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Has My Blog Been Penalised by Google?

Discussion in 'SEO & PPC Marketing' started by Kevin Muldoon, May 4, 2014.

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  1. I'm sitting in the airport with my friend. We were having lunch there and he mentioned that when he searches for "Kevin Muldoon", my blog is not shown.

    I just did a search myself and my blog is not listed. Historically, my blog has always been listed first.. or occasionally second.

    Yet when I searched for my blog there, I am not listed. My Twitter account is listed. My Google+ account is listed. And articles I have published on other websites are listed.

    My first listing does not appear for a few pages, and it is not for my home page. It is for a specific article.

    Clearly, a penalty of some kind has been applies. I am not sure why.

    As you know, I'm not someone that focuses on SEO. I just focus on the content and let the search engines do their thing. Therefore, I can't understand why I would be penalised.

    Has someone applied negative SEO to hurt my rankings?

    I won't be back at my computer for a few days, so I can't do any research. In the mean time, I would really appreciate it if someone could check kevinmuldoon.com and see if anything obvious is up.

    Thanks guys.


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  2. Hey Kevin,

    yes, you were right. Strangely, your blog doesn't show up on first result on Google. Here is my theory, I think the server is not returning correct http code. The http status code that has been returning from the kevinmuldoon.com is HTTP 403 status, which is usually for forbidden pages. A normal webpage should have HTTP 200 OK status.

    I haven't had time to look at the solutions for this issue. Contact your hosting company, they can dig deeper into this stuff.

    Kevin Muldoon likes this.
  3. I did a quick search and found that only a handful of blog posts are showing in search. I don't know want causing this, but I think something similar is going on with my own site (maybe negative seo), I got around 20,000+ links from jobs niche sites and search traffic went from 1500+ visits a day to around 500 visits.

    Although, I have disavowed most of the links, but I am not sure if it is going to bring back the old rankings again or not.
  4. #5 furiousstyles, May 4, 2014
    Last edited: May 4, 2014
    Whether you have or not I would definitely submit a reconsideration request!

    I cant imagine anything you have done to be untoward, so it is a very good idea.

    Though it does look like some sort of penalty - I wonder if it is the links from all your profiles on other blogs....shame if it is!
  5. I am telling you that it is related to http status code. Check
    furiousstyles likes this.
  6. Well this definitely looks likely!

    What tool did you use for that Matt?
  7. The tool i used is http://httpstatus.io/
    furiousstyles likes this.
  8. Thanks was just curious

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  9. Any luck figuring out what happened?

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  10. #11 Brian Jackson, May 6, 2014
    Last edited: May 6, 2014
    Kevin, just running your site through free version of ahrefs it appeared you lost 515 inbound links all on May 3rd... Using a small amount of links is normal every day, but compared to your history, this is a very excessive loss all at once. I don't currently have a paid version of ahrefs so I can't see the full extent of the links that were lost or the full URLs... but this might be affecting your homepage.

    Or it very well could be that all the links were lost due to the 403 error on your homepage URL as Matt pointed out above.


    ** update**
    Also, looking here... notice the crawl date on your home page? It says 43 days. Normally should be much lower than that. I am curious what you see in Google Webmaster Tools? Do you have any messages/warning/errors?
    Matt Kaludi and Kris Hoja like this.
  11. Thanks everyone (particularly Matt - think you are right).

    I have contacted my host about this. Sounds like this is the reason that no traffic is showing on Google Analytics too.

    Will hopefully hear back shortly and see what has occurred.
  12. On a possibly related issue, I just saw that a website called http://lightningsoul.com/ has generated 722,202 incoming links to my website (as per Google Webmaster Tools). They have done this by adding a link to one of my posts in their sidebar.

    Should this be an automatic disavow, or will I get juice from this?
  13. UPDATE: This seems to have been caused by W3 Total Cache. I have disabled the plugin until I find out what was causing the problem. I have read other people reporting this problem, though perhaps it was just a misconfiguration issue.

    I have done a "Fetch as Google" to try and get my pages back in. Hopefully this re-index my pages.
  14. Glad to know that the issue has been resolved.
    Kevin Muldoon likes this.
  15. Yep. Just searched Google and I'm back on top :)

    I just need to optimise my website again. I installed WP Super Cache, though it doesn't seem to improve page loading times as much as W3. Will need to do more tests and tweaking :)

    Thanks again for all the help everyone. Much appreciated :)
    Matt Kaludi and Brian Jackson like this.
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