Yes, you read it right. Paradoxically, for a search engine that requires sites to submit URLs for indexing, Google also de-indexes websites. So don’t be surprised if you cannot find your site in SERPs even when you search for your own company name. By virtue of the search engine’s content and quality guidelines, there are two ways Google de-indexes a website: temporarily and permanently.
De-indexation is usually temporary. Google gives the website owners a chance to recover indexation and ranking through modifying the contents of the sites and pages. Permanent de-indexation occurs when Google decides not to re-index the sites perhaps because there are no apparent changes on the sites.
Let’s take a look at the reasons for being de-indexed by Google based on two major categories: contents and links.
Content duplication refers to the creation of several pages with the same content. Google categorizes these sites as spam, and it punishes repeat offenders by removing the website entirely. Content scraping is basically content duplication. What’s worst, scraping is the publication of other people’s original work.
Some people think that by adding attribution they can get away it with. Google thinks otherwise. Depending on the original content that you published with or without crediting the author, Google regards this is as plagiarism or copyright infringement. Copying and pasting is a no-no.
Since late 2000s, content creation tools are constantly rolled out online. This can be also considered as duplication only that a tool or program is used in creating the contents. This is a black hat tactic that Google also punishes. These contents are directly lifted from other sites, pasted on the tool and modified for online re-publication. Machine-automated contents are not Google-unfriendly, but they are also not human readable.
Cloaking means having different versions of landing pages. Users see pages with shady contents while search engines view decent contents when being crawled. These websites have special server scripts that detect spiders and users and deliver contents based on what the scripts have detected.
In essence, the philosophy behind cloaking is similar to that of sneaky redirects.
4) Unrelated keywords
Google had already forbidden keyword stuffing including font matching and using microscopic fonts and stacking titles. Now, it is punishing sites that list unrelated keywords through determining the relevancy of keywords used by the websites. This is where the role of Hummingbird comes into play.
5) Paid link exchange
For one, Google is currently removing sites whose main business is selling links to other online publishers. To complement such, the search engine analyzes external links as well to determine the quality and reputation of the sites linking back to your website. Sites are removed when they constantly linked to low-quality, malicious sites. Do this and Google will definitely wreak havoc on your site.
6) Too many URLs
Exact match domains remain to be a strong content indicator. Some marketers buy single domains and point all the URLs to the main domain, usually the first one. What Google will do is to index just one domain and de-index all other domains especially when the contents are too little or low in quality. Busted!
7) Excessive affiliate links
For Google, the ethos is ensuring that users have access to useful information. Typically, affiliate marketers collect manufacturer’s product descriptions and put them on a separate site. Websites that contain commercial information provides little value to the users hence these are de-listed by Google.
Technically, Google will also remove your website if it loads extremely slow, when the server crashes several times or when the domain name had already expired. Good thing Google alerts online publishers when the site or pages violate any of the guidelines through the Webmaster Tools.
There won’t be a quick-fix, and there are no cutting corners when your website was de-indexed by Google but to change the affected sites and pages. Then, submit the site so Google may reconsider it. The key term here is ‘reconsider’ – Google may or may not consider re-indexing the site depending on the extent of apparent modification.
Bottom-line, the sites and pages must comply with the quality standards set forth by Google, or if they will not, they will be removed from the index permanently. Definitely not a good place to be in! Let this be a warning for new SEO companies in the Philippines and a reminder for the seasoned SEO firms.