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The Google remove URL tool works… unfortunately!

April 10th, 2009

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My most successful site earns me a nice amount each day and is continually growing, I have been working on it for almost 2 years now and still grows strongly month in month out.  If it continued to do so I would have been a very happy man.  However, last Thursday I noticed my site had completely dissappeared from google’s index.  It did not even show up when I ran a site:example.com command.  I put it down to an algorithm update and left it at that.  3 days later I was still no where to be seen and I really started to worry.

First things first I went into webmaster tools and attempted to find out what was going on, I noticed that google thought all my main pages, including the top level URL were restricted by robots.txt, apparently.  I quickly checked my robots.txt and saw nothing wrong and was stumped.

I then spent the next day googling around what I thought the issue could be and eventually stumbled across the a  google forum related to indexing issues.  I made a post and a few hours later had some helpful responses including one by a google employee who pointed out that a URL removal request had been sent to google a few months ago and last Thursday it actually happened! Who the hell did that! Thankfully the employee did some magic behind the scenes and within hours I had more google bot crawling than ever, by a massive factor.  I was back in the index and ranking highly the next day.  I am still not ranking for my main keyword, which pulls in 50% of my traffic, but I assume that will come with time.

I still don’t know who did it, all I can say is that I have now changed ALL my passwords.  People get hacked and I suggest you change your passwords too and I hope it never happens to you!!

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Chris Google, SEO