Utterly Boring dot com

Getting Banned By Google Sucks

If anybody looking at this site has the Google Toolbar, you'll notice something odd about this site: It has a PageRank of 0 -- Zero, zip, nada, nothing. I used to have a PageRank of seven (at least according to the toolbar, which I know isn't totally accurate). But if you also notice, Google doesn't have anything on my site indexed.

Basically, my site no longer exists, according to Google.

Read on for the full story....

How the heck did this happen? About eight weeks ago, I was approached by a company to post a few links on this site. Since they offered me some money for the privilege, I couldn't really refuse. I did a bit of background on the company, checked on sites that they did these types of sub-domain links with, and none of them had any problems with Google results, so I figured "What have I got to lose?"

Big mistake.

I posted the links as they requested, and about a month later I got a nasty (obviously automated) message from Google, stating that I was in violation of their terms for using doorway pages. I told the guy that paid for the links that he had 7 days to clear it up with Google or the ads were gone (he was flabbergasted, too, as he'd never had a problem with them). Nothing was taken care of by Google, so I took down the links, and e-mailed Google, telling them that the links were all removed and will never be put back up.

And so here we are. It's been a couple weeks and looking at my logs, the complete removal from their database happened about seven days ago as my traffic dropped by half (from about 4000 visits per day to 2000) and it appears that I'm not getting any Google search referrals, either (which was a huge chunk of traffic to this site). The $5 or so I was getting a day on Google Adsense clicks has dropped down to about $2 this last week.

From basically every article I've read, I've approached the situation properly, removed the content quickly enough, and did everything right, but looking at the horror stories that I've seen, it could be a month or more before I get back on there again.

If anybody knows anybody at Google and can help me out (not holding my breath there), or has any tips, they'd be much appreciated. But you more than likely won't be seeing posts like this, this, this, this, this, this, this, or this for quite a while.

Posted by Jake on 01/15/06 @ 06:00 PM
Posted in Site Info | 22 Comments | Permalink

2 Trackbacks

It'll Be A While Before I Link To Bend.com from UtterlyBoring.com on 01/29/06 @ 10:02 AM:
As we all know, the quality of the content on Bend.com has pretty much gone downhill since Barney left. They went from the leading source of breaking news in the... (Read More)

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy! from UtterlyBoring.com on 02/07/06 @ 11:27 PM:
Honey, we're home. We're no longer banned. Thanks a ton, Matt! And by the way, Spencer: Pagerank utterlyboring.com: 6 Pagerank bend.com: 5... (Read More)


mhytjkmdtykj said on 01/15/06 @ 06:21 PM:
hey, i typed in utterly boring into google and it was the third 1 down on the list. so i don't think you're banned

Patrick said on 01/15/06 @ 06:48 PM:
Yikes! Now that does suck if you are trying to make a buck or two off the ads. Was it truly the site you linked to or did something else trip it up? I know there are a fair number of ads here.... any chance any of the others might have caused you problems?

Jake said on 01/15/06 @ 10:07 PM:
mhytjkmdtykj: I don't know what you're seeing, but the first several pages of a search on google for utterly boring are all sites that link to my site, but none of them are actually mine.

Patrick: It was the ads I removed, not the ones I'm running now (which are only Google Adsense ads and the BlogAds bit in the lower left -- at the up on the upper right for the local cable company). They specifically referenced those links as they were linked off a subdomain of this site, and they referenced it specifically.

Aaron Wormus said on 01/16/06 @ 12:37 AM:
A client of mine got his site smacked down from being a PR6/10 #3 on Google for a coveted keyword to being unlisted. This is a company which gets about 80% of its revenue through google.

We were also syndicating news on news.google.com (which thankfully remained), so we talked to our contacts there, and they said that there was nothing you can do but wait.

We waited for a little over a month (running at 30% of revenue) and then we were re-indexed and actually got better rankings.

Our problem was that we had a SEO company managing our link building campaign. They had added several viagra and poker links into our directory, which google didn't like.

Neil T. said on 01/16/06 @ 04:29 AM:
I've been approached about those sorts of links too, though I've always turned them down, even though I could do with the money.

Paul said on 01/16/06 @ 06:05 AM:
You're a stats-addict, Jake!

