Where has my website gone?

Posted on the 29th November 2011

You turn on your computer, fire up the net and type in your favourite keyword just to check that your site still comes up on the first page…only…it doesn’t. Or the second or third or forth…or even the fiftieth! Well – as they say – just because you’re paranoid it doesn’t mean that they are not out to get you. Because, this can happen. You can be in the middle of some new ecommerce campaign and – bam – site gone.

So – as quickly as you can (because your business is in the process of dying and it needs CPR stat) do a Google search for site:yourwebsite.com with your URL to see if your site is still indexed. If you get results, you haven’t been removed; your ranking has simply been dropped for some reason. If you’ve been removed, you then you need to find out why and apply for re-inclusion at Webmaster Central once you’ve sorted out your problem.

Do a Google search for “yourwebsite.com” with your URL in quotations. You ought to be in the top 10 results. If your site appears back on page four or five, you have most likely been penalized by Google.

Think carefully – have you recently bought or exchanged links? To whom…check them out as well.

Have you hired someone or allowed them to make changes to your site, and do you actually understand what they did? If you were ranking truly well for a while and unexpectedly dropped, you need to find out if they were using black hat tactics such as cloaking on your site.

Look at your site objectively. Better yet, have someone else look at it for you. Are you giving Google the information it needs to crawl and rank your site for the terms you’re after? Is your site simple to navigate and user friendly? Be truthful, the only person you’re hurting by wearing blinders is yourself.