Did your website traffic cease as of midnight April 15th? Mine did. And boy did I panic. I was still in the index, but even if you googled “aldebaran web design” you got no results. Panic. Panic. Panic.
So I assume I’m under some penalty. I go into Google Webmaster Tools, and fix every missing 404 page, make sure the sitemaps are all ok, I triple check everything, no warnings, nothing. I spent all day trying to understand what might have caused me to be in the horrid google penality.
Next I applied for reconsideration, because that’s what you are supposed to do. You confess your SEO crimes, and beg Google to let you back in. But I didn’t have any crimes to confess, so I simply told that what I had tried to fix, knowing they weren’t crimes. But it seemed folks were saying yes, you must be in a penalty.
Then I went into the famed Google Webmaster Forum, where while some of the folks were nice and tried to help, most were aggressive and assumed I was some low life spammer who deserved the penalty for something I did.
Then I waited. Next day, still not in Google. Visions of being forced into early retirement loomed before me. With no traffic and nothing to fix, what could I do?
So I emailed a friend of a friend of an ex – who worked at Google, explained everything. He said he would send it to the spam folks and to hold on.
The next day, he said my domain had been mislabeled as “parked” and to just hold on, they were working on it.
And sure enough, later that evening, my rankings came back.
But not all small business owners with a website know someone to actually contact at Google. Very scary experience. Google can totally kill a small businesses traffic with a single bug. Sleep well folks.
And I wasn’t the only one:
Aldebaran Web Design, Seattle
Jill Olkoski has a BS in Engineering, a BS in Computer Science and an MA in Clinical Psychology. She delights in using her advanced technical and psychological skills to help small business owners develop cost-effective and successful websites.