Why Has Google Banned My Martial Arts Website?
Some web developers use coding that will trick a search engine’s crawling robot into believing that a website has different content than it actually does. In other words, when a developer uses cloaking, a person who visits the site actually sees something different than what the Googlebot says they were supposed to see. Because this prevents a search engine from returning quality website hits, search engines will immediately remove a site that has been subject to cloaking, and, in some cases, will ban the site altogether. Although there are valid reasons to use cloaking on a website, it should never be done to manipulate search engine rankings.
2. Duplicate Content or Duplicate Sites offering the same service at the same address or telephone number
Search engines do not want to return results with identical information so they often block sites with information that appears to be similar. Unfortunately, this could mean the site with the original content is also blocked as Google has no way of knowing where the original content originated. To protect original content, it is important to do an occasional search using some of your text surrounded by quotation marks to see if your work appears on other sites. You can also use a site like Copyscape to learn if your site has been duplicated without your permission.
3. Hidden Text or Links
If a link is invisible to a website visitor but can be seen by search engine spiders, the text or link is considered invisible. In the past, this has been achieved by using the same color text as the background or by using cascading style sheets to hide text. Because search engines of today can find hidden text very easily, it is best to avoid using them.
4. Keyword Spam and Stuffing
One of the most common practices that will cause Google to lower a page’s ranking is keyword stuffing or keyword spam. Keyword stuffing occurs when a phrase or set of words is used repeatedly throughout the copy, often making the copy sound awkward. As a rule, keyword density should be between 1 and 5% of the entire text on a page, and keyword usage should flow naturally.
5. Landing Pages
Landing Pages are designed to rank highly in search engine optimization, but are normally not an integral part of the website they link to. For example, a martial arts school may create a "landing page" or "portal" for each of their locations and website so that when you search for karate in a particular city all their websites come up in the search results. One way to avoid having the site reduced in search engine rankings is to be sure each page is useful and an integral part of your site’s navigation.
6. Redirect Pages
Although there are legitimate reasons for using redirect pages, problems occur when a visitor is redirected to a page completely unrelated to the original search term. Visitors become frustrated as they arrive at a website where they had no intention of going. For this reason, search engines have become less tolerant of websites that redirect visitors to another location without allowing the user to make that selection independently.
7. Buying Links
Google has put measures in place to put sites in limbo for 6-8 months in an effort to keep them from benefiting from buying links to the site. In addition, Google is devaluing sites that sell links so it is best to avoid buying links to try to increase your ranking. The fact is that buying links will more than likely lower your search engine ranking.
8. Bad Links
In today’s SEO world, linking is almost a necessity but it is important to be careful what type of site you link to in order to avoid losing a Google ranking. Linking to sites such as free-for-all link farms, adult or gambling sites can make you guilty by association. Verify links to be sure they are indexed and ranked by Google and avoid spamming sites. In addition, verifying that all links from your site are working links is also important as bad links can be frustrating to visitors.
9. Code Swapping
Google will also lower a page ranking if the site achieves a top ranking and the developer then switches the site to another page.
Google’s advice for high ranking is basically to avoid doing anything that may appear to be deceptive to visitors. By focusing on site development that offers help to your customers, you should be able to avoid these common pitfalls that can lower your sites ranking in Google.
If Google has lowered your site ranking, there are ways to correct the problem. Logging into Google Sitemaps and clicking on the “Submit a reinclusion request” is the best way to have your site reinstated into Google searches. It may take a few months for reindexing, but if you are patient, you should begin to see your site higher in Google rankings.