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I changed my index page and was kicked out of Google within 24 hours

 1:06 am on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

I hope this is easy to follow:

I started my site in August and got listed in Google by September with a page rank of 4. At first I was selling one product and so the index page introduced the one product and had links to 5 different parts of the site for further info and all those pages linked to one another - to be repetitive, the site was all about one thing. Then I added product2, linked it from the the index page with a small text link. I decided shortly after that I needed to make a new index page to equally introduce the two products.

So a few weeks later(almost a month ago), I made a new index page with both products on it. I moved what used to be the whole site to a folder /product1 and made another folder for product2 and linked to them both from index.htm in my main directory. The site was gone the very next day from Google and yes, I had a grayed out bar on all pages.

In case you're wondering, my index page has the same amount of text on it as the original one did.

So I am still out of Google. I resubmitted a few weeks ago. Google visited my main page moments after I hit submit but didn't do much. Yesterday I got listed on a PageRank 5 page and this morning got a visit from Googlebot. The bot only looked at / and grabbed robots.txt. Are these visits meaningful?

Any insight is appreciated.



 2:26 am on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)


Welcome to WebmasterWorld!

Do you have links from other sites pointing to your site? If not, then get some. A listing in the ODP is recommended. Incoming links from "link farms" are big trouble.

You won't get kicked out of Google's index just for changing a page! You might get dropped accidentally, you might get dropped if your site is down when Google tries to crawl it, you might get dropped if your only incoming link is from ODP and ODP drops your site because the description you submitted to them no longer describes your site - any number of things like that. But just for changing your site? - I doubt it.

The devil may be in the details. If you can't think of anything else that might have happened, please describe what kind of incoming link mix you have.

(Bump) Anybody else see anything here that might be a problem?



 2:33 am on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

Could this be everflux?


 2:47 am on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

I'd wait until this months dance happens before I started to worry big time. You might show up in a few days again.


 2:51 am on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

Sounds like the site got dumped, probably because of an Internet glitch, server goof, or something like that. Unless you have links out to known "bad neighborhoods" then you should find yourself back in the index with this coming update, or the one after. If your site still has inbound links from sites presently in Google, all should be cool, but it won't hurt to resubmit your site at: www.google.com/addurl.html ... good luck.


 3:09 am on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the welcome JD.

More detail:

I am not listed on any linkfarms at all. I have no outbound links except to my order pages. I do have a fair amount of incoming links from directories but most of those directories, though having non-dynamic page urls themselves, point redirecting/dynamic urls to my site which may or may not be useless (jump.cgi?ID123 or action.php?url=www.mysite.com type links). I submitted to DMOZ but I believe I was rejected because I sell affiliate products, even though I have my own (seemingly seamless) branded order pages.

When I first got listed I did a 'link:www.site.com' check and there were two sites that had me listed on particularly high ranking pages of their sites as 'fresh content' (one actually did use a dynamic 'sendoff.asp' link). Evidence of those links to my site remained on Google right until I changed my index page. So here's a theory: maybe my change prompted Google to update/check it's links to me and when Google found those directory pages had dropped me from their "fresh" areas (which Google had counted as links to me) I no longer appeared to have inbound links?

[edited by: NicoleA at 4:48 am (utc) on Nov. 26, 2002]


 4:33 am on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)


Hmmm... Possible, I guess.

In your shoes, I'd work on getting at least one on-topic incoming direct <href> link with appropriate link text from a page that is PR4 or above. If possible, do it in the next few days - before the Google update. You may have to wait another month for the effects of that link to show, but there's no time like the present!

If getting a link is difficult, consider a link trade with someone in your market segment - even a competitor(!) There has been some discussion on this point [webmasterworld.com] here in the Reciprocal Linkage Topics forum, and there is support for the idea that swapping links - even with a competitor - can benefit both parties. For one thing, it reduces the chances of being dropped from the index because you have no links. You might want to check out that thread.

On the other hand, if it was just a glitch, then you should find yourself restored after this month's update.

Good luck!


 4:56 am on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

It actually sounds, if I am reading this right, as if Google could not find you and got 404's because you moved the former pages into a directory...did you do a redirect to the index page? Why in the world make two directories and two index pages when one could just have easily been changed and Google may have even liked the changes.

I think you were dropped out of the index because Google thought your site no longer existed.

Quite possible that the other places linking to you were getting 404's unless you sent them the new url for the directory you wanted them to link to.



 1:50 pm on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

Ann, I think you are reading it kind of wrong. I don't have two index pages. I just moved product1 which used to be the whole site into it's own folder added a product2 folder and represented them both on the index page. Let me attmept to make a diagram:

Old way: (index.htm) <- introduces only product1 on main page
              ¦  ¦  ¦  ¦
            (p)(p)(p)(p) <-pages [this is the extent of the site]

New way:      (index.htm) <-now introduces 2 products
                      ¦      ¦
           (product1)   (product2)
             ¦   ¦   ¦       ¦   ¦  ¦
            (p)(p)(p)     (p)(p)(p) <-pages

I actually didn't delete the old pages until last week, so there were no 404s at all when Google got rid of me.

JD, I am going to try to exchange links with someone relevant. Unfortunately, what I sell is competitive and webmasters frequently ignore emails from other webmasters.

Thanks guys!


 2:07 pm on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)


Frankly I can't see a problem.....

Maybe a little patience until the newest update gets here :)

Might be easier to evaluate if you put your url in your profile...that's another link to your site and more help to have the engines find you.



 2:19 pm on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

Unfortunately, what I sell is competitive and webmasters frequently ignore emails from other webmasters.

Find out who links to your competitors and then ask those sites to link to you.


 2:41 pm on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

Meditation Man:

I've been doing just that and it appears almost all the results are cross linked 'sister' sites. I will send out a few emails but it doesn't look friendly. I think my best bet is to get a content site into DMOZ or Yahoo and link to my commercial sites from those.



 3:44 pm on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

Is it possible your site was spidered by freshbot and included in the index only to be dropped during the big update once they discovered you had no links. Do you know the dates you submitted, were placed, were dropped, etc...

New sites often get a nice initial SERP from freshbot only to be dropped later.

From the structure of your site you should have been ok. The only thought that occurs to me besides the freshbot theory is your server was down or you don't have enough links.

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