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Q: Google Not finding www domain. ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Google Not finding www domain.
Category: Computers > Internet
Asked by: peterp-ga
List Price: $30.00
Posted: 11 Jun 2004 23:43 PDT
Expires: 11 Jul 2004 23:43 PDT
Question ID: 359977
This is my third try to resolve this in Google Answers. If you don't
know don't answer.

Google is incorrectly seeing our site When the domain
"" is searched in then the domain of just
"" comes up. We have no links for "" so we have lost
all our links, PR and no search results for key words.

I currently have a windows server asp website provider who states they
have nothing to do with this problem.

I would appreciate any specifics you know.


The google people did reply the following:

Hi Peter,

Thank you for your note. We understand you would like Google to
display a different URL or link to a different page on your site.
Regrettably, we cannot manually change the listed address of your
site. Our robots use hyperlinks to find and rank pages on the
internet. If a page you find suboptimal is appearing as a result for a
particular query (for example: instead of or instead of, it's because that page has been ranked as more
relevant for the query in question by our automated PageRank
algorithm. PageRank takes into account not only the content on the
page in question, but also the quality and anchor text of the links
that point to that page. For more information about PageRank, please
see ://

That said, there are steps you can take to increase the likelihood
that a particular page on your site is returned for certain queries.
You'll want to tell others who link to you of your preferred address.
One way to find out who is linking to different pages on your site is
to try a link search (://
Enter 'link:[your full URL]' into the Google search box. You may not
find every page that links to you with this method, but it should help
you begin redirecting the links leading to your site. (Please note
that we do not serve link queries for all of the sites in our index,
so this may not produce any results for your site.) Another option is
to perform a Google search on your URL. From the result page
displayed, select the 'Find web pages that contain the term' link, and
Google will provide you with the webpages that mention your address.

We hope the information we have provided above is helpful to you. Due
to the tremendous volume of information and help requests we receive,
we are not always able to provide personal attention to questions
pertaining to individual websites. If this response did not adequately
resolve your question, we hope that you will visit the webmaster
section of our site at :// In an effort
to better address your needs, we've dedicated this entire section of
our website to answering common webmaster questions, providing website
design and content guidelines, listing Google's quality requirements
and recommendations, and much more.

Of course, we cannot anticipate and answer everyone's questions on our
website. Realizing this, we have also created a Google discussion
group on Google Groups where Google users and webmasters can connect
to share their vast knowledge and experience. You can access this
group at
If you have already checked the webmaster section of our website and
haven't found an answer, we encourage you to post your question to the
Google Support group.

The Google Team

Original Message Follows:
From: "Peter
Subject: Apparent Google Incorrect Link
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 2004 20:22:50 -0500

Hello Google people.

Last week our hosting company had some downtime and this maybe part of the 
problem. I did ask Google answers and they suggested I send an email to you.

I am sure you are very busy but as you know we would like people
looking for our services in Google to find our organization.

Here is the link to the Google Answer from the researcher.

Essentially Google is linking to and not
<>  when our site is searched "
<> " it does not appear our site's home page is
registered in Google. Again this may be due to the fact our hosting
company had several hours of downtime last week.

Best regards,


Request for Question Clarification by robertskelton-ga on 13 Jun 2004 13:13 PDT
Take a look at this search result:

I see the site listed as

Request for Question Clarification by aceresearcher-ga on 13 Jun 2004 14:11 PDT

Have you had a chance to make the changes I suggested for you on June
7 in the Answer you referenced?

Once you have done so, you will need to re-submit
to be crawled again by the Googlebot at:

Then you will need to wait a month or so, to see whether the Googlebot
has picked up the changes. I know that it's hard, because you want to
see things fixed right away, but unfortunately the Googlebot doesn't
work that way -- it does things in its own time.

You'll also want to check the following list of sites to ensure that
the links all are to "" and not to just

For any sites where the link is "", you'll need to
request the Webmasters to change it to "".

If, after 30 days, things still aren't looking better, please post a
Clarification on

and we'll look for some more things that might help get the listings
straightened around.

Best Wishes,


Clarification of Question by peterp-ga on 13 Jun 2004 15:38 PDT

Are the same as the other person?? I had to change to another unix
server since windows does not have the .ht file. A great deal of work
but the new location has already transferred dns.

Thanks for your help.


Request for Question Clarification by aceresearcher-ga on 13 Jun 2004 16:04 PDT

Yes, I am the Researcher who Answered your Question at:

It's very important to me that my Customers get the information they
need, which is why I posted the following statement at the end of that
"Before Rating my Answer, if you have any Questions about the above
information, please post a Request for Clarification, and I will be
glad to see what I can do for you."

