Google: The DOs and DON’Ts

Google: The DOs and DON'Ts

Google constantly reminds that content is king, yet the search giant hasn’t really rolled out any sort of guide. Well, help has arrived.

The Developer Relations Group published five different style guides for the perusal of its own creators. HTML/CSS Style Guide, JavaScript, and Java Style are just to name a few. An excellent resource would be Google’s Developer Documentation Style Guide, whereas high-quality documentation is synonymous to digital content. It’s perfect for anyone who’s interested in creating the content users needs and search engines rank.

In a nutshell, the guides revolve around the concept that code, content, and UX altogether comprise a high-quality page.

Attention: Content Creators!

Here are some best practices as suggested by the Developer Documentation Style Guide:

  • Use a purposeful, conversational tone
  • Sound as if you’re a knowledgeable friend who understands
  • Observe standard American spelling, grammar, capitaliSation, and punctuation
  • Keep sentences short and use simple words that could be translated well
  • Ensure quality outbound links to reputable sites

For Technical Creators/Developers

Here are some tips and things to avoid, as derived from the Developer Documentation Style Guide:


  • Implement the correct use of tables and lists.
  • Consider optimized .png files and give ALT text a meaningful value
  • Whenever possible, select HTTPS for embedded files like images, CSS, and scripts
  • Use HTML5 in UTF-8 with no BOMs for HTML templates
  • Apply CSS for visual layout and HTML for page structure


  • Fill with buzzwords, technical jargon, slang
  • Put please in instructions nor add placeholder phrases
  • Start sentences in the same way
  • Place “click here” for the anchor text
  • Use CSS hacks
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Though these are only general guidelines, you’d already have an idea what content Google deems essentially of high-quality. The do’s and don’ts serve as an invaluable tool for both digital marketers and content creators alike.


About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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