Feature: Make Google Work For You
Google can be your business’ best friend, but if you break its rules your website can be blacklisted permanently. Don’t lose your identity because of bad advice. Lea-Anne Brighton from Solutions Management, explains:
Being listed on Google is like having prime position for your retail outlet. People see you as they pass and you have a steady flow of traffic in your front door daily. Business is great.
Then one morning you think to yourself: “Things are very quiet”. You walk out the front of your shop and you see that a large concrete wall has been built across the front of it. No one can see you any more. To the public, you no longer exist.
Scary isn’t it? That is what it is like to be blacklisted from Google and it happens to thousands of people around the world every day. How does it happen and how you can avoid it happening to your business?
Google blacklists websites because their owners have broken its rules. People have been advised poorly and breach the rules, particularly about using “auto submission” software, “doorways” and “hidden pages”.
With the site no longer listed or indexed on Google, the treasured high rankings it previously enjoyed are gone and people can no longer find it. Business quickly dries up.
There are mailing lists and online forums full of desperate people trying to find out what happened and how to get listed back on Google. The reality is, that it is virtually impossible to get re-listed and most people finally give up, then go and find a new identity. In other words, they have to obtain a new domain and start building their business again.
It is terrible to read the stories of these people, as most have been oblivious to the risks that this could actually happen to them. Take “Sarah” for example:
She bought a website and believed her graphic designer was helping her. He suggested she do a number of things on her website and because she knew no better, she agreed. When it was dropped from Google, she contacted the search engine and found that she had broken its rules. Even though she had followed the “expert advice” of her graphic designer, the onus was on her. Google is very clear in its guidelines for website listings and it is vital to follow them:
- Do not use “auto submission” software.
- Do not try to set up “doorway” pages that all lead to your website.
- Do not use “hidden” pages or buy multiple domains and point them all to your website.These rules are black and white. If your web designer uses, recommends or sells you any “auto submission” software – and there are hundreds of so-called experts who do – walk away immediately. It will cost you business if you don’t. Likewise, if they talk about “doorways” or “hidden” pages, say “no” and find a reputable developer who will work with you to grow your business.
Think about it this way. Would you trust your BAS statement and your books to just anyone? No. You know that you can be called to account by the Tax Office for any mistakes. Google is a big and powerful company that can be your best friend, helping you to grow your business significantly. Don’t risk this growth and all your hard work by being a guinea pig, while someone else learns at your expense.
There are a lot of people out there who don’t do their research on what is happening on Google. They are only interested in a fast buck. Remember, if you are blacklisted, you lose your shopfront and effectively your business. It won’t hurt their business – just yours.