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Q: My Google listing DISAPPEARED ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: My Google listing DISAPPEARED
Category: Computers > Internet
Asked by: ljt-ga
List Price: $30.00
Posted: 21 Oct 2003 06:36 PDT
Expires: 20 Nov 2003 05:36 PST
Question ID: 268235
(I realize that I'm not supposed to ask certain questions about Google
here, but I DID get an email from on 10/10
saying to post this question here, so I'm  hoping I might get to the
bottom of this.

I am so perplexed. 
One glorious day, my new webpage about Snowboard Mistakes was listed
on Google as the first non-ad hit, right at the top of the page. I was
thrilled. Then I went back to show my sister a few days later, and
poof, it was gone - completely!
Have I done something to offend the gods or bots of Google? Was the
page down one day when a bot came by and I got deleted?

I believe my page about snowboard mistakes 
would be the most relevant result for a search on "snowboard
however I am nowhere to be found. The ones that do come up now do not
seem to be particularly relevant results - the words "snowboard" and
"mistakes" are not even adjacent in the current results.
 I believe that I got the good ranking less than a week after
submitting the page to Google. Could I accidentally have submitted it
twice and that's why I was deleted? I would really like to get my page
back where I beleive it correctly and relevantly belongs.
Subject: Re: My Google listing DISAPPEARED
Answered By: serenata-ga on 21 Oct 2003 13:46 PDT
Hello ljt-ga ~

We often get questions about a site's search engine results placement
(SERPs) and why a site seems to have disappeared.

Doing a quick check on Verisign, I see that you have only recently
registered the domain name - September 26th, to
be exact.

It isn't unusual for a site to appear and disappear from SERPs,
because it has only been picked up by the Freshbot (Google's daily
crawler, which spiders newly-submitted URLs and sites such as
newspapers where the content changes daily). Freshbot entries don't
get loaded to all of Google's datacenters immediately, but appear
through a more gradual process.

Once a site is crawled with the Googlebot, it will hopefully show up
consistently in Google's Index.

Google explains it in "My Web Pages Are Not Currently Listed - 2.
Multiple Indices"

     "If you happen to enter the same query repeatedly while we
      are in the process of posting the index at our various
      data centers around the country, it might seem like you
      are seeing inconsistent results from Google. What is
      actually happening is that you are seeing a result from an
      'old' version of our index one time and a result from a
      'new' version the next. Due to the size of our index, we
      can not simultaneously post a new index at all of our data
      centers, which may result in this behavior for a short
      period of time."
   - ://

This, however, isn't the least of your problems with at the moment.

Snowboard Secrets

It seems that the domain,, is really pointed at
this page - and is done with the use of a 'frames' structure which
contains the entire page below.

While I am sure this was done to cut down on the amount of web pages,
it is presenting problems. You can only point a domain name to the top
level of another domain, not to a specific page within the domain.

Checking the source code in in three different browsers, Mozilla 1.5,
IE 6.0, and Opera 7, the following results can be seen:

     "The server encountered an internal error or misconfi-
      guration and was unable to complete your request.<p>
      Please contact the server administrator ... More
      information about this error may be available in the
      server error log."

If your visitors' browsers are encountering this error, it is
reasonably certain that the Google crawler is likewise encountering
problems and will not crawl or index your page.

More importantly, Google specifically warns against such practices in
its "Quality Guidelines - Specific recommendations":

     "* Don't employ cloaking or sneaky redirects"
     "* Don't create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains
        with substantially duplicate content.
      * Avoid "doorway" pages created just for search engines,
        or other "cookie cutter" approaches such as affiliate
        programs with little or no original content."
   - ://

and warns about the use of frames:

     "Frames tend to cause problems with search engines,
      bookmarks, emailing links and so on, because frames don't
      fit the conceptual model of the web (every page corre-
      sponds to a single URL). If a user's query matches the
      site as a whole, Google returns the frame set."
      [From Google's "My web pages have never been included
       in the Google index."]
   - ://

Notice, too, that Google warns again about 'doorway' pages:

     "Google does not encourage the use of doorway pages. We
      want to point users to content pages, not to doorways ..."
   - ://

It may seem expedient to present this way, but
it could cost you severely in the end by being penalized by Google:

     "We will not comment on the individual reasons a page was
      removed and we do not offer an exhaustive list of
      practices that can cause removal..."
   - ://

If you want the two sites, MAKE them two sites and don't try to
combine and duplicate content. It can cost much more than maintaining
two separate sites - if you are penalized or banned from Google.

