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Well, call me Mac Mc Daft but those blighter's replied within 24 hours - and it was from human hands too. They said my site (profile) was in the index (with a nice link to prove it). But when I tried to explain that I know that, it's about the pesky penalty from over a year ago I'm worried about - they went quiet again.
So, perhaps they are trying harder - or maybe it was just a short-lived new years resolution ;)
I e-mailed firstname.lastname@example.org on Jan 06, 2003 and received a reply 8 hours later. The reply even included my name (I know, they could have automated this) but the reply was accurate. They basically told me the site was not manually removed, blah, blah, blah, and that they don't "fix" this type of thing, that I would have to wait until the next update. They gave a few reasons why the site may have been dropped ("technical glitch", "site unreachable", "content changed significantly", "low page rank").
So, they sometimes do reply, and in a very timely manner this time (thank you Google). However, on another occasion I had asked them if another site I admin. had been banned, and I never received a reply to that one.
Wow, that is a new fact for me. That could be the answer
to many questions.
A page could get a penalty for changing content too
That means, make your redesign in tiny steps, right?
I wrote back again explaining that I didn't think I had done anything on their list and to please take another look at my site. They looked into it further and sent me a very nice email back apologizing and saying that they had an engineer look into it further and that he found a bug at their end. Not only my site but many others had gotten dropped erroneously. It still took a couple months, but my page got back in. :)
So I think it doesn't hurt to send a very polite email asking them about the reason for a site being dropped. If I had not emailed them, I don't know if they would have known about the bug, or if my site would have ever gotten back in to the index.
a) short. If it is more than 3-4 sentences, it's too wordy and gets the delete key. Support folks have better things to do than wade through two paragraphs of tee up noise to get to the real reason you are writing them.
b) use a valid return email (no hotmail, or freebie mails here). I would imagine all hotmail and yahoo emails go straight to file 13. Use your isp email.
c) use a very succint and high quality title. It amazes that so many here have poor title skills. I'd say 50% of the people reading this have substandard title skills and less than 10% have pro caliber title skills.
d) check the faq and do a site search before emailing them. The question has probably been asked and aswered dozens of times before (sounds sorta like this post ;-)
I know that our user support team has gotten bigger as we get more emails, and I think they've streamlined some of their processes lately. Same thing goes with the spam report form, and being more responsive there, too--if you tried a few months ago and didn't see a result, you might want to try again.
So.. you might want to take a fresh look. :)
Google response to a status inquiry: A page could get a penalty for changing content too drastically.
Jane Doe's observation: That sounds to me like are hinting that they've added code to prevent people from buying expired or purchased domains with high PR that were once about something like organic baby food and converting them to a porn or gambling site.
check the Honorable Mentions:
there are some suggestions on identifying the content of a page.
probably they could also easily identify a "safe searching page" change towards a "non-safe searching page" and do a regular check for that above any substantial Pagerank.
Problem has not been fixed yet, but at least I'm getting a person to reply.
I agree with Brett_Tabke earlier post if you want to get help.
Actually, I would be glad to pay for a site review and help.
Google is a free search engine and has really good search results so I feel this is fair.