Coming into the discussion late, sorry about that. And I'll apologize up front for the length. Just some observations first, then we'll get down to the technical stuff at the bottom.
I'm seeing very conflicting information, which leads me to believe that you're not facing a true
penalty, but something more transitory. A blip. Something which Google is having an issue with (see the GoDaddy threads everywhere.) Once the problem is fixed you may pop right back up there in the SERP's.
A couple of notes and niggles from my brief look:
I can't see the Toobar for any site today, which is probably a blessing.
The "LinkExchange" code at the bottom of your page is attempting to set a cookie on my machine. Now the page (and ad for that matter) still displays fine if I block it, so that shouldn't be the cause of the problem. But it's something to keep in the back of your mind as something to remove to see if it makes a difference.
According to Google Directory you're not PR0. Yes, I know the Toolbar is evidently showing something else, but... Google Directory
has your site sitting at 11 out of 40 on its scale.
Other strange things... If you do some advanced searches via Google you get something totally different from the standard search or even link: checking. For instance, www.ringdesigners.com site:www.ringdesigners.com
shows "about 53" pages on your site which have been indexed. However many of these, most in fact, contain only a title and no description. To me this normally reflects a site which is in somehow in flux. ie, it has a redirect established or something of that sort typically.
Also, if you do a www.ringdesigner.com -site:www.ringdesigner.com
search it returns "about 643" outside sites linking to you.
You've got some coding issues. Nothing too bad, but it could stand some house cleaning. First, you don't need the <style> and </style> in your RingDesign.css file. It's redundant. Second, if you're going to use CSS you really should need all of those <font> tags in the code.
I'm taking a wild stab here having not researched things thoroughly. Like has Googlebot been visiting you recently? What happens when it visits? What's in your robots.txt file? How about your .htaccess file? Do you have a vhost.conf set up for the site?
I'm simply not convinced what you've been experiencing is a site/coding/whatever issue. Sure hidden text is bad. Sure the code could use some cleaning up. Sure you need to be a lot more careful with your link exchanges. I agree with pretty much what everyone else has said, but...
Okay, okay, I'll get to the point. This is technical stuff but it needs to be said because it may be the entire cause of your problem.
There are some issues with your host and the way they have the DNS of your nameservers as well as your dedicated IP set up. Two problems, one potentially minor, the other a whopper!
The potentially minor one first. Your SOA (Start of Authority) lists your primary or master nameserver (feed05.webhosting-verizon.net). However this server is not listed at the Parent servers as one of your NS records. Bad form, but not necessarily a death blow. If everything else in your DNS is perfect. If you want to take a look at a DNS report for your domain go to DNS Report
to have a look for yourself. Ther are a few other warnings, but from experience the rest are pretty minor stuff which shouldn't have any large, adverse effect.
But that's not the worst problem; not by a long shot. Here's the kicker. According to the DNS servers out there on the 'Net, the IP number you're sitting on (I won't mention it on a public forum, if you need it PM me) has no Authority, or PTR record, anywhere. So when you do a Reverse DNS Lookup on the IP number you get thrown into a loop and nothing ever resolves. To see what I mean, try it yourself at DNS Stuff
. The Reverse DNS Lookup is the second one down in the center section.
This is a simple fix, but you can't do it yourself. Your host, or whoever owns the the IP block simply needs to add a PTR record for your IP number. Piece of cake, if you can get them to do it.
Now, is that the cause of all of your troubles? I can't say for sure because we don't know how Googlebot works exactly. However this much I can tell you... if
Google uses in-addr.arpa method at all (and I'm assuming they do since that's the standard) it's likely going to have a dramatic and detrimental effect because right now everything is looping. Basically, if Google does
use in-addr.arpa, to them it looks like your site/server has completely disappeared from the 'Net. So removing it from the SERP's would make perfect sense.
It's a heck of a lot more likely than getting penalized by Google for a couple of lines of hidden text. Of course as always, all of the above is nothing more than my opinion.
Edited by Randy, 13 November 2003 - 11:32 AM.