Google is the most popular internet search engine designed for a systematic web search through the worldwide Web where the information is present in the form of textual search queries.
Google’s mission statement states that it aims at organizing the world’s information and to make it universally accessible and useful.
Towards this, they present the search result that is in the form of a series of searches, most popularly known as Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). There is a variety of information; i.e. it can be present in the form of blogs, videos, News, Books, web pages, images or in other forms.
Work Process of a Search Engine
Almost all the search engine maintains a common workflow or process which can be categorized in the following three parts—
- Web Crawling
- Indexing, and
- Display Results for Search Query
The search engine retrieves information from multiple sites by crawling. The ‘spider bots’ lookout for standard filename robots.txt to do this. This file contains all the instructions for any search engine to direct which page to crawl. After the crawling of the standard website is over, the spider sends information back to the indexing that depends on several factors like the meta description, tags, content, CSS, JS, and meta tags.
1] The crawling by the spider of the standard website depends on factors like the number of pages, the amount of content, and the set limited timeframe for the website.
The presence of infinite websites, the set program determines at what point of time the crawling of the website shall be considered sufficient. Crawling of the website can be complete whereas, it can be partial, it all depends on website structure.
2] After crawling, comes the indexing. We can define it in simple words as the way of relating the associated words found on the web pages and domain names. These indexed links are displayed on result pages to search engine against the search query put by searchers by using keywords.
These keywords can be in the form of a single word, phrase, or sentence. The arrangement of the words can or cannot be grammatically correct. Proper indexing helps in getting the information related to the query as fast as possible.
3] The level of relevant searches can determine the proper utilization of any search engine. Amidst so many websites and web pages, a particular website can be more relevant and popular. The content which is not relevant or the search engine if finds it to worth removable from SERP can do it with de-indexing of the website.
To ensure information put on the site is genuine and authentic keeping its mission in mind, Google follows two prolonged approaches. These are—
- Regularly making changes to the algorithm
- Regular evaluation of websites by human quality evaluators and ensure the quality of search results is of top-notch
What is De-indexing?
With indexing being one process, de-indexing stands for the removal of online content from the search engine. It is possible de-indexing of a site from Google search result pages. There is more to it.
According to the professionals associated with the field, to avoid removal or de-indexing, a website requires the right SEO strategy.
Are these the Search Result you have been looking for?
Well, there can be a time when we cannot find the same search result page that we once bookmarked it say a couple of months ago. But why?
Well, it is possible when the entire site or the information has been completely removed from the search process, and we call this de-indexing. The process removes the result from the cache and the index of the search result. There are classifications. The following are some cases when content is liable to be de-indexed—
- Copyright issue
- Images or content related to child abuse
- Data theft associated with social security, bank account, cards
- Personal data that include data related to Government-issued ID card
- Information that seems confidential and sensitive
- Sexually explicit content posted without permission
If the content falls in any of the above categories, then de-indexing is for sure takes place. However, it is never an easy task to accomplish and requires expertise and proper strategy. Besides the above conditions, the following are some reasons Google prefers to de-index a particular website or content—
Websites or content that are involved in CLOAKING falls under the ambit of de-indexing. Under this, a website has two aspects- visitors see the first face of the coin while the search engine sees the other face.
For cloaking, Google penalizes the website in two different forms. These are—
- Penalizing Partially that affects only a part of the website
- Penalizing Sitewide in which it affects the entire website
Website or content that is suspected of SPAMMING is de-indexed. Under this, the web pages skip the guidelines for the webmaster. The different activities that are considered being viable for spamming are as follows—
- Generating Content Automatically
- Scrapped Content
- Web page Creation with a malicious virus, Trojans
- Sending automated requests or queries to the search engine, i.e. Google
- Presence of hidden links
- De-indexing websites that have ‘FREE HOSTING’
Google search engine is very much strict regarding this and always takes action on this. To prevent facing any penalty, according to the experts, one should always look out for SEO-friendly website structure and Google Guidelines.
