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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.
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]
I have not seen any PR change or noticed any large change in rank
the email says that the pages have already been removed and the site is scheduled to be removed in 30 days.
when I type the email address firstname.lastname@example.org in google I do see a thread from another site that is talking about this but it does not help me understand how to find the pages they are talking about
or if it is really real
It is possible to end up having what might appear to be hidden links, it can happen with just plain sloppy coding or errors when editing pages. If it's not deliberate hidden text or links, it's hard to find unless you come across it accidentally. For example, were there links that were "removed" with remnants of code left behind? I've had that happen by accident and found it by accident.
>>and also said that some pages are being temporarily removed for 30 days
That sounds like "some" pages, not all. Have you checked number of pages indexed? When it's not a really big site it's possible to do a site: search with preferences set to 100 to get a good look at status (like finding supplemental or URL only pages) but in your case, to try to detect what's missing wouldn't be easy - IF it's the case that it's just some.
Would it be possible to do a site: search with site:example.com -directoryname or some similar identifiers to try to see what's indexed in different sections?
Of course, if they tell you they found hidden text and you don't know where it is - it'll be tough to fix.
Did you do all of the html coding yourself?
It would be nice to know if it was hidden links or just hidden text, that would be a help. Sometimes "hidden" is a matter of identical font color and background color that it's on.
Know one thing that I'd do with a site that size, just in case it might by some chance catch something? I'd print out the CSS/stylesheet and examine all the colors used very carefully. That would be one way to do somewhat of a global check.
Then I'd take one page that's representative of a good number of the site pages and print out the HTML source code of it - and examine that very carefully, checking it thoroughly against what shows in the browser - especially the links. My gut feeling is that a ban/penalty is more likely to happen because of some kind of linking infraction, since that's mostly how Google gets gamed.
Marcia's thoughts are very interesting. Webmasters do hide links in various ways to protect content from thieves, except when accessed by keyword searches. Thieves mainly go after index pages but if you stick it in their noses they'll steal that too.
I think off-topic/spammy/hidden links are the biggest target for google right now, as I'm seeing indications in this direction from a lot of angles.
It is possible to end up having what might appear to be hidden links, it can happen with just plain sloppy coding or errors when editing pages.
That's as fine a reason I've read for having 100% validate code in a long time.
Unvalidated code always runs the risk that a spider will see it differently to a browser.
And that is a strange risk to take.
Not that that need be the case here -- validated code could have deliberately hidden links. But it eliminates one possibility.