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Can Newbies Repair Their Search Engine Listing?

By Francisco Aloy

So, you got a big surprise last night, didn't you? You went to search for your Website and it wasn't there anymore! Where did it go? Did you have to use double quotes just to find it? Not a pleasant feeling, I bet! 
 
Let's face it: having your website de-listed or sent all the way back to the start of the line isn't a joking matter! All those months of hard work just gone down the drain! Poof !! 
 
Is there a way out of this seemingly mortal blow to your website; can you repair your Search Engine Listing? Yes there is! 
 
If your mistake was one of the dumb mistakes we all make on account of lack of experience, there is a solution.
 
 Don't think the Search Engines are stone monoliths; you can talk to them! However, the first thing you have to do is be calm and deliberate your next moves as you repair the damage to your Search Engine listing. 
 
Here are some pointers to look for the source of your Search Engine troubles:
 
(a) Go back to the nearest specific date your website was doing well with the Search Engines. 
 
(b) Think of any changes you've done to your Website since then and make a list. 
 
(c) Have you created any other websites/blogs/message boards with a very close or identical name? 
 
(d) Have you done any tweaking to your Meta tags or website content? 
 
(e) Have you used any artificial web page or content enhancement technology? 
 
Once you revise your list and eliminate any obvious reasons for trouble, keep on going looking for any others sources of problems. By all means, do a thorough inspection and don't leave a stone unturned. Repair and revise is the thing! 
 
Go back to the basics and do your homework; don't put too much stake on much of the (mis)information you find floating around the Web. You also have to consider that Search Engine technology is an evolving thing and what worked two years ago, won't necessarily work today. Make sure your sources of information are fresh and relevant.
 
Here are published guidelines on what some of the big Search Engines take into consideration for a good listing: 
 
Yahoo: 
http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/ysearch/deletions/deletions-05.html 
 
With their resent Natural language initiative, it's clear Yahoo wants web pages that are very readable. Be careful not to let "keyword loading" affect the easy readability of your website. 
 
MSN: 
http://beta.search.msn.co.in/docs/siteowner.aspx
 
Google: 
http://www.google.com/webmasters/guidelines.html 
 
Once you've done all that you can think of to clean-up your Website, contact the Search Engines and offer them an explanation while asking for a review of your Website. 
 
Keep it short and businesslike and ask any pertinent questions. Consider the SE staff is composed of people just like you. We all make mistakes! Believe me, they have many years of experience dealing with Newbies; they can also spot a slick operator. 
 
You might have to wait some time depending on their schedule for crawling your neck of the Web. Look at your server logs to see an average time between SE crawling. 
 
A note of caution: 
 
I don't see why in the world a Newbie would deal with technology that artificially enhances web pages. There are plenty in the market extolling their virtues. I've done research on many of them and consider them only useful in the hands of an experienced Webmaster. 
 
If you MUST use any of them, build a dummy website to test all your ideas before you build your dream website. I've heard of folks with much more experience getting their site banned for using some of the artificial enhancement technologies. 
 
If you follow the above guides, you will repair your Search Engine listing. Your Website will return to its former Search Engine friendly ranking. Keep your eyes open for the next time and do your best not to make any more mistakes. Take a deep breath and move on, that much wiser for the experience. 
 
by Francisco Aloy 
 
(C)2005 Francisco Aloy
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
 
Francisco Aloy is the creator of The Newbie Business Guide. He is a Webmaster and Author dealing with solutions geared for the Web Newbie Business startup. Discover original content with marketing punch. Visit: http://www.newbie-business-guide.com


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