Manage Website Sudden Disappearance from Google SERPs

Last Updated: April 12, 2023By

Have you suddenly got to see that your website has been dropped from the Google Search Engine Result Pages(SERPs). The first thing that should come to the mind is a possible penalty from Google. Well, many of us have been through that and the first thing to do is to remain calm and follow the suggestions in this article.

Further reading:

1. Check Google For Your Domain Name

Begin with a search for your domain name in Google to see if your website is completely removed or you just had one page taken out of the SERPs. If your find your other pages, then it should be an easier problem to address. If all your pages have been removed, then that is certainly a penalty.

2. Check Any Google TOS Violations

Check your Google Webmastertools account for any messages regarding violations of Google terms of service. If there be a message, then take steps to address it.

3. Be Careful With Frequent Metadata Changes

Have you recently altered your metadata? Frequently changing your title tags and especially changing to shorter titles most often lead to this kind of problem.

4. Check Webmaster tools for Notifications

In Google Webmaster tools, check for any manual actions under the Search Traffic tab and take the recommended actions if there be an issue.

5. Check Links to Your Site

You will also need to check the links to your site to ensure that they are high quality. The benchmark is to check if the sites linked to your website appear in Google. If they do, then that is a quality link. It is important to do this and be sure your are not getting links from banned sites or hacked sites. Our experience has shown that it is better to get links from websites that are higher in ranking than your site.

6. Take Security Seriously

If you run a content management system, and this applies to every other design tool, check the security recommendations for your site and make sure you are running the latest stable version.

7. Re-submit Your Site

When you are done with all this, you will need to use the fetch as Google button to re-submit your site back to Google. You should have your website back in SERPs withing 24hours. Google assures of crawling your site within a day when you use the fetch-as-google submission tool in Webmastertools. We have seen the listing come up in less that 5 minutes but let us stick to what Google promises. Again, using the fetch-as-google tool to submit same url after every change is not recommended and does not produce the same result. So, be sure to check that you are done before submitting.

Tips to Stay Safe From a Google Penalty

Search Engine Optimization is very important for every online business and, infact, will define the level of success for every business but it is also important to define proper tactics to use to get the best results. While the good practices should be top on everyone's mind, it is just as important to know that there are some bad SEO practices that can result in some serious penalties for your website, such as being blocked from search engines.

A recent report by Forbes magazine reveal that Google blacklists nearly 10,000 sites every day! This means Google can remove your website from the search engine’s index without warning to you or that you can get other form of punishments including a downgrading in search engine rank. Not only can being placed on Google’s naughty list result in a drop in traffic, it can also be detrimental to sales and your brand identity.

From innocent mistakes to downright sneaky tactics, the following 10 items are what NOT to do when planning your SEO strategy in order to stay on Google’s good side.

1. Mirror sites: that is, using the exact same content with different domains.

Mirror sites are typically done to allow for more opportunities to divert users toward the primary website. Google frowns at this as as duplicate content and can penalize your site for it.

2. Cloaking: designing a website that shows one thing to the search engines and another to site visitors.

This is used by spammers to trick search engines and Google takes this offense seriously and will immediately remove the site from the search engine.

3. Keyword Stuffing: using a keyword over and over on your site hoping to get a better ranking is a bad practice and should be avoided and seen as disregarding the need for quality content which is emphasized by Google.

4. Unnatural anchor text: Continuously using the same keyword rich anchor in all text links hoping that would get ranked for a specific keyword. Using the same keyword anchors is actually considered artificial and can result in a blacklist.

5. Broken links: adding or keeping broken links on a page to appear as if it contains more links.

A site with all working links will always outrank a page with broken links. One or two broken links on your site is no cause for concern, however it is always best to make sure you have accurate content on your site with updated links. The more broken links on a page, the more reasons the spiders will find to not display your website in search results.

6. Content Scraping: pulling content in bulk from other websites to your website.

Content scraping is not just a bad practice that is frowned at by Google but is usually against crediting original authors and is in violation of copyright laws.

7. Title Stacking: This is where you add more than one title tag per page.

8. Buying links: purchasing links from other websites to gain higher rankings on search engines. You must avoid this practice to avoid a blacklist or any other form of penalty.

9. Building fake links: This will involve creating links with no connection to your website all in the name of getting more backlinks. It works against you instead of helping to move up your ranking.

Google views random links on your website as spam and will mark you as a such.

10. Article spinning: creating different versions of the same article by making small adjustments using synonyms to replace some words and then submitting the articles to different websites in order to receive links back to your site.

Avoiding these SEO mistakes can help ensure that your site stays in the god books of Google.

How to Know Your Status and Recover From a Google Penalty

One of the worst things that will hit any website is a Google penalty. The frustration of being hit can be so severe for a website that significantly rely of search engine to drive traffic and generate sales. Because Google controls over 6 percent of search engine traffic, a Google penalty ought to be taken seriously and if your website is still clean with Google, you need to do your best to avoid a penalty.

