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Search Engines Don't Really Ban Sites!...Or Do They?

The results are in - you CAN get banned by a search engine. Find out what NOT to do.

I've heard of sites getting banned by search engines, but in seven years of Web marketing--being careful to drive mostly between the white lines--had never seen it happen, until just now. One of my clients suddenly stopped getting free search traffic from Google! That's right, his Adwords kept delivering, but the free traffic was zero. I looked him up, using all of our favorite keywords that I had so carefully optimized for, and nothing--I couldn't find his site in the free search results.

Needless to say, he was upset, because the phone was not ringing very much. I was stumped, had no idea how this had happened. What had I done to make this happen? Where should I start looking?

I looked over my Webposition Gold logs, and saw that some submission failures had occurred when submitting his site; a page was missing. So I checked the site, and found that the site map had disappeared, and that was causing the submit mission to fail sometimes. I decided to take a look at the html on the home page to make sure the link was good, and surprise! Tucked into the background color of the home page was a long list of keywords, one of the oldest and best-known search engine spamming techniques.

I asked the client how this list of words had suddenly appeared on the site. He told me that he had recently changed Webmasters, and the new Webmaster had this great idea of putting this long list of keywords on the site....he hadn't thought to mention it to me. We now have a clearer understanding of the role of Web marketing and how much Web marketing this new Webmaster should be doing. None.

I've cleaned up the site, and now we're waiting for Google to let us out of the penalty box.

The Bottom Line: You can can banned if you engage in stupid spamming techniques. Write your pages so that they legitimately use the words you want to be found on, and put those words in the title and description too. That will get you a good search engine position; lists of keywords hidden on the site, and other tricks, won't do it.


Dave Roberts provides expert Web marketing services to help you meet your business goals. Subscribe to his newsletter at: DaveDoesItAll.com

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