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Site de-listed but cant find penality

 9:21 pm on Jun 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yesterday around 4:30pm to 9:30pm I found that my site which ranked very high on a few terms was not there anymore.

After investigation I found this.

- PR is still on the pages (PR 6)
- the backlinks still are showing up in google searches.
- when typing out the url into google, only the url (such as www.widgets-widgets.com) comes up, without a title/descriptionthe same happens when you type the url into google.

Has anyone seen this problem before, or was I just temporarily delisted?

Thank you for your time,

- Jason



 8:24 am on Jun 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Have a look at this [webmasterworld.com...]


 12:29 pm on Jun 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

I dont' understand why google is doing this. This has been happening with a lots of sites. Wait for a 10- 15 days your site should be back.

premier teague

 1:24 pm on Jun 3, 2004 (gmt 0)


This looks like exactly the same as what has happened to my site! I await eagerly for it's return in a week or two then!?


 11:02 pm on Jun 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

It has been almost 2 weeks and im still having the problem. Has someone seen google fix there site after a problem like this?

- Jason


 3:54 am on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

When google penalise your site for an infringement they do not drop the pr of the site and will keep showing the backlinks until the next pr and backlink update.Check your logs to see if you are being visited by google.Of course you have to check your site to make sure google are able to crawl the site.
I always think its a good idea to change hosts when getting mysterious problems.Its worth trying everything.


 6:43 am on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

are most of your incoming links from unrelated IP addresses or from a same link network, or on the same server?


 7:30 am on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

The exact same thing happened to one of my sites, and what's more, it's happening in both Google and Yahoo. In Google, a subset of my pages are there, but there are only URLs, no cache or anything. However, I still rank well (though not as well as before) for a competitive term. It looks weird, just a plain URL sitting there in the SERPs with a lot of normal sites.

In Yahoo, it's even stranger. A search for my URL gives me just the URL, no title, and clicking on "more from this site" gives me several pages, just URL, no title. However, searching for a highly specific keyword from any of those pages gives me a normal listing, and if I click on "more from this site" on that listing, it lists my whole site, except the index.

This site has not changed at all in over a year. It has ranked well the whole time. Now suddenly there is this weirdness.

I've been penalized by Yahoo before. This is not how they do it. I've never been penalized by Google, but I've never seen this before. Something weird is going on. What's up?

kiwi webmaster

 7:44 am on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

The same thing has happened to my site.

I've sent an email to google and will let you know the response if and when I receive one from them.


 8:17 am on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Im only being affected in google. I still rank in Yahoo.


 8:31 am on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Curiouser and curiouser...

Kiwi, your site still shows up for allinurl: on G, and has no problem in Y. Yet a search for your exact title, in quotes, yields no documents, and a search for your exact title without quotes gives just the url, no title. Very strange.

Why, if it is the same problem, is it different between our two sites. And this is what's really bugging me: why both G and Y, for my site? (you can find the site in question, it's the "sponsor" of the site in my profile). That's weird. Because they don't use the same algo any more, right? So that would imply that the problem is on my end. But if so, why are you seeing the same thing in G? This is odd....


 10:16 am on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'd be very keen to see if anyone has actually recovered from this. We've got a site that's been ranking well for 3+ years. Admittedly it took a bit of a beating with florida, but was starting to come back. Suddenly all of our pages have dissapeared to url only and we don't appear for any search terms at all.

Interestingly, we are still getting occassional visits from googlebot, but nothing like usual. The only other thing to note is that it is on server with several other related sites, non of which have been affected (although this was our money earner, so it's hit us very hard indeed).


 4:32 pm on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

It happened to us, too.
Without any changes we are back again.
It took 2 weeks.

Just be patient. Don't change anything and don't send annoying emails to google :)
There isn't something like a penalty, there's only the algo.


