What Makes Google Happy

Last Update: Dec 16, 2015


There is no better way to learn what makes Google happy than to get this information straight from the horses mouth.

Start here with Google's own video;

Did you know Google has a Webmaster Academy?

Intro to Webmaster Academy

Thinking about creating a website? Great! Webmaster Academy has the information and tools to teach you how to create a site and have it found in Google Search.

Who should take Webmaster Academy?
Anyone who’s interested in creating or improving their website can take it. Whether you’re a business increasing your web presence or a photographer putting together an online portfolio, we can help you get started.

What’s included in the modules?

  • Tips on creating a great site
  • Lessons on how Google Search and Google Search Console work
  • Quizzes, videos, examples (using a fictitious site brandonsbaseballcards.com) and resources

How long is the course?
Each module may take 1 hour. You can go through the modules at your own pace.

Get started here;


Everything you always wanted to know about what Google wants. The following is exactly what Google says about website design.

Webmaster Guidelines

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 impacted by an algorithmic or manual spam action. If a site has been affected by a spam action, it may no longer show up in results on Google.com or on any of Google's partner sites.

Note: sometimes Google links don't work well with this WA editor so just copy and paste the link into your browser if a link doesn't work.

When your site is ready:

Design and content guidelines

  • Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links. Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link.
  • Offer a site map to your users with links that point to the important parts of your site. If the site map has an extremely large number of links, you may want to break the site map into multiple pages.
  • Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number.
  • Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.
  • Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it.
  • Try to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or links. The Google crawler doesn't recognize text contained in images. If you must use images for textual content, consider using the ALT attribute to include a few words of descriptive text.
  • Make sure that your <title> elements and ALT attributes are descriptive and accurate.
  • Check for broken links and correct HTML.
  • If you decide to use dynamic pages (i.e., the URL contains a "?" character), be aware that not every search engine spider crawls dynamic pages as well as static pages. It helps to keep the parameters short and the number of them few.
  • Review our recommended best practices for


    and rich snippets.

Technical guidelines

Quality guidelines

These quality guidelines cover the most common forms of deceptive or manipulative behavior, but Google may respond negatively to other misleading practices not listed here. It's not safe to assume that just because a specific deceptive technique isn't included on this page, Google approves of it. Webmasters who spend their energies upholding the spirit of the basic principles will provide a much better user experience and subsequently enjoy better ranking than those who spend their time looking for loopholes they can exploit.

If you believe that another site is abusing Google's quality guidelines, please let us know by
filing a spam report.

Google prefers developing scalable and automated solutions to problems, so we attempt to minimize hand-to-hand spam fighting. While we may not take manual action in response to every report, spam reports are prioritized based on user impact, and in some cases may lead to complete removal of a spammy site from Google's search results. Not all manual actions result in removal, however. Even in cases where we take action on a reported site, the effects of these actions may not be obvious.

Quality guidelines - basic principles

  • Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
  • Don't deceive your users.
  • Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you'd feel comfortable explaining what you've done to a website that competes with you, or to a Google employee. Another useful test is to ask, "Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn't exist?"
  • Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.

Quality guidelines - specific guidelines

Avoid the following techniques:

Engage in good practices like the following:

If your site violates one or more of these guidelines,
then Google may take manual action against it.

Once you have remedied the problem, you can submit your site for reconsideration.

Whew, that was a mouth full. There is no way to remember all this information all at once so I recommend bookmarking this post so you can come back from time to time for a refresher.

Recent Comments


Excellent, informative post! I mostly love that horse :-)

What an awesome resource! Thanks :-)

Wow Mike, this is quite something you have put together! Thanks for sharing, cheers!

That is the way to do things right from the horses mouth - thank you for this I LOVE it - best regards Paul

Goodness Mike, can't thank you enough for sharing these valuable information. As a newbie, very helpful for the insights.

Very informative.. Thanks for sharing..

What an incredibly helpful blog thank you very much

Speaking of horse's mouth, I once did a level survey with my field had on the theodolite. I got to my position with the staff and looked back at him only to find a line of horses looking over his shoulder (lined up with the eyepiece) for all the world like they were going to do the reading. The first horse had this same look on his face! Thanks for this and bookmarked.

Your years of experience are showing through. This is very good information for this old bugger. Thanks......Tom.

Thanks for the informative post! Kyle does a good job of explaining this process in the training, but sometimes it's nice to get the facts straight from the 'horses mouth'.

~ Adam

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