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Anyone have any ideas what I can do to help this client.
[edited by: tedster at 8:13 pm (utc) on Sep. 29, 2007]
[edit reason] remove specifics [/edit]
Be warned, once dropped from Google the site usually needs to be squeaky clean to be reincluded - the standard goes way up. Also, the communication is often still just one way - you writing to Google without getting feedback from them, although such feedback can happen. The information in a GWT account can also help fix other errors that might be making the site difficult to crawl and index.
Remember that a reinclusion request involves human beings, and so is an expensive procedure from a Google POV ... if the site is NOT squeaky clean, any further requests later will probably not be viewed very sympathetically.
So if there's ANYTHING that the client has 'got away with' for years, or has simply not been realized (eg poor link choices), then now is the time to do a really thorough spring clean.
Also, do not assume that the 'problem' you found is the culprit ... there may be something else, maybe 'off site' (eg a link farm), that they don't know about ... or forgot to tell you about. Only Google knows for sure what got them banned.
What about things like page titles and content? How much did they change?
Those that take a stricter interpretation of what can constitute a links scheme may not agree with that statement, either way those partner sites may also need some examination....
associate partners on every page
btw. I too have my doubts about hidden text.
Except if the color codes were matching.
I see hidden text all the time.
Which is silly by the way, for keyword density doesn't count for anything anymore ... words only found in the content area and not in the title/inbound anchors have little effect... and words that are out of place, irrelevant, too competitive will sooner have a site penalized than rank at the top... Google doesn't seem to care anymore either, so...
I don't get what's the point in adding any.
Hidden text LINKS... now that's something completely different.
This last remark was more like a question. *hint*
links are all fine...though they link to their our associate partners on every page...these other associates are all .org's
And I'm sure they'll say nice things about you too - but this is too important to make assumptions.
You may have a little link farm of your own. The fact your partners are all orgs is nothing to Google; if you are all mutually linking to 'help' each other, you could be in big, big, big trouble.
Google's advice on linking applies to you as to every other site; kepp it relevant, avoid inappropriate reciprocals - and check that ALL your partners are 'clean'.
If you've been innocently pooling links with a site whose designers have been even sillier than your own, then you need to drop them. Fast.
If not, simply add nofollow to all of the links on the rest of site leaving the site. This allows all the benefits for the user, but removes one more control property from your list of possibilities.
I would check the entire website by hand for any hidden links as has been aluded to eearlier.