View Full Version : Have You Ever Been Banned?

07-29-2007, 11:50 AM
Ok, so we know about the dangers of spamming, inappropriate inbound linking and various black hat techniques.

No doubt the advice given on this forum is good most of the time, but is there anyone out there who gives advice based on personal experience?

In other words, is there anyone who has actually been a recipient of a Google ban - or warning? What was the process? Why exactly were you banned? Were you able to un-ban yourself, and if not, what were the effects of the ban, especially long term?

07-29-2007, 12:25 PM
Hi, I have had a warning from Google about clicking on my own sites links. This wasn’t to increase clicks as it would have only happened a few times. But they or there advertisers are aware if this happens & it must get logged somehow.
I got an email as a warning, but haven’t heard anymore about it.


07-29-2007, 01:37 PM
I had a same sitation as Chris, I replied to google and they just let it be, as it was just a few clicks, actually three.
There was normal warning that a ban is the next step but in my case nothing happened.

07-29-2007, 06:22 PM
Thank you chaps, very interesting. Are there any others out there in the ether who have been nobbled by Google?

07-30-2007, 07:37 PM
Personally, I hope no one here has ever been banned. They don't ban people indiscriminately. But if you're thinking you can use black hat SEO cuz they won't catch up with you - I suggest you think again. Then stop and think about the fact that they don't have to ban you - if they don't like how you're doing something, they can just determine that you don't belong in the top search results - that because of some tactics used, you might not be worthy of being banned - but you also might cause your website to whither and die in the hinterlands (unless you want to use PPC to get your traffic.)

07-30-2007, 10:43 PM
Au contraire Bethers. I am simply trying to learn.

There is much cautionary advice on this forum - i.e. what you mustn't do and what you must do to satisfy the almighty Google, I'm trying to discover how much of it is true beyond any doubt, how much of it is conjecture (albeit grounded on solid reasoned thought), and how much of it is - well - misguided.

I have no intention of using black hat techniques, however I am looking to form my own definition of what is - and what is not - black hat.

So it's not really a case of hoping whether anyone on this forum has or has not been banned, it's a case of asking the question, because - IMO - the most valuable tool for learning is experience.

07-30-2007, 11:46 PM
Learning is very good - but in my opinion - if you try to form your own opinion about Black Hat SEO you'll be doing yourself a disservice. When I call something Black Hat SEO it's because I got it from the se's themselves - not because I decided it was so based on what others think happened to them. Google, for example, is more than happy to share most of that type of information with you - and Matt Cutt's does a fair amount of talking about it himself. Nothing better than getting info directly from the horse :)

07-31-2007, 07:55 AM
Yep, fair comment Bethers, but there's still no harm in asking the question if you want to gain a full overview of the situation.

How do we know that Matt Cutts hasn't 'overdone' it a bit with some of his advice? He's only human! If what he says is true we should be able to corroborate his statements with examples of personal experience in the big wide world. If there are no examples to be had, then we must re-evaluate his advice.

Full knowledge is only gained from reality. i.e. real people in real situations. Have you noticed how many people haven't come forward to share their 'banning' experiences with us?

if you try to form your own opinion about Black Hat SEO you'll be doing yourself a disservice.Not so sure about that Bethers. I think it is a good thing to challenge conventional wisdom and scrutinise the paradigms. When I finally draw my conclusions on this issue it will not be based on the roll of a die, it will be based on facts.

07-31-2007, 08:08 PM
If you read Matt Cutt's blog - you'll discover he DOES give examples when he shows things done wrong - and I've posted many of them here. Big companies have been banned. It's made the national news on all the major stations in the US. He also has posted about little guys getting caught - and gives snapshots of the pages.

Yes, you can ask. All I'm saying is - you can decide that it isn't likely to happen to you. And, for many that is true. They use the tactics and have risen up in se's doing so. Most of them eventually fall back, way back - if they are caught - and never know "why". Some of them get banned. And, unlike the big guys who have been banned, they might have a tougher time "apologizing" and getting their ranking and placement back.

But, when I call something Black Hat - it's usually involving some kind of spamming - and spamming, whereever and however it's used is bad. Just like VH will ban a user for spam emails coming over their servers. They might not catch everyone - so some will try it - but when someone's entire account is shut down - for doing so - they won't be very happy. Using spammy and bad tactics just for temporary gain, is not a smart move.

That's all I've been saying. Especially when you can have it all without doing so. Without the worry that it can all crash and fall eventually.

I'll leave you now - your decision as to what you want to do - you can use any of the tactics and decide what is/isn't black hat for yourself. But if Matt Cutts, as a Google guru and employee says something is black hat - I wouldn't go deciding it might not be a fact because you haven't found an example. He gives his information based on the real people and real situations you are asking about. And if you think you have a very large basis to ask this question here, you are so wrong. Plus you're asking mainly new people - who aren't going to have the problem.

07-31-2007, 08:46 PM
Yes, thank you Beth. There's not much to disagree with in your post, although I would hope that in the short time that you've "known" me, you wouldn't honestly expect this forum to be the only place where I'm asking questions and performing research.

I have a point for contemplation; isn't the whole concept of SEO in itself 'black hat'? I mean, if you are deliberately optimising your pages for the purpose of gaining top rankings in SERPs, aren't your practises questionable on that basis? Surely your site pages should be optimised for the visitor?

Just a thought......

07-31-2007, 08:51 PM
I'll leave you now...........:(

08-02-2007, 12:24 AM
I don't specifically teach people to optimize for the se's - if they are optimizing for their viewers/customers - they'll be also optimizing for the se's. Some of the things I teach people are proper coding etc - including h tags - which is something done in the industry to make the page appear properly. Other things are to do keyword research, title your pages for your viewers, etc. If you are truly designing your sites for the people using them - you'll be doing seo without working at it. (But you do need to know the basics in building, etc to do that).

08-02-2007, 07:20 AM
Thank you Beth. I think that's good advice, although I think that a web page optimised for the visitor and a web page optimised for the search engines are two different entitities.

Just a query Beth, bearing in mind your views, why include the term 'SEO' in your links?

08-04-2007, 01:21 AM
Because that's what it is commonly called. If you read any SEO advice I give - it will all be geared to your visitor - which is what good optimization of a website is about. If I trade links - I do so with my visitors in mind - will it be a link I think my target visitor would be interested in. When I title my pages - I try to research what my target visitors are using to search to find what I'm selling. The fact is, that if you do your homework and are thinking about your targetted visitors - you'll be building your websites using what is called good SEO. If you start trying to manipulate for the se's - you'll start seeing potential for danger.

Remember, the se's are actually trying to find the best sites for what the search terms are they are given. So - if you are working with your visitors in mind - with what THEY are looking for - not what you think they would use - then you'll be taking care of the se's also.

Now - since everyone is always talking about it for the se's - I have no problem using that term. Good seo - means you are building for your targetted audience. Most people never do that homework - and if thinking about the se's makes them do it - then they are better off - if they then utilize good technique. Good technique includes using things like h tags, etc. While you might say those aren't for the end user - they are telling the page how to display the words - and the se's understand what the tags are. Today, the se's also can understand the same thing if someone uses a larger font, uses bold, etc. People and the se's are simply looking for the things to tell them what is important.