Did you know that if your site isn’t designed according to the strict guidelines prescribed by Google, it may be relegated to what’s known as Google’s Supplemental Index.  That’s where Google puts your web site when they aren’t thrilled with it for one reason or another.  Millions of web pages are lost in Google’s Supplemental Index.  The pages that are listed in the Supplemental Index are rarely, if ever, displayed in their search results, thereby receiving zero traffic.

And worse yet, if your web developer blatantly violates any of their guidelines they will completely ban your site.  Once your site is removed from Google’s search results, it can take months, if not years to regain what was lost in terms of traffic.

Unscrupulous web developers, anxious to get immediate results for their clients often engage in what are known as “black hat techniques”.  While these underhanded techniques can skyrocket your site to the top of the results on most of the major search engines, they have also been known to fall just as quickly.  Google and other major search engines are in a battle to stay one step ahead of the cheaters who are constantly trying to beat the system.  Once discovered, the sites that are caught are banned and have to start all over, sacrificing everything invested up to that point.

For example, recently, BMW, the car manufacturer, engaged in black hat techniques to try and garner additional traffic to their site.  They decided to slip the phrase “Carmen Electra” into the code of BMW.com in an attempt to trick people looking for photos of the super model.  They thought they could get a lot of traffic if web surfers thought that there were pictures of Carmen Electra on the BMW site.  However, Google discovered the trickery and banned BMW from their listings for 30 days.  Imagine one of the world’s largest sites not being listed on Google.  It was huge.  Up until that point, only smaller websites had experienced the wrath of Google.   And BMW isn’t the only one…Ricoh, the copy machine and camera manufacturer was also de-listed recently for using black hat techniques.

Google verifies this policy on their own site:

“Some unethical SEOs have given the industry a black eye through their overly aggressive marketing efforts and their attempts to manipulate search engine results in unfair ways. Practices that violate our guidelines may result in a negative adjustment of your site’s presence in Google, or even the removal of your site from our index.”

http://www.google.com/support/webmasters

Unfortunately, it’s not just the underhanded web developers that find their sites banned from Google.  Unsuspecting, naïve web developers see their sites accidentally wind up in the Supplemental Index all the time.  They simply don’t understand Google’s strict rules, unknowingly exposing their clients to irreparable damage every day.  Unless you’re sure that your web developer is consistently keeping tabs on what Google likes and doesn’t like, your site could disappear from Google’s rankings and fall off into oblivion.

Be sure that any firm you hire uses only “white hat techniques” that are approved by Google, to raise your website in the search engine results.  While the process can take longer to begin generating traffic to the site, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your site will never be in jeopardy of being banned for underhanded techniques.

To your online success.

Chadd Bryant

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