When Should You Add Privacy Policy, About Us, Contact, Terms Pages to Your Website?


If you haven’t heard yet, one ranking factor with any website is to make sure you add legal/disclaimer and other important pages in order for your site to pass the trustworthy test.

Examples include privacy policy, about us, contact, terms of service, cookie policy, GDPR, etc.

When you are starting a new blog, you may wonder when the best time is to add these pages.

The answer is you should add them as soon as your website goes live.

One reason why is that these pages are taken into consideration by Google’s search quality raters that manually review search results.  A rater doesn’t directly control how a specific site ranks, but they do compare two sets of search results to judge which one is better for a search term.

With this in mind, do you really want your site to be a part of one of these ratings without the important pages on your site?  I can’t see how that would help you.

Another reason is if you are using services such as Google Analytics or advertising solutions like Adsense, such pages are usually a requirement before you add the code.

Imagine a real world scenario that should illustrate why this is important.  If you were trying to find a nanny or baby sitter, would you want to find one without a background check or references?  You want to do as much screening as possible for safety purposes, and in a similar way, Google wants to recommend websites to their users that are trustworthy instead of questionable/shady ones.

If you don’t add these pages until later, is your web site doomed?

I wondered this and decided to ask this question to John Mueller during a recent Google Webmaster Central hangout on May 31, 2019.

My question begins at 14:10 into the video.  Direct link to the live stream replay can be seen here, queued up to this question.

I asked:

My question is regarding privacy policies, terms of service, contact/about us pages, etc. If you set up a website and such pages are not published and a Google search quality rater rates your site negatively due to this, will the raters later “re-judge” your site when they are added at a later date? Is there anything that a webmaster needs to do once these pages are added?

A summary of John’s answer was that you do not need to do anything special to notify Google once you add the important pages – Google will automatically detect them at a later date when they crawl your website.  He didn’t specifically say whether this is a part of their main algorithm, but sort of seems to hint that maybe it is.

Whew!  Good news, right?  🙂

Conclusion:

So the bottom line is if you haven’t yet added these crucial pages, set aside some time to do so soon – before you add any more articles.  Make it a priority.  Otherwise, you may be burning the midnight oil for nothing.

If you didn’t add them in the beginning and have a ton of articles up, don’t worry… just post them and if you are in a hurry you can request indexing using the Google Search Console.

Here’s a video tutorial by Keegan Edwards on how to do so if you are not familiar:

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