Disaster! My site has disappeared from Google!!
It’s every website owner’s worst nightmare – sitting down at the computer one day, typing your business name into Google and – BAM – the site’s not there in the search results! Frantically, you scan through page after page to no avail, it has completely disappeared. What has happened?
Although this sounds like a worst-case scenario, unfortunately it does happen (very) occasionally. And with a market share of 70.38%* of search engine traffic, going missing on Google can have a devastating effect on the businesses involved. Especially if those businesses are reliant on web traffic for survival.
If this does happen to you, before you even consider anything else in this article, make sure you go to google.com and try the site: prefix with your site name (for example site:tropicalcoastwebdesign.com.au). This will allow you to determine whether your site is still on the Google Search index or if it has been removed altogether.
There is a myriad of reasons that a site can disappear from Google, ranging from very simple errors and problems right through to black banning by the search giant for dubious SEO practices. Some of these reasons include:
- Lack of SEO love from the site owner. They’ve created a site and done nothing else with it. No promotion, no linking and little or no new content.
- Article Spinning. This practice involves using regurgitated content from other websites and Google absolutely hates this – it only loves fresh, new content. Article spinning often involves automatic generators that simply change small sections of text so that the content does not look directly plagiarised from its source.
- Link building cheats. This generally involves third-party businesses that “guarantee” rankings by creating links through a large network of internet sites called “Link Wheels” or a “Link Pyramids.”
- Keyword Stuffing. A website is filled with content and the same keywords are used throughout that content repeatedly. It reads terribly, makes your content look cheap and Google doesn’t like it. It nearly always raises a red flag and Google loves to act against those flags.
Luckily, unless you’ve been naughty, all it takes is some time and effort to fix this “little” problem. Sit down at your computer and start “cranking” out some decent original content that is not stuffed to the gills with keywords. Write a blog like this one (topics are easier to come by than you think), announce new store arrivals or simply upgrade your imagery – don’t forget to tag those images!
Look at the results that are coming in on the first page of Google Search for your desired keywords. Normally, Yellow Pages and Local Search directories are up there in the #1 and #2 positions. If you are listed with them, contact each and make sure that your website address is on their listings too.
Contact your suppliers and customers that have web pages and set up reciprocal links – I’ll link to you and you link to me. Make sure that you are in similar industries as Google looks favourable on this.
Finally, your site could simply go missing due to a change in the complex algorithm that controls our search results. Google is a private company and wants to remain at the top of its game, making money for its shareholders. To do this, they keep “fine-tuning” the way that search results are ranked and ordered. Your site may simply not “stack” up against the new algorithm, yet. In this case, keep working on that fresh content and the remainder should take care of itself.