1. Avoid hidden text or hidden links.
2. Don’t use cloaking or sneaky redirects.
3. Don’t send automated queries to Google.
4. Don’t load pages with irrelevant keywords.
5. Don’t create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.
6. Don’t create pages with malicious behaviour, such as phishing or installing viruses, Trojans, or other bad ware.
7. Avoid “doorway pages created just for search engines, or other “cookie cutter approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content.
8. If your site participates in an affiliate program, make sure that your site adds value. Provide unique and relevant content that gives users a reason to visit your site first. Some of them are more black and white than others. For example, avoiding hidden text or hidden links seems like a pretty obvious thing. Just don’t do it. The duplicate content one is a little different. What does Google consider “substantially duplicate content ? How much is too much?
Beyond the specific guidelines, Google also lists 4 “basic principles. These are:
1. Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines. Don’t deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users, which is commonly referred to as “cloaking”.
2. Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you feel comfortable explaining what you done to a website that competes with you. Another useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines did exist?
3. Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site ranking or Page Rank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or “bad neighbourhoods on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.