Too much of KEYWORD Stuffing also leads to De-indexing
Whether it is all about the repetition of keywords or the addition of unrelated keyword phrases, Google takes serious action against this. Right and judicious use of keywords will always avert the penalty imposed by the search engine.
IRRELEVANT & POOR-QUALITY CONTENT leads to De-indexing & Penalty
It should always be a point for the author to ensure the quality of content, irrespective of the genre should not only be authentic but also informative. Stress should be laid on determining that it meets the requirement of a searchers query with the help of a particular keyword.
De-indexing Happens with DUPLICATE or PLAGIARISED CONTENT
Duplicate content or plagiarised content has a different meaning. On one hand, the prior means using the same content over and again in different web pages of the same website.
This is mostly possible with multiple page website. The latter means copying content from other sources and using it as own. Google penalizes the site in both the cases and suggests fixing the content issue to evade de-indexing.
De-Indexing because of SPINNING THE CONTENT
Google considers this act as the violation of the publisher’s intellectual property rights and hence, penalizes heavily such content that seems to be spun using a machine or spinner software.
Google Penalties- Know the Reasons behind the Imposition
Google penalties ultimately result from de-indexing. No website wants to get penalized because the result of any penalty is severe like loss of traffic, loss of organic search visibility and revenue.
According to the professionals associated with the SEO, often webmasters mess up with an algorithm and get the website penalized. While the penalty depends entirely on the set of rules delivering the ultimate result; the latter is a part of failing to meet the guidelines set by the search engine, for here Google.
However, in both cases, the consequences will be the same. In the meantime, an effective recovery strategy should always be kept handy when the website gets impacted either by manual penalty or algorithm.
Understanding the Google Penalty
FUD exists around Google penalties. However, an easy way to understand this is that you would receive a manual report sent from Google Search Console. Once the problem identified, it requires exploring the reason behind this.
In most cases, we observe that the penalty imposed because of the faults arising on three main grounds. These are—
- Issues with Backlink
- Issues with Content
- Issues with On-site optimization
Apart from the above cases when a website is de-indexed and penalized, the need to find out that proper follow-up is there to fix it. The solution is different for each of the cases and hence, steps should be different.
Knowing the guidelines will always be helpful in the long run. Apart from this, since Google changes the algorithm frequently, for an expert, it is necessary to stay tuned to the updates and implement strategies for SEO accordingly.
Google Penalty Checker Tools Available
Google penalty checker tools help in pinpointing the factors or the parameters that might have resulted in your website to perform like this. It analyses thoroughly the factors like Google algorithm hit that made the difference.
With Google changing its algorithm many times throughout the year, it becomes difficult to keep track of it without SERP volatility tracking tools. It is where the use of a penalty checker is needed.
Different penalty checker tools have proved promising and these are—
1] Google Search Console
It is perhaps the most important tool that your business would need every single day. This stands more crucial when your entire business depends on the website. This tool provides detailed information on how the website is performing, the number of visitors, and the errors present.
It also shows the manual penalties that your website might have suffered. However, this won’t show any penalties that occurred because of the change in algorithm.
2] MOZ Checker Tool for Algorithm Change
Dedicated to SEO, MOZ offers a wide range of tools that offer useful information. The tool helps in enlisting all the Google updates related to the Algorithm change. The report by MOZ should be regularly visited and looked upon for any change in visitor visits.
2] SEMRush Sensor
SEMRush Sensor which is a free tool has enough to inform you about Google Algorithm Changes and Core Updates by Google. There you will find lots of useful data about changes to the algorithms in a graphical manner, also ranking volatility for websites in various categories.
The SEMRush Sensor will tell you if the latest update hit some niche hard but also show you last 1 month’s SERP volatility. You can also visit the winners and losers page, which will give you insight showing you on your own website what you have to change in SEO strategy.
3] Penguin Google Penalty Checker Tool
It has been for long and is easy and simple to use. It provides a lot of information about the website. The best part of this tool is that it has a panel where different parameters responsible for the drop in the traffic can be controlled. Many experts consider this tool to be the best Google penalty checker.
