Everything’s fine until the day you find out that Google search has suddenly decided to give your website the “cold shoulder”. What could have possibly gone wrong? The gravest reason might be violation of one or more of Google’s policies, and the silliest reason might be a wrong keyword that doesn’t quite lead to your website.
Read on to find out all possible reasons and quick fix for each.
Violation of one or more Google’s policies
Google runs a tight ship with its website policies. It penalizes offenders by taking down their site altogether, or issuing warnings. An offender is someone who has set up malicious codes on their websites, or messed around with Google’s bots in a way that it compromises the security and content visibility for the website’s users. In such cases, Google permanently blocks or de-indexes your website. In less severe cases, Google issues a warning or communicates to the website owner about the nature of the violation. So, if you have received any emails from Google, act on it immediately. You might see something like this:
However, if you are a genuine website owner with no malicious intent, you might want to check if your website was hacked. Read this article to find out more.
- Take down any malicious code, ad, or content from your website that might compromise Google’s guidelines. Resubmit your website to Google.
Website is set to NoIndex
A website will be visible in Google search only if it can be indexed. Your website administrator might have temporarily added a “NoIndex” tag to carry out some maintenance activities, or a plugin or widget update on your website might have accidently “noindexed” it.
- Go to relevant pages like robots.txt or header section and remove any “NoIndex” tags.
- Use Webmaster tools to troubleshoot any website issues.
Plagiarism, heavily borrowed content and other malpractices
There are several reasons for a website to perform poorly, like poor or irrelevant content, or no call to action, or shoddy ads. Remember our article where we mentioned that if your site isn’t any good, Google will start ranking it lower and lower. This, however, doesn’t happen overnight.
What can happen overnight is being penalized for heavy plagiarism or duplicated content from other websites. Lack of originality and uselessness are major factors why Google stops ranking your websites. Google also prevents hackers and suspicious websites from display.
- Refurbish content on your website. Remove plagiarised content; build credibility and resubmit the website
- Surrender your hacker days. Build clean websites with due diligence. Resubmit the site.
Website organic ranking competing with your ad
Have you noticed that sometimes both organic search results and AdWords results appear for the same keyword search! Well, in due course of time, one is going to get stronger than the other. It is always best to maintain different keyword lists for AdWords, Adsense and the main website, without allowing the keywords to compete with each other for space and prominence.
- Assign different keywords lists for organic and paid search campaigns,
Incorrect search term or keyword
Having an incorrect search term or keyword is an obvious silly error. How can one expect Google to display oranges, when you are in fact, searching for applies! In this case, your website hasn’t really disappeared from Google search results.
Also, bear in mind that Google customizes the search results according to your past search history and choices; therefore, organic rankings may not be the same for both.
- There’s nothing to fix here, except searching for the right keyword(s).
While violating Google’s policies might be a true deal breaker, choice of keywords and customizable search can cause a website to disappear from Google search.