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Home page gone, and a strange phone call - from Google?



8:34 am on Aug 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Newbie writes first time.

I too have had a problem with google indexing my home page. My home page has been steadily moving up the pages, it was making first page under certain keyword searches, and top of page 2 with my main objective keyword search. On July 24th it was indexed and moved to top of page two. Site hits improved dramatically, but three days later on monday morning it had vanished! GONE! The first mention of the site is now on page 4, but what is odd is that we are on the same page everyday, same spot, but the displayed page is random from my site and fluctuates throughout the day. But what worries me is that on the monday morning when it vanished I received a phonecall from someone claiming to be from google (claiming I stress) telling me that advertising is what I have to now do to get my page back on 1st page... How did he know it wasn't there anymore, or did he just check that day and opportunity knocked, I don't know?

Anyone else had this?

I've contacted google to find out whether this chap is genuinely from them and if he was is it normal practice for them to do this. No reply as yet. Other sub page keywords are hitting the top two searches on page 1, so I'm baffled. I only learnt how to build a website 3 months ago with no IT experience whatsoever and it's all very new to me.

I do appologise for the length of the message, I hope you haven't dosed off.

I hope someone can shed some light on this issue



1:29 pm on Aug 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

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

Welcome to the forums.

That is a disturbing story. I will guarantee you that no legitimate Google call would ever promise you page 1 rankings if you buy advertising. They work very hard to put out the word that there is no connection between Adwords and organic rankings.

It really sounds like someone is gaming you on the phone, at the very least. And there may even be a connection with your lost rankings. I'd suggest you read this thread about backlinks [webmasterworld.com] and if it rings a bell, follow through on what we're discussing there.


3:42 pm on Aug 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hi Jonathan

You might want to start a thread over on Google's Webmaster Support Group about this. It sounds very suspicious, and I think the Googlers watching over the group might be able to look into this a bit more for you.

@Tedster: I'm hoping a link in this case will be permitted, but please remove if it's not appreciated:



4:39 pm on Aug 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Definitely a crook who was watching your rankings and decided to scam you as they probably scam others who panic when their rankings in Google change.


9:17 am on Aug 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


Many thanks for the link through, It was very very informative and I think this has helped me resolve some issues with the site, if not resolving the main question, however changes have been made to the site, but one of the big problems I have is using microsoft office live, which is very useful for someone of my IT understanding and web building prowess (3months worth) but the main home page always ends default.aspx and this means my .co.uk/ is being re-directed apparently. Annoying thing is me being a bit slow out of the blocks I changed the site just after google re crawled it. So just have to wait a while now...
There was also an issue with choicce of font colour with some of the text too, which I would never have ever considered...

You live and learn lol

Kind regards


[edited by: lawman at 12:03 pm (utc) on Aug. 4, 2009]


1:06 pm on Aug 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


The man phoned me back today at 13.50pm UK Time. He claims to be from a google certified UK company? very friendly and polite and it was to do with being able to guarantee my 1st page position through sponsored links etc. He did make it known to me he was aware site was not searchable under critical keywords, just good research on their part? or if they are indeed a google certified company do they get their leads from them? Who knows, one for scully and mullder I think.


1:17 pm on Aug 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

And yes, who he says he works for, according to their website they are indeed a google certified and google qualified UK company. um?


1:24 pm on Aug 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

he is going to sell you his services to spend your money on adwords ..which if you spend enough will indeed get you on page 1 of search ..but only on the right hand side ..and at a cost ..

and you could do that yourself ..

sponsored links is what google call adwords when they are shown in serps ..

( search almost any term or keywords and you'll see )

he may well be an adwords certified pro ..but he is also a sneaky offspring of a female dog


2:44 pm on Aug 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Leosghost, pmsl! lol that is funny!

I've only been doing this web thing for a few months, and I do appreciate companies need to get that edge, but I do feel adwords etc are for fundamentally lazy firms. Most of their referal pages are (in my industry sector anyway) merely contact forms with a phone number, not even a price guide. They get your contact details and then targeted sales staff sink their teeth into you before rinsing your pockets dry.

Click through sites tend to have very little in the way of informative content either. I know you do need to keep things as simple as possible, but um?

That's what makes forums like this so flipping good, factors like text colour compared to backgrounds etc is something I'd never even dreamed about being an issue, but if it means fine tuning issues and grafting till 4am before a 7.30am start at work I'm prepared to do it, knowing it's mine, I got it there makes a difference.

