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Email from Google: You are being removed

Google sent me an email saying my pages are being taken out

   
3:34 pm on Oct 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Has anyone got one of these emails from donotreply@google.com

does anyone know how to find the issue they are talking about.

we have not done any hidden text on our site so we are at a loss. Our site is a huge dynamic ecommerce site so I dont even know where to begin.

paraphrase:
They mentioned they detected "Hidden text/links on <domain name>.com" and also said that some pages are being temporarily removed for 30 days

does this mean the whole site is being removed?

how can I find out where they found this?

obviously we are FREAKING OUT

[edited by: jatar_k at 4:07 pm (utc) on Oct. 11, 2005]
[edit reason] no email content [/edit]

4:45 pm on Oct 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



GoogleGuy said
kaled, I absolutely see your point about ignoring hidden text in indexing. However, if a Google user gets a page and then discovers that it had hidden text, they typically are unhappy about it.

I'm sorry, but this simply doesn't wash. I doubt more than a couple of percent of users know how to find hidden text and fewer still bother to go looking for it.

If a page appears to be irrelevant, then users will be unhappy with it. How often do they dig around to find out why it ranked well? The idea that Joe User will be more unhappy with a bad result if it has hidden text is laughable. I'm afraid that such thinking shows clearly that Google policymakers do not understand the mindset of average users.

Kaled.

4:48 pm on Oct 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member powdork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Kaled, i thought the same thing. But think how many complaints they get from webmasters about hidden text on pages. I'm sure they are not all clear about the fact they are webmasters.
5:48 pm on Oct 15, 2005 (gmt 0)



I wish Googleguy would give us some feedback on why our site continues to be penalized...we have written a htaccess to prevent duplication, we have added framebreaker code to prevent hijacking, and yet we continue
to be penalized.
6:22 pm on Oct 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



twebdonny

>>I wish Googleguy would give us some feedback on why our site continues to be penalized...we have written a htaccess to prevent duplication, we have added framebreaker code to prevent hijacking, and yet we continue to be penalized.<<

Have you filed a reinclusion request, as per the guidelines posted on Mattīs blog?

9:10 pm on Oct 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Have you filed a reinclusion request, as per the guidelines posted on Mattīs blog?

Is it just me or is this an utterly bizarre and amateurish way to run a search engine. Webmaster instructions should be on Google's main website not on an employee's blog..... crazy. Frankly, I don't pay any attention to blogs, Matt's or anybody else's - I'd rather watch dry paint.

Kaled.

9:20 pm on Oct 15, 2005 (gmt 0)



Our site has not been removed, just penalized, and when I wrote a re-inclusion request, that is the answer I was given from G. Oh yeah, according to them, we are not being penalized either...so what it be Gman?
9:48 pm on Oct 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



kaled

>>Is it just me or is this an utterly bizarre and amateurish way to run a search engine. Webmaster instructions should be on Google's main website not on an employee's blog..... crazy. Frankly, I don't pay any attention to blogs, Matt's or anybody else's - I'd rather watch dry paint.<<

Agreed!

However, to be fair, GG has already in a post on 2nd June 2005 mentioned something to the effect that they might work on improving the Webmaster Guidelines pages. And I see Mattīs excellent "reinclusion" post as additional resource not a substitute of what should be on the Webmaster Guidelines pages.

For reference, here is GG said post:

msg #:3
[webmasterworld.com...]

===========================

It's true that the summer (northern hemisphere) is when traffic is lower and sometimes it's easier to roll new things into crawling/indexing/scoring. I wouldn't be at all surprised if we worked on revamping our webmaster pages, for example. The SEO and quality guidelines pages have aged pretty well, but other parts of the webmaster section need to be reorganized; there's a few places where there's the same info (e.g. about robots.txt) repeated in several places or scattered over different pages. It's not trivial to reorganize that much info, esp. since it's translated into so many languages. But better to go ahead and start, and then if we want to tune those pages later, that's okay. I've been aching for a long time to mention somewhere official that sites shouldn't use "&id=" as a parameter if they want maximal Googlebot crawlage, for example. So many sites use "&id=" with session IDs that Googlebot usually avoids urls with that parameter, but we've only mentioned that here and on a few other places. Getting started on things like that will be nice. I appreciate the people who sat down and tried to tease out the info on our current webmaster pages and organize it more logically.

