Today’s post is a guest post by Bryan over at SimpleIMSolutions.com. I find Bryan’s experience with the Google reconsideration team to be quite fascinating and so I wanted to share it with you. One of the most motivating points that I take from this story is that Google manually reviewed his Niche Sites that are monetized with Adsense (the kind of sites I talk about all the time here), and they essentially gave the sites their “blessing” if you will. So, this is motivating in the fact that Google is fine with the kind of niche sites that we are all building as long as they are the right kind of quality. It also makes me want to try my hand a second time with the Google reconsideration team with some of my sites that were de-indexed over a year ago. Anyway, read Bryan’s experience below to get all the details:
As someone who has built several websites over the last couple of years, I have worked hard at refining my site design, content production and SEO skills. My only goal is to build out websites that not only enhance the user experience, but also meet and exceed all of the Google Quality Guidelines.
In other words, the websites I create are there to either answer the query of the visitor or point them in the right direction (i.e. using Adsense ads). As I started to create more and more solid websites, my income slowly started to rise. I really couldn’t believe my progress I had made in such a short time.
Then, the worst thing happened that I never saw coming in a million years – Nearly HALF of my websites were DE-INDEXED from GOOGLE!
No, these were not penalized – they were completely eliminated. It was as if the websites never existed. Google wiped them clean from their index. At that point, the game was over for me. At least it felt that way.
A Rug Pulled From Under My Feet
It all happened one morning in September (right when I was beginning to have days where I earned up to $60+ per day on Adsense alone). Half of my websites (including my biggest earners at the time) were gone. My income went down to pennies per day, all at the drop of the hat.
You can imagine the feeling. I was completely devastated. However, I believe in my websites and my process. I knew that they not only followed the guidelines set by Google, but they also topped every single top 10 listing on Google for their particular keywords. So, the next step was the most logical one – submit a reconsideration request.
Now We Play the Waiting Game
Distraught, I typed up a quick reconsideration request to Google and sent it off. Nearly 2 weeks went by with no answer or final verdict on the status of my websites that were eliminated from the search results. Frustrated, I figured I would give it one more shot to try to show Google why my sites did not deserve to be de-indexed.
I Wasn’t Going to Go Down Easy
I spent nearly an hour writing up a fully detailed report, complete with evidence that supported my claim. I even drilled down other websites and their poor quality, giving specific examples of what rules they were violating and compared my websites to those. If those poor quality websites could exist in the search results, then I wanted a clear explanation telling me why mine could not.
After triple checking my write-up, I shot it off again to Google. I didn’t stress out too much over this last one and spent most of the time re-working my current and future goals instead. I was willing to stay patient and wait things out. What else did I have to lose?
It All Changed One Morning in October
From time to time, I would check the SERPS to see if my sites would miraculously pop-up. Time and time again, they never did – until one morning in mid-October. While doing my usual check in Google, I noticed one of my websites came up with results, showing that pages were indexed. I thought I was dreaming, so I checked another – more results. I nearly fell out of my chair – ALL OF MY WEBSITES WERE BACK!
I ran over to Google Webmaster Tools to login and noticed I had a message with the subject “Manual Spam Action Revoked”. Basically, Google admitted they made a goof and after giving my websites another manual review, they deemed them as meeting their quality guidelines and would be re-indexed once again.
Finally, the month-long battle was over and I never felt any better.
Don’t Be Afraid to Fight
Before I even thought about submitting a request for reconsideration, I reached out for advice. A lot of people told me I should just forget about it all and take a loss, stating that submitting a reconsideration request would only make things worse. Anyone with that mindset is only going to set themselves up for failure.
You see, you shouldn’t have to live in fear of “the big bad G”. As long as you are providing search visitors with quality information they are looking for, you should have nothing to fear. Imagine if I would’ve sat and did nothing out of “fear” – all of that time and money would be down the drain!
Some Helpful Tips on Getting Your Site(s) Back
In the end, I still don’t know the “exact” reason as to what put Google onto my websites. Originally, I thought a competitor filed a report (which I still think could be the case). Even though I hit a stroke of bad luck, I managed to get back what was mine by standing my ground. It’s all you can do.
If you are currently facing a situation like this, here are a handful of helpful tips that may help you win over the hearts of Google:
- Make sure that your website follows the Google Quality Guidelines. Ensure that you have a clean layout, smooth site navigation and minimal clutter. Content should be quality and relevant to what your visitors should expect to see.
- If filing for a reconsideration request, make sure to give examples and evidence that supports your claim. This is CRUCIAL! A simple “I want my sites back” is never enough. A manual review is your chance to plead your case, so make the most of it.
- Don’t be afraid to submit another request if you need to. I would suggest waiting a couple weeks in between requests before submitting a second one.
What Do You Think?
Hopefully this has shed some light on what you can do if your sites become de-indexed. Remember that SEO is never guaranteed and things can change quickly, so it’s always best to be on top of things. As long as you have the user experience in your mind, you shouldn’t have a problem generating income from your efforts!
About the Author
Bryan is the front-man for SimpleIMSolutions – the blog dedicated to documenting his Adsense, SEO and affiliate marketing journey. Subscribe for juicy marketing info, state of the art tips and other hot ideas to help you build your online business!