Voted Off the Island
Could there be anything worse than being delisted by Google? Well of course there are so many things worse than being delisted by Google. But in the context of this post, there is nothing worse. Especially if they don’t let you back in. Google is very particular, you really need to pay attention to their rules or risk being literally and figuratively shunned. Imagine all your hard work, hours of concepting, writing, thinking. Gone. Just because a search engine made it so.
And without search engines, who is going to find your brilliant blog? You need them.
Only My Mom Reads My Blog
There are literally a gazillion websites and blogs bouncing around the Interwebs. Why in the world would Google or any other search engine for that matter even notice the existence of your blog or website? Believe me when I tell you, you matter. And search engines are bit more Big Brotherish than you’d like to believe.
The term delisting means that a site or page is removed from the index of a search engine. Why would anyone possibly do something like that? What compels someone to make such a rather dramatic decision and obliterate you from the Internet?
Plain and simple. A site can be delisted for violating Google’s terms of service (or that of any search engine). Remember I said it’s important to follow the rules?
What actions are deemed as violations: (These violations are often lumped together and referred to as Black-Hat SEO practices)
- This is when your content for users is different than your content for search engines. How is that possible? The cloaked content is intended to trick search engines with the sole intent of ranking higher. Cloaked content is stuffed full of keywords and phrases meant to attract search engines.
- The rule here is write your content for your readers, not search engines.
Spamming or Keyword Stuffing
- This is manipulation in the truest sense. Those who keyword stuff are guilty of loading up pages with keywords in order to influence website rankings. The more a keyword is used, the better for your site and the higher your site’s rank. Keyword stuffers/spammers make the mistake of cramming the site so full of keywords that it actually no longer makes any sense. That’s smart. Not.
- Also if someone is feeling particularly sneaky and duplicitous they will hide text by using white text on a white background or hiding a large amount of text behind an image with the font at 0.
- The lesson here is that at some point and time you will get caught. So don’t take the risk.
Two Websites. Duplicate Content.
- The very nature of a website is that it must have original content unique to that website. Search engines are looking for distinct information. Setting up more than one website with the same content as another is really not a good idea.
- To be safe, if your site has a ‘regular page’ page and a ‘print version’ of the same page be sure to use a ‘no-index meta tag’ so only the ‘regular’ page shows up in the search.
- Your site is about your upcoming trip to Africa and you have links to weight loss and cooking sites on your page. Not a good idea. Granted having ‘relevant’ links on your website definitely helps your site ranking. The key here being relevant links. All (yes ALL) links must be relevant to the content of your site. I don’t know how many times I can say this?
- What ever you do avoid the following link schemes: (If it sounds too good to be true. It is.)
- Links intended to manipulate your page ranking (do you really want your readers to think your manipulative?)
- Links to questionable websites (I don’t think I need to explain)
- A plethora of link exchanges (link to me and I’ll link to you)
- Buying or selling links just to pass page rank. (It’s important to designate links appropriately for ad purposes)
What If I’m Voted Off the Island?
God forbid your website gets delisted! What’s a person to do?
- Find out why your site was delisted.
- Read Google’s webmaster tips and requirements
- Fix your site according to the Google guidelines
- Then submit your website to Google: www.google.com/addurl/
White-Hat SEO is doing the exact opposite of Black-Hat SEO. It is all about anything you do that improves your SERP while at the same time staying within search engine guidelines and maintaining the integrity of your website. Once again, follow the rules and you won’t have any trouble. White-Hat SEO Practices include:
- Offering quality content and services
- Using descriptive, keyword-rich meta tags
- Making your site easy to navigate
Pretty basic stuff.
Don’t waste your time and energy trying to buck the system. Because in the end you’re not going to win. Use your time constructively. Focus on content, content, content. Of course you should do the base level SEO recommended by Google. But stop there.
Always remember your website is for people. Not bots.