Domain Expiry and SEO
Previously, I talked about running an SEO campaign is a must. In this post, I will explain why hiring an SEO consultant is a must rather than an option.
Here is why:
Last month, I got a phone call from one of my clients with whom I worked on his website. Together (after all, it's a collaboration between the business owner and the SEO consultant) we were able to get a decent ranking on Google for his website. He was calling because he stopped seeing the same number of clientele and he didn't find his website anywhere on Google.
Checkout the below drop of Organic Traffic of the website!
My first thought was that he hired a black hat SEO company that got him penalized. Then, I realized the problem:
He forgot to renew his domain!
Yes, I know what you are thinking: Is it even possible?!
Of course this killed the SEO campaign and got the website removed from Google index.
I proceeded with the renewal and followed what other webmaster suggested, which is to wait for 2 weeks. Afterwards, the website should go back to normal.
After 2 long weeks of wait time, I re-checked, but nothing was changed. The website was nowhere to be found on Google. Even if I searched for the brand name!
So this is what I had to do:
1- Check The Index Status
First, I needed to check if I still have any indexed pages. You can do this with the "site:" operator on Google. In my case, I wrote "site:www.shadylabib.com" and noticed that I have 22 indexed pages.
Note: Before writing this post, I got my client's approval to disclose his business name.
So this means that his pages were still in Google index they just got demoted.
2- Google Search Console
Second, I checked if there were any manual action against the website.
Nothing was to be found. All seemed in perfect shape.
3- Re-Submit the sitemap to index
In this step, I decided to re-submit the sitemap to the index. This tells Google bots to re-crawl the pages and that the website is up and running.
This didn't get me the results I was hoping.
4- Check The Google Business Listing
It is known that once the domain is expired, Google tends to remove the website URL from the Google Business listing. It makes sense to prevent people from clicking on a dead link.
I went on and re-added the website URL to the business listing. After saving, I got a message saying that the update will be reviewed by Google's team within the coming 48 hours.
After 48 hours, I went back to check the status. To my surprise nothing was updated.
I re-updated the status 3 more times yet, nothing was changing.
This process took me around 1 week without any positive results.
5- Contact Google
My last resort was to contact Google directly regarding the business listing and that I was not able to update my website address. I explained that I have gone through the previously mentioned steps without any results.
I was told that the issue was resolved and the URL has been updated.
It was confirmed that Google had a penalty applied on my client's website. The penalty was nowhere to be seen. However, once it was removed, I saw the URL back to Google business page, I got the website promoted to the first place on Google Search for different keywords and we got the traffic restored. Here is how it looks like :)
Let me know what do you think. And, If you have any question, please leave me a comment below and I will make sure to get back to you with an answer.
Keep checking out my blog for the coming post about SEO 3.0