Dispelling Myths - Will WebPosition Get My Site Banned from Google? by Matt Paolini
In mid November of 2003, Google seriously revamped their ranking algorithm. As a result, many sites were dropped from their index, or fell dramatically in rank. This infuriated many Web site owners at height of holiday buying season.
Since that time, many accusations have been thrown at Google as to reasons why this happened. Some say itís a plot to encourage people to buy Adwords listings. Others have even theorized WebPosition is somehow to blame. Still others cite more traditional causes.
As soon as Google changed their algorithm, many WebPosition Gold customers whose sites had dropped contacted me demanding an explanation. They wanted to make sure their sites were not dropped because they had used WebPosition Gold. I reassured them that this was not case. I went on to explain that many thousands of sites were dropped that don't even use WebPosition Gold.
Many of our customers even saw their rank increase. In addition, most of time site had not actually been banned from index. It had simply dropped in rank.
In this article, I will attempt to dispel many of pervasive myths regarding WebPosition Gold and Google. Iíve used WebPosition for years on my own site and for clients. Iíve also helped provide technical support to others using product. Therefore, Iíve been on both sides of fence, and thereby feel uniquely qualified to address most common questions that tend to come up:
1. Will running automated Reporter Missions on Google get my site banned?
No. Despite repeated rumors, when running a Reporter Mission, WebPosition Gold does not pass personal information, such as your name, address, email, Web site URL or domain name to Google. Instead, it conducts queries as a normal browser would, and then examines results offline. With that in mind, Google cannot determine if you're running a query relating to a specific domain. The only information that is passed to Google is your "IP" address. In most cases, your Web site's IP address is different than IP address of your ISP (Internet Service Provider). So, how can Google connect two? Simply put, it can't.
Google states on their FAQ page that they do not recommend automated queries to be run on their service because it utilizes server resources. Yet, most businesses find it impractical not to measure their search engine rankings at least occasionally. Itís also hardly reasonable to check ranking by hand in Internet Explorer, which for same keyword list, would yield same number of queries on Google anyway. Therefore, most businesses optimizing their Web sites find it impractical not to use some kind of automated tool to monitor their progress and to measure their visibility. Working as a search engine marketer myself for many years, Iíve found that best policy is to simply be sensitive to needs of search engines. Avoid being ďabusiveĒ in your practices, whether it is your optimization strategies, your submissions, or your rank management. Therefore, when using WebPosition, I often recommend following strategies: 1.Avoid excessive numbers of queries if you choose to check your rankings on Google. Most people do not have time to improve their rankings on hundreds of keywords. Therefore, thereís no need to rank check on hundreds of keywords if you don't have time to do anything about that many different rankings anyway. While your site wonít be banned from excessive queries, Google could block your IP address that you use to connect to Google, if it found your query volume to be excessive. This is true regardless of what tool you may use, even if itís a browser.
It has been my experience that a blocked IP is extremely rare even among consultants conducting rank checks for dozens of clients. Presumably, Google would not want to accidentally block an IP that does a large volume of queries simply because its shared by many different users. Even so, itís always a good idea to practice a little common sense. 2. If you choose to run queries, try to run most of your queries at night and during off-peak periods, which is something Google has suggested in past. This is when many of their servers are presumably standing idle, waiting to handle increased volume during peak periods. The WebPosition Scheduler makes this easy to do.
3. Do not run your queries more often than is really necessary. Since Google normally doesn't update their entire index more than once a month, there's limited benefit to checking your rankings more often than that.
4. As an alternative to Google, consider checking your Google rankings using Yahoo Web Matches or another Google ďcloneĒ engine in Reporter. Although these rankings can vary slightly from Google.com, they're normally close enough to give you a very good idea of your actual Google rankings without checking Google directly.
5. With WebPosition Gold 2, you can also use "Be courteous to search engines" feature on Options tab of Reporter so you donít query their service so quickly. This gives you added peace of mind not found in many other automated tools, assuming you don't mind your missions taking longer to run. The Submitter has a similar feature to submit randomly at various time intervals.
2. Can I use WebPosition Gold to get my competitors' banned from Google? No. If running automated queries on Google with WebPosition Gold would result in your site being banned, you could use it to get your competitors' banned from Google. However this is not case.
Google even verifies this on their web site. They don't specifically name WebPosition Gold in this section; however, they do mention that there is nothing you can do to get your competitors' banned from Google. For more information on this, please see "Google Facts and Fiction" document at Google's site. http://www.google.com/webmasters/facts.html
3. Will over submitting my site get me banned?
No. Many people think that Google will ban your site if your submissions exceed recommended daily limits. If this were case, we could over submit our competitors' sites and easily get them banned from Google. Google is very clear on this and even states that over submitting will not get you banned. Even though over submitting will not get you banned, some of your submissions might still be ignored or discarded if they break rules. Therefore, I recommend using "Slow Submit" option in WebPosition Gold's Submitter and staying within WebPositionís recommended daily limits. Some people argue that manual submissions are best. However, manual submissions canít warn you if you inadvertently over-submit, make a typo in your submission, or forget what you submitted and when.