2016-11-09 | 2201 Print PDF
Have you noticed a sudden drop in your Google Webmaster Index Status? or probably noticed your site is no longer coming up on Google search engines...you know you could easily confirm this by doing an exact search for your domain url on Google with hyphens on the keyword phrase, eg "yourdomain.com" and couldn't get your domain ranking on Google top 3 position? Now you really need to get worried. Some people do believe that Google will always notify you if you have committed an offense, this might be true in most but not in all cases.
The first place to look for good proof will be your Google search console, and when you log in click on your website report and hence check the dashboard overview.
From the above image we could see that there has been no crawl errors on the site and definitely no search analytics results picking up any search phrase for the domain url in question.
Sitemap seems to be the only thing working fine from here, but still this does not provide any concrete proof for Google penalty. I could not get any message from the inbox (this is the area where most people do get lost, believing that Google will always message you if you got a Google penalty).
Furthermore we could see that Google indexing for the domain has dropped drastically which was more like a no-indexing issue. So I had to dig deeper to review if any of the site was blocked, and the results I received was that none of the urls were blocked by Google bot and it could be easily spidered, next I decided to re-write the site robot.txt, and site-map and submitted them even executed a url submission.
Another alert that got me worried was the search analytics from the Google webmaster search console…it was showing zero!
As seen from the first image showing the search console dashboard overview, and to add more twist was that we had no crawl errors to even confirm if anything was going wrong server side.
But to certify the search analytics results I had to check the Google analytics of the website. Since I have linked the Google webmaster search console with the proper Google analytic property, I was able to get full insight about the search parameters on the domain, which revealed that its search traffic was 90 sessions which made up 1% of the total traffic to the site.
Now to be certain that the site has been neglected by Google, none of the referral traffic from the Google analytic tool showed Google (search engine) as a referral from its top 20 referral sites. And if you take a closer look at the image you will notice that search engine only have 1.7% of the entire website traffic to the site.
This only concluded my observation about the site probably being under Google’s penalty and am certain it must have been some broken terms of condition or agreements, that has warrant the domain de-indexed from Google.
Being a big site with over 1000 pages, it’s quite hard why the site will be neglected all of a sudden…and there are lots of possibilities that this hit could be a panda hit, since the site has never been on any form of bad SEO business (never done SEO before).
Now it’s a bit funny that I couldn’t pinpoint the real issue or cause of this de-indexing has the Google webmaster tool had no issue to report, so I had to try to reconfigure the url and re-submit another format of the domain name but this time without the www ie http:// instead of http://www which apparently is not working for Google anymore.
It actually reminded me when I was not getting any search results for my site because we had moved from a http://www to a https://www and on the Google webmaster it was picking up http://www which was no longer available, same with the indexing too.
But has soon as I created another ADD SITE and verify it, in no time everything went back to normal and I had to make sure that I redirected all of my domain protocols to point to https://www, but in this case the site url already has pointed to its desired url header.
Google may temporarily or permanently remove sites from its index and search results if it believes it is obligated to do so by law, if the sites do not meet Google's quality guidelines, or for other reasons, such as if the sites detract from users' ability to locate relevant information. We cannot comment on the individual reasons a page may be removed. However, certain actions such as cloaking, writing text in such a way that it can be seen by search engines but not by users, or setting up pages/links with the sole purpose of fooling search engines may result in removal from our index. Please read Google Webmaster Guidelines for more information.
If your site is blocked from Google index because it violates quality guidelines, they may alert you about this using Search Console. Simply sign in to your Search Console, add your site URL, and verify site ownership. The Overview page provides information about the indexing of your site.
If you receive a notification that your site violates quality guidelines, you can modify your site so that it meets these guidelines, then submit your site for reconsideration.
The domain in the case study has definitely been hit, but due to low data to analyze from Google I could not identify what the penalty was, but could pick a solid guess on a Panda penalty followed with some other content penalty. You will observed from the image above (the search console overview) that the site had over 1000 url submitted and it is quite shocking how none could have easily been picked up, even when Google had no trouble visiting the site. It's more like Google refuse or place the site on a no-index penalty.