“Why Did My Websites Disappear From Google Search” Asked A Friend – Guess Why!
The search algorithms have undergone numerous changes over the past few years as we are all aware of. Google and Bing thrive to provide the best possible results for the search queries of internet users.
These changes force webmasters to adjust their SEO techniques and understand that outdated SEO tactics of the past might get their sites penalized.
My friend Robert had to learn this the hard way. Let me tell you his story before I point out six major SEO mistakes you need to avoid to stay on Google’s good side.
Robert operates four website in different niches. He worked hard and put a lot of effort into his home business. He understands that online success is not going to happen overnight.
After about three months after he started, he voiced his disappointment about not getting enough traffic to his sites, and he asked me for some advise. He had built nicely designed websites with quality content and everything seemed to be in order.
However, the sites did not monetize and he grew impatient. We went over every little detail and couldn’t find anything wrong. Some of his posts ranked on pages one and two in Google which, we thought, was fantastic after such a short time.
He got decent traffic, just about an average of 125 visits per day. Yet, the sales figures where dismal. We updated some of his content, tweaked keywords and keyword phrases.
To make the long story short……..we ran out of ideas and struck out.
About three weeks later, Robert called me all excited and happy. Almost all his published articles showed on pages 1 & 2 in Google, traffic was up 900% (1,000 visits a day) and sales picked up.
He was making $40.00 – $50.00 per day, then $70.00 and 10 days after that he had his FIRST ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR DAY!
“What happened?” I asked. Robert told me about this SEO Company he hired to fix things and whatever they did seemed like a miracle. And Robert added “this was the best $2,000.00 investment I ever made”.
OK, I thought, everything is fine and well; until Robert called me 4 weeks later. He was almost in tears when he told me that……..
- All four sites have disappeared from the rankings
- Google cancelled his G+ account
- You Tube suspended his account and pulled all his videos as a result
It took us about 2 weeks to unravel the mystery and find out exactly what has happened. The SEO Guru, my dear friend fell for, used “Black Hat SEO Techniques” which are an absolute No-No.
Six Black Hat SEO Techniques To AVOID
1) Buying Backlinks
I put this on top of the list because it is not only a waste of money, but this practice is also high on Googles no-no list.
Quality Backlinks are still very important for SEO if they are quality backlinks from reputable sites. If, for example, the New York Times would link to some of your articles, Google would take that as a sign that your site provides relevant and important information.
However, when a site has 1,000 or more incoming links from spammy sites in the far east (as was the case with Robert’s sites), that raises the spam alert flag and your site will get penalized.
2) Article Directories
Some years back it was a good practice to publish articles to directories like Ezine or Street Article, add some backlinks and get a lot of traffic this way.
What happened back then was that your articles could get linked to from other websites or downloaded and added to other sites.
Of course, this led to “duplicate content and spammy” which also was targeted by Google some time ago. Her is a short video by Matt Cutts addressing this issue.
In Robert’s case, the SEO “Master” submitted all articles to several Article Directories and created duplicate content.
3) Guest Blogging
“Guest Blogging is dead; long live Guest Blogging“. In January of 2014 Matt Cutts announced that guest blogging has “gotten too spammy” and will lose it’s SEO juice. Here is what Matt had to say then.
As a result, MyGuestBlog.com got slapped hard by Google and de-indexed. To find it nowadays, you need to Google for myguestblog.com.
However, Matt Cutts later said that guest blogging with reputable sites and/or reputable bloggers is still alive and well; they just wanted to get rid of the spam.
4) Keyword Stuffing
Of course, you have heard this terminology before (and maybe done it when it was “the thing to do”). The time of keyword stuffing has passed.
Using my friend’s sites as example again, this old school SEO gamers stuffed the Keyword Meta boxes with 20, 30 and in one case with 53 keywords and keyword phrase.
In addition, they added some “keyword rich” sentences to the content, not caring if the sentence fit snuggly into the article or not. On one article I counted 149 keywords added, which is insane as far as I am concerned.
This may have worked like a “peach” back in the days, but will get you penalized, again.
Some folks are talking about a certain keyword density or percentage of keywords in an article. I am not sure if even Google’s masterminds thinking in these terms.
The best practice with keywords is to use them in the title, within the first 160 characters of the article (if it sounds natural) and then write your post without giving too much thought to keyword density.
Meaningful Headlines and Sub Headers should contain different keyword phrases. This will tell the crawlers what the article is all about.
5) Keyword Optimized Anchor Text
It seems to be a good idea to use your main keywords as anchor text for links. In reality, however, this is not so good an idea. Google’s Penguin update in 2012 targeted keyword stuffed anchor texts.
They now prefer natural text to link to relevant content instead of SEO optimized text.
6) Hidden (Invisible) Text
This technique is hiding keywords in the footer section, or at the bottom of the content, by coloring the words in the background color. The human eye cannot see them, but the search engine crawlers do and treat them as content.
This is now considered “keyword stuffing” and, again, leads to get Google slapped
Internet Marketing is a tough business. The competition is fierce and, unfortunately, there are but so much spaces on pages one and two of search results.
If you don’t have unlimited funds to buy your way onto the top of page 1 with paid ads, you will need to play by the rules. Short cuts, looking for loopholes or trying to “out-game” the almighty search engines, lead to a sad ending, as my friend Robert had to find out.
My advise to you is to follow the guidelines and use proper SEO practices. Your hard work in creating quality content combined with the necessary patience will pay off.
What Is The Moral Of My Friend Robert’s Story?
You know, I could have said to Robert “I told you so”! He never took my advise to take a look at the online learning center that taught me everything about Internet Marketing, Keywords, SEO and so much more.
If you really want to succeed in the online business world, I suggest you read about my #1 recommendation. Not only will you get the proper all-around training, Wealthy Affiliate provides 24/7 support and all the tools you will need.