The best way to get listed in Google

In its Webmaster Information, Google states clearly the best way to
get listed:

     "The best way to ensure Google finds your site is for
      your page to be linked from lots of pages on other sites.
      Google's robots jump from page to page on the Web via
      hyperlinks, so the more sites that link to you, the more
      likely it is that we'll find you quickly."
   - ://

While Google is not going to explain their methods and algorithms
beyond what they explain in "How does Google rank pages? The basics":
     "Google's order of results is automatically determined by 
      more than 100 factors, including our PageRank algorithm. 
      Please check out our "Why Use Google" page for more 
      details. Due to the nature of our business and our 
      interest in protecting the integrity of our search 
      results, this is the only information we make available 
      to the public about our ranking system." 
   - :// 
It further explains its technology in "Our Search: Google Technology":
     "The heart of our software is PageRank™, a system for 
      ranking web pages developed by our founders Larry Page 
      and Sergey Brin at Stanford University. And while we 
      have dozens of engineers working to improve every aspect 
      of Google on a daily basis, PageRank continues to provide 
      the basis for all of our web search tools." 
and its PageRank in "PageRank Explained" 
     "PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the 
      web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of 
      an individual page's value. In essence, Google interprets 
      a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for 
      page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume 
      of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the 
      page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are 
      themselves "important" weigh more heavily and help to make 
      other pages "important." 
      Important, high-quality sites receive a higher PageRank, 
      which Google remembers each time it conducts a search. Of 
      course, important pages mean nothing to you if they don't 
      match your query. So, Google combines PageRank with 
      sophisticated text-matching techniques to find pages that 
      are both important and relevant to your search. Google 
      goes far beyond the number of times a term appears on a 
      page and examines all aspects of the page's content (and 
      the content of the pages linking to it) to determine if 
      it's a good match for your query." 
   - :// 

Your Sites' PageRanks

PageRank for is "0", and the PageRank for is greyed out. In any case, the sites definitely
need content and relative links to them in order to be indexed and to
show up under the search terms you desire. I checked the PageRank
using Google's toolbar.

You can download and install the toolbar from here:

Links to Your Site

Using Google's link: tool, I find there are no links TO your site, nor
is your site listed or links TO your site listed in All The Web.

You can check the links by typing into
Google's search bar.
   - ://

Other Search Engines

A search with the major search engines and directories shows you are
not listed with them, either. Those searched were:

   * The Open Directory Project (
   * All The Web
   * Alta Vista
   * HotBot
   * Netscape
   * MSN
   * Teoma
   * Yahoo!

Google specifically recommends in "Getting Listed":

     "If you are having difficulty getting listed in the Google
      index, you may want to consider submitting your site to
      either or both of these directories. You can submit to
      Yahoo! by visiting
      You can submit your site to Netscape's Open Directory
      Project (DMOZ) by visiting Once your site is
      included in either of these directories, Google will often
      index your site within six to eight weeks."
   - ://

Establishing Links 
Google's PageRank is based on the number of pages which link to your
There are many practical ways of establishing links which are
beneficial to you in your endeavor to get respectable position
placement on search engines. These methods may take time, but they
also help in establishing credibility and help with your page rank.

Approach like-minded or complementary businesses about linking to your
site (with a reciprocal link from your own). This works without
harming search engine positioning or page rank.
Google specifically warns "Don't participate in link schemes designed
to increase your site's ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid
links to web spammers or "bad neighborhoods" on the web as your own
ranking may be affected adversely by those links." (See Google's
Quality Guidelines - Basic principles)
   - :// 
It stands to reason that what's good for Google, currently ranked as
the number one search engine is good rule to follow for other search
Articles on Link Popularity 
A couple of excellent articles on how to establish the right kind of
links are available in Traffick's "Ten Steps to Building Links to Your
Site", Craig Fifield - 5/3/2002
and "The Right Way to Improve Link Popularity", By Paul J. Bruemmer
-4/14/2002 -
Notice both articles offer suggestions which can be easily adapted for
use on any website without resorting to link farms. They both point
out the differences and offer easy ways to get started to the kind of
linking search engines prefer.

"Link Building Is Important", which discusses link building from A to
Z and also provides a good reference page with linking resources.
The information contained in the above articles offer suggestions
which can be easily adapted for use on any website without resorting
to link farms. The differences in "good links" and those which may be
harmful are discussed, and the articles offer simple ways to get
started to the kind of linking search engines prefer.

HTML - The Basics  
Another suggestion which does really matter is to clean up your HTML.

