I've been reading manyof the valauble information here for some time and today something horrible happened that made me register and ask for help.
I don’t proclaim to know much of anything about SEO but after four years with my site I’ve learned to build (what I thought was) a clean honest site with a necessary use of terminology that described what we specialize in, Waterproof Protective Cases to store and carry anything worth protecting. This approach, I believe, kept my site on the first page on Google when primarily using the term “Waterproof Cases” among other relevant terms. We never made it to #1 but #3 has been a consistent position for at least the last three years with several relevant keywords. Thank to our motto: “Great Products ~ Great Prices ~ Uncommonly Good Service” and thanks in part to our Google positioning we have enjoyed the development and growth momentum of a full time business that earns my family a decent living. Google has played a part in our success and I have always been pleased with them because (at least I felt ) they appreciated my honest site and products and in turn rewarded me with fair positioning.
Well, today to my dismay, I discovered that I can’t find my site on Google anywhere. My main keywords show everyone else but me. At least 20 pages down, and no www.FuerteCases.com
. Oh my god, what have we done? I am apparently still indexed somewhere in Google world as searching for the site name itself still yields results. Does this mean we are not really banned? I still don’t know what happened. Although we are always working at improving the site for our visitor’s experience I also made sure I was never spamming keywords, no hidden anything, trying to follow the rules and expected to maintain a decent position at Google.
FuerteCases.com (pronounced sort of like: Fwertae Cases) is a domain name that made sense at the time the business started and its logic at conception is a whole ‘nother story. Being in Southern California had some to do with it, but over the years I also learned that most people that don’t live anywhere near the Mexico border can sure have a lot of difficulty pronouncing it. Many avoid it altogether or bravely try it and those in Stevens Point, WI were happy with “Future Cases” . To help alleviate any possible embarrassment and ease remembering the company we decided a new domain should be started, a domain name more relevant for the search engines while we are at it. The new domain was going to be:www.TheWaterproofCaseCompany.com
and a whole new site was developed. The new site turned out so good that I decided I should just use it at both the domain names. I had all of my SEO efforts put into the first site and loosing it’s traffic was not an option and rather than doing a re-direct, I figured both identical sites co-could exist. I guess that’s called a mirror site.
Today I received a call back from an SEO firm I was shopping around for and of course my dropping off the Google map was the first thing I had to ask about. He figured it was because of the mirror site and that it was a huge no-no. He said that doing a re-direct would have been the way to go.
Can this really be the reason and what should I do to beg forgiveness and get myself back on Google?
For some reason It did not occur to me that a mirror site was a bad thing. I actually thought doing a re-direct would have gotten us banned.
Any help you could offer with this will be greatly appreciated
My best regards and thank you for a great forum.