Getting Unbanned by Google

For a long time phillyfuture.org was blacklisted by Google – a previous owner of the domain abused it and Google reacted by banning it from the index.

For months, after getting the domain back, I attempted to get Philly Future indexed by Google. I followed its instructions, not realizing we were blacklisted. Philly Future had links pointing to it across our community, and as far as I knew, we followed Google best practices – no stupid tricks. Yet for almost a year I could not get Google to send searchers our way.

I came to the conclusion we must have been blacklisted. I found the appropriate instructions on handling that – - emailing help@google.com with the subject ‘reinclusion request’ with a summary of my problem – but I got an automated response. A week or so of waiting I put out a call to the community here at paradox1x, at Webmaster World, at Search Engine Watch, at Ask Metafilter and on Philly Future itself.

Friends responded by spreading the news here, here, and finally here.

The email I had sent to Google was the appropriate course to take it turns out. A Google engineer replied in Dan’s comments that it was the correct way to get unblacklisted – and that they were in the process of reviewing the site.

Some were telling me to give up the domain name. Start all over again. That it was hopeless. I’m happy to report that was not the case. But the fact that I did not have a way of confirming we were blacklisted and for what reason was frustrating and more than a little scary.

3 responses

  1. Not a coincidence – I was probably subconsciously influenced by it and the fellow who had his blog marked as spam that Garret mentioned. I figured it was a good time to review and get this up.

  2. I think is a good idea to follow Google best practices, but in most cases it takes too long and it’s hard to get answer from Google support. I do not understand how Google been such as huge site cannot answer emails and help the website owners when we are in desparate needs. I do understand they receive lots of emails as Yahoo, but Yahoo support is far better. I just hope that Yahoo someday deside to include every single site for free and forget about get money from everything.

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