 4:46 pm on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Plasma, interesting to see, glad you say you're back in. I did notice, however, that one of the people that we link to regularly has been completely removed from google. I've removed their links to see if there was an effect (it shouldn't harm us anyway).


 4:58 pm on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Suddenly all of our pages have dissapeared to url only and we don't appear for any search terms at all.

Me 2. It's not the server or IP as we have other sites doing fine on the same ip.

It's very odd as I have seen my share of penalized sites and this just doesn't fit the bill. We are talking a site with thousands of solid links to interior pages and 100% unique content. Not a big site, or the best, but certainly not a site that would get penalized. When i type in the domain name with out the extension, one or 2 interior pages show up but nothing else...


 5:07 pm on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

No, it's definitely not a penalty, because my site hasn't disappeared from the SERPs, it's still there at #7 for a competitive term. I mean, when you're penalized, you don't rank well, right, that's sort of the definition. But what good is it to rank well, if they can't see your title nobody is going to click through!


 5:22 pm on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've seen this happen to a few sites. It's usually attributed to duplicate content or hidden text/links/cloaking.

If you're still ranking well then consider yourself fortunate and most likely all will return to normal. It's those that are not ranking at all like they normally do that have most likely incurred a true penalty.

Sucks. Good luck though.


 5:38 pm on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

We are in the same or similar boat. Our situation:
* site was PR8, lots of traffic, high SERPs for over a year.
* between 5/28 and 6/7 almost all of our pages were nuked.
* none of the usual keywords return our pages. You can find the pages (they are in the index) through special queries (e.g. long string of text that only is on our page), but beyond 500 in the SERPs for normal keywords
* site:www.mydomain.com show only URLs, no title, no desc, no cached page for all but a few pages
* GoogleBot had been slowing down all of May and had just several pages during this period.
* We removed links between two of our domains (we theorized that we were seen as cross-linking between domains). The pages that were not affected seem to be the ones that had no links from other parts of the same site or from the other domain we own.
* Our links page had two or three questionable sites we linked to; we removed them.
* Since 6/9 GoogleBot has now come by pretty much daily and has crawled the entire site.
* Very slowly, we are seeing titles and descriptions return using the "site:" command. We're now back to perhaps 20% of the site being indexed.
* We're still nowhere to be found in the SERPs, page indexed (by which I mean showing with T/D in site: command)
* PR meter on Google Bar is still reading 8, but we're assuming this is not accurate.
* Daily prayer sessions are being conducted.

kiwi webmaster

 7:01 pm on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Response from Google this morning.

"In regard to your listings that don't have detailed titles and descriptions, the Google index contains two types of pages: fully indexed and partially indexed pages. Your pages are currently partially indexed. This means that although your pages are included in the Google index, our robots have not completely reviewed the content of your site in past crawls. Partial indexing does not adversely affect your PageRank or your inclusion in the Google index. However, it does mean that our crawlers do not have enough information about your site to provide detailed titles and descriptions. As a result, your pages are listed by their URLs in the Google index.

We understand the frustration this situation may cause you. We are working to change the way that partially indexed pages appear in our search results, and we hope that you will find the descriptions and titles of these pages more satisfactory in the future. Additionally, we will continue working to increase the number of fully indexed pages in our index. "


 7:19 pm on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

kiwi webmaster -- this is encouraging, I think :)

Still, I am not sure how a page could be partially indexed and still show up in the SERPs. Seems to me there are steps a SE needs to do with a page, which I would think follow roughly this order:

  1. Add a newly discovered URL to the list to be crawled
  2. Fetch the content of the page
  3. Analyze the page (basically find the words to index, score them based on frequency, context, PR, etc.)
  4. Generate a summary of the page (title/description)
  5. Add the indexed tokens to the index

Well, who knows about the last two -- it could be that in some cases summaries are being deleted and regenerated. In our case, it looks like the entire page (index and summary) got canned, although PR is still sticking. Go figure!


