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When google drops your site, should you move it?

7:57 pm on Jan 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

If your site has been dropped by Google would it be beneficial to move all its content to a new site.

I have submitted a reinclusion request be hear nothing but bad things about how long this takes.

Our site is over 4 years old, never a problem until Dec 23rd when we were dropped from Google's index. I submitted a site map and Google indexed this and says we now have pages in its index (webmaster tools) however we do not. As well our pagerank went from 3-0.

I was wondering if we should just move all our content to a new site or wait to see what happens. We are loosing $$$$ each month because of this and we have no idea why this happened.
I just want to get back to normal as quickly as possible!

11:53 pm on Jan 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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

If you have been dropped from Google's index, then you have been dropped for a reason.

Simply moving the content can only be a short term solution at best, and without the rank and age of the old site, chances are the new one will be treated in the same way before the new site gets many visitors.

You need to work out why you were de-indexed and fix it.

Also, asking for a re-inclusion when nothing has changed is not a wise move, as it is a waste of Google's time. Fix first, THEN ask for a reinclusion. Think of it as a 'boy who cried wolf' issue; when the site IS fixed, Google may no longer be listening!.

1:10 am on Jan 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I think maybe it is a content issue from to many keywords, maybe to much seo etc. I had one website that is 9 year old and that was dropped 3 years ago from the Google index. Since I fired that webmaster already a few years ago, I decided to do it this time myself. I started about 6 months ago to fix everything and for the past 3 months the site has recovered and is now on auto pilot. I was a fool when we moved the content to a new domain because quick fixes at times don't help at all. The major factor why this site recovered is excellent content and so much incoming links without any link exchanges. Another factor would be to try to focus not on search engine traffic only. Now 30% of our traffic comes from search engines and the rest from authority domains such as Wikipedia, newspapers, regional search engines. It is totally acceptable even by wikipedia standards to have ONE 468x60 adsense banner on a page as long your content is so important to wikipedia users etc that they will not question the integrity of your sites. Our revenue did dropped because not everyone sees that tiny little advertising banner but the site generated now 300 quality inbound links that comes from TV's, newspapers, wikipedia etc.

You are correct Quadrille. After we fixed everything, which took me months we asked for a re-inclusion and after a month the site went from PR0 - PR3 and now has a PR5 but some internal pages have now PR6. I don't really care about PR and I was extremly happy that the site has hundreds of PR4 and PR5 pages. The site had before 40,000 pages of content and now it is just 1000 pages.

I learned my lessons and can now sleep well.

12:11 pm on Jan 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Our issue is we really don't know what happened and we're not sure where else to look!
2:38 pm on Jan 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

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

Not a nice place to be - but my advice stands - you won't leave the problem behind, you'll simply have two damaged sites.

Google is basically a machine; there's always a logic to their actions, though machines don't see the world the same way we do.

Have you double checked the Google guidelines?

Is there no area that just might be causing problems for Google?

3:06 pm on Jan 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bwnbwn is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

con771 if your staff doesn't know were to look or how to research this and your losing money each month the best advice I can give you is contact an SEO company (sorry can't recommend one) and have them look in the code, files, and do some serious digging into the cause of your crash. There is a cause to this Google just doen't take out sites without a good reason.

As all the memebers have stressed simply moving the content is not the solution you have to find the cause and correct it.

Couple questions.

1- have you in the last 3 months had any outside SEO work done on the site?
2- been hacked?
3- Moved servers or IP address?
4- Been down for an extended period of time?
5- Changed CMS or URL's?

3:17 pm on Jan 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

answer to all 5 is no.
This is why we are at a loss...
In the meantime we have submited a new site map and webmaster tools is saying the sitemap has been indexed and there is a check mark saying pages on our site are appearing in googles index. lat week this showed an error. Could this be a sign of something?
3:28 pm on Jan 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bwnbwn is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

con771 it isn't the sitemap that caused this there is a serious issue somewere that needs to be discovered.

Have you checked your google webmaster world area for comments or emails as to maybe the site has been hacked and you're not aware of it?

Do you then do inhouse SEO for the site?

last week this showed an error
What showed an error and what did the error say?

con771 if your a member and have reviewed a couple sites as per the guidelines then I would highly suggest maybe submit the site for a review and the members can do a discovery.

4:00 pm on Jan 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

the error showed no sitemap and there was an error saying your site is not showing "No pages from your site are currently included in Google's index" After I submitted teh sitemap it said "pages from your site are now included in googles index"
4:57 pm on Jan 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

con771 - our site suffered a penalty back at the beginning of October. It' took me over 2 months to discover the cause, fix it and ask for reconsideration from Google (which incidentally took LESS than 2 weeks).

My advice would be to keep reading these and other forums, re-read Google's guidelines, check that you don't have any messages from Google. Then undo any recent changes you've made to your site if you think any of them do contravene anything you've read in Google's guidelines or on forums. Undo them one at a time and submit your site for reconsideration, explaining fully what you've done.

Also check that you haven't added any extra links or entered any link schemes recently. If you have, get rid of them. It sounds like your sitemap is OK now though.

