There is no question that SEO is important. Some marketers even claim that the GDPR made SEO even more important. After all, you are only allowed to use the Facebook pixel to a limited extent and this is the real key to successful advertisements. As a result, many websites are now increasingly relying on SEO in order to have many good rankings.
However, Google is still a black box. There are some basic rules, but in theory, Google can mess up your entire ranking overnight. In some cases, Google can simply completely de-index your website.
None of your pages will then still be displayed in the index.
It’s not as absurd as you might think – the same thing has happened to me before.
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Therefore, this article is about 5 reasons why your website can be de-indexed. Because you then know what you absolutely have to avoid, you can align your SEO measures better and more successfully.
1. Keyword stuffing – an old classic
Even if you think that this is no longer operated by any website, I can assure you that you are wrong. Many websites and webmasters are still doing keyword stuffing because it is still so on old blogs or in old books. The metadata or text elements are misused for this purpose.
This has been taken to the point that Google completely ignores the “Keywords” meta tag.
Some experts even claim that the “Keywords” meta tag can have a negative impact on ranking. There are basically three different types of keyword stuffing:
1. Hidden text
You write your text in the same color as the background. The website visitor does not recognize this. However, Google’s crawler can read this and has then ranked the page better in the past. This no longer works. You would immediately receive a manual penalty.
2. Add irrelevant keywords
This is another technique used by ignorant bloggers. They add irrelevant keywords at the end of the text in the hopes that this will drive more traffic to the page. That too is not beneficial.
3. Pointless repetition of keywords
Text that contains the same keywords over and over again without adding value is often punished. Google provides an example here.
2. Thin content – added value is the key to success
If you run a website yourself and you create the content for it yourself, you know that writing really good articles is not an easy job. However, this is extremely important for search engine ranking. Pages that have very little text and / or provide no real added value reduce the overall quality of the website.
Google defines thin content as text or content that is not very original and unique. If a domain has many pages with hardly any unique content, your website could be de-indexed or severely penalized.
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3. Spam of any kind – and again added value!
Google hardly tolerates spam. Therefore, you should read the webmaster guidelines very carefully. In principle, there are things that a reputable website does not do or does anyway. However, more and more companies come up with the idea of having texts generated in order to save costs. But that is also considered spam. Google’s artificial intelligence can recognize such texts very easily.
You should also avoid sneaky 301 redirects. This means that you buy expired domains and use the link power for your site by redirecting to your website.
Hidden links are also prohibited. Affiliate texts, if they offer no added value, as well as pages that automatically make search queries in order to manipulate the ranking, are also prohibited. Websites that install viruses or malware are of course a taboo.
4. Structured data that means well
Structured data is great. After all, this makes it much easier for Google to read your website. However, Google sees it as a kind of scam if you mark wrong content with a certain amount. For example, you assign the author’s day to a keyword.
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In addition, some webmasters have tried to highlight and structure invisible text. Google doesn’t like this any more than keyword stuffing through invisible text. Therefore, be sure to read Google’s structured data guidelines and keep them in mind.
5. Doorway sides
You can also easily be de-indexed by using doorway pages. Doorway pages are special pages that have only been prepared for the search engine. The search engine then perceives the page as high quality and gives it the corresponding ranking position. However, visitors who then come to the site are redirected.