Forbes.com has a tremendous article today entitled “Condemned To Google Hell” and it’s a must read for any business owner who’s got a website. For those of us that rely on the web, it’s the stuff that keeps us awake at night.
The article relates the story of Skyfacet.com, an online diamond seller who for reason or reasons unknown was relegated to the little known “supplemental index”. Overnight hits via the search engine dried up and they lost hundreds of thousands in revenue.
Google Hell is the worst fear of the untold numbers of companies that depend on search results to keep their business visible online. Getting stuck there means most users will never see the site, or at least many of the site’s pages, when they enter certain keywords. And getting out can be next to impossible–because site operators often don’t know what they did to get placed there.
Google’s programmers appear to have created the supplemental index with the best intentions. It’s designed to lighten the workload of Google’s “spider,” the algorithm that constantly combs and categorizes the Web’s pages. Google uses the index as a holding pen for pages it deems to be of low quality or designed to appear artificially high in search results.
I have for some time noticed that Google doesn’t often reindex sites that aren’t frequently updated often. Active sites (like this blog) are reindexed daily. So I put forward the proposition that regular updates to your site, in addition to adhering to best practices for SEO help to keep you in good stead with the search giant, and out of “Google Hell.”