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How Not to get a Website Approved for Adsense

April 12, 2013

What sort of site does Google approve for Adsense?
The key is to have a unique and compelling site. Just because your posts are original does not mean they are unique and compelling. You site needs to offer something that no other site offers. Advertisers do not want to pay for adverts on lower quality sites.

Here is a good example: In my spare time I try to do some running and am aware of some of the issues in the running community and was recently searching for some info on one of those issues. I came across this site. Have a look at it. Look at the content. From my perspective, the content is compelling, readable, almost witty, but most important it is unique and the spin that the blogger takes can not be found anywhere else. I also recognize a couple of the names that appear in the comments section of some of the posts – they are well known and prominent people in the industry! What does that say about this blog? This is the sort of site that people would really want in their search results. If you were paying for Adwords in that niche, would you want your adverts to appear on that site via Adsense?

Why are there so few backlinks listed under the Google link: operator?

December 2, 2012

There are a number of way to find the backlinks to a site and one of the operators that Google make available is the link: command ( for eg). As others have noted, this command only ever shows a small random sample of the backlinks to a site and never them all. Sometimes that random sample contains no links. It is just the way it is. It is not a sign that Google is broken, or your site is penalized or Google is not counting all your links. To get a more detailed picture of the links to your site, use your Google Webmaster Tools. Ignore what you see in response to the link: command and do not make any conclusions, let alone decisions based on it.

Do I need a listing in DMOZ to rank well in Google?

October 4, 2012

No you don’t need a DMOZ listing!

DMOZ or the Open Directory Project is web directory that has been around for a long time and is owned by AOL and run by volunteers as a hobby. They look for sites on the web and process sites that are submitted to categories to try and maintain a directory of the web. After submitting a site, it can take up to a few years before your site is reviewed and even then there is no guarantee of getting listed as they are very picky. The reason it takes so long is that there are more new website created every day than they can volunteers can process. It will only get worse.

There is a lot of misunderstand and misinformation about DMOZ. There is a lot of angst among webmasters about DMOZ, especially if they cannot get their site listed. There are lots of allegations of corruption at DMOZ and a lot of obsession about DMOZ at almost all webmaster forums. Most of it is unhealthy, non-productive and waste of time and energy.

The reason for that obsession is the mistaken belief that you cannot rank well in the search engines without a DMOZ listing. Plenty of sites rank well without a DMOZ listing. Having a listing in DMOZ is a nice link to have, but it is no more valuable that a similar link from any other site. It is not a search engine magic bullet.

DMOZ is what DMOZ is. Accept it. Submit your site once to the one best category and forget about it (there is plenty of good advice available). There is nothing more you or anyone can do. You either get listed or you don’t. Ignore the rhetoric and scuttlebutt. Spending time and energy on it is not worth it. Spend that time on energy on something worthwhile that actually makes a difference.

Why is my site not indexed in Google?

October 3, 2012

If you search for your site in Google and it is not listed, then go through this check list:

  1. Make sure it is actually not indexed. Do a Google search for site: (for eg)
  2. If that shows there are no pages listed, then work through this:
    1. Make sure you are not using the noindex tag (common reason for WordPress sites)
    2. Check your robots.txt file to make sure you are not blocking the Google crawler.
    3. Check the logs to see if Google has crawled the site; if not check that there is nothing the web host is doing to block the Google crawler.
    4. If the site is new, give it up to several months; make sure you have submitted a Google sitemap and use the ‘fetch as Googlebot’ function in the Google Webmaster tools.
    5. Check in your Google Webmaster Tools account that there was not a request to remove the site.
    6. If it is a new site, then what was on the site before you owned it? Could it have been banned from Google for activities that are contrary to the Google Webmaster Guidelines?
    7. Google also tends not to index sites that have no backlinks to them from other sites, so make sure you have some links to the site (it is via the links that the Google crawler finds the site; and also probably makes an assumption that a site with no links is not that important).
    8. Is most of the content on the site copied from other sites? If so, then Google may not want to index your site as it offers no value to the web.
    9. Has a DMCA (copyright notice) been filed against the site to request Google remove it? (check at Chilling Effects)

If none of those reasons apply, then there is a high probably that Google has taken manual action against the site.  After fixing up the site; complying with the Google guidelines; then submit a reconsideration request.