This has happened more than a few times…I get a frantic email from someone who just got de-indexed by Google.
Sometimes, it’s not quite as bad, instead of getting de-indexed, they go from a top 10 ranking to 532. Then again, if you are in position 532, you might as well be de-indexed anyway.
Over the past few years, I have studied many different websites that have lost major Google rankings to see if there was any kind of a common thread, identify how it happened, or spot some kind of trend.
In just about every single case, things were done on those websites to try and “shortcut” the system. In this blog post, I will share some of the common elements that turned up in those websites that were either de-indexed by Google or at the very least, lost major rankings.
Before I get into specifics, I first want to say that I understand where some of these people were coming from in terms of trying to shortcut the system. It’s not easy trying to get top 10 rankings, especially for competitive keywords. Furthermore, Google isn’t right about EVERYTHING and it can be frustrating to see low quality, crappy sites outranking your quality site.
How To Lose Ranking or Get De-Indexed By Google
OK, let’s talk about some common threads in many sites that lose ranking or get de-indexed in Google. Some of these are pretty obvious but even so, it doesn’t stop many people from trying to do this.
1. Low Quality Sites
Duh right? lol. Obviously having a low quality crappy site won’t do much good for you. Heck, even if you enjoy some temporary good rankings, if your site isn’t high quality, it probably won’t do you much good anyway.
Even after all of the Google algorithm changes, why do people STILL create low quality sites?
The answer is simple…because it’s fast, easy, and almost anyone can do it. But in this case, that is also a bad thing.
Now, there are still many low quality sites that receive great rankings….until they suddenly lose them overnight of course. If you have a niche site where losing a good ranking overnight won’t hurt you because you don’t make much from it that is one thing, but if one of your PRIMARY sites that generates a good percentage of your income suddenly vanishes, your business world could crumble very quickly.
This next sentence will be the most important line in this whole article….Build your business and SEO on a strong, solid foundation. Think marathon, not sprint.
Instead of building a low quality site, think outside the box a little bit. What works for me is thinking about what I would want to see if I were searching for that particular keyword that my site is about. Don’t JUST think monetary value here, think about what you can offer (free and/or paid) that will benefit people who search for your keyword term.
Here is an excellent example from a great blogger that I highly recommend, Pat Flynn. If you look at one of his niche sites (which ranks #1) security guard training, what you see is a high quality site. Sure, he could have just put up a site with a little bit of information and called it a day, but what he has done is taken the time to actually create some value for people visiting the site.
He has a newsletter, Youtube video, job board, information from various States, images, and lots of solid articles on his topic. This is a great example of a niche site that not only works well for the site owner, but also makes the internet a better place. Awesome job Pat!
Whether you are building a niche site or a website/blog for your main business, building a high quality site will go a long way in helping you not only get solid Google rankings but also help you from suddenly losing them overnight and potentially ruining your business.
2. Lots of Low Quality Spammy Backlinks
This is another strategy that was widely used by every single site that was de-indexed. Look, backlinks are important, in fact, CRITICAL to achieving solid search engine rankings however, low quality spammy backlinks can hurt you very quickly.
A few weeks ago I had someone come to me who had a site that was about 6 months old and he purchased a 10,000 backlink package from some forum and to make a long story short, his entire site was (and still is) completely de-indexed in Google.
Here is what NOT to do, unless you want to risk getting de-indexed:
Use software or services (or pay someone who does) to automatically create blog comments with a link back to your site on high PR do follow blogs. This is SPAM and while you may see some short term benefits from this, it’s definitely a good way to set yourself up for total failure.
What You Need To Do:
Like I said above, backlinks are very important IF THEY ARE DONE RIGHT.
The best backlinks are “real” ones that you create through LEGITIMATE forum profiles and posts, blog comments, social media, guest blog posts, and things like that.
I have seen numerous website owners get de-indexed by doing lots of spammy blog comments as well. Blog commenting is an EXCELLENT way to get backlinks but only if it’s a legit comment.
Solid Backlink Methods:
- Blog commenting is a great way to get more backlinks if you actually read the blog post and make a relevant comment that adds value to the blog. Find some well read blogs with topics that interest you and spend time reading and commenting on various posts but like I said, make sure your comment is good and isn’t some spam post like “great post, I will bookmark your blog”.
- Social Media is a great way to get more legit backlinks and legit visitors to your site.
- Guest Blog Posting is an under-used method that works wonders
- Youtube videos
- Discussion Forums
What you want to shoot for is lots of high quality, legitimate, varied backlinks that you build over time.
In future articles, I will share more tips of what to do in order to raise your rankings with Google as well as what NOT to do….Follow these tips and you can build your website and business on a solid foundation and sleep well at night without worrying about getting the dreaded Google slap.