While some Researchers will not provide any assistance once a Question
has been rated, I am *not* one of them.

I am sorry that you had to go through the extra work of changing
servers. However, I think that you will find that it will pay off in
the long run.

Were you able to change your <meta> description and pull out your
JavaScript into an INCLUDE file as I suggested on the previous
Question? I think that both of those things, once they have had a
chance to percolate down through the Googlebot and Google's Index,
will also help your site.


Clarification of Question by peterp-ga on 13 Jun 2004 21:08 PDT
Google does not have our site registered. Some how it is getting
confused and linking our site incorrectly. We have great page rank but
our site does not come in any searches since last week. If you go to
the search bar and type "" you will see google comes back
with the "" site which has no PR or links. Try the links this
search comes up with. Only the "" domain

I can only guess somehow it is confused in someway. We have only one
link that I found to "". I made the changes the other
researcher sugguested.
Subject: Re: Google Not finding www domain.
Answered By: serenata-ga on 14 Jun 2004 01:12 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hello again, Peter ~

I hope you didn't get the wrong impression about Google Answers
Researchers ... most researchers are very conscientious about ensuring
our customers are satisfied with their answers and work hard to make
sure you get the information you are seeking.

I hope you weren't inconvenienced too much by having to change servers
in order to accommodate using an .htaccess file, because
unfortunately, that's not the answer to your question, and probably
the least of the problems with your site.

Your Question

You are basically asking why, when you do a search for your domain
using the full domain name,, it merely returns: ... with no 'www' and no description, etc.

First of all, when I answered your first question, I told you I did
not experience that. In fact, I quoted verbatim the return I was
getting. The explanation for that is simple ... Google has tens of
thousands of servers in a dozen or more data centers.

The results I see may not be the same results you see, because you are
being directed to a data center which hasn't been updated, or is
updated, and I'm looking at the results on a data center which hasn't
been updated.

Sometimes, you can repeat your search and see the different results
yourself, because your search was redirected to a different data
center. When you index over 6 billion pages, in that many locations,
it is physically impossible to update them all at one time.

As for 'why' this is happening, only Google knows, and they may not tell you.

The email you got from Google is pretty much the "canned" response
people get, a generic answer to a specific question, with directions
to pay attention to Google's Guidelines.

And still no answer to your question.

Yours Isn't the Only
Site Which Has Experienced This

While it is no small consolation, yours isn't the only site that
experienced this phenomenon.

In fact, since about mid-March, this has happened to hundreds of
sites, and there is a 32-page discussion of this happening on
Webmaster World's site. The discussion in the Google News section is
entitled "Big sites suffering no title / no snippet in SERPS
Is google penalizing big sites?", and can be found here:

There is a lot of speculation about why that is happening ... but that
is all it is, speculation.

There are a lot of "suggestions" about what to change, too. But if you
dig through that whole thread, and it *will* take some time, you will
find that the number of sites that came back after a period of time is
almost the same number of sites that made major changes and then got
their site back.

The one difference is that those sites which closely followed Google's
Guidelines, that is, they didn't engage in any of the practices known
to cause penalties or outright banning by Google.

Those who played it straight, stuck to the basics of relevant content,
good HTML and relevant links TO their sites ... came back after
another visit or two from the Google crawler. Those who were playing
games, such as spammy content, sneaking redirection, cloaked links,
link farms, duplicate content, etc.

If you take a look, too, at recent postings in Webmaster World's
Google News, Google has dropped hundreds or even of thousands of links
to sites ... and most of them are nothing but link farms, linking
schemes, spamming links and irrelevant links when the only purpose for
a link being there is to increase page rank.

At one time or another, all of these so-called search engine
optimization tricks worked - because some enterprising soul discovered
they 'helped' in SERPs ranking. And later on, they not only didn't
work, but those sites employing such tactics were relegated to the
bottom of the SERPs rankings or disappeared from Google's index

Recently, it's the links which have disappeared, which I touched on in
my answer to your first question.

So, ignore all the speculation on the "why" this phenomenon happened,
and you're left with two options:

    1. If your site is designed properly, you don't employ
       tricks to try to increase your SERPs ranking, wait
       it out. That strange URL with no description seems
       to disappear with a correct listing after a visit or
       two from Google's crawler.

       Speculation there seems to be it's a place holder
       until the Google crawler can index your pages and
       distribute the results among all the data centers,
       which bears out more than other speculation, and is
       mentioned in Jill Whalen's Forum, which is far more
       reliable a source than some of the answers in 
       Webmaster World.


