Happened to me.
Been there, done that, and I through the lousy t-shirt away.
I read the other 'stars' posts. No one said a star would get you banned. They just said it was a possibility.
I've been on these boards for quite a while, there are MANY people that have been banned by G. Not for stars though! :)
Being banned for whatever reason is a real possibility, not just paranoia.
There are tons of 'being banned' stories already here on WebmasterWorld. Try the site search, you'll find them!
My client had been banned because they are in a competitive business and had about a dozen domains all with duplicated content. Someone must have dobbed them in. To be more precise, all but their .uk domain was banned since they are in the UK and Google must have manually or automagically made that the primary.
But they really wanted their .com domain to be visible. They quickly caught on to what had happened and killed all the other domains. Result was that their only visible domain was also killed and they "vanished" (even though the .com was alive). That's when they called me.
I got them to send a reinclusion request with the full story and they were visible in a couple of weeks.
You will find that a star in your title won't get you banned -- most people will see a rectangle, not a star.
LateNight, I would agree that it is unlikely. The only case I have seen first hand is a guy that had some hidden text on his home page. Although it was soon fixed after he got busted, I checked archive.org to see how egregious it was [a few dozen hidden keywords at the bottom]. He contacted Google and was reinstated in Google 30 days after making the corrections.
I don't know about your star, but I know a few sites that have been using the (R) registered trademark characters (®) in their title for years, and no problems.
>>"there are MANY people that have been banned by G" is pretty ambiguous.
msr986, when you say there are "tons of 'being banned' stories" already here, most are people that THINK they were banned, rather than actually being banned. [New sites, for example, are in and out - and up and down in the SERPS like a yo-yo, and many not familiar with the routine, immediately think they've been banned].
LateNight, I also would be interested in hearing some FIRST-HAND accounts of sites that were banned, and the specific circumstances that surrounded it. This would be where a specific TOS violation occurred - not tech glitches, etc. as you stated.
With 5 billion websites there's a lot of people flying under the radar. I'm confident there are a lot more stories on who "should" be banned, rather than who "have" been banned.
My brother's website that I help out with on occasion is banned. The site is a pretty straightforward post-nuke hobby site, but he just so happened to have picked an expired domain.
He's gotten a couple new links but the site still is white-bar after 4-5 months.
|My brother's website that I help out with on occasion is banned. The site is a pretty straightforward post-nuke hobby site, but he just so happened to have picked an expired domain. |
He's gotten a couple new links but the site still is white-bar after 4-5 months.
Having a PR of zero(white bar) does not mean you were banned necessarily, could just be because it is a new site. I beleve if it were truly banned you would not see back links or a cache.
I had a clients site which had a white bar for about 2 months then it had a PR of 5...sometimes it just takes time for PR to show.
One of my former competitors had his site banned in G. I am not sure why, but judging from some of his SERPs in "other" SEs, he is or was using WPG's doorway pages, and perhaps "participated in link exchange schemes".
This site is complete graybarred, and does not show in G, even for its domain name.
The number one site in G for the primary keyword, according to all the web has ~320 links. This site, according to ATW is listed as having ~2,350.
I haven't seen it in G for over 2 years. It also has a DMOZ and a Yahoo directory listing, but for some reason G can't find any pages from the site, even using a negative search (site:www.example.com -fsdf).
Yah, sites get banned.
[edited by: PatrickDeese at 2:48 am (utc) on Sep. 21, 2003]
It would make no sense for Google to ban for a star in the title. If it bothered Google, they could just decide not to display the star.
I think rfgdxm1 is correct. Why would Google want to kill off creativity like that?
If it is not a star, it will be something else, that's the innovativeness springing from competition.
If Google keeps on banning sites for the slightest "violation", then what's left will be the bigger players ...
|Why would Google want to kill off creativity like that? |
Creativity had nothing to do with it. It was very likely, like a lot of things, discovered by accident.
I first noticed that the stars placed in the Title section of the free classifieds of a board I won't name were showing in the Google serps. This was around Apirl/May of this year.
And certainly anyone who is following the leader on this "trick" is being a copycat, not creative. It's quite desperate, like stuffing your bra with tissue paper- and it's a sure sign of someone who is unskilled at search engine positioning.
Google is concerned with delivering relevant results. Google has always taken action against any who tried to subvert that mission.
I'm not saying that Google will ban people for using it.
I'm only saying that I wouldn't be caught dead padding my basket with a kielbasa or sticking those tacky stars in my title tags. ;)
It could also be martinibuster some amateur site who spotted the stars in SERPs and thought they looked cute. Not something deserving the Google Death Penalty.
I did have a real live Google penalty, last year. Advertised on Search King, PR went from 6 to 0, pages started dropping out of the index. Numerous reinclusion requests were ineffectual because SearchKing didn't remove their link to us even after we stopped paying. Eventually, it was gone and we started the slow road back, now a PR7.
The actual form it took was as though none of our incoming links existed any more. I think that's how it was applied, they just didn't count our incoming links at all. It was interesting, along with being frustrating, watching the progression of how it happened.
No way to prove that it was a penalty, but I'm positive.
|Not something deserving the Google Death Penalty. |
That's a very good point. I'm glad you brought it up.
Unfortunately it can be costly and painful to not know what you are doing- whether it's driving a car while tipsy, screwing up your first three marriages, or building your first website.
|You will find that a star in your title won't get you banned |
That nothing more than a guess! Nobody knows for sure.
Just look at it this way. If many of Googles search results start showing stars. Google *could* stop the star from displaying properly (and make their seach results look horrible), or they could make examples of those site and ban them.
Personally I think it's a total waste of time and a keyword opportunity. I don't want more clicks, I want more sales! Stars make a site look 'spammy'
FWIW, I saw a japanese language site that used the stars at least 2 years ago, but I couldn't figure out how they did it bcz HTML encoding was in the japanese character set. I always meant to look it up in the glossary of one of my HTML Reference books, but forgot about it til it got posted here.
As an aside; I tried using ♠ on an internal page of a travel site I run.(traffic from adwords) Checking serps today it is showing -?- instead of spade symbol. A compeditor using ★ shows?.Then upon refreshing shows a box.
The jaguar is the fastest animal on the American continent - it's also the name of a car. Hmmm, looks like it's also been banned from Google :)
>The jaguar is the fastest animal on the American continent - it's also the name of a car. Hmmm, looks like it's also been banned from Google
I don't see this.........the SERP's look okay, not great, to me!
On second thoughts, it's probably because they set the no-cache tag.
|Having a PR of zero(white bar) does not mean you were banned necessarily, could just be because it is a new site. I beleve if it were truly banned you would not see back links or a cache. |
I had a clients site which had a white bar for about 2 months then it had a PR of 5...sometimes it just takes time for PR to show
As Shawn said, a PR of 0 is not a ban.
Many people here don't seem to be talking about sites that got banned, but only sites that dropped from the top 20 to the top 3000. That is not a ban, that is a penalty (or a change in algo).
Everything that Good_Vibes said, plus add Link Rot. New pages flushing into the index can potentially weaken your inbound link strength. New link partners added to the link pages where you are listed will contribute to that as well. Plus the general decay that happens on a perpetual basis.
As far as i know, the only way to know if you're banned is not by checking the PR bar but seeing if googlebot comes on your site or not, and then see if you're actually included in the serps. I've seen sites that get crawled but never show in the index, while others just don't get crawled at all...