Why Did Google Remove My Site From Its Index?
The money and time business owners spend for creating and maintaining websites is not negligible. Then one day, you get the notification that your site has been removed from the Google index – it can be baffling and disappointing. So why did Google remove your site from its index? Our experts from Perth explain the many reasons that would lead to a site being removed from Google’s index. But first…
What is Google index, and why does it matter?
In general terms, indexing t refers to sorting and arranging a list of items to find them more easily. Much like how a librarian will index any book present in a library, Google will index all discoverable webpages present on the internet. For the search engine to display your content, it has to be included in the Google index. When Google visits your site, it will detect updated and new content and add it to the index. You can check which pages from your site are in the Google index by searching for “site: mywebsite.com”.
Why does Google remove sites from its index?
Like all public information archives, Google, too, aims to make reliable information accessible for everyone. However, not all content will be acceptable for everyone. Some people might some information objectionable or even offensive.
Let us take a look at the reasons that will make Google remove your site from its index.
1. Legal obligation
Google has a low tolerance for content that violates the law. If your content compromises an entity’s privacy or causes defamation, the chances of Google taking your site off the index are high. When alerted of content that violates the law, such as copyrighted content, for example, Google will have to comply with the country’s legal system and do what’s required of them.
2. Site does not meet the guidelines
The Google algorithm is user-based and prefers quality over quantity. To make sure the content they display on the SERPs is valuable, Google has a list of quality guidelines for the content creators. The main guidelines are:
- Create content for your human site visitors and not for the search engines.
- Do not deceive your audience.
- Avoid using malpractices to improve visibility and generate more traffic.
- Avoid auto-generated content, hidden texts, content with irrelevant keywords etc.
The process of displaying different content or URLs to the readers and search engines is called cloaking. It is a practice that violates Google’s guidelines as it promises one thing and provides another. The two most common examples of cloaking are inserting specific keywords for search engines and giving HTML text while presenting pictures to users. Practices such as including text that’s visible only to the search engines could result in the removal of your site from Google’s index.
4. Requests for removal from Google’s index
If someone requests your content to be taken down since it causes personal harm, Google may remove your page from the index. Exploitative content, personal threats, instances of leaking sensitive personal information are all harmful content that Google wouldn’t want to recommend to its users. If anybody reports your site for harmful content, it may be flagged and taken down. Another reason for site removal is when the site blocks search engines from indexing relevant information.
How to check if the site is removed from the index?
If your website does not follow Google’s guidelines and causes its removal from the index, you’ll be alerted via the search console. You should sign in and verify your site ownership to learn about the status of indexing of your website. If you have a violation notice, you can modify the site to meet the required guidelines and submit it for reconsideration.
Google index: The Google index is the list of the web pages that Google discovered or crawled.
Search console: Is a free web service by Google that helps you monitor your website, check indexing status, optimise visibility, maintain and troubleshoot your site’s performance in Google SERPs.
HTML: HyperText Markup Language, or HTML, is the standard markup language to create pages to be displayed on the web.