(till it disapears and you start to wonder lol)


2:44 pm on Aug 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I get a few calls a month from businesses like this in the US that try and make it sound as if Google themselves are calling me from their call center in India. As others have said, this is just a telemarketing call from someone who either checked your listings before calling or more likely just took a stab in the dark (most sites aren't on the first page after all).


2:52 pm on Aug 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

adwords etc are for fundamentally lazy firms.

Woah there. That's complete and utter nonsense. Total rubbish.

Adwords are advertising, pure and simple. Are all adverts on TV just lazy firms not trying hard enough to sell their product through word of mouth? Of course not.

Adwords are all about ROI. Get a positive ROI, and they make business sense. Often substantially more sense than pouring time and resources in getting an above-the-fold organic listing.


2:58 pm on Aug 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

...but I do feel adwords etc are for fundamentally lazy firms

I would strongly disagree.

If you spend X and can track a return of XX that's not laziness, that's just good business. Thinking that PPC is just for lazy people is cutting yourself off from a potentially very good revenue stream.

Sure, PPC won't work for everyone, but with the logic you're using, you would equally say that SEO is just for tightwads not willing to invest in their business. :-)

The two should work hand in hand AFAIC and form part of an overall marketing strategy where possible.


3:22 pm on Aug 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Well that's woken everybody up! lol

As I said, you do need the competative edge, but I'm more aiming it (sorry if it sounded terribly general) at my industry, selling plumbing training courses.

Generally it is a hook, a sales lead, he's clicked, he's interested go get. I base many of my opinions on my former employers approach, they have had a nightmare return this last 18 months re ppc, not even close to breaking even from generated sales, my point really is that their main site suffered essential enhancements, which has now been well and truly rectified i might add and it now looks very impressive indeed, and leads through their onsite request information conversions massively out weighs ppc revenue.

But yes ppc won't work for everyone, but for others it's no doubt a bread winner.

It's not something I'd rule out, I may go down that route in the new year, but I feel I need a core theme website that ppc is backing from time to time, rather than being the dominant site first port of call.


4:56 pm on Aug 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

It's not something I'd rule out, I may go down that route in the new year, but I feel I need a core theme website that ppc is backing from time to time, rather than being the dominant site first port of call.

Fair enough. Just spread your traffic where you can. If your site suddenly doesn't rank naturally, at least you'll have some sort of back-up. If you can rank well naturally, great. Just don't rely on Google (or any other search engine for that matter) to provide you with free traffic 24/7 and then hinge your entire business model on it - otherwise you might get a shock one day.


5:12 pm on Aug 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I get these calls too and they certainly try to give you the impression that they are from Google. Then when you ask them "point blank" .. you work for Google? .. then they cop to the fact they do not work for Google. But I am sure it fools some people.

The whole scam is to get you to hire them for your Adwords account. I played along for a while and they sure are devious in their pitch, if you don't know the right questions to ask you really would think you are talking to Google.


5:37 pm on Aug 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


This seems to be a common theme I'm hearing, I don't feel comfortable saying this, but I'm glad it's not just me... lol,

But with google publicly certifying/qualifying an individual or company and letting them use that tag, isn't that kind of giving them the authority to represent them and endorse actions on googles behalf?

City & Guilds let you use their logo's etc but only once you've been approved/accredited/endorsed to run and administrate courses on their behalf, and 'our' plumbing training centre is directly promoting endorsing the sale of city & guilds courses where they ultimately gain revenue from us, and anything untoward that we might do reflects back on City & Guilds and ulimately their approval of our centre.

Aren't google doing something similar by endorsing companies with terms like google certified qualified company too?

Freelance journalists who have been commissioned by the 'daily mail' for eg to run a story can say that they are from the daily mail when researching etc. Is it the same?

Maybe these companies do feel that they are doing googles work for them and feel that they should freely be able to use their name?

It's an odd one, but if City & guilds ever found out that I was even attempting to claim I was directly worked for them that would be that. No more training centre...

That was a long one edit away at your will.. lol

I'm very interested to see what everyone else thinks?

It could be a long night he heee



5:44 pm on Aug 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Simply ignore that company. The only thing they are after is your money.


