Master of the Universe: Google Webmaster

Written by: Elizabeth Houser

Google, in my opinion, has the ability to take over the online world. This, along with the charts, graphs, and numbers that many of their “applications” contain, has the power to intimidate me.

However, while perusing through the Google Webmaster tools, I noticed that ‘Design and content guidelines‘ were provided. In this seemingly non-technical find, I sought comfort.

The webmaster tools is the integral place to start for anyone creating a first site. This includes these guidelines I’ve mentioned, as well as many others, that will best increase traffic. It contains all of the “how to’s” for beginners on the basics of the technology, design, content, and ads, and is thus a great Google tool to start with before getting into the more advanced Google Analytics, for example.

While taking a professional writing class this semester, I had the assignment of creating a template for an online portfolio. After reading the design and content guidelines, I was able to see how the webmaster tools which Google provides tie in beautifully with the creation of a site such as this.

Both design and rhetoric can make the Google tools more efficient. For example, smart design not only pulls readers and potential employers in to a writer’s portfolio, but also makes it quicker for Google’s “spiders” to crawl through links. Especially in a portfolio site, linked images and text can be implicated often differently than in a news-related site (which may be text-heavy). This keeps the look of the portfolio simple, but highly functioning beneath the surface, so to speak.

PortfolioWhile creating a portfolio site, it is important to establish a personal brand. This includes writing about ourselves and our professional mission with an intent to gain attention to our site and our talents. This writing should use words that describe us. The webmaster tool guidelines also advise to use these descriptive words in order to up our SEO. Using the webmaster tools makes it easier for the luddites of old school professional writing to jump into the world of online branding, taking us from help with HTML all the way through (hopefully) one day gaining some revenue.