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Andy Williams

10 Reasons You May Be Banned From Google

22nd Dec 2008 SEO 3 minutes to read

On the 10th day of Christmas, Koozai brought to you…10 reasons why you may be banned from Google.

Toady we list ten common reasons why your site may have been banned or penalised by Google.  If you have suddenly disappeared of the face of the earth, you may find the reason below:

  1. Robots.txt File
    A good place to start is your Robots.txt file. It may be possible that you have the wrong coding in place and this could be stopping Google from crawling your site. Ensure that you have the correct parameters set up. If you have set up a rule that is aimed at blocking Google from crawling a certain part of the site, be sure you haven’t blocked off the whole site.
  2. Meta Tags
    Incorrectly coded Meta Tags can also stop Google from crawling your site. If you have a tag that reads: <meta name=”ROBOTS” content=”NOINDEX”> then Google will be sent away as soon as it gets to your site.
  3. Cloaking
    If your Web Server is set up to return totally different content to Googlebot compared to the content your visitors see when they come to your site, this is classed as Cloaking and you’re more than likely to get a permanent ban from Google. Cloaking is seen as the tactic of trying to cheat your way to better rankings, Google don’t like this and, if found, you will be penalised.
  4. Duplicate Websites
    A common practice or mistake that can be made is the use of multiple sites under different versions of the same Domain. People who are looking to secure rankings for .com, .co.uk and .net domains can fall into the trap of creating duplicate sites. This can result is getting one or all of these site penalised which could lead to losing all rankings instead of cornering the market. If you wish to cover all your bases by using multiple Domains, set up 301 re-directs to the main site.
  5. Duplicate Content
    It’s also a common mistake to fill a site with the same content across a number of pages. This will again be classed as duplicate content. If Google catches onto this, you could find yourself dropped into the middle of nowhere. Make sure each page has its own individual content.
  6. Hidden Text
    You should have nothing to hide. So don’t. Hidden text or text that is in the same colour as the back ground will backfire. This practice ironically is carried out so the search engines can see the hidden text but visitors to the site can’t. Usually the text is key terms the site is looking to gain rankings for yet if Google sees that you are trying to hide something from the visitor it will class this as spam and penalise your site accordingly.
  7. Hidden Links
    This is much the same as hidden text. If you hide links you’re going to get punished.
  8. Keyword Stuffing
    If you’re optimising your site you’re going to be looking to add important key terms to the page. If you over do it, you could find Google turning against you. Keyword stuffing not only stops your site from making any sense it’s also seen as spam. Your web page should always read naturally instead of a constant repetition of the same terms over and over again. Write for your visitors not the search engines and you won’t go wrong.
  9. Page Swapping
    If you swap your well ranked page for something totally different, expect to see a reaction. Although this won’t get you banned in the true sense of the word, you will see a dramatic drop. Basically if your page or site is no longer relevant to the terms you have worked hard to gain rankings for, you won’t be appearing for them.
  10. Linking to the wrong kind of sites
    Linking to other sites is a good thing but be careful who you’re actually linking to. Get caught up in the wrong company and you could find yourself disappearing. Linking to sites that aren’t exactly carrying out ethical practices will work against you. Adult and Gambling sites are an example of the types of sites to avoid. Don’t link to sites that spam. Avoid Link Farms. Only link to sites that are relevant and sites that would add value to the content of your site.

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Andy Williams

Andy Williams will be giving you useful insights into local search and the overall SEO landscape. Andy has over 10 years experience in the SEO industry including 2 years as the in-house SEO consultant with a leading Web Design company.

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