In order for your website to be found via a search on the internet, it needs to first be accepted by the search engines. However, if it contravenes any of the search engine’s rules – then it may get banned… resulting in it not showing up in those important results.
For the purposes of this article, we shall concentrate on Google – after all, it is the biggest!
We are very proud to say that we have NEVER had a site banned by Google. Not any of ours, nor any of our clients. However, a couple of years ago we did buy a domain that had been registered by someone else (who no longer lives on the Island) and found out very quickly that they must have broken some criteria laid down by Google had resulted in the domain being banned. This banned domain was Lanzarote Business
Getting a site unbanned by Google is not particularly easy. First of all, Google won’t tell you why a specific site has been banned. However, it does give you some ways to ensure that a site doesn’t get banned in the first place, so going through these step by step can help you to check that you are following best procedures, then leaving you to approach Google and ask for reconsideration.
So how do I know if my site is banned by Google?
There are a couple of ways to try. Start by going to Google and typing in site: followed by your domain name, minus the www. For example:
If it gives you search results… then all’s well, and your site is not banned. If it returns no search results, then it is not listed in their archives. If this is the case, then do a search for “Google banned checker tool” – there are plenty of free ones out there – and here is a link to just one of them: Google Banned Checker Tool
What could have caused it?
Getting a site banned by Google isn’t that common really – so you must have done something pretty bad if that has happened. There are a number of reasons why Google may have banned your website, and here are just three of them:
- Using Black Hat SEO techniques
- Linking to”bad” sites, such as gambling, pronographic or link farms
- Duplicate content. Copying another website’s content can definitely harm you, which is one of the reasons we take plagiarism very seriously indeed.
How can I fix it?
The best way is to open a Google Webmaster Tools account. It is free, and only takes a couple of minutes. Then you submit your website, validate it by placing a small piece of code in your website, and you can start using the tools that Google has provided. There is a tool in there that can resubmit your site to Google, and offer it for reconsideration.
The offending site that we had was looked at in less than a week, and is already commanding many useful search terms… all on page one of Google results. We simply proved to Google that we were new owners, and that the site was full of useful content – and Bob’s your auntie’s husband.
Don’t risk getting your site banned, by urilising bad practice – and do certainly be careful who you get to build your website!