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Recently we have had calls because business owners are saying their sites aren’t showing up in Google search even when they type in their own company name.

With all four of these sites, I found some obvious reasons for the sites not ranking well such as no security certificate or the site wasn’t mobile friendly – but, it wasn’t that which was preventing them showing up or making them rank lower than other sites, these sites did not rank at all. 

Even if I did site:websitename.com , which will return every page of your site which is in the Google index, I got no hits. Nothing. It was as if the site had simply vanished.

On further investigation, I discovered, that each of these websites had a ‘manual action’ against them – Google had removed them from their index, specifying a reason of ‘pure spam’. 

Now if you read up on the ‘pure spam manual action’ it’s pretty damning – suggesting the offending site is employing spam techniques such as cloaking, automatically generated gibberish, scraping or copying data and content from other sites and other tactics which violate Google’s webmaster guidelines

So I checked each site and well, apart from a minor infringement on one of them, they were all respectable, well structured sites with good, original content. I was suprised , then I corrected the infringment on one of the sites and appealed all four.

Is there a manual action against my site ?

Easiest way to see if your not indexed is to type site:yoursitename.com into Google. If you get nothing back at all it’s likely Google have applied a manual action of some sort.

What can I do about it?

You must appeal every action via search console. First, you need to check to see if you are doing something you shouldn’t be. In the cases I mentioned above, only one appeared to have actually violated the webmaster guidelines by hotlinking to images on another site, purely by accident.

Google eventually relisted every site without explanation. So it’s really a good idea to search your own site every now and then even, if you believe you are doing everything right because Google takes no prisoners and does not notify website owners when they take sites off the index – even if you are paying for adwords. 

If you would like us to see how your site is performing on Google’s search index why not drop us a line , we’d love to hear from you.