SEO nightmares;
News, tips and articles



Shared IP Address is risky, myth or reality?

Read: Banned Shared IP Address by Association


A Google Horror story:

What happens when you are disappeared?


Matt Cutt's dream

Read: Matt's dream


Distributing free widgets with a link to the creator is SPAM!?

Read: Widgetbait gone wild


A SEM nightmare

Read: Guilty until proven innocent


A Google penalty that was caused by a user

Read: Hidden text penalty


Some humor to take away your daily SEO stress



Information and news related to SEO nightmares



A Google penalty that was caused by user

One of the nightmares you can have is when users can harm your site and that your get penalized by Google.

When using Google's Webmasters Console you could receive a message if there is an issue with your website (if you aren't using Google's Webmaster Console then I am not sure if they ever will contact you).

But nobody wants to receive a message like this (true story):

In order to preserve the quality of our search engine, we have
temporarily removed some web pages from our search results. Currently
pages from [domainname] are scheduled to be removed for at least 30

The owner if this web site is always using 'clean SEO' practice and wasn't aware of the fact that some of his pages where removed from the index. He discovered this while doing some URL checks. His site didn't show up anymore using his main keywords, which of course is a shock, especially when you site is your main income.


So what was the cause of this penalty?

His site has the opportunity for (registered) users to add content. In respect of the owner, I will use a theoretical example: A site that offers Bed & Breakfast owners to add their own (ad) accommodation for a fee.

In this case, someone added (on purpose) 'hidden' text in the user pages, and a Google filter discovered this. This resulted in a (Google) penalty.

After some communication and explanation with Google, his pages got slowly indexed again.
But nobody is waiting for such penalty, especially if it is beyond your own control.

My advise:

If you have a site where users can add their own content on pages that are indexed (do index, do follow, etc.) then try to use some code that can detect such practice. Or disable HTML functions (formatting text) for these users. Or better, you could build a feature that a Webmaster (or you) always does a content check before publication approval. For other purposes you could consider to use the NO FOLLOW and NO INDEX tags.