Are you struggling to find your business website on Google? Wondering why you’re not listed in Google’s search results?

We share 9 reasons you could be deindexed in this infographic.

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Here’s a quick summary:

  • Cloaking
  • Spam
  • Spammy structured markup
  • “Free hosting”
  • User-generated spam
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Duplicate content
  • Doorway pages
  • Unnatural links

Check out the infographic for more detail.

Can’t be Found on Google? 9 Reasons They Removed You from Their Listings [Infographic]Pin

Search engines have been developed as one of the strongest marketing tools available, as they allow anyone to find information on virtually any topic or industry on demand.

However, some businesses simply can’t be found on Google no matter how hard they try, and this can be devastating both to those businesses and their customers.

In some cases, there may be nothing that can be done to get back onto Google’s search engine listings; however, in most instances there are ways to get your business back up and running – you just need to know why it happened in the first place and what you can do about it.

Cloaking

This is a relatively old technique for search engine optimisation (SEO), where spammy or negative content might be made to look like normal page content.

Cloaking is considered a serious violation of search engine guidelines, and can result in a domain being removed from listings. This is a common cause of removal from search engines – especially if you have previously been warned about it.

If you notice that your ranking has fallen significantly after receiving one of these warnings, it may have been because they found evidence that you were still engaging in cloaking techniques.

Spam

One of the most common reasons your website may not be showing up in search results is because of spam. When you create a web page or post, it is important to avoid using black-hat techniques such as automatically generated or scraped content.

Spammy structured markup

If your business is a new one, you may not know that Google has a pretty extensive system for tracking your online activities. You can add markup to your site—sections of code that will tell Google what parts of your site are important and should rank well in search results.

However, if these codes aren’t formatted correctly, or if you add too many of them to a page, it could signal spam. The results: no placement in search results or getting kicked off entirely by Google.

“Free hosting”

“Free hosting” services might sound great, but ultimately what you end up with are a load of spammy ads on an untrustworthy server environment.

If your goal is to maintain a positive website presence and a good reputation for your business online, free hosting isn’t going to cut it.

For those reasons alone it’s important to have control over your site and where it resides—if not exclusively at least as much as possible—so that you can maintain control over every aspect of how your website appears.

User-generated spam

Often, unmoderated user-generated comments can go unchecked and include spam links. If your site displays a high number of these comments, your site will appear spammy in the eyes of Google, which could lead to deindexing.

Check your comment moderation settings!

Just as you should remove any external links that don’t directly contribute to your content, you should also ensure that none of these issues crop up with respect to internal links pointing back to irrelevant URLs or linking to potentially dangerous third-party domains.

Keyword stuffing

If you use too many keywords or other search terms in your content, Google will interpret that as spam. Keyword stuffing can also irritate readers, leading them to leave negative comments about your site.

If you have a lot of pages with similar content and they all have high keyword density, it may look like you are trying to manipulate search results or games rankings.

This can get you flagged by Google and removed from their listings. To avoid getting de-listed, keep keyword density low on each page of your website. Aim for no more than 5%.

Duplicate content

If your site is full of duplicate content (ie. multiple URLs with same or similar content), it can get you removed from Google’s results.

What does full of duplicate content mean, though? It just means that you have more than one URL that contains mostly duplicated or very similar text, meaning that your pages are lacking in uniqueness.

This is one of the most common reasons for being removed by Google. As a good rule of thumb, try to keep all your written content unique across every page on your website.

Doorway pages

A doorway page is basically a landing page, however it contains links to different pages within your site. These links are designed to drive traffic back to your main pages, which can negatively affect your search engine rankings.

By having doorway pages (or even worse – auto-generated content) you might actually be driving away visitors and even hurting your search ranking.

If these pages aren’t well optimised for search engines, they can also cause duplicate content issues where you rank well for certain keywords but not others.

Unnatural links

Links that lead to your site must be natural. For example, you wouldn’t want to pay someone or give them a special prize to get a link that leads back to your site.

When search engines see these types of links, they are more likely to remove your website from their listings. If you do receive unnatural links, it is critical that you disavow any unnatural links through Google Search Console.