    2. If your site is using the so-called "black hat" 
       optimization techniques, it's time to clean up your
       act and resubmit to Google with an apology.

Unfortunately, from some of the information I've found regarding your
site,, the latter is more probably the case.

Observations About The
Results That You See

There are a handful of search engine optimization experts who enjoy a
stellar reputation and whose advice regarding search engines, design,
etc., are really worth paying attention to. These experts work to
ensure every optimization meets or exceeds the recommendations by
Google and other major search engines for relevant content and
quality. These are names you might recognize, such as Danny Sullivan,
Andrew Goodman, Jill Whalen and others.

They do not employ or advocate the use of shortcuts designed to trick
search engines, knowing full well that while they may work today, and
even tomorrow, eventually they will hurt their clients far more than
it will ever help them. Penalty is a harsh word, but when your site
suddenly disappears into the very bowels of search engine results
because of such tactics, it's a long road back - especially if you
rely on traffic from Google for commerce!

I took the liberty of discussing your matter with Jill Whalen, who
gave me full permission to quote her, and this is what she said about
the search engine listing that you are seeing:

She first commented,

     "Often this happens if the file is excluded via
      robots.txt, or if the page happened to be down when
      the Googlebot came around.  The reason that those
      others saw theirs straightened out after awhile was
      probably just because the sites couldn't originally
      be crawled, and then they were later crawled fine."

On a closer inspection, she changed her mind and stated definitively,

     "It's a duplicate content problem, along with
      possibly keyword stuffing and possibly ...
      paid links."

I'll discuss those issues further in this Answer.


Some Real Problems 
With Your Site As It Is Now

1. The Javascript

There is a lot of Javascript which has errors and which doesn't
validate to the DOCTYPE Declaration you are using. This, however,
whether you move it outside your actual webpage and link to it or
leave it in your page, is not the major problem.

I ran your page through the W3C validator, and found that this is not
valid HTML markup and no less than 137 errors in the coding. You can
do the same by running it through the validator yourself, here:

Again, this is the least of your worries, but I am sure at some time
or another you'll want to ensure it is properly coded for your
visitors' ease of use. So that's a handy resource to use.

2. Using .htaccess

With a very few exceptions, routers along the Internet as well as most
hosts rewrite search URLs so that a domain name typed in a browser
locator box, with or without the 'www' resolves to the correct

On the local server level, your host usually has a mod rewrite so that would resolve to the "correct" domain name,

Therefore, unless you maintain your own servers for hosting your
domain, there really wouldn't be a reason for you to need the
.htaccess rewrite, and it really has nothing to do with what you are
experiencing in Google.

So this isn't an answer to your problem, either.

3. Duplicate Content

Google warns about duplicate content in its content guidelines,
   - ://

and there is too much anecdotal examples of recent penalties for
duplicate content recently to ignore. What does this mean to you?
Simply that Google will compare and run the most relevant, relegating
the rest to much lower positions in rank on its SERPs.

Google does have pages of your site in its index with the www, but
only certain pages.  Other pages are in the supplemental results, and
that's often because of duplication.

An allinurl search shows that G does know about lots of the pages:

Grabbing some copy from your home page and plugging it into Google,
you'll see that it's duplicated from other sites:
   - ://,+to+City+Government++and+even+Six+Sigma+in+Nonprofits%22&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&filter=0

(with tracking codes / session ids), or
   - ://

At this time, original content - not found anywhere else - would be in
order. The other sites may be considered more relevant by Google for
any number of reasons, and yours may well be relegated to a much lower
SERPs rank accordingly.

4. Spamming

While it is always good to utilize keywords on each page, spamming the
pages with a lot of keywords has just the opposite effect.

There's a reason Google recommends designing your site for visitors
and asking yourself if what you've done would matter if you weren't
trying to gain a higher position in Google's SERPs for your search
   - ://

because, as Google says in "Reasons Your Site May Not Be Included",

     "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. However, certain
      actions such as cloaking, writing text that 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 permanent removal from our index."
   - ://

If you want to get an idea of what the Googlebot sees when it crawls
your page, Google recommends using the Lynx browser (a text browser),
to get a good idea.

If you don't wish to go to the trouble of downloading and installing
Lynx, you can get a close idea what it sees by using the Lynx viewer,

I doubt any legitimate search engine optimizer would classify this
anything other than spamming. This is another issue you really should
address. Optimized to help is one thing, over-optimized to the point
where it looks spammy can hurt you.

