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Following each tip on creating content is information about
how I developed Google Guide and improved its content.
Create useful high-quality material that is of interest to users.
Back in 2002, I created
to get feedback on material I was developing for a tutorial book on
Google search for most users' use just a fraction of Google's capabilities.
The goal of Google Guide is to make searching even easier for novices
and experienced users.
Design your website for the blind and deaf, not for spiders or
Search bots can't see visuals or hear sound files.
Make your titles, anchor text, and ALT tags descriptive and relevant.
Nelson Blachman, my father, is blind and is
a wonderful reviewer and beta tester for Google Guide.
Present information in more than one way.
People have different needs and preferences. That's why Google Guide
presents material in different formats,
Studying Google Guide logs, I've learned which pages are most popular
and I'm focusing my attention on providing users more of what they
Design names of pages to reflect what's on the page.
Google considers the text in the URL when indexing the page.
A few years ago I replaced unhelpful names with more descriptive ones.
Include words on your web
pages that users are likely to specify in a
query when searching for your content.
I strive to convey information concisely and clearly, rather than
incorporate particular words on my pages.
Design your site logically. Include site maps. Link to each page that you
want accessible from a search engine.
Google Guide includes links from one page to the next and previous pages, a table of contents,
a navigation bar,
topic links at the beginning of
summaries, and links to
relevant material both from Google Guide and outside sources.
Usually Google Guide opens a new browser window when a user clicks on a
link outside of Google Guide.
Submit a sitemap so that
Google will know about the structure of your website.
provides helpful statistics and information to it's users, including:
- top search queries that most often return pages on each site
- pages that Googlebot had trouble crawling
- common words in each site
- common works in external links to each site
Strive to keep your pages short and about at most a
A user is more likely to find what she seeks on a short page and
material of interest is more likely to be on the user's screen.
Search engine spiders are able to index plain text and html more
easily than flashy pages. Googlebot tends not to crawl pages that
consist only of dynamic content and pages that have dynamic
content in navigation links in the page. Such pages are likely
to be left out of Google's index and search results.
I initially wrote Google Guide in HTML. Jerry Peek and I
are translating Google Guide into DocBook.
Users are more likely to search for the correct
Seek feedback and use it to improve your site.
Users and web logs are great sources for feedback.
To encourage suggestions and corrections, I respond to email quickly
and acknowledge those who
contribute ideas that improve Google Guide.
Learn from your logs.
Check your web logs. Try to figure out how and why users are coming
to your site. If you suspect that users may seek information that
isn't on your site, consider adding it.
I noticed that users were choosing
the Google Guide Stock Quotes page
the query [ Google
stock symbol ].
So I added, at the top of the page,
Looking for Google's stock symbol? It's GOOG on Nasdaq. Click
for Google's stock price or search for it on Google.
Check your web logs and run one or more website validators, e.g.,
W3C Validation Service,
to identify problems with the coding of your website.
Remove broken links and correct invalid html.
Check Google Sitemaps
to find out whether search bots are able to crawl your site.
When putting together content for this page, I came across wonderful
pages on creating content for websites, including:
problem set will give you practice in developing and improving
material for you web site.
For hints and answers to selected problems, see the Solutions page in the Appendix.
Sign up for
Find spelling mistakes by running a spelling checker.
Find html errors by running a website validator, e.g.,
the W3C Validation Service.
Check for error messages in your web logs and in
Correct your website errors.
For each page on your website that consists entirely of dynamic content,
or has dynamic content in a navigation link,
create a new page without that dynamic content.
Develop a high-quality information-rich page for your website
whose name is relevant to its content.
Present information from a page on your website in a different format,
e.g., a cheat sheet or a quiz.
Create a web page with names of friends and colleagues whose contact
information you desire. On the page, ask these people (or anyone
who has their contact information) to get in touch `with you.
When these people run vanity searches, i.e., search for themselves,
they may run across your page
and get in touch with you.
At the 30th Asilomar Microcomputer Workshop in 2004, Bill Cheswick suggested
this approach to searching for people if you don't find them in Google's
For Google tips, tricks, & how Google works, visit
Google Guide at classic.GoogleGuide.com.|
By Nancy Blachman and Jerry Peek who aren't Google employees. For
permission to copy
& create derivative works, visit
Google Guide's Creative Commons License webpage.