4] Fruition’s Google Penalty Checker
Though not so popular, yet considered as one of the most powerful tools, Fruition’s Google Penalty Checker pinpoints the flaw that made the difference to your website. It has graphs that represent how different updates impact the performance of the website.
Besides this, it also has a chart that highlights all the important recent changes made in the Google algorithm and analyses what exactly might have impacted the performance.
5] Fe international Website Penalty Indicator
This easy to use tool allows you just to enter your domain, no need to sign up. You’ll see your past years of traffic instantly, visually paired with important updates. If your site has taken a hit, you’ll note the decline in the graph.
At a particular point in the graph, you can zoom in, uncovering even more information. A tool that is very easy to use that doesn’t provide too much detail, but it does more than enough to find itself on the list.
Google Sandbox and its Impact on SEO
Since 2004, the year of inception of Google sandbox, it has remained a topic of debate. However, there has been no statement from Google on this released.
SEO world gave the name based on how it would behave with the websites in its index. It is a filter that works for new websites. No matter how many links your website has, the sandbox effect can harm the overall ranking.
The purpose of Sandbox is to ensure that there are no spam websites on the worldwide Web. There are several theories associated with Sandbox- some are in favour and some are in against. It is because Google has not confirmed it.
According to Wikipedia, the theory of Sandbox states, “There are links that can normally be subjective to Google’s ranking algorithm, not improving the position of a webpage at all in Google’s index, can be filtered to avoid having a full effect.”
Google has implemented this filter keeping two factors in mind—
- The competitiveness of the keywords used in different links
- The importance of domain
Search frequency for a keyword is directly proportional to the chances that the Sandbox effect will come into action.
Google Sandbox Websites
Every day millions of websites are designed and created all around the world. With hundreds and thousands of SEO companies working to get their clients’ websites on the top of the SERP, the professionals follow strategies and different approaches to doing so. Therefore, whenever a website ranks up in the list, Google examines that website on several parameters.
The entire web world is unknown to each other. No one knows who you are and what your capabilities are. You have to prove your mettle by either convincing them with your services and your website.
In most of the common causes, a person is successful in convincing only when he/she interacts with the other fellow. The same goes for Google searches and the ranking algorithm based on the searches for the new sites.
Sandbox and Trapping of your Website: The Algorithm Involved
You have recently launched your website and have hired the best digital marketing experts for SEO. As soon as your website ranks, Google immediately examines it more carefully and take it as a ‘special case’. The following are some parameters on which the Sandbox algorithm traps your website—
- The usage of the keyword- whether there is any stuffing
- Presence of bulk low-quality link
- Presence of any hidden texts or links
- Content Plagiarism or Duplicacy
- Automated content generation
- Google’s Approach towards Organizing Sandbox
Sandbox aims to act as a filter for the new sites to prevent spamming. For instance, if there are suspiciously large numbers of backlinks generated in a short period for a particular website, then Google automatically counts it as suspicious and puts it on a ‘special case’. The algorithm to track and trace the spam is well-defined and there are no ways to escape.
Sandbox and the Type of Websites to be Trapped
No website would find its way to Sandbox. Any new website, if found violating the terms and conditions of Google can be put on scrutiny. However, according to the experts, the websites that have used highly competitive keywords or high demanding keywords experience the scrutiny more often.
How Long is your Website going to be Sandboxed?
According to the professionals associated with the field, three to four months is common. However, the length might vary depending on the various factors. One factor is the use of highly competitive keywords.
There are different solutions to evade being Sandboxed. These are—
- Targeting or using the keywords that are low competitive or have a moderate search volume
- Interlinking of the blog pages with the primary product/ service page would also help
- Guest interaction will help you evade from falling under any scrutiny
On-page conversation and interaction would serve as social proof of the quality of the content and genuineness of the services and ultimately website.
Now when information is set and done, it’s time to look out for the best measures like creating great content that would help the website to come out of this.
No one can deny the advantages of having their web pages ranked higher in the search engine result pages. Desperate measures and unethical methods should be strictly averted to evade any penalty and de-indexing. SEO has no shortcut and getting the best of it takes time.