5. Cloaking and Redirects 

The domain apparently redirects to your site.

That site is in Google's cache differently though.  Take a look at

Yet when we click on the original page, it's redirected. It is hard
for me to detect exactly what is going on there, but if I can find it
by some digging, Google can find it by application of its algorithm,
and it isn't going to do you any good.

Your home page is also cached, but with a tracking link,

which is probably another reason you don't see the cache of your home
page under your normal URL.

Here's yet another link the redirected site points to:

all the sites in this directory are cloaked sites pointing to
DMOZ.ORG. There is a link to a search optimization service at the
bottom of that page, but no matter what you do, I wouldn't use them if
they're employing those tactics.


No one but Google knows why you are experiencing your problem, and at
the moment, they're not going to tell you.

I haven't encountered it myself, which is either because the data
center my search is directed to either hasn't picked it up yet, or it
has picked it up and already corrected it.

The reasons could also be:

   1. The site wasn't available on the last crawl (your
      web logs should show information on when you were
      last crawled),

   2. There *is* something wrong with your site, such as
      over-optimization (spam), duplicate content, site
      redirects, etc., as any or any combination of those
      can cause a penalty.

My best "guesstimate" is that your site has enough wrong that it is
probably more than one thing. But again, that is a guess, not fact, as
Google Answers Researchers are not privy to any insider information,
including the specifics of Google's closely-guarded algorithms.

You can either:

   1. Wait it out and see if it doesn't correct itself, as has
      been the case with others experiencing the same problem;


   2. Clean up the trouble spots, and I have identified several,
      before you are penalized by Google. Then write to Google
      apologize for any misdeeds and ask for reinclusion.

My Recommendations

I would recommend consulting with a known, legitimate search engine
optimization consultant. Take your pick of such names as Jill Whalen, 
Danny Sullivan, Andrew Goodman, Shari Thorow, but stay completely away
from any so-called SEO who uses tactics such as spam, redirects,
cloaking, etc. Their tactics may work for a while, but ultimately,
they do more harm than good, and could possibly get you banned
permanently from Google.

Clean up your site.

Rewrite your site for original content. If other sites (possibly
affiliates, etc.) are copying your own, put a stop to it and insist
they write their own content and then link. A good Search Engine
Optimization consultant can also recommend ways to accommodate
affiliate links.

Don't even try to use any 'formula' for search terms to content, but
instead do what Google suggests, design your site for your visitor and
consider whether or not it makes sense to him. If you're too involved
to see the difference, test it before you launch the new material.

Dump the redirect/cloaking mentioned above. That will get you
penalized. If it can be found using Google's simple search techniques,
you can count on it being found by Google's sophisticated algorithms.

If you designed the site yourself, fix the problems in the Javascript.
If you used the services of a web designer, insist the designer clean
up the Javascript errors until your site can validate to W3C
standards. Like them or not, when you can validate to those standards,
the search engines, including the Googlebot, have no problem indexing
your site.

Dump your irrelevant links. While you cannot help who links to you, it
wouldn't hurt to develop relevant links to counteract any "paid" or
other links which look like the exist for no other reason than to
boost your Google SERPs rank. There are some links listed now, but
some of them are tenuous at best. There is too much evidence that
Google is cleaning out those types of links, so you need to make sure
you have links that are relevant to your site.

If your site is hosted, your host should have the rewrites for URL
resolution at the server's root level. If you maintain your own
server, make sure the rewrites are done correctly at that level, so
regardless of which URL (with or without the 'www'), it returns to
your site.

Then resubmit your site to Google or wait til more visits from the
Googlebot to see if it is automatically reinstated as it should be.
Remember, this can take as long as 8 weeks, and regaining lost ground
will probably NOT happen overnight. There are no shortcuts or quick
fixes, and there is no one answer to fix things.

Don't put too much store in the Google toolbar's PageRank number. It
is merely a number and there are too many relevant sites with few (if
any) links to their site, yet have content deemed so relevant as to be
almost authoritative at the top of the list to put a lot of store in

I do not wish to appear overly-critical here. Often, when answering
these types of questions, it is easy to pinpoint one particular reason
for a problem with a listing in Google's index. In your case, and
after some pretty easy searching, there were much more than any one
particular problem identified which *could* contribute to the problem
you are experiencing.

To identify one potential problem without identifying the others might
not clear up your problem, so a close look at practices employed and
which to fix is in order.

