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What To Do If Your Website Disappeared From Google ?

July 5, 2012 | Posted by

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On May 20th 2012 something very strange happened to this website. Yes this website – Your favourite blog at OnlineIncomeStartup.com. The site simply disappeared from Google search results. Every incidence of my website on google was gone. I only noticed it after a few days when I searched my url on google to see the status on Google. I was shocked to find that all the links to my website on Google search are gone. I couldn’t easily figure out why because I haven’t been doing much promotions on the website and I was simply planning the site. The most interesting thing was, it was around 10 months since I updated the blog with a new post. You can find it yourself from the dates in the image below.

I finally found some evidence on why my site disappeared from Google after I checked out my Google webmasters account. I found this message from Google inside my webmaster tools dashboard, beside my onlineincomestartup.com website, which made me understand that it was a Google quality guidelines penalty. But still I wasn’t aware of anything that I was doing that could have caused any penalty.

In the frustration, the next thing I did was go search Google up and down to find out a solution, which I couldn’t. Finally after many many hours, I finally found the Google website reconsideration request form. I quickly went ahead and submitted a reconsideration request. But I made sure that the request I submitted was open, complete and clearly stating why the penalty was inappropriate. Google might be receiving thousands and thousands of such requests everyday, they can’t go through them all and if you make it hard for them, you are going to suffer. So I made sure I addressed the exact problem which is “Quality Issues” as stated by Google. So make sure you make it easy for Google so that they’ll consider your site as well.

Here is what I did. I logged in to my webmasters tool, as you need to be logged in and must have your website submitted to webmasters before submitting the request. I then went ahead and copied the Google quality guidelines from the link Google mentioned in their message inside webmasters tool – Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. In the below image you can find the 8 specific quality guidelines mentioned by Google in the bulleted list.

After copy pasting the bulleted list, I put a hyphen besides every point and compared each guidelines with my website, clearly stating how my website is adhering each of the guidelines. Also I made whatever changes I can make on my website to make it as perfect as I possibly can. Here are just a few of things I did. Some of the changes were made after I submitted the reconsider request.

Positive Changes I Made To My Blog

  1. I was having an inner blog at onlineincomestartup.com/blog where I used to get content published by others, since this could be an open door for duplicate content, I went ahead and deleted the entire username through which the guest posts were made and ofcourse deleted the posts along with it. There were a couple of thousand posts which all went to the trash folder. But all for good, I always wanted the site to be exclusive to my posts, so there couldn’t be any better time than this.
  2. I was already drafting a new blog post just before my website disappeared from Google. I was actually planning all the growth strategies for my website, which was what held me from blogging regularly. So yes new content posted on my blog, letting them know that my site is not inactive or stagnant.
  3. Then I noticed that I was having blank pages in my blog, like the about me page, which I haven’t yet filled. So I double checked to make sure every page is complete and that I have a working contact page (which I didn’t have).
  4. Then I noticed weird links in my previous post links section, when I checked I found that my theme created a link on the sidebar everytime I saved a post draft. And these links when clicked led to a blank “page not found” page. So I went ahead and deleted all drafts.

So I went ahead and submitted the google reconsideration request, clearly stating my innocence and how my website is in fact adhering to all the quality guidelines. After submitting the request I got this message in my webmasters stating that they received my reconsideration request and that they’ll review the site and will reconsider indexing my site if my site is nolonger violating any of the terms. Also I was asked to wait several weeks and also it was clearly stated that I may not get a reply.

So I simply went ahead and started working on my site, making new posts, making videos on youtube, thenbuilding natural traffic other than from google, using sources like forums, facebook, twitter, blog comments etc.

Initially I checked each and everyday to see if my site is back on google, then the checking became more infrequent as days went by and I was thinking and ideating how I can build traffic other than via Google. But to my surprise on June 26th just after 25 days of submitting the reconsideration request, I found my website url’s in google. So I ran to Google webmasters to check if there are any messages, and there it was as expected. Here is the message I got stating that the webspam team of Google had revoked the manual block they implemented on my site.

Let’s recap all the dates and incidence that happened by viewing it from inside the Google webmasters.

From the above image, you can see that I got a reply to my google reconsideration request in 25 days and I believe it was because I wasn’t engaging in much link building activity for this website. Initially after the block was taken, not all my pages were indexed and the site wasn’t ranking as well, but within a couple of days I got a great surprise. My site started showing up on first page of Google for my main keyword, not only that, my picture was also showing up beside my website, letting me know that my Google authorship was accepted. Here is how the search looks now…

So doesn’t it look awesome ? So don’t worry if your site disappeared from Google, just submit the reconsideration request and make the needed changes, you sure will get a reward for all the frustration. Since Google has penalized thousands and thousands of sites using the panda and penguin, it’s time for sites built with people in mind, to excel to the top. It’s time to change your focus from search engines to people and Google will find you out. So have you been hit by a google penalty ? What all changes are you making after the Google updates ? Do let me know by writing a comment in the comment box below…

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Dr.Spencer Jones

Dr.Spencer Jones is the founder of Online Income Startup™. He loves to share from his 7 + years experience in setting up an online business and making money with it. And that's how he started writing this blog.

