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Google Kicked off my bludomain site

Derick Piner , Aug 20, 2008; 03:20 p.m.

Hi all. Over the past month google has kicked off or droped off several photographers with bludomain sites. I know of at least 5 photographers that are not showing up on google. Thats after showing up first page for years. I was wondering if anyone is haveing that problem. I have contacted bludomain to let them know. Also I am haveing trouble getting my site verified with google, so then I can use the webmaster tools. I have tryed posting the meta tags in several places but nothing seems to work. It just says I put the meta tags in the wrong place. Any Ideas. My web site address www.pinerphotography.com

Responses

Matt Laur , Aug 20, 2008; 04:00 p.m.

Google can be pretty mysterious, sometimes. But their index obviously DOES know about you (if you just do a search on your domain name, it's right at the top). So that doesn't mean they've kicked you off, it means that you've dropped in the rankings.

Some things that might be counting against you: your site requires pop-ups in order to work. Most people hate that, or have it disabled, and so Google considers sites that requires such things to be less valuable as search results that sites that don't require such things.

The meta tags should be present (in between the <head> and </head> tags somewhere. You've GOT those meta tags there now, but they're empty.

The links from the main splash page on your site (except for the one that takes you off to photoreflect.com - someone else's web site) won't work with javascript to make the links function. Search engine crawlers may, or may not even choose to follow such links. If they don't follow them, that means that they consider the site to be very shallow, and thus with very little indexable content. That drops you in the ratings, big time.

Areas of your site like the wedding section are essentially one big Flash movie. That's not search-engine friendly (and not very visitor-friendly, either). Just today, the web designer tech crowd was talking about a Flash-based malware attack that is equal opportunity and can hit Macs, Windows PCs, Linux machines... and so many people have antivirus settings set to block a lot of Flash content. It's something that you cannot guarantee someone will see, and rendering and entire chunk of your web site in that format is almost an assurance that it will rank FAR below sites that use simple text in HTML to communicate with their visitors. Embedded Flash objects and galleries are one thing, but not having any of the text that describes your wedding business easily crawled and contextually indexed by the big search engines is trouble.

So: lose the pop-ups, and ease off on the Flash. More simple, well-written, clear text for Google to digest. Proper meta tags. It's a lot of things all together that impact search rankings.

Daniel Hugo Becerra , Aug 20, 2008; 04:35 p.m.

Yep, this isn't the first time I have heard about this, I agree with Matt the only problem is that Google is so selfish. By the way, I checked your site and your job is amazing. Congratulations!!

Matt Laur , Aug 20, 2008; 05:31 p.m.

the only problem is that Google is so selfish

Just to be clear, I don't really see it that way. The point is that they index untold millions of web sites. They have to have some way of deciding which sites float to the top. They're "selfish" in the sense that they want their search results to be as valuable as possible for the people who use their search engine. That's how they stay relevent, and that's how they're able to make enough money to keep the whole thing going (which costs hundreds of millions of dollars a year to operate).

It's not selfish (in the negative way that people sometimes use that word) to have a piece of software visit and evaluate jillions of very similar web sites and try to automatically use hundreds of subtle criteria to decide which sites are real, which ones are spammy, which ones are real businesses, which ones are the most likely to actually work on most people's web browsers and show up in the same language that the searching person appears to speak, and so on. It's not magic, but it's very, very complicated. Some sites that shouldn't show up high in the results to, and some sites that should show up higher do not.It usually comes down to some pretty simple things. In my earlier response, I mentioned some of the things that I see about the web site that could be contributing to its lower search ranking. Web sites that do not have those problems will rank higher. You can't really blame Google for that, per se - they are very even handed about this stuff.

Content, as they say, is king. If your web site is built in a way that hides that content from the search engines, or makes it hard to get to and to read/index, then it's not sensible to blame the search engine company for not having your web site at the top of their list.

Derick Piner , Aug 20, 2008; 07:11 p.m.

Wow Matt you know allots more about that stuff than me. What’s funny is that the problems just started. I found out tonight that people that have bludomain sites but host with another company are still showing up on Google. I host with bludomain. I don't know why this would make a difference. Unfortunately with these sites you are limited with the things you can change, you have a template you must work with. So getting rid of flash is not an option unless I redesign a new site.

Matt Laur , Aug 20, 2008; 09:53 p.m.

Why do these things suddenly change? Because although Google's robots crawl around the web all day every day collecting the information they use to build their indexes, they only do a major re-shuffling of their output on an occassional basis. Some index areas are updated much more frequently (for a sense of HOW quickly, try this little search result - creepy, huh?).

But the real issue is when Google makes a significant change to the rules their software uses to rank sites. When they do, familiar search results suddenly stop happening, and everything shows up differently. This is sometimes called "The Google Dance," and some web-only companies can really sink or swim based on how it shakes out.

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