There is a thread going on at Webmasterworld that begins with a rant about how the Google webmaster guidelines are “not the same thing as “ethical SEO” and how Google in general is taking over the world.
As I have written the coolest, sexiest, and most comprehensive website about the Google guidelines ever, I feel obligated to clear something up.
I do not think that Larry Page and Sergey Brin spoke from a burning bush and gave the world the commandments of thou shalt not spam, but I do think they created a pretty good search engine and if you want to be ranked well in Google, you may want to follow their suggestions.
The Google webmaster guidelines are not anything at all except what Google has stated they are. Google says that
Following these guidelines will help Google find, index, and rank your site. Even if you choose not to implement any of these suggestions, we strongly encourage you to pay very close attention to the “Quality Guidelines,” which outline some of the illicit practices that may lead to a site being removed entirely from the Google index or otherwise penalized. If a site has been penalized, it may no longer show up in results on Google.com or on any of Google’s partner sites.
So they are in essence only suggestions and expectations that an index (the Google search engine index) has provided as guidance to webmasters.
I like websites that provide guidance because I am kinda dumb and can use any help I can get.
I do believe that the guidelines include sound and even ethical advice about SEO in general. In fact SEO stands for “search engine optimization” so it sorta makes sense that SEO should probably pay at least glancing attention to the guidance given by search engines.
Following the guidelines steers one clear of making the biggest mistakes that affect indexing. They also can keep you clear of penalties and removal from the index.
The pillars of SEO are basically built upon the same things that are stated in the Google webmaster guidelines, because that is what SEO is. The first sentence of the Google webmaster guidelines states
“Following these guidelines will help Google find, index, and rank your site.”
One of the first steps a good SEO takes with your website is to help Google find, index, and rank your site.
Sorta similar no?