================================================

5:54 am on Oct 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



TheBear wrote
the only problem is that so far I've found one browser that doesn't display that heading in a visible manner

I don't run Windows or IE so I can't speak to that line of browsers.

If:

we are talking about the same site - based on GG's comments - (with inline css as described exactly in msg #132)

Then:

Its also invisble in Firefox on Win Xp; and invisible on IE 6 on Win XP - until you disable CSS - when it appears at the top of the page.
It is visible (at the bottom of the page) in Opera 8.5 on Win XP

7:52 am on Oct 16, 2005 (gmt 0)



If text isn't visible in Internet Explorer on a Windows PC, it's hidden text to the vast majority of Web users (including most of Google's audience). So it's only reasonable for Google to treat it as hidden text.
10:30 am on Oct 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Sorry for a somewhat off-topic post, but...

Could someone please educate me: How does one disable CSS in IE? Thanks!

10:45 am on Oct 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



GoogleGuy is quoted as saying
I've been aching for a long time to mention somewhere official that sites shouldn't use "&id=" as a parameter if they want maximal Googlebot crawlage, for example.

Hmmmm....... that's interesting. Here's a quote from the current webmaster guidelines.

Don't use "&id=" as a parameter in your URLs, as we don't include these pages in our index.

What should we make of that? I tried the Wayback Machine to find out when this first appeared, but it could be no more precise than since Dec 2004.

Kaled.

1:01 pm on Oct 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Could someone please educate me: How does one disable CSS in IE?

I use the AIS toolbar for IE and the Chris Pederick one for Firefox.
3:17 pm on Oct 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



EFV, as far as I'm concerned if it does or does not display when using IE or Windows really means nothing.

I'm just tossing out what I've seen, as in I can provide screen shots to back it up.

I fully agree that the text may be or may not be visible depending upon the browser used to render the page.

I personally from reading the code call it invisible text, but since we seem to have disagreement across a number of browsers I call TFAD on the browser writers.

4:57 pm on Oct 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Thanks, Chris_D, this AIS toolbar seems like a very useful tool...
3:25 am on Oct 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Hi,
Here is my take:

It is possible that a bot would raise a red flag if it sees invisible elements when in fact no spamming is intended (in general and not case specific).

IMO a solution would be a new robots tag which would instruct a bot not to index a particular part of a document while indexing the rest. This way legitimate hidden elements can be used and no index spamming will occur.

An Alternative would be for Google to come up with it's own similar tag.
I think that would keep everyone happy.

As I understand it, at the moment you can include the whole page or none of it at all.

5:53 am on Oct 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Almost all the CSS hidden text I've seen over the last year was done so incompetently that all it takes is one look with Firefox to see it, it's mostly IE only hidden, figures. Most seo spammer types aren't very good at much of anything I suspect, including css.

My favorite was when they used the proprietary IE css to create the opacity effect that was supposed to avoid using real triggers like display:none or visibility:hidden or whatever, that one was funny.

7:22 am on Oct 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



If you use a negative top or left margin with css, you can effectively hide the text or image by taking it outside of the viewport. This is used quite frequently by adult webmasters for spamming and drive-by installs.
10:40 am on Oct 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I think I'm right in saying that Google indexes <select> options - so that's a good place to dump your spam. It also indexes <textarea> contents - another great place to dump leftover spam.

So how on earth can Google possibly cope with either of these using algos. Answer : it can't - it's impossible to determine reliably which pages deserve to be banned and which should not be banned. The only solution is to either ignore such text altogether (or bias the algo against it).

The only sensible way to treat hidden text is to ignore it. I find it utterly astonishing that even though I made this argument over two years ago, Google still isn't smart enough to have worked it out.

