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One of my employees has managed this site in an excellent way. But - without my personal knowledge - has tried to fool the SEs by using invisible links and building a (very small) link farm with 8 domains.
To make it short .. this staff member is not longer working for us. She'd been fired today. We've removed any suspicious links, content etc and do not use unfair tricks any more (as we hadn't untill this staff member took over responsibility for the site).
Question: Will Googlebot visit such a banned site to see the changes we've made? Does changing back to fair play will ever be noticed by the bot? What does it mean if the bot starts visiting again? Recovery from hell? Or simply nothing?
BTW: it definetly looks like a Google employee had a look on our site (and the link farm) as I have never ever before saw Googlebot accepting cookies. But there are some few entries with Googlebot and cookies accepted.
A couple of questions you have to ask before taking any action: Is this because of normal Google palpitations with freshbot, everflux, etc.? Do you know that your site is actually banned or penalized? If so, what caused it?
To a big extent hidden links and [very small] link farms are no-nos. Used *conservatively* and in certain manners they might just serve to get your site noticed (nobody really knows the threshold) without being labled a "spammy" site. There are *some* legitimate reasons to do both.
And I guess when you say "link farm" I have to ask if this was an automated, out of her control sort of thing or a *normally acceptable* reciprocal links exchange? There are differences.
When it comes to Google, or any other SE, don't leap -- especially after a few hours -- you don't know what tomorrow will bring.
Might be being too protective but that my $0.02 plain.
If you have an employee and you ask her to add content to the site and to email other quality / on topic sites for links (reciprocal or not) - what would you expect?
Instead she had built several sites as subdomains (on our customers domains) without asking for permission. Each site with some 20 pages with random text from an old forum backup, filled up with keywords. All sites had been linked together plus links to the (actually) banned site.
On the banned site she did not add any content but added some hundred hidden links to lists to 30,000+ (thirtythousand) resumes and job descriptions (It's a kind of job database we are talking about)
I guess that's enough reason to fire someone.
I'm sure that this is a 'Banned by Google' issue as all the main domains she had used for the subdomain thing are not longer in Google's index. Can you imagine what our customers are asking me?
Any way - thank you for your help. Does anyone have some experience with banned sites?
...I got banned, I'm going to lynch the webmaster...
...and hunt down his whole family...
...and sacrifice them in front of the googleplex...
LOL, it's just getting more and more dramatic.
And some of us still think google is not in complete dominance :)
If you are truly banned, Googlebot will not (to my knowledge) visit the site. If you have a penalty, Googlebot should still visit the site and will eventually notice the changes.
In a ban, usually a human intervened to ban you from the index totally and (if this was the case) it means a human has to remove you from the Google banned list which will then allow Googlebot to crawl you again. This means you having to contact Google and get yourself re-reviewed.
As others have said, are you sure that you are banned? There are many other reasons you could fall out of the index.
One of my employees has managed this site in an excellent way....To make it short .. this staff member is not longer working for us. She'd been fired today
And a happy new year to you too!
<edit> Jack's post below: You're a bundle of cheer and goodwill aren't you? ;) </edit>
[edited by: nutsandbolts at 1:20 pm (utc) on Dec. 31, 2002]
She didnt do her job and what she did do was abuse the clients trust and set back the company.
Getting fired is fair play in that situation. The time of year is irrelevant.
But was her motive to further the company´s goals without any personal gain?
Some of us make mistakes while working towards relevant objectives. Was she given strict parameters as to how to achieve them?
New fields where there is a lack of broad experience make it easy to bend rules unknowingly. Yes, she hurt your company but...
Id say those are pretty clear guidlines.
I dont believe a professional webmaster could interpret that as "setup up subdomains on clients site, and interlink them all".
Yes, she may have taken the initiative and tried to help, but she should have consulted any other team members and management first.
And adding to a clients site without their permission, subdomain or not, is clearly bad practice.
I sympathize on the employee firing - these decisions can be tough, and of course a lot depends on the direction and feedback that has been given. I'd give her an "A" for initiative, but an "F" for judgment... Overall, though, my experience has been it's better to act swiftly with a problem employee than to delay things. Inevitably, when you postpone dealing with a problem, something even worse happens later. It's almost always better for the employee, too - he/she can get on with finding a situation with a future instead of living on borrowed time in the current one.
"...Some one who builds a link farm on sub domains and then puts in hidden links knows what they are doing! ..."
Perhaps, but you cannot be sure.
Someone who has never touched fire will not know it burns. As I say, in a new field where many if not most are still trying to find where the limits are, the learning process includes making mistakes.
Firing an employee who has done a GREAT job to date is a harsh measure which by all means must include employee's personal motivation in his/her wrongdoing.
Was she trying to further the company's goals or was she using the company's resources for her own interests? THIS is crucial.
If you were to fire everyone who makes mistakes in an organization involved in a NEW field where the history of people crossing the line is limited, even vague, who is left?
You ought to give a GOOD employee a second chance. Specially if that employee has been performing GREAT! My humble opinion.
She was a long time reader of webmasterworld.
I think this is a strong indication for her intentions.
BTW: if you fire someone in Germany this can only be done with some weeks notice. In this case 3 months.
Roger (and all others):
G'Bot visited an hour ago (IP 64.68.82.xx?) all pages on all the domains. The bot didn't try to index any of the resume pages as there aren't any links to those any more (we had deleted the hidden links).
Typically after relaunching a site the bot will try to read 'old' pages as well. Don't know what the outcome will be .... let's sit and wait.