What is Google Search?
Google Search is a web search engine that provides results depending on the search terms you used.
Imagine a big library with millions of books. If Google were the librarian, they would find every page of every book containing your keywords, and present these pages to you in order of most relevant keywords used to least. These pages are your search results. This is possible thanks to three processes:
- Crawling: Crawling refers to the activity of Googlebots that ’crawl’ the internet searching for new or edited pages Then, if necessary, they update pages’ rankings depending on the changes in search terms.
- Indexing: The result of crawling is the creation of an index of all identified keywords and their location on each page.
- Serving Results: When a user enters a search, Google's machines will return a search index with all the matching results ranked in terms of relevancy.
For more information, take a look at the Google SEO Support page.
SEO Guidelines for webmasters
If you want to make sure that your pages can be easily found by your users, follow these three main guidelines suggested by Google's SEO support:
- Help Google find your pages.
In general, you can make your pages easy to find by leveraging incoming links from other sources and making sure that Google knows when you update a page.
- Help Google understand your page.
To make sure that Google's crawlers can easily rank your site, create a useful, information-rich site and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content. Think about the words that users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words.
3.Help visitors use your pages.
Try to use text instead of images to display important names, content and links. As a rule of thumb, keep your pages as descriptive as possible to make sure the crawlers can extract keywords to index them.
For more info, check out Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
SEO Quality Guidelines
Keep in mind that there are always some ‘dont's’ if you want your pages to be ranked higher. Some behaviours might even penalise your page ranking instead of improving it. Here are some best practices you can follow to make sure that doesn’t happen:
- Develop your pages for your users – not the search engines. Remember that crawlers and humans search differently, and in the end it’s your readers who will be browsing your content.
- Don’t deceive your users by using spam, or adding different landing pages and redirects.
- Avoid tricks to improve the search ranking of your page. Again, keep in mind that any modification you make make should be helping your users.
- Always focus on what makes your website unique and spend extra time on content for those areas.
For more info, check out Google’s Quality Guidelines.
SEO Guidelines for Affiliate Programmes
Google's SEO Quality Guidelines use particular care for websites leveraging an affiliate business as a stream of revenue.
You can follow these two guidelines to make an affiliate page as detectable as possible for Google Search indexing:
- Make sure that the majority of the information on your page is based on original content.
- Do not use content copied from the Affiliate Programme.
Our Booking.com Affiliate Partner Programme supports these two points.
Remember original content always pays off in terms of attracting an engaged audience and converting well. A user that feels connected with your pages can be more easily converted into a booker.
In terms of ranking, these pages should be the best performing. How can you maximise performance? Make sure that the content is original and that information about the page is textually added to its HTML structure.
The goal of these pages is to attract the viewer to your website. Once the user is on your page, you can use Call to Action functionalities (like buttons or search boxes) to drive them to the conversion pages.
Conversion Pages: The goal of these pages is to convert the user into a booker. Here is where you’ll host most of the affiliate programme tools and content. Remember that these will be product (or in our case accommodation) specific pages. As such it would be best to use the description, pictures, links and tools provided by us. This might affect negatively the ranking of these pages – but please keep in mind that the goal of these pages is not to rank high but to convert.
Please note that accommodation descriptions, pictures, locations and other information cannot be copied from the Booking.com website due to copyright laws. You can get more information through our API.
For more info, take a look at Google’s SEO General Guidelines for affiliate programmes.