Owning a Tourism Business is awesome

10 Oct 2006

How to get your site reincluded if banned...

All the major search engines have procedures whereby a webmaster who has determined that his site has been censored, has somehow determined which was the offending feature, removed the offending feature, and is suitably repentant, can apply for reinstatement:

Google: You can go to: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/reinclusion?hl=en

You will have to sign up for Google's Webmaster's Tools Service first, which if you have been reading any of my blog, then you would have .

Google only solicits reinclusion requests from sites that admit and stipulate that they violated Google's guidelines or inherited a domain name that they suspect violated Google's guidelines.

"By submitting this form, I acknowledge that: I believe this site has violated Google's quality guidelines in the past. This site no longer violates Google's quality guidelines. I have read and agree to abide by Google's quality guidelines."

You can include a note pleading your case, explaining all the corrective actions you have taken, and promising on your genuine Batman ring never to do it again. Google might eventually reinstate your site. There are persistent reports that Google has “punishment periods” that vary depending on the “offense”. If your site has been banned for editorial or competitive reasons you are out of luck.

Google people, looking down on lowly webmasters from their lofty positions as industry leaders and employees of a $100 billion company, tend to be unusually condescending. Google treats webmasters like children with “punishment” and “penalization”:

“Tommy, you’ve been bad. Go to your room.”

“Why Mommy? Why?”

“I’m not going to tell you why. I’m the parent and you’re the child. I don’t have to tell you why.”

“How long do I have to stay in my room Mommy?”

“I’m not going to tell you that either. I’ll let you out when I feel like letting you out.”

Yahoo: You can request a “re-review” at: http://add.yahoo.com/fast/help/us/ysearch/cgi_rereview

In Yahoo parlance, the “original” review was the one they did when they decided to ban your site. Your message should include all the changes you made in order to be in compliance with Yahoo guidelines.

MSN Search: You can go to: http://support.msn.com/eform.aspx?productKey=search&page=support_home_options_form_byemail&ct=eformts and fill out an MSN Search problem report form “Search, Problem, Finding a Web Site” stating that your site has been deleted.

You will get an immediate web reply with a ticket number promising a support person will be in touch. Soon, you will get an email from a support person directing you to help pages, guidelines, etc. You reply to this email with your plea, including that you have indeed confirmed that your site has been intentionally de-listed by MSN Search. You will then eventually get a reply that the support person has forwarded your plea to the MSN Search Product Specialist Team. Eventually, your site might be reinstated.

A very curious note: The reply email from Microsoft Support contains a number of features usually associated with email spam and therefore was tagged as spam by our Spamassassin anti-spam software. The items flagged by the filter included: "HTML obfuscation", "Envelope sender in postmaster.rfc-ignorant.org ", "Message-Id has pattern used in spam", and "Reply-To is empty". Be careful or you might miss the reply message.

Alternately, you can try to follow this note on MSN's site: "We may remove a website from the index if the website was reported as spam. If you suspect that your website was incorrectly identified as spam, please send an e-mail message to webspam@microsoft.com."

Microsoft is a huge company and MSN is a large division but MSN Search is a relatively small group. Although MSN has an extensive, responsive, and well managed support department, it is our impression that the “team” responsible for MSN Search is still very new, relatively small, and feeling its way. Despite all the hype by Microsoft that they are going to “bury” Google, Microsoft does not appear to be expending all that much effort on search. Just about everything about MSN Search is pretty primitive when compared to Google and Yahoo Search. Once your request has been sent to the “MSN Search Product Specialist Team” you may be in for a very long wait before you get any response. The “reinclusion” department at MSN Search may well be essentially non-existent.

Handling reinclusion requests at search engines is not a priority and reinstatement can reportedly take months or even years. Search engines often do not advise sites if they are going to be reinstated so site owners spend a lot of time waiting and wondering.