Is Your Website Banned by Google?
Lets take an hypothetical situation. Say You have a Website that ranks top on Google, brings lots of traffic, and boosts your business. You start to feel that the time, money, and effort you spent on optimizing your site bring in the expected results. You go to bed as a successful man with a successful Website. But the next day, you wake up to find out that your Website is nowhere to be found on Google!. Your site is not listed for any of the top keywords, “link:www.yourdomain.com” and “site:www.yourdomain.com” do not return any results. Google has banned your Website! The traffic to your site diminishes and your online business crumbles. Why did Google ban your Website? The following may be one of the reasons that attracted a ban by Google.
- Duplicate Content
If you have the same content in multiple pages on your Website or external sites, Google punishes your site usually by lowering its rank or sometimes by banning it.If you feel some Website is copying your content (you can find such pages by searching for key phrases for which your site gets listed), you can issue a warning to that site’s webmaster or visit www.google.com/dmca.html and notify them that someone is infringing on your site’s copyright.
- Cloaking and Redirects
Cloaking is an unethical practice of creating different Web pages for search engines and visitors. That is, webmasters create meaningless web pages that are stuffed with highly searched keywords. When the visitors click the link, the site redirects them to a well-written meaningful page but search engine spiders see the meaningless page loaded with keywords and links, that has been designed to impress them. Most engines today repeatedly speak out against cloaking. Nevertheless, the practice continues to thrive, because the engines have traditionally done a poor job of finding and penalizing sites employing this technique. Just because search engines are less effective in detecting cloaking, it doesn’t mean you will never be detected. Avoid cloaking and redirects to protect your site from a ban by search engines.
- Hidden Texts and Hidden Links
Hidden texts and hidden links are textual content and hyper links that the readers cannot see, but will be seen by search engines. In other words, these are generally links or texts that have the same color as the background color of the Web page. This is a trick whereby webmasters stuff the Web page with invisible keywords and hyper links to improve the page rank. Search Engines, these days, are getting better at identifying hidden texts and links and consider them as Spam, eventually banning those sites which use this trick.
- Keyword Spamming
Keyword Spamming is a practice of providing too many keywords in the META tags and body text. The general techniques today for keyword Spamming are repeating the same word(s) and adding many unrelated keywords in the Meta tags. If the spider detects it, well, you are asking for trouble.
- Linking to Bad Neighborhoods
Reciprocal links are great for improving your rankings. However, be careful and avoid joining “link farm” services designed to artificially inflate your link popularity.
- Do not sell or buy links to artificially increase ranking.
- Do not link to any Web page that uses Spam techniques to increase ranking.
- Do not join link exchanges that are designed to improve ranking.
- Do not link to a site that has been banned by Google.
- Machine-Generated Web Sites
There are sites that generate hundreds of Web pages that are basically the same page repeated hundreds of times, but with a few unique lines of text and unique title. Generally, search engines are very effective at spotting this; and in addition, all it takes for such a site being banned is a competitor or a site user reporting your site to the search engine.
Many search engines, including Google, consider the above-listed techniques illegal. If you are caught indulging in any one of them, you run the risk of attracting one of the following penalization:
- The page is red-flagged for closer inspection by a human reviewer.
- The page’s ranking is considerably reduced.
- The offending page is dropped from the engine.
- The entire site is banned from the engine.