google-logoRecently, Google quietly updated their Webmaster Guidelines document, a place where webmasters should go to learn about SEO best practices and dos and don’ts of the industry.

In the updated version of the general guidelines section of the document, there are expanded examples about how to help Google find your web pages, how to make web pages that are good for visitors to your website, and how to give Google better ideas on what those pages are about.  What hasn’t been updated is the quality guidelines section of the page.

Google removed a line in the first section.  Here’s how it used to read:

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.”

Google ended up removing the “even if you chose not to implement any of these suggestions” wording:

Following the General Guidelines below will help Google find, index, and rank your site.

We strongly encourage you to pay very close attention to the Quality Guidelines below…

Although the quality guidelines didn’t change yet, the general guidelines did get a major overhaul.  Throughout the guidelines, there isn’t anything that stands out as anything huge, but Google went through the effort of adding more content to this section.  Examples of this effort includes giving more examples, links to resources, as well as reorganizing the list to coincide with what is most important to the end user.

Here are a couple of before and after images (taken by ):

Before (this also appears on the Google Cache, but not for long):

old-google-webmaster-guidelines

Here’s the after:

new-google-webmaster-guidelines-expanded

Source –