Although I cannot tell you exactly *why* you are experiencing this
problem, I think I have identified enough trouble spots to give you an
idea that at the moment, your site is not ideally designed or

I hope the above gave you some insight into both the potential
problems within your site and how easily they can be remediated in
order to deliver a site to your visitors that is friendly and really

Best of luck,

Google Answers Researcher

Request for Answer Clarification by peterp-ga on 14 Jun 2004 03:55 PDT

Ace. This url Full url: is not
a link from our site rather a link from an ad with
"bizcom" Prior all these problems starting last Weds our site was
rated number 3 and number 2 in  the searches you mentioned and in the
top five on most any other search. You could check yahoo, ask jeeves
and most others to see. I have read others and google has had some
problems with this "www" thing before but it is not well documented.
Clearly Google sees a site with "www" differently than without the
"www" or two different sites. It as the days have passed since google
started seeing "" and not "" all our search
results have moved to "no where" to be found. The site "" has
a PR0 which should get results of "no where" to be found and it does.
Thanks for help and your sugguestions. I think this is an area that no
one knows.

Clarification of Answer by serenata-ga on 14 Jun 2004 04:26 PDT
Thanks and good luck,

Request for Answer Clarification by peterp-ga on 23 Jul 2004 15:21 PDT

Thanks for being so detailed.

I did not see the last comments you made until a few days ago. I am
not a pro and used a $15 software to build this site. I guess it uses
JAVA script whatever this is? I have also invested $15,000 in google
adwords and $10,000 in Overture over the past 18 months. A great deal
was spent the three times the site fell out of google.

Based upon your comments I am having a professional company redo the
site. I do not have any cloaking methods and do not understand exactly
what this is. I have hired three or four "get you hits" campaigns and
perhaps they employ these methods? In the past year there have been
several new sites come up and many have duplicated our content or near
copies. It is normal to do some quoting. I have looked at keyword
densities of other sites that rank high and they have about the same
as our site. In the meantime the PR went to 0 a few days after you
wrote your last comments. For some reason the main pages seems to hold
in on most keywords. The secondary pages are almost all out of google
which hurts since we had many key phrases with number one ranking for
almost a year.



Clarification of Answer by serenata-ga on 23 Jul 2004 17:22 PDT
I am sure the firm you chose will be able to help.

Best of luck,
peterp-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: Google Not finding www domain.
From: missy-ga on 13 Jun 2004 16:01 PDT
Peter, I'm a little confused as to why anyone might search on [ ], since simply entering it into the location bar will
take them right to your site.  Wouldn't folks searching for you
(presumably because they know about your company, but don't remember
the URL) just search on the name of your company [ 6sigma us ] or [ ]?

Your site, is showing a Page Rank of 7/10 (pretty
good page rank!) in the Google Toolbar, and you've got 317 links back
to you:


(Put [] - without the brackets - into the search box
and see for yourself.)

Subject: Re: Google Not finding www domain.
From: aceresearcher-ga on 14 Jun 2004 01:38 PDT

I don't think that you have the problem that you think you have.

While Googling on then clicking the "link" option
doesn't bring up links, entering
in the Google Search text box brings up around 317 links:

*** This is the Search that Counts toward Page Rank in Google ***

and this is why your site has a Page Rank of 7, which is **EXCELLENT**.

According to,

your site currently has Position:

 #49 for SixSigma    out of    10,600 
#404 for Six Sigma   out of 1,720,000 <==
#186 for 6 Sigma     out of 3,190,000 <==
#282 for "6 Sigma"   out of   975,000 <==

   And I found by searching 100 entries at a time that you are
#309 for 6Sigma out of 13,500 
(#228 and #129 for your Questions on GA, and GoogleRankings finds the
topmost one, #129)

#405 for "Six Sigma" out of   973,000 <==
( )
#569 for "Six Sigma" out of   973,000 <==
( )

You can see by my arrows that you are competing, in most cases, with
hundreds of thousands or even MILLIONS of other pages containing the
same search terms.

So the Search Results Rankings you're getting right now are pretty darn good.

I see that you've also got your site coming up in Google AdWords right
now. Based on comments made by people who've used AdWords, the traffic
that it generates eventually does contribute to nudging your results
even higher, and that if you can afford to keep your AdWords campaign
running for a year (or at least as long as you can manage), it should
gradually pay off.

I know that you'd like to be higher right now, but gaining rank with
the kind of incredible competition you're facing takes a lot of time
and patience. Meanwhile, you can work on getting more quality
backlinks to your site.

That statease paper you wrote can be a serious plus for you, if you
can persuade other sites to link to it.

Best Wishes, and Good Luck!


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