that a small business owner could ask about:

1. Did you create a sitemap.xml and are you keeping it updated when pages are added, deleted, or their names change? Did you create a robots.txt file?

2. Did you redirect www to non-www or vice versa, so only one version gets indexed?

3. Does the navigation make all the pages easily accessible from all pages?

4. Is the content unique and contain appropriate keywords?

5. What are the title tag and description tag for each page?

6. Do all images have “alt” tags – what are they?

7. Has the HTML been verified to be correct? (try using W3C Validation Tool)

8. Make sure there are no broken links on your website

9. Make sure your pages load quickly

10. Make sure your web designer has NOT done any of the forbidden (black hat) things that try to trick search engines. There is a long list on the Webmaster Guideline website.

J. Olkoski
Aldebaran Web Design, Seattle
Jill Olkoski has a BS in Engineering, a BS in Computer Science and an MA in Clinical Psychology. She delights in using her advanced technical and psychological skills to help small business owners develop cost-effective and successful websites.

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