Google has been drastically updating its algorithms for the past few years. These updates were implemented to give users the best possible answers to their search queries and provide the best user experience (UX) possible. The resulting Google Penalties became necessary as Search Engine Optimizers grew more sophisticated at finding ways to leverage things like links and targeted content to boost rankings and organic traffic.

The major updates of Panda and Penguin drastically changed the landscape and actually penalized sites for bending the rules and not completely following Google’s Guidelines. These updates are now engrained in the ever-changing algorithm set, continuing to penalize more and more websites every day.

There are two ways in which a site can be affected by these updates: a Manual Action or an Algorithmic Penalty.

Google Manual Action Penalty

Manual Action penalties are very easy to distinguish. Google is nice enough to leave you a message in your Webmaster Tools letting you know that a page on your site, or possibly your entire site, has a penalty. These penalties are often accompanied by worse rankings or complete deindexation.

Determining the Update that Caused the Penalty.

When you receive a manual action, the note in Webmaster Tools will tell you what is wrong. It may even give you examples of what is wrong. This type of penalty is very difficult to get out of. If you have received one of these messages, you need to work extra hard to upgrade the value of your content and submit a re-consideration request to Google.

Algorithmic Penalty

When Google runs an algorithm update, these types of penalties are automatically distributed to websites that flag behaviors that are outside of Google's guidelines. If you are hit by an algorithmic penalty from Google, check to see what major updates occurred recently.

12.Recent Years Google Algorithm Updates and What They Targeted

Panda (2011)

Panda targeted low quality content. Content farms were hit the hardest, but anyone with low quality, irrelevant, plagiarized, or keyword-stuffed content received hefty penalties as well.

Penguin (2012)

Penguin targeted poor quality links. The goal was to eliminate the sites that were paying for links, using automated link-building software, or obtaining low-quality links.

Hummingbird (2013)

Sites with long-tail search queries were hit the hardest with this algorithmic update. The main goal of the update was to create a more stable searching system for users by understanding human speech, and getting away from random keyword searching. Since many people use their phones, mobile devices, or voice recognition devices for searching, the update made it easier for those users to ask a question, so the content receiving the best rankings became the ones who answered a question, not the ones who had the related keyword in the search.

It can be much harder to figure out what penalty caused an algorithmic penalty. There are over 500 updates a year and picking which one is hampering your traffic is very difficult. Of course, this is much easier if you have access to Google Analytics. If you do not, you can get a really good idea using SEMrush.

Using Google Analytics

If you have access to Google Analytics, there are tools that can help you. Many webmasters use a paid tool called Fruition Google Penalty Checker. You grant the tool access to your Google Analytics account, and it will make a graph of all the penalties, and give you a percentage of the chance that it affected your site.

Another tool that works well (and is free!) is called Barracuda. It works the same way as Fruition does. You grant the tool access to Google Analytics and it produces a pretty graph that highlights the updates. This tool does not give you the likelihood of the update affecting your site like Fruition does, which is the reason Fruition is preferable to the professionals, but cost you some money.

Determining Update without Google Analytics

If you do not have access to Google Analytics or Webmaster Tools, which is often the case, you can still get a good idea of what update caused the traffic drop using a traffic estimator tool like SEMrush. Using this tool, you can see drops in traffic and then correlate the month the traffic dropped to a penalty using MOZ and Google Algorithm Change History.

Detecting a Google Penalty

Check Indexxing

If you are concerned about a site-wide penalty, there is a quick and easy way to check. Type in into Google, and hit enter. This limits the search to only bring up your domain, and if nothing shows up, you are not in the searches. If your site was already indexed into the Google search pages, and now is missing in action, a site-wide penalty, or a blacklisting is the only possible cause. If your site is brand new, keep in mind that it takes anywhere from a day to a week to be indexed, so do not panic if your new site has not shown up yet.

Check Google Webmaster Console

Log into your Google webmaster tools and check for notifications. You can check for manual review penalties by clicking Search Traffic, Manual Actions on the side bar.

Check KeyWords

If you have noticed a drop in your website traffic, but it shows up when entering hyper-specific queries in Google, you may be suffering from a partial penalty.

Type in main Keyword into Google, and hot enter. Swap out the main Keyword for whatever search terms you would use to find your site. If one or more of your pages does not show up, you may be suffering from a partial penalty. Try searching your brand name, if you are not on page for your brand, then there is a serious problem.

Check Your Visitors

Google analytics is a great place to view your traffic, and get an idea of when traffic started to drop. Check back several months if you have to, but find out when the decrease occurred, or started occurring so you can begin working on the possible problems.

Escaping the Google Penalty

While getting out of an algorithmic penalty is much easier than a manual penalty. By determining what update affected your site, you can find the cause, then correct it. Most of these penalties are data based, so if you can get your site below the threshold set by the search engine, you should be able to rank well again.

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