Kaled.

8:25 pm on Oct 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member googleguy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



theBear, glad I had the right site. Using CSS to rewrite an H1 tag like that is what caused the problem, and it's still on the page. I haven't see jjdesigns4u check back in, but if they come back, would you pass on the message that if they correct/remove that problem and put in a reinclusion request, they can probably return to the index faster than in 30 days.
8:30 pm on Oct 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



GG what do I need to do to get some help finding out if I've actually been banned? I've written in for help, I've also requested a reinclusion, I get nothing back but silence and that white bar...

Seriously, how do I go about getting some idea of what to do about having disappeared from from the index?

8:38 pm on Oct 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



GoogleGuy

You are talking about the right site. The code you mentioned

position:absolute; left:163px; top:-100px; width:598px; height:46px; z-index:1

is a layer code. It allows the client to put text anywhere on the page with his content managment system.

It is a layer that is seen on the page so I never thought it would be considered hidden text. The content management system works like MS Front Page does. It allows you to use layers to move tables on to where you want them on the page.

Since the text is seen on the site how can this be hidden?

It can be removed of course if that is what the problem is.

8:42 pm on Oct 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



GG sorry I am just catching up here

I started to ignore this thread because people where talking about SPAM and not my issue

about this

annej, I've seen the particular CSS on jjdesigns4u's site (if it's the site that I think it is), and turning CSS off and on reveals some text that wasn't at all visible with CSS on.

I am not seeing this
How can I see what you are seeing.

8:42 pm on Oct 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



GG is this the text you mean

Treadmill and Elliptical trainers. Treadmills and Elliptical trainers new and used. We offer treadmills and elliptical trainers by Schwinn, Sole, Star Trac, Horizon, Landice, Theradyne, Tunturi, Magnum, Cateye, Cybex, Horizon, Life Fitness, Scifit, Wynne, Matrix, Noramco, and Super Tread. Compare popular brands such as Proform, Reebok, Keys, Smooth, EVO, Precor, Vision Fitness, Nordic Track, True, Pacemaster, BodyGuard, Nautilus, Trimline, Endurance, Lifespan, Weslo, Image and more.

8:45 pm on Oct 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Also about H1 tags in the CSS

I have about 20 sites that I use CSS to control the look and spacing and color of H1 tags

are you telling me that this is not ok?

8:51 pm on Oct 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



GG I turned off CSS (I figured out how)

When I do I see the same text but the text at the bottom is still there but it is much bigger becasue the CSS is making the H1 smaller

should we take the H1 out of the CSS or remove the position layer all together

9:20 pm on Oct 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



jj you are seeing a browser rendering artifact.

The top-100 is the problem it places the text 100 pixels above the top of page which is off page (thus invisible).

Some of the browsers render it diffrently.

I went through a pile of browsers before getting one that didn't show that h1.

9:40 pm on Oct 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Bear

WOW I see it now

the top does say -100

even though the text appears at the bottom of the page
I guess the spider is seeing that as off the page so hidden

thank you for showing me that I was not really looking at it I guess.

I spoke to the programmers and they say that it was a way for them to get the text at the bottom of the page dynamically without knowing how long the page would be

we are currently removing the tag

9:51 pm on Oct 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



jj see Googleguys post near the bottom of this page.

[webmasterworld.com...]

10:05 pm on Oct 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



yes I see it...

by this

"Using CSS to rewrite an H1 tag like that is what caused the problem"

do you think GG is saying that all rewrite of H1 by CSS will get you in trouble?

OR

In this case because of the position and the H1 rewrite?

if he means all rewrite of H1 will get you in trouble than I am in trouble because I have a lot of sites that use CSS to change the way the H1 tag looks to fit the design of the site

10:45 pm on Oct 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I have a lot of sites that use CSS to change the way the H1 tag

The h1 tag is awful without re styling. I would say that pretty much every application of heading tags is restyled and thus I doubt google would have any problem with it.

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