Don't move your site. OK it took me nearly 3 months to get our site back where it should be, but you'll have a lot more hassle if you move the whole thing than just some hard slog reading to do.

Keep looking, you might not have a clue at the moment (I didn't when our site was hit) but you'll find it in the end.

5:37 pm on Jan 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The problem is that we haven't made any changes, added to any link exchanges, etc...
All we do is add content.
I will definitely change some things in hopes it will work. Should I ask for a reinclusion request with every change I make?
How will I know if google has reviewed the site and not reincluded it if no one leaves me a message confirming this one way or the other?

I currently have no messages from Google either.
It is very frustrating as we aim to be 100% legit from the get go.

5:46 pm on Jan 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

It is frustrating as the high-and-mighty Google see themselves above us meer mortals to bother communicating with us most of the time. (or maybe they just don't have time).

Only resubmit your site when you've made a big change, not just a page title here and there.

Check your keyword density - shouldn't be more than 5% per page and that includes in links, alt text etc.

You say Google hasn't indexed any of your pages? Nothing if you type site:http://www.yourdomain.com into Google?

6:00 pm on Jan 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

If I type site:http://www.example.com I get "your search did not match any results". Have tried this with and without the www. We have completely dissapeared since Dec 23rd.
I'm at a loss as to what next.

[edited by: tedster at 6:31 pm (utc) on Jan. 5, 2009]
[edit reason] switch to example.com - it can never be owned [/edit]

6:51 pm on Jan 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bwnbwn is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

From the above last comment con771 the site has been hacked and that can be the only cause of the complete Google ban if there hasn't been something really nasty SEO work done from within the company.

Today it is really hard to get a total ban from google unless there is really something bad.

What kind of DB are you using for the site?

7:23 pm on Jan 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

comment con771 the site has been hacked...

If this has indeed happened can someone please let me know the best route to determine if this is the case. I have done some basic checking but nothing indepth. I follow links on my site and all looks well.
Also how do I address this with Google?

7:58 pm on Jan 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

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

See this thread: How Hacked Servers Can Hurt Your Traffic [webmasterworld.com]. It's available in the Hot Topics area [webmasterworld.com], which is always pinned to the top of this forum's index page.
2:31 pm on Jan 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

When I asked should I move it to a new site I meant could I take all the articles on the site which was dropped by google and post them on a simular site.

I have a site simular to the one which was dropped by google. The other site is over 3 years old with a lower PR.
I was thinking about moving just the content (250+) articles to this site in order to draw in more traffic since the other site is removed from google. The only thing which would be the same is the articles not the code in anyway.
I'm loosing to much $ waiting for the site to come back (and not knowing if it ever will)

I was not talking about creating a new site from scratch.

2:59 pm on Jan 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

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

But how do you know that 'just the content' is not at least part of the problem?

If those articles contain outgoing links, it is quite possible that they are a large part of the problem.

You could end up with two broken sites, if you fail to diagnose the problem in the first site.

3:22 pm on Jan 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I would only ensure to copy the content and not the links. Actually almost none of my articles contain outgoing links.
I can see just the content of the articles causing problems...Could it?
3:42 pm on Jan 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

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

Conceivably. Without the links, they'd probably need to be severely keyword-stuffed to present a serious problem.
4:06 pm on Jan 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

My keyword density is very low. Something like 5-7 keywords per 250 or more words
11:24 am on Jan 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Well you could always move your content to your newer site, make sure you block all your old site with a robots.txt file to make sure Google doesn't come back and find identical content on the old site, but leave it there for people who might have linked to/bookmarked it.

Alternatively, for users, you could move the content from the old site and just leave a message and a link (with a 'nofollow' tag) to your newer site.

Then if your newer site suffers the same penatly, you'll know it's your content.

Is your newer site on the same server as the penalised one? If so, it'll be more likely that the content is the problem.

12:46 pm on Jan 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Could I move the content but leave the older site up with content intact? This way if I do get re-indexed (on the old site) I can remove the content on the new one (or add a robots text not to index the new site). It would take me many months for a new site to catch up with where the old site was (if ever).

So a re-index would be excellent and what I really need. I've made a few changes but still no reply from google and I sent the reinclusion request 3 weeks ago.

1:04 pm on Jan 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

You can't have exactly the same content on two sites - dupliction issues and another Google penalty!

At least not on both sites and allow Google to crawl and index them both.

2:30 pm on Jan 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

what I was thinking about doing was putting the content on the new site and leaving the old incase it got re-indexed then removing the content on the new site as soon as this happens. (if it happens). This way there may be an overlap of a day at most.
Think this would work?
7:12 pm on Jan 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

ANy idea if this would work?
9:28 am on Jan 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Google already knows the content of your current site - maybe your pages have been dropped but they were indexed at one point. Personally I wouldn't risk putting exactly the same content on two sites at once for fear of penalising your newer site.

Make sure you've blocked the pages on your old site with a robots.txt file before moving content to the newer one.

Short of moving all your content to your new site, your only other choice is to concentrate on your older site to find the problem. If you didn't make any changes to your site, maybe your server was hacked, but you do need to find out for sure what the reason is.

If your server was hacked, perhaps you could try moving the domain to another host and then submit a reconsideration request to Google.


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