The Disease of Google Banning: Are You At Risk?

Definition:

Google banning occurs when Google removes your site from its index and flags your domain as 'banned', so it won't spider your site anymore. It is actually a serious disease and may be even life threatening specially for small websites.

Etiology:

Webmasters' mistakes are almost always the leading causes of google banning; here are some of the common mistakes that will get your website banned:

1. Using small or hidden text in your web pages. Some webmasters will try to use hidden text containing certain keywords inside their site, so that the text is not visible by the human eyes, but visible by search engines.

2. Using popular keywords such as "sex, mp3, yahoo" in the meta tags when the subject of your site has nothing to do with those keywords is commonly called keyword stuffing.

3. Participating in Link farms. Link farms or Free-for-all links pages are pages that consist of links and exist solely to help listed sites gain higher search engine rankings. These pages have no unique content just links. Obviously you can't control which sites link back to you, but if you link to link farms, your site will get banned.

4. Submitting multiple versions of the exact same page or an identical page for indexing. Some webmasters try to increase their page count by having similar pages and only changing the title, subject or small word changes.

5. Using unauthorized automated software to submit pages, check rankings, etc. Such programs violate Google's terms of service. Google does not recommend the use of products that send automatic or programmatic queries to Google. It is better to hand submit your site and only do so once a month.

6. Keyword stuffing: adding too many keywords in Meta tags or page text is called Spam and will get you banned. For example, if your website contains 400 words and the keyword phrase "website advertising" is repeated 50 times, the search engines will most likely think you are spamming them.

7. Using Doorway pages: Doorway pages are Web pages designed and built specifically to draw search engine visitors to your website. They are standalone pages designed only to act as doorways to your site. Doorway pages are a very bad idea for several reasons, though many SEO firms use them routinely.

8. Linking to a banned site, specially extensive linking as in networks.

9. Registering an already banned domain. Some webmasters, after their website becomes banned from google due to any reason, delete this domain and register another while the first domain remains banned from google. So, before you register a domain, make sure it is not banned by doing the test mentioned below in "Diagnosis".

Manifestations:

1.The earliest manifestations of google banning are usually first noticed by the webmaster as a sudden and severe drop in the number of website visitors and when the webmaster tracks the referrers of his visitors, he will not find anymore visitors coming to his site from google.

2. Sudden drop of the google PageRank of all pages of the website from any level to 0.

The combination of the above 2 symptoms is highly suspicious for google banning specially if they occur suddenly to an "old", established, high ranking website. In case of "newly born" websites, the diagnosis may be difficult depending on the above manifestations alone as these manifestations may be normal and transient for new sites which have not been indexed by google yet and so their pagerank is still 0. In this case, we need an "urgent" diagnostic test.

Diagnosis:

The diagnosis of google banning is very easy, even for new sites that have not been indexed by google yet. The diagnosis is made by a simple, accurate, and rapid test:

Test: Provided the site suspected for google banning is called www.suspected-domain.com, do a search in google for www.suspected-domain.com.

Results and interpretation: if www. suspected-domain.com is banned, google will say: "Sorry, no information is available for the URL www.suspected-domain.com" WITHOUT a direct link to www.suspected-domain.com. This sign differentiates between banned sites and new non-indexed sites. In the later case, there will be a direct link to www.suspected-domain.com, and google search results will say: "Sorry, no information is available for the URL www.suspected-domain.com" followed by "If the URL is valid, try visiting that web page by clicking on the following link: www.suspected-domain.com". This sign is absent in banned sites.

Complications:

Google banning is an infectious disease; all sites linking to the banned site are at a risk of catching the banning. So it is usual that many link partners escape and on the long run, the site will lose many of its inbound links.

Prevention:

Prevention is always easier than treatment, and fortunately, google banning is a preventable disease. Prevention is easy, you don't need to do anything to avoid banning, just don't do bad things, most of them are mentioned above.

Treatment:

Unfortunately, no curative treatment is available and the prognosis is bad, just palliative treatment:

1. Treatment of the cause. The first thing to do is to correct the cause. If you are not sure there must be some errors you suspect, correct all of them.

3. Isolation: if you have other websites linking to the banned sites, remove their links to it to avoid them catching the infection.

2. Writing to google:

After you have corrected all possible errors, email google at [email protected] with an reinclusion request. The following is a template of reinclusion request letter:

Dear Google,

I am the owner of http://www.banned-domain.com/

I did not realize that (doing a mistake) was a bad thing that would get me banned from Google. Now, I understand that I have done a mistake, and I apologize profusely. I have removed (bad thing) from my site, and I promise not to make this mistake again.

I am asking you to Please Consider reinstating my website, http://www.banned-domain.com/ , into Google's Index.

Sincerely,

4. Domain transplantation: many people just ditch the former domain name and start with something new. It is much easier to build a site from a PR3 or PR4 (which most new sites are given) rather than trying to dig a banned site from the depths of PR0.

Last word:

Google banning is google's defense mechanism to keep their search results as accurate and useful as possible and it is their right, however, in my opinion, it is a very severe and even fatal punishment for webmasters' mistakes. If google has the right to ban a site from its search results, its right to take off its pagerank is questionable. Page rank is a measure of site popularity and "I am bad" does not necessarily mean that "I am not popular".

Author: Dr Wael Serag, a specialist in SEO diseases and complications. Improve your SEO health and get free articles, tools and more at: http://money-making-webmasters.com/

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