Banned from Google? Ouch. Anyone who’s been banned from Google before knows that it’s not a fun ordeal. As of June 22, 2009, a report shows that google.com is used for around 90% of all searches done on the internet (worldwide). And with the next closest search engines in the running being 85 points away (yahoo.com at 5.5% and the new bing.com at about 4.5%) that’s a pretty big chunk of your traffic being cut out when Google decides to ban your site.
How to Know if you are Banned from Google
Sometimes it’s not so easy to know if you are banned from Google. So I’ve started a “You Might be Banned from Google if…” list. Feel free to add to the list in the comments.
- If yesterday you were ranking on the first page of Google and today your site is nowhere to be found in the SERPS, you might be banned from Google.
- If you do a site search (site:yoursite.com) on Google, and it brings up no results, you might be banned from Google.
- If yesterday your page rank was 5 and today it is 0, you might be banned from Google.
Common ways of getting banned from Google.
Now, of course, if you’ve been banned, you probably already know why it happened. But just in case you’re still in a daze, here are some common ways to get your site banned from the ever powerful Google search engine:
- Hidden text or hidden links – when you think about how this is done (making the color of the text the same color as the background that it’s placed over, how hard would this really be for Google to detect with a small piece of code in their algorithm?
- Use of cloaking or sneaky redirects – and yes, Google calls them “sneaky.”
- Loading pages with irrelevant keywords – aka keyword stuffing.
- Creating multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.
- Creating pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other mal-ware.
- Producing "Doorway" pages created just for search engines with little or no original content. The key to this is “little or no original content.” If you’re actually adding new content to the web then this shouldn’t be a problem.
There are also some “back-door” ways of getting your site banned from Google, such as including several links to sites that are known for spamming, thus causing Google to draw the conclusion that you’re affiliated with them.
If anyone knows of any other sure-fire ways of getting banned from Google, let me know in the comments!
So what if you do get banned? Then what?
How to remove a ban from Google
The thing to remember with a Google ban is that it is not always permanent. In fact, most of the time, you can just change whatever it was that got you banned and then submit a reconsideration request. To resubmit to Google, visit this link, which will take you to a page within the Google Webmaster Tools. From there they will walk you through the process which can also include sending an email to Google regarding what you have changed and why you feel you should be included in the search engine once again. Remember when you compose this email that there will be a real person reading it on the other end. Be kind and business-like in your request and you will have much more of a chance of getting the ban lifted and once again being indexed in the largest and most used search engine on the web.