Shari Thurow, one of the leading authorities in web design and search
engine optimization (and author of the book "Search Engine
Visibility"), recently made the following observation with regard to
the basics of HTML:
     "Clean HTML is absolutely imperative for search engine     
      indexing. Browsers are extremely forgiving when it comes     
      to displaying pages with "unclean" HTML (unclosed tags,     
      no quotation marks, etc.).  Search engine spiders are     
      not so forgiving.  Even something as simple as a missing     
      quotation mark on the <.a href="page.html"> can cause a     
      spider to not index text or a link." (See: Link Exchange     
      Digest, July 3, 2003, "Clean HTML")       
She explained how errors in HTML can affect your ability to be
indexed, and ultimately, ranked. Make it easy to for the search
engines to get to the heart of your site and index it with relevant
Google recommends:  
     "* Create a useful, information-rich site and write pages  
        that clearly and accurately describe your content.  
      * Think about the words users would type to find your  
        pages, and make sure that your site actually includes  
        those words within it.  
      * Try to use text instead of images to display important  
        names, content, or links. The Google crawler doesn't  
        recognize text contained in images.  
      * Make sure that your TITLE and ALT tags are descriptive  
        and accurate.  
      * Check for broken links and correct HTML."  
        [From Google's Webmaster Guidelines]  
   - ://  
By paying attention to Google's Webmaster Information and Content
Guidelines, you can show up where you *should* be and that will no
doubt increase your PageRank and enhance your chances of getting
listed in Google's index.

Some Google Links For Your Reference  
Here are some important links from Google's Webmaster Information and
Webmaster Guidelines. It helps to be familiar with the recommendations
contained in these pages. Webmasters who follow the guidelines and
avoid Google's "Thou shalt nots" usually have no problem getting
   * How Do I Get My Site Listed on Google?    
     - ://    
   * My Web Pages Are Not Currently Listed (a good 'primer'    
     on how and why Google works so well)    
     - ://    
   * PageRank Information (covers both Google's PageRank and    
     - ://    
   * Webmaster Guidelines (contains both the dos and don'ts)    
     - ://    
   * Google Facts & Fiction (can  you buy your way to a    
     high ranking in Google?)    
     - ://    
   * Search Engine Optimizers (some good advice on what to look    
     for if you're going to hire a Search Engine Optimizer)    
     - ://    
   * Frequently Asked Questions (pretty much what it says, but    
     definitely worth wading through)    
     - ://    
Other Sources of Information  
There is also good information from many of the top search engine
optimization experts, such as

   * Detlev Johnson, Search Engine Guide    
   * Danny Sullivan, Search Engine Watch    
   * Jill Whalen, High Rankings    
   * Shari Thurow, Web Pro News (and quoted all over the Internet)
who all have columns or newsletters to which you can subscribe and
keep abreast of the best way to use good content for better
positioning in search engine results.

In addition, Webmaster World - - has
discussion boards on most of the search engines. While some of the
discussions are anecdotal and/or questions for information, there is
usually enough discussion to keep abreast of what seems to be
There is an entire section devoted to Google at:    
It never hurts to keep track among these discussions, but remember,
trying to optimize for search engines only is like trying to hit a
moving target. You'll notice among the more experienced contributors
to the discussions - plus the SEO experts listed above - that there
really is no substitute for content, relevant links and good HTML.

Submitting to Search Engines

When you're ready with your site, that is it has ORIGINAL content and
the HTML is cleaned up so that it is not producing errors, etc., and
when other sites that SHOULD know about your site have linked to it,
you may want to submit to the search engines.

Some search engines gather their own listings for the main results
they display. For example, Google crawls the web itself for the main
results it shows.

Other search engines use third-party search providers for their
results. For instance, the main search results at AOL come from
Google's crawler-based listings, rather than from work inside AOL.

Nielsen Net Ratings - - lists those
below, and that will get you started.

 * Google -
   - ://

 * DMOZ -

 * All The Web -

 * Alta Vista

 * Hotbot & Lycos InSite (requires registration)

 * Yahoo! -

 * Teoma -

MSN's search submit is located here:

which takes you to LookSmart, a "for-pay" listing, and can be found

Just a logical observation: If you are listed on other important
engines, it is pretty certain you will also be listed on, or
you can use the LookSmart submission.

A word of warning: hand-submit your site, as Google warns about the
use of unauthorized submission software and other tools in its
"Quality Guidelines - Basic principles":

     "Don't use unauthorized computer programs to submit pages,
      check rankings, etc. Such programs consume computing
      resources and violate our terms of service. Google does
      not recommend the use of products such as WebPosition
      Gold™ that send automatic or programmatic queries to Google."
   - ://

Search strategies -

This answer is supplied from bookmarked sources and personal knowledge
gained through the every-day use of this material.

Disclaimer: Please remember that Google Answers Researchers are
independent contracters. We are not employees of Google, and we do not
have any insider information about Google's closely-guarded search
algorithms. The answers provided are from generally-known and accepted
practices with regard to PageRank and SERPs.

Good luck in optimising your site for the search engines!


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