Reasons Why Your Website is not Appearing in Google Search Results
If you are confused about sudden decline in the Google ranking of your website or a sudden disappearance from the search engine, there are possibilities that you have been PENALISED by GOOGLE.
If Google has put a penalty on your website then generally it infers that you are either using manipulative methods (as per Google Webmaster guidelines) to increase your site ranking or your site visitors.
Let us sneak into the reasons for the penalties in brief and find out what went wrong with your website…
The penalties on your website can either be Manual or Algorithmic.
Manual Penalties: Google manually reviews the web pages according to its guidelines.
Algorithmic Penalties: When your site has stumbled over a safeguard built into Google’s algorithm. Google keeps updating its algorithms several times a month unannounced and at times it makes announcements for bigger updates like Panda and Penguin.
1. Copied Content
Google is very strict about the quality and originality of the content published on your website. Google checks the quality of the content and pushes down the websites with low quality. Sometimes putting a penalty to the site with copied content from other sites thus automatically putting websites with high-quality contents at a higher ranking.
2. Thin content
According to Google, Thin content means little content. Google wants to provide its users information-rich solutions. But some sites to increase their content copy or give inadequate content filled with keywords with little or no relevant content. Google tends to put a penalty on such sites to make the search results relevant, useful and time saving for users.
According to Google, Doorway can be explained as sites or pages that are created to rank highly for similar search queries. They basically lead search engine spiders to multiple similar pages during Google search, where each result reflects same or intermediate page that does not serve any purpose. Here the web pages contain resembling titles and the content used is almost similar or altered a little easy for Google to find similarities. Google penalizes such sites and pages for similar content and using malicious methods to increase ranking.
Example: A person attempts to create several web pages with similar titles like Window cleaning in New York, Window cleaning in California, Window Cleaning in Seattle and he does not change the contents or alters very little content then, in that case, Google can penalize him for his attempts to increase his Google ranking.
Wikipedia defines Cloaking as an SEO (search engine optimization) technique where content provided to search engine spider is different and the content presented to the user is different. It is a Spamdexing technique to misguide search engines giving sites relevantly high ranking. Google strives to give users best surfing experiences and best results thus sites that are involved in Cloaking act as a threat to Google’s reputation and are penalized.
5. Too Many Backlinks
It is possible to mask backlinks for a short duration but Google does understand this tactic so BEWARE! Google does not confront the use of backlinks but using too many of them could be a threat to your website. Creating too many backlinks damages your website ranking as too many backlinks infer lack of quality content and sometimes also spinning content. Create links slowly and regularly to survive the digital platform decently. Google understands the need of linking pages together but constantly scans through the linking pattern. In case of unnatural linking pattern, you can be penalized by Google.
See Matt Cutts explanation on this topic
Example: web developer credits in the footer. If you have one REMOVE or NOFOLLOW it right away.
6. Spam Backlinks
There are sites dedicated only for backlinks and have poor quality content which are basically considered spam link by Google. These are URLs and optimized hyperlinks that are dropped in comment sections of irrelevant blogs and posts that add no importance to the discussion or poor quality bookmarking sites, forum signature sites and directory sites that only distort the digital space. Posting a lot of links may sound productive but be aware of the fact that content all over the internet is reported with comment automation that helps Google to pick on spam links. Thus this won’t serve your purpose of getting high ranking by Google instead may land you with a penalty.
The paid links we come across also violate Google’s Guidelines, thus for affiliate marketing use NOFOLLOW links.
If your website redirects to another page or you see pages added to your webpage then probably your webpage is HACKED. To increase their page visits and rankings hackers may redirect your webpage to theirs or may add their pages to yours to promote their products thus declining your page’s authenticity. Google removes sites from search engine result pages (SERPs) that are reportedly hacked. In a survey conducted by Wordfence, it was observed that 45% users saw search traffic impacted by a hack and 9% saw a traffic drop as high as 75%. You have a chance of cleaning your website way before Google finds it thus avoiding traffic impact. Installing your own malware to check your website regularly provides great support in this case and keeps your website under decent ranking.
To protect your web page from hackers use SSL certificates and security plugins.
8. Google Bot Blocking
Wikipedia defines Google Bot as the search bot software used by Google which collects documents from the web to build a searchable index for the Google search engine. In case Google Bot is blocked it cannot crawl to a site or index its contents thus reducing the search ranking. Make sure when you create a website you DO NOT BLOCK Google Bot as it would restrict spiders to crawl into your site and would not include it in the search results thus decreasing your ranking.
9. Fake Schema
These are fake code errors that a website uses. Generally, website owners put fake schema codes visible only for Google but are not available for the users. If you have a fake schema to your website check here. Google Schema Testing Tool
Examples: Review/ Rating schema. Only Google can access the ratings and users cannot. Thus Google started penalizing such websites since December 2017.
These Google Penalties are nothing but SEO methods manipulated for malicious gains. Google has several algorithms like PANDA and PENGUIN to keep a check on the penalties notified. Not all Website owners fall under this category intentionally, in an urge to gain high Google search ranking in short time sometimes the optimization techniques used turn out to be one of the penalties thus landing the owners in trouble.
To avoid Google penalties make sure your website follows Google’s Guidelines. Create backlinks naturally, slowly and regularly on quality and relevant sites. Do add quality content with healthy word limit regularly and avoid using spam methods that violate Google’s guidelines. Make sure your website has SSL certificate.
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