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10 Responses to “What To Do If Your Website Disappeared From Google ?”

  1. Adrienne says:

    Well that was interesting Spencer and sorry you had to go through all of that. I’ve been blogging consistently for three years now so this has never been an issue for me. It’s good to know that should this occur, I definitely know what to do now. Okay, this all might change six months from now but this is a start right!

    Thanks for sharing and glad to know you’re back up and on Google.

    Have a great weekend.

    ~Adrienne

    Dr.Spencer Jones Reply:

    Adrienne, It was shocking to me as I haven’t been doing anything on the site. Can’t even remember if I built any links to the site, so it was that inactive. And it taught me a new lesson as well, don’t go behind Google but let google come to you which is the right way to go, as Google always seemed to love natural links from the very beginning and it’s what’s going to stick.

    Dr.Spencer Jones

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  2. Simmeon says:

    Hey Spencer,

    From reading all of the post it seems like you’ve been round the houses on this one.

    Firstly, we are all at the mercy of Google… Grrrr

    Secondly, It was nice of you to document what you did to resolve the problem.

    Thirdly, you’re darn lucky for G Team to make the change.

    All in all sound like you have a great 25 days!

    Dr.Spencer Jones Reply:

    Simmeon, You are right about us being at the mercy of Google but if you really think about it, the opposite is true as well. If content doesn’t exist Google doesn’t exist as well, so Google exist at the mercy of content sites as well.

    Since the Google penalty occured, I’ve been taking steps to shift the focus from Google to people, the benefit of such a People focussed business is that, the more your site starts focussing on people, the more difficult it’ll be for Google to ignore your site. Google will in fact start loving your site. Eventhough I learned this secret a bit late, I now know that this is the approach taken by most of the hugely successful websites that receive tonnes of traffic from Google and other search engines.

    Dr.Spencer Jones

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  3. Hey Jones….it seems that Google have given importance to your site by doing a top level analysis of your blog and shared their report… (Just Kidding)…All the tips and experience you have shared are important for everyone as Google can contact us any time with same or almost similar analysis.

    Dr.Spencer Jones Reply:

    Hello Sandeep, Welcome to my blog & thanks for dropping your comment. It does happen to hundreds of thousands of blogs and knowing what to do when your site gets a Google penalty sure will give hope to many. Even though not all sites recover, it’s good to know that you tried your best to get your site back in Google.

    Dr.Spencer Jones

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  4. prabhat says:

    hello spencer,
    i really like it when a blogger liku you shares his/her own experience with the peoples because it helps the people in many ways. it tells us what to do and what we shouldnt do. i found your link on lisa’s post. same is happening with me but the difference is i didnt get any message from google.
    and i’d like to add one thing here. your design is nice but i had to stuggle very hard to read your article because of the dollors in the background, you might want to check that.thanks

    Dr.Spencer Jones Reply:

    Hello Prabhat, Welcome to my blog. Glad to hear that you followed me from Lisa’s post. Thanks for taking the time to write those nice words. Really appreciate that.

    Yes it’s true that not everyone who have their site added to Google webmasters gets a message when slapped. But either you get a message or not, you can follow the same steps to send a site reconsideration request to Google.

    Sorry to hear that you found the content hard to read, because of the background. It’s the first time that someone is reporting a problem. May be it’s because the page didn’t load fully ? I would like to confirm because I am having a white background for the content area. And the dollars in the background are well separated from the content area. Please do a refresh and let me know if you are still having the trouble. Anyway thanks for letting me know, your experience does help me tweak the site and make it more user friendly.

    Dr.Spencer Jones

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  5. Hannes Uys says:

    Hi Spencer

    I have the same problem at the moment and it turned into a nightmare – the ranking used to be good, but since the site has been hacked I’ve tried just about everything to get it back. I’ve followed your guidelines and hope my ranking will be back soon!

    Thanks for the advice

    Regards

    H.

    Dr.Spencer Jones Reply:

    Hello Dear Hannes, Sorry to hear about the drop in your website ranking. If you followed everything to make the site google compliant, then hopefully your site will be back within a month after sending the reconsideration. All the very best…

    Dr.Spencer Jones

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