 7:26 pm on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Nice response but it doesn't at all address the issue. Pages do not score high for a year and than suddenly become "partially indexed" without either a bug or a penalty. My thought is that the one site we had affected is now toast for good...

For the posters who keep saying that they are still ranking well but without description, this is a different animal and has been going on for some time now. Your pages will regain their title. The newer phenomena deals with sites that lost all their ranikings as well.

kiwi webmaster

 7:51 pm on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I would say that there is scope for optimism here.
I notice Google has returned this morning - but only crawled the index file.

Then later this morning, a different googlebot came calling and crawled the robots.txt file + one other html file.


Ever heard of a Mediapartners-Google/2.1+ robot?

kiwi webmaster

 12:11 am on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

OK, so now I've lost almost half my pages from Google's index.

Down to 70 pages today (from 130 yesterday).

I've always been curious as to the effect the removal of Google from the equation might have - now I get to find out first hand!

At this stage, it looks like a 50% hit but will keep you posted.


 1:41 am on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

mfishy, thanks, that's very encouraging. I think we're OK, and I think you're OK too, Kiwi, you're still in the SERPs, just no title. mfishy, do you happen to know why this happens? The "partially indexed" explanation sounds pretty shallow to me, since the site has not changed at all and G has crawled us many times before. Also, any clue as to why the same thing would happen in Y?


 1:51 am on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've had a page 1 site disappear to page 59 here in the UK just gone midnight. I was just about to give up when I found it.

No new links for a while, no changes to the site?

Similar sites that began on similar subjects still on page 1 and 2?

Hmmm. will watch this one with interest.


 3:20 am on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

<<mfishy, do you happen to know why this happens?>>

Nope, not yet as it is new to me.

To be clear, there are sites that lose the title and description and continue to rank and there are sites that do not rank at all, I am speaking of the latter. If you are still ranking, you will get the title back.


 1:43 pm on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

mfishy -- thanks for making this important distinction:

* no T/D from site: but still in SERPs = no worries
* no T/D from site: and not in SERPs = yes worries

Sadly I think we fall into the second bucket, and while others have found reason for optimism, mine is waning fast.

The only thing that gives me hope is that nearly our entire site has been re-crawled by GoogleBot. Gone, but not forgotten, I guess :)


 5:46 pm on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)


"Mediapartners-Google/2.1" is the bot that Google AdSense sends to analyze a page that is running AdSense. I noticed the same bot this morning on a site of mine that has *never* run AdSense.

I too am in the same boat and based on this I have a far-out theory that perhaps something is broken with Google's normal googlebot and they've had to recruit the Mediapartners bot to pick up the slack. It could explain the Google response you received:

"...crawlers do not have enough information about your site to provide detailed titles and descriptions".


 5:59 pm on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

mfishy wrote
Nice response but it doesn't at all address the issue. Pages do not score high for a year and than suddenly become "partially indexed" without either a bug or a penalty.

Actually, I think they most definitely do.
Two whole areas of one of my websites reverted to partially indexed, and I'd changed no content on them at all. They're areas that are quite a way down, but one has now been revisited and reindexed, and the other hasn't.
But though I had changed no *content* on them at all, I most certainly had changed the navigation element that Dreamweaver includes for me as a library item.
As far as I can see, Google came back, found the page, looked at it and realised its index wasn't up to date, and left a note to return later to index the section. One section has been reindexed, the other hasn't yet. I'm most certainly not worried at all.



 6:35 pm on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

DerekH, that has nothing to do with what I am speaking of and the "big thing" that is happening in general (remember the 250 post thread). Believe me as I have looked at many sites from other members as well ans there is something beyond crawling problems going on....although I am sure some have these problems it belongs in another thread as that is not being "delisted". Being delisted is when you search for your own domain name and the index page isn't in the top 100 SERPS and when you find it it only has the URL only...

That reply is one of about 8 "canned" responses the CS reps get to choose from and was around way before this problem existed...

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