How to Know if Your Lawyer Website Has Been Banned or De-indexed by Google and What To do to Get it Indexed Again

Understanding Attorney Search

Los Angeles Personal injury attorneys understanding removal issues

Many attorneys came to me the last few months, asking me if their sites were banned, or deindexed, and if they were, what to do short of having a heart attack. So here goes. When a site owner sees the traffic figures for their blog dropping, they usually assume that their site has suffered being deindexed from Google.

Panicking is Not Always All You Can Do

Then they normally will go into panic mode and think there is nothing that can be done. Before assuming that a site has been deindexed by the search engine, a simple check can help confirm what the problem is. Go to Google and search site:
This means whatever your site name is, enter it and if the results from Google show URLs for your site, then it has not been deindexed from the search results. It is possible that Google punished the site, causing it to drop in the SERPs. It is possible for this to happen and it is easier to handle than the site being deindexed. When a site is deindexed, there are a few common reasons that can cause it to happen:
Was the site hacked recently? Did the attack include malware being put on the site? If you do not know if this is a possible cause, a free check can be done from Securi.

Google will quickly deindex a site if, it sees something that should not be there. If you do find malware or something even worse on the site, then removing the problem is the most important thing. Then it is possible to ask Google to add the website back in their listings.
Is there duplicate content on the site?

Spammy Articles

Are there articles that might be considered spammy in the content?
These could cause the site to get a delisting by Google. In some instances, if the site is included in your Google Webmasters account, Google might send a message saying there are some problem issues with the site. Content has been and still is king, using low quality content, could cause the search engine to think there is no value and punish the site and thereby punish the webmaster.

Keyword Stuffing

The tactics that were used during the 1990’s, keyword stuffing or using doorway pages to place things in text that is the same color as the background, is not going to work. An example would be to repetitively use accident, attorney, lawyer, personal injury, or geo terms like “Los Angeles” too many times in a document. Using the SEO tactics that were invented years ago, will not work and the result of any of these tricks will lead to the website disappearing from Google.

DMCA Issues?

Does your site have content that violates the DMCA laws? The violation of DMCA laws can result in the copyright holder to contact Google, requesting the content is removed from the search results and this means the site will be removed from Google.

Normally if this happens email notification is usually sent, however if your Whois email is not valid, you will not be notified, until your site is hit and traffic dwindles. The only way to fix this DMCA violation is to remove the content that is infringing and request that Google reindex the website.

Did You Un-kowingly Purchase a De-Indexed Domain?

Have you bought a domain that has already been deindexed by Google? This is not a great thing! This happens, if you did not check the URL prior to purchasing the existing domain and a bad way to learn this lesson. The former website owner did something bad and got caught by Google, then instead of fixing their mess, sold the website.

When the former owner did something to have the site deindexed by Google, it is now your problem. The first thing that will need to be done is to contact Google, explain that you would like to have the site reindexed and that you have just purchased it. Google is not able to tell when a site changes owners. Just go and add the site to Webmaster Tools and Notify Google You are the new owner. Got it?

Look for Bad Code

Does the site have any questionable code, which will show Google bots one things buy something else to people? This can cause Google to delist the site from the SERPs. Anything questionable that gets noticed by Google can make it difficult to get the site reindexed in the search. It could even be time to give up the site and move to a new URL.

Reconsideration Request

Once you confirm the site was removed from the Google SERPS, and want to get it relisted, there are some steps that will need to be taken. The first thing that will need to be done, is figure out why the site was removed from the search results. Second, undo what ever caused this to happen. After you have cleaned up the site, then you can submit a Reconsideration Request to Google in the Google Webmaster Tools.

This is free to join for webmasters that do not have an account and you can then link your site to the Webmasters account. The request will go to Google for a review and it can take a few weeks to get an answer. Google will decide if the site should reindex or not, and if they decide against reindexing the site, then it is time to move to a new URL. Once you have moved it would not be wise to do a 301 redirect, from the banned site, to the new site. This of course will mean starting over again from scratch with traffic.

Posts by Michael Ehline

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