has my site disappeared from Google?
Why has my site disappeared from Google?
This is a very common question and it happens to the very best
of websites. If you're sure your website was previously listed in
Google and had some value, then has suddenly disappeared, you'll
need to start investigating the reasons why and how you can resolve
We'll take a step by step approach and be methodical about this
as it's the only way to truly determine the blame and hopefully
resolve the problem.
Step 1 - How do I check if my website is listed with Google?
First of all, visit www.google.com and type your website address
into the search box, then press search. If you get a result, you're
in Google. Move on to Step 3. If not, then chances are you've either
mispelled your domain name, so check carefully, otherwise, you're
banned. In this case, move on to Step 2.
Step 2 - Help, my site has been banned from Google
The very first thing you have to do is clean up your website. If
you have any of the following issues, remove or deal with them immediately.
>> Was your website down during Googlebots visit? If so,
consider another hosting provider.
>> Duplicate websites are also dismissed. Check for your
content on other peoples websites. Google may have favoured them
>> Check and remove any hidden tricks or spam. White text
on white background is common. This is likely to be the main reason
for being banned or dropped. Check for hidden elements, doorway
pages, client sniffers sending different content to different users
>> Although you can't ulmimately control your inbound links,
avoid bad neighbourhoods such as massive link farms, spammy directories
full of adverts etc when seeking links.
Once you're sure your website is clean, write an email to Google
explaining your circumstances. Tell them your website is now tidy
and full of important information, there are no hidden tricks employed
and that you have learnt your lesson. Also provide full contact
information. If you have relied on a search engine optimisation
company to promote your website, it is recommended to provide Google
with their information too and it helps them get a better understanding
of the tricks employed and how to provide a better service.
If done correctly, Google should respond and start to include your
website within a few weeks, however, be prepared to wait.
Step 3 - Why has my Google rank be dropped?
First of all, is your site new? If so, you could be trapped in
the highly controversial and theoretical "Google sandbox".
Whether this really exists or not is unimportant as the symptoms
most certainly do. The sandbox is like a probationary period for
new sites. It can take months to climb out but if your site is under
6 months old then use this time to publish content rich information,
articles and the like as well as getting some quality links from
other relevant sources and directories. Be patient and keep watching
If your site is well established, been around a while and suddenly
disappeared, then you'll need to check your inbound links. You do
this by running a character check and entering "+www.yourdomain.com"
into Google, then noting the results. This isn't the number of links
Google associates with your PageRank, but the actual number of website
pages that has your domain listed either by hyperlink or plain text.
Write down the number of results.
Next run a link check. Enter link:www.yourdomain.com into Google
and write down the results. This lists the number of sites offering
value to your site that Google knows of so is very important to
get as many as possible.
Analyse the results
Now, analyse the numbers. If you have no character check results,
you must start getting inbound links to your website. Read up on
my SEO article on how to start a marketing campaign.
If you have character check results but no link check results,
then the links you are getting are the wrong ones.
Download the Google Toolbar and monitor PR of the pages your links
appear. There are many ways of linking to websites and those that
link to you must do so properly.
Rule: Your link must be a proper hyperlink and not a redirect through
or nothing at all.
Another thing to note is make sure you see the location of where
the link will be placed. It must have a PageRank value. Remember
the Google Toolbar. Quality and quantity equals results.
If you have character check results and link check results then
basically you need more of them. Remember, quality and quantity.
OK, so you have tons of links, both character check and link check.
It's not your marketing that's the problem, it's the SEO side of
the coin. Search engine optimisation consists of document structure
and correct keyphrase placement.
I'll refer you back to my SEO article to get started there. Google,
as do many other search engines, constantly shift the posts as to
what they deem a relevant website which is why results and positions
constantly move about.
This makes things extremely difficult to keep up with but it's
important to stick to certain rules to be as consistent as possible.
Google will take time to display the changes you have made so be
patient. It could well be that the competition have simply squeezed
you out which does happen, however you'll know if you've suddenly
taken a hit in the listings as it can be very immediate.
Ultimately, follow the steps laid out above, be methodical and
About the Author
Edward Clarke. Author
of Optimising Your Website, and an IT Consultant for local UK Government
and various European Union initiatives, Edward Clarke specialises
in website accessibility, css, web standards and search engine optimisation.
Visit Edward's consultancy website and his blog for more information.