8:07 pm on Aug 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Maybe these companies do feel that they are doing googles work for them and feel that they should freely be able to use their name?

ah, no .. they are not doing Googles work at all

If you got the same phone call I did, they are misrepresenting themselves and say "Hello, this is Joe calling from Google about your rankings, would you like to get to the first page for your keywords?".

If you go and take a look at what it means to be "Google qualified" there really is not much to it if you have been managing an Adwords account in the past. I am sure Google would freak if they found out these scammers are pretending to be employees of Google when they make these cold sales calls.


9:57 pm on Aug 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

That's exactly how my two calls have started as well, the first one hours after the site bombed out, then again today, coincidently after it was crawled last evening with no ranking reversal at all.

Funny thing though he was selling it so hard he was actually online bashing in keyword searches trying to get me to do the same to show how my competitors were appearing left right and centre and they were obviously cashing in of course while I was sitting there numbely debating....

So funny though, he said "type in training services" so I did, yes I saw my competitors, all across the top and down the right hand side, but I said I want plumbing training services/courses in a given area. Why should I pay 1 or whatever it is for someone who typed in training services clicking through to my site, just on the off chance they might actually be looking to spend 4k on a plumbing course, what are the odds? I wouldn't back that happening at the bookies with odds at 10-1 lmao.

I can't imagine anyone typing just that into a search engine anyway, unless they didn't have a clue where they were or what they were indeed looking for.

I've cooled down now and after all, we've all got to make a living, we've all got bills to pay. Even google have got bills to pay, a multi-billion dollar pay roll to be precise, without these ppc people google services may not be as essential and as potentialy rewarding as they are today. If one of these ppc companies turns over $125m+ per year, which so many of them do and google get just 15-20% of turnover that's one heck of a write down to try and explain at your shareholders annual meeting by taking the moral highground, and if they did shelve multiple companies from trading with them because of this, well, google help might only be available between the hours of 9-5pm mon-fri lol, imagine that? Low turnover means less people on the job, the spammers/fraudsters start to exploit the lack of google support and site monitoring, delays in closing loopholes, crawling slows to a... crawl, failure to keep up with the ever-growing list of questions/queries/complaints/ cries for help, it could be a real mess. Worse than the sun burning out for many.

I'm not against ppc companies, you can always say no, I just wished there was some humanity in there approach, if google play fair with organic searching, which I think they currently are (I want my home page back and indexed... please lol) then it's still an amazingly open, competative, business critical tool, but so many large dominant organisations can fall foul of the gravy train, particularly in the current climate it really is high stakes, get what you can while you can, and now is not the time to bite the hand that feeds you...

World wide economies are still recessing, advertising has seen the biggest revenue slump in history, the UK banking system/economy/public sanity nearly collapsed completely last year and the rest of the world nearly went with it.

I just hope a blind eye is not being turned to these ppc companies in order to capitalise on its market leader position because the ppc pitch is very deceptive indeed, and for me not the fair image googles certified status should be portrayed, however irrelevant the title may be. After all google are inadvertantly/unknowingly maybe... capitalising on the fact that SOME ppc companies are trying and succeeding to coherce SOME, not all businesses into re-directing revenue into advertising through non traditional mainstream media, and as that earlier message said spread your traffic/brand as widely as possible just sums the state of play up for me, truly simple, effective, great advice and the internet, namely google is the way to do it. They are the only outwardly projecting media source with a truly unrivaled global reach, and bang for buck wise, a little into google does travel a heck of a long way, and they'l no doubt flourish through this revenue/economic slump while others fall off the edge, but are we been shouldered into chipping in to pay for it? or genuinely chasing the dream?

Devils advocate really


10:55 pm on Aug 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Google would never call anyone about rankings.

Now as for the president of Nigeria...well, he'll be transferring me millions of dollars soon!


12:17 am on Aug 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


I'll go 50-50.... I'll buy into that. here's my acount number and sort code 2.................

How much upfront do you need?

It amounts to the same thing


6:17 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

A quick thank you to all that replied to the above saga. I've got some good advice re indexing etc. i'm glad to say site is now back on page two and indexed (7/8/09) and searchable. Google man has not called yesterday/today which is odd as site is back where it needs to be without the site owner (me) panicking like you can't imagine...

thanks again


[edited by: tedster at 10:09 pm (utc) on Aug. 11, 2009]
[edit reason] no extended sigs, please [/edit]


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