Oh great and wise Google, what have I done to offend thee?


Ive been wondering for a while now, why this site ( http://steeev.freehostia.com ) is no longer appearing in Google search results. In fact it apparently hasnt been in there since December 2007! I know this because I signed up to the Google WebMaster tools site. And they can tell you when your site was last indexed by their robots. Though the annoying thing is theres no way of finding out the reason why they are no longer spidering you.

I tried the google webmaster faqs on the subject, and I also tried asking in the google webmaster group on google groups, but didnt really get any nearer to finding out the cause of or solution to the problem. I searched for quite a while, for a way to actually contact someone at google and ask them what the problem was. I had more or less given up on ever finding out.

Then today, i had a brainwave, I tried a google search, for the text “how can i contact someone at google and find out why my site is not in their index” and found a great resource all about it called “Banned By Google?” There they explain what the reason might be, and how to find out if you are banned. One of the things they said to check for was a faulty robots.txt file, and they have a nifty tool for checking this for you. And this led me to find what could possibly be the cause, it wasnt the robots.txt file that was faulty, the tool told me that it was getting a 302 temporary redirect for that file. So I investigated further, and found out that if i type any random filename on my site, I get a 302 temporary redirect which redirects to a html 404  page that is instead of returning the correct 404 (file not found) status code, its returning 200 (ok)! pretty mad! It seems the site is setup this way by default, pretty crazy isnt it?!

Now I could understand why this might possibly be the cause of why my site is not showing up in the Google index. Well I looked up my hosts faqs on the subject , and they explain how to make the 404 page actually return the correct 404 error code. Now fingers crossed, I might actually get some sweet, sweet google juice once more :)

UPDATE As per the advice at the above mentioned article i sent an email to help@google.com to ask why my site wasnt being indexed, but apparently they dont accept help queries at that address, they sent an automated response saying i need to contact them via http://www.google.com/support/ Blimey Ive tried to find a way of contacting them before via their support system, and it wasnt easy. Anyway luckily, they seem to have updated their webmaster tools site, to include a system for contacting them and asking them to reconsider reindexing your site. So i’ve tried that, and they said it may take up to a week or 2 for them to reply. Fingers crossed my site will be back in google soon.

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