The Disney Blog delisted from Google Again!

The Disney Blog has been delisted from the Google Index again. No warning, no email, nothing indicating why the site has been dropped from the index on the Google Webmaster Tools site (and believe me I keep a close eye on that site after having been delisted once before in August). Can anyone help me figure this out, get me in contact with Google, etc?

More below the cut.

I think it’s pretty obvious that The Disney Blog is not a spam site,
nor a link farm. It’s ranked in the top 13,000 blogs at Technorati out
of 34+ million. It was ranked in the top 5000 before the first delisting. Readership levels had just returned to pre-August levels and now they’ll be shot to hell again.

I followed every recommendation Google makes in their help files and a few other suggestions other folks made based on their experiences being delisted. One of the things I did was set up domain mapping to www.thedisneyblog.com and submit that URL as a sitemap to Google. Something I did worked because in about 30 days I was back in the Google index again.

Now it’s happened again and I’m really pissed off and feeling very powerless here.

I suspect the major problem is that Typepad doesn’t allow 301-redirects from the old domain to the new one. So anything I post shows up at two URLs: www.thedisneyblog.com/<etc>.html and thedisneyblog.typepad.com/<etc>.html. I don’t know what’s going on for a fact, but I’m guessing that Google’s Index interprets this as being spammy and blocks the domain. I wouldn’t mind if they delisted the typepad domain, but they’ve delisted the www.thedisneyblog.com domain. The one I’ve been working so hard to restore since August.

I’m going to email them again today. But it is my understanding that Typepad has no plans to change that and no other way to resolve this indexing situation with Google.

So, I guess I’m looking for two things. Either someone at Google who can get this straightened out for me. Or someone who can help me quickly port The Disney Blog to another webservice and leave Typepad/SixApart behind. I’m willing to pay for the latter choice. Please email me today.

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7 thoughts on “The Disney Blog delisted from Google Again!

  1. Jacques

    You’re not alone. Apparently google’s doing this to a number of blogs. They’ve been following it on BoingBoing.

  2. Matt Cutts

    Hi John, my name is Matt Cutts and I’m an engineer at Google. I have bad news and good news. The bad news is that you have hidden text on your site, and that’s what caused the issue with Google. The good news is that it should be easy to fix on your side, and as soon as you do, we’ll reinclude the site.

    Specifically, if you view source you’ll see an h2 tag with a div called “banner-description”. The specific text is “Informing Disney Fans the World Over with the latest news and updates from all Disney companies, divisions, and related stories. Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruises, Disney Animation, Pixar, ESPN, and more are covered in as much detail as I can muster.” I would remove that text or make it visible to users.

    Best wishes,
    Matt Cutts

    P.S. We tried to email you; sorry if the emails didn’t reach you. We’re looking for ways to improve our communication more this year (e.g. via Google’s webmaster console). I’ll include the email that we sent to contact@, info@, support@, and webmaster@ your domain on 12/29/2006 at 10:11:31:

    Dear site owner or webmaster of thedisneyblog.com,

    While we were indexing your webpages, we detected that some of your
    pages were using techniques that were outside our quality guidelines,
    which can be found here: http://www.google.com/webmasters/guidelines.html
    In order to preserve the quality of our search engine, we have
    temporarily removed some webpages from our search results. Currently
    pages from thedisneyblog.com are scheduled to be removed for at least 30 days.

    Specifically, we detected the following practices on your webpages:

    * The following hidden text on thedisneyblog.com:

    e.g.
    Informing Disney Fans the World Over with the latest news and updates from all Disney companies, divisions, and related stories. Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruises, Disney Animation, Pixar, ESPN, and more are covered in as much detail as I can muster.

    We would prefer to have your pages in Google’s index. If you wish to be
    reincluded, please correct or remove all pages that are outside our
    quality guidelines. When you are ready, please visit:

    https://www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps/reinclusion?hl=en

    to learn more and request a reinclusion request.

    Sincerely,
    Google Search Quality Team

  3. John Frost

    Well. Hey Matt. Thank you for dropping by and posting that very useful information. Show’s how much I know.

    In my two previous reinclusion requests, I was clueless as to the real reason The Disney Blog had been delisted from Google’s Index. Turns out it was as simple as removing one offending paragraph of hidden text. I have followed your suggestion and removed that text from the blog. Hopefully this satifies Google’s Quality Guidelines and The Disney Blog can be reincluded in the index.

    Since this tag is a standard of all Typepad blogs I will also be emailing Six Apart to see if they can’t change this into a meta-tag instead. When you set up your blog on Typepad you’re asked to fill in a Weblog description/catchphrase. That is what becomes the offending tag.

    If Google is going to delist all typepad blogs that us this feature, you might want to put something in webmaster tools that informs typepad users to make this same change.

    Thanks again, I really appreciate it.

  4. Matt Cutts

    Thanks, John. I’m submitting a reinclusion request for your site now. It’s the weekend, so you might allow until Tuesday or so, but after that you should be fine.

    I’ll try to find someone at Six Apart so we can talk this through with them as well.

  5. Christoph

    This is a problem not only in Typepad blogs. Some freely available WordPress templates (specifically from blogthemes.com)contain hidden links from the designer linking to certain cancer websites. I am sure most people do not see that as it is kind of sneaky.

    Christoph

  6. Esopo

    This matter opens a can of worms for me about the way Google determines ‘hidden text’.
    For one I guess we are putting to rest the question of whether Google is starting to crawl CSS files (or was the decision based on something else?).
    My main concern is, what accounts for hidden text? I understand Google does its best, and bless its heart for it, but can it determine whether something is fully hidden or just waiting for user interaction?
    For instance, my site has a welcome notice at the top, waiting under the anchor “Site description”. It is quite prominent and new users click it all the time. However, my CSS may reveal it as ‘hidden text’. Would that be fair? Would Google be able to tell the difference?
    I think these are important questions.

Comments are closed.