Having been a pure developer long before I got-into the Domaining game I’m not unfamiliar with the pain and agony that comes with getting a domain/website de-listed by Google. As more and more Domainers start going-down the developer road it’s important to understand some of the common ways you could get de-listed from Google.
When your domain or group of domains are de-listed from Google you can literally watch your traffic disappear and with it, your revenue. So I thought it would be good to put-together a list of ways in which your domain or website can get de-listed from Google to help you avoid having to say, “Hey, where did all my traffic go?”
- Duplicate Content
- Duplicate Pages/Page Structure across many domains
- Hidden links or text
- Links to Spam sites or other de-listed sites (these links could be injected into a WordPress blog without you knowing!)
- Cloaked links and covert redirects
- Automatically querying Google
- Having pages/content that doesn’t make sense or uses gibberish words (Google looks to see if you’re just filling the space)
- Incoming links from known Spam sites (yes, other people can sabotage your site!)
- Too much SEO – everything in moderation – too much of a good thing can be bad
- Running malicious code or running a script on your site flagged as malicious
What most people forget is that sometimes you can be breaking the rules without even knowing it! For example – suppose you have built a nice mini-site using WordPress. A few weeks go by and you notice that your site has been dropped from Google. Little did you know someone hacked your WordPress install and placed spam-links in your header. It’s happened to me and it can happen to you!
So how can you avoid getting de-listed by Google? Follow my three steps below and you’ll be off to a good start.
- Put Google Webmaster Tools on all of your sites – it will show you exactly how Google sees your site and flag any abnormalities
- If you’re using a CMS make sure to update it frequently or find a script that will automatically update it for you
- Avoid duplicate content like the plague – fresh unique content is the key to staying on Google’s good side
Have your own de-listing horror story to share? Have some advice to help keep your site safe? Comment and let your voice be heard!