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site blocked by Google as a result of splogging

Is it better to wait or is it better to start over?

     
4:45 pm on Apr 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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First of all thanks for listening.

Last year I hired a web designer, who also advertises as SEO specialist, to get my site going on SE's. He discarded the site as "not user friendly", designed a new look for my small business, made it "good" for SE's and submitted it. He was paid in full ($1450 +++ - no programming involved).

After he was done I needed a programmer to make the shopping cart work. The programmer found at least 150 links to the designer's website in the code + hidden text to trick SE's. He removed all of the links but 3 and most (unfortunately not all) of the hidden text.

Seeing that the links to his site were removed the SEO specialist went berserk and started to post hundreds and hundreds of derogratory adult and pharma links to single pages of my site on blogs and guestbooks.

He posted ONLY those links - about 10 of them - over and over again that were hidden in the source. He did it in a way that made readers believe that I'd been the poster - and then he reported the posts and links as spam and as "not fitting into the Quality Guide Lines" to Google.

Result, my site was banned by Google. Not a trace of the real site is left - only those garbage links. Business went down to 0 - visitors use "Search" only to find the stuff which isn't there.

After corresponding with Google for more than two months I got email today, saying that the engineering team will review my site and if they reinstate it, it will be some time in the next few months.

I am a photographer (not adult material) and I know very little about web design and SEs. And to be honest, I do not know if my site is 100% up to Google's standards now.

My question is: Would it be better to just forget about the actual domain name and move it all over to a new domain? Or is it better to wait and see what Google comes up with?

9:01 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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For a small (ugly) site, sometimes you wonder if you're better off getting that friend who knows a little or an out-of-the-box site builder rather than paying a specialist.

(1) I see no justification for a small site being ugly.

(2) It's a matter of getting the right specialist.

There are so many small business sites that are worse than useless, because they've been built by someone who knows little or zilch. Those small businesses would be better off with no site at all. I've seen countless examples where what is probably a well-run small business looks quite the opposite because of its crappy online presence. Would anyone argue that someone running a small business is okay to wear an ill-fitting suit, or drive an unreliable car maintained on the cheap by the next door neighbour?

In fact I would argue that a small business website really needs someone who knows what they're doing even more than for a larger business, because they often need to fight harder to get traffic and to create a professional impression in the marketplace.

2:14 am on Apr 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Good news! :) Google un-banned my site today. :)
All the emails to Google etc. paid off.

Now please keep your fingers crossed, that this doesn't trigger the SEO consultant to fire off another few thousand blog posts to make my site look as if I would advertise it as an adult- and pharma site.

Tonight I'll have a glass of wine on the success.
Tomorrow is another day.

Thanks for all your support :)

1:15 am on Apr 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The joy was short.
He started the splogging again.
3:17 am on Apr 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The hidden links are removed. Otherwise Google wouldn't have re-indexed my site at all.
4:14 am on Apr 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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How did you know he is doing that again? I mean how that fast?
If you know exactly where he is posting, why don't you report the problem to the blogs owner in order to get the spam removed?

Anyway, I don't think Google removed you for the spam, they removed you for the blackhat seo tricks on your site. Now you have cleaned your site, you have little to worry about.

4:36 am on Apr 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Some blogs send send Thank-You-For-Your-Post emails.

Other blogs send an email

"Please activate your comments by clicking this URL:
[blog....com...]
The comments below will be added to the entry titled ".....":
----------------------------------------------
Your comments: .....

Since he is using one of my email addresses in the required email field, it's me who is getting these emails, so I know right away ...

So, fischermx, you think that content is "up to Google's Guidelines", and will stay?
Then I better run, because my site will drown again in adult blog-spam.

4:59 am on Apr 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Chris.

I would bet my left nut, you got banned becuase of problems with the site, not the blog posts.

If this could work, I would not bother doing seo, I'd just attack every client;s competitor in same way, my clients would be the only sites left standing and would get no.1

its was the spam on your site that caused the problem.

Nothing more.

I have at least 30 sites with links to them from porn, spam, blog and general crap sites.

It does nothing. nothing posative, nothing negative, on google at least. Actually helps on msn, becuase msn is crap

5:14 am on Apr 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for your encouraging comment, nippi.

I will put a note on my site to inform my real visitors and the ones who got tricked. The situation is overwhelming.

2:04 pm on Apr 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'd vote with Nippi, in that it was the garbage placed on your site that triggered the ban. I have a ton of links in scraped listings that have pointed at one of my sites for years with no ill effects.

You say you've had the domain since '97? I'd definitely stick with it and rough it out rather than moving the site - surely there are already plenty of useful links already pointing to it after all that time?

I think the points made earlier about hiring 'local' SEOs or designers were valid. If something is this important to your business, better to have the person doing the work close enough to look them in the eye. While you can't damn an entire nation on spec, it's clear that different nations at different stages of business development have extremely different versions of what constitutes "ethical". Many of my design clients in a particular country initially can't understand it when I refuse to copy and paste whole pages of text directly from their competitors site - copyright simply isn't yet a part of the culture.

Personally I would take up a few of the suggestions here and really make this guy's life a misery.

3:05 pm on Apr 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Now please keep your fingers crossed, that this doesn't trigger the SEO consultant to fire off another few thousand blog posts to make my site look as if I would advertise it as an adult- and pharma site.

If I were you, I would seriously consider joining a porn merchant and cross selling viagra and putting both links on the old site.

Then send the following..

"Dear Luser,

Thanks for all the free traffic - I'm making much more $$$ than I ever did before!"

6:27 am on Apr 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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:)That's an awesome idea, Alex_Miles!

But now he changed his verbiage ... to the worse ... I just can't post it here due to the rules.

I'm still sticking to my old site until the new one is up, and then ruuuun.

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