Let me tell you the real news about the guidelines. No one else is.
Matt Cutts started out one of his SMX sessions in a wonderful way.
“Where,” Matt said, “is Pat?”
I raised my hand. He then told me and the SEO world that there was an update to the Google webmaster guidelines.
There were two updates to the webmaster guidelines. Everyone and their mother blogged the most obvious change. But, sorry guys, you have missed the real news.
There is a brand new Google webmaster guideline.
There used to be 31 Google webmaster guidelines and there are now 32. There is a reason that this might not be completely obvious. The reason is because the sneaky bastards at Google did not update the guidelines once.
They updated it twice.
I know this because Phillip wrote the best real description of the update, but he didn’t mention the new guideline. But he was smart and did exactly what I did and what most other people writing about this did. The moment he heard there was an update, he went to the cached page of the guidelines and compared the new to the old. Well in his comparison, he didn’t notice the new guideline, because it was there already in the cached page.
Hmmm, when did they add a guideline and why didn’t I know about it?
I do not know. It could have happened a month ago or a week ago. I do not know because in addition to being really nice, people who work at Google are slippery and oddly shifty in their ways. (there is a story I want to so much say about Matt, but I can’t, but trust me, he is shifty).
Anyway, the new guideline is …….
“Use robots.txt to prevent crawling of search results pages or other auto-generated pages that don’t add much value for users coming from search engines.”
It is listed under the Technical Guidelines.
That is the real news, can I go drink now?
For something that is really new, check out JLH’s write up on the updated paid links documentation.