..And so am I! I keep a tab on my stats (everybody can see them by clicking the link at the very bottom of any page at paul.luminos.nl). I've noticed that loads of people come looking for a very specific document or problem, and that information on my website actually can help them.

It makes me feel very proud! :)

Jake said on 01/16/06 @ 07:16 AM:
Aaron: I can only hope I get better rankings after this is all said and done. Maybe it's a good time to clean up this site like I've been wanting to.

Neil: Which is why I said "Yes" -- I needed the money, too (and if I didn't have kids to feed, I wouldn't worry so much about it). The money was especially needed because it was around the holidays.

Paul: Generally, I'm only a stats addict when it affects the traffic here :-) But yet, I get a TON of random searches for google that are either totally random or help the folks find what they need.

Militantplatypus said on 01/16/06 @ 09:30 AM:
Scary stuff. I did a quick google search for utterly boring, and you didn't come up at all. bendblogs does, but not your URL.

Hopefully you will be re-indexed soon, have you tried resubmitting?

Chris said on 01/16/06 @ 10:44 AM:
Do a reinclusion request. See the following from Matt Cutts' blog for info: http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/reinclusion-request-howto/

Jake said on 01/16/06 @ 11:10 AM:
Already did, Chris (and read through Matt's blog post last week, too, before I did it -- just forgot to post the link to it here as I couldn't remember Matt's last name).

Ken Edwards said on 01/16/06 @ 09:32 PM:
Wow, why is Google such a complete pain in the ass to deal with. We are having some major problems with Google News, and it is seriously cutting into our traffic too (at Blogcritics).

Jo-Anne said on 01/18/06 @ 08:58 AM:
This is what came up on my end of google search .ca of course ;)

*I do know of a couple sites that had the same type of problem,it seemed when it came time for the pay period..just before if I am correct..that this took place.. They had a time getting it sorted..let me get back to you on what happened ( I don't want to place any info that may not be accurate)

Michelle said on 01/20/06 @ 02:41 PM:
Those nazis!

Matt Cutts said on 02/06/06 @ 01:16 AM:
Jake, I'm checking into a reinclusion request. I have personally overseen reinclusions from two other people that did the same thing with this person. So I'd take the claim that "he was flabbergasted, too, as he'd never had a problem with them" with a grain of salt; I'm not sure the person who rented subdomains from you is being completely forthright with you.

Best wishes,

Jake said on 02/06/06 @ 07:13 AM:
You have a beer waiting for you if you ever make it to Central Oregon, Matt :-)

(And yes, in hindsight, obviously the guy didn't give a hoot about getting me banned, as he's since disappeared off the face of the earth.)

Richard Walker said on 02/07/06 @ 06:53 AM:
This whole google thing is getting a bit much. Why can't they just be like all the other search engines.

GooogleSucks said on 02/25/06 @ 12:54 PM:
Come to http://goooglesucks.com and post your thoughts, we'd love to hear it.

Richard said on 09/25/06 @ 01:07 AM:
Juste read your story about the fact that your site was banned from Google.. well it happened the same to my site http://www.travail-emploi.com (french speaking), whereas I bought it from someone some weeks ago... the prior owner used to put some hidden text with hidden class or something like this that I did not know... I managed to take down this text and made my reinclusion request to Google more than a week ago. Hope it won't be too long as we do about 80% traffic from Google .. so now my income is getting very very low...

webmaster google sux said on 12/21/06 @ 09:55 AM:
Thats typical of google. I doubt they ever reindex you. They like to bring the hammer down regardless of what they break and do not like fixing ANY errors.

qubodup said on 09/25/07 @ 10:34 AM:
If anyone would like to talk more and more about why google sucks, with big G being around the corner, check the Google sucks Google Group.

Google Sucks said on 10/12/07 @ 07:23 AM:
Google Sucks. Period. To see why goto googlesux.com

Wayne said on 02/11/08 @ 08:19 PM:
I am seeking people with Google Horror Stories to post on my site http://www.googlehorrorstories.net. The purpose of my site is to build a repository of first hand experiences that will travel the Net to eventually put pressure on the big G to resolve some of thier most basic problems. The more people who get involved and the more people who syndicate the articles the better chance we have of making a difference. Please feel free to post your article today!

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