ASEmerson.com – Tech Connoisseur

Phone My Phone in Google Sandbox?

Posted in SEO by Anthony (Tony) Emerson on June 30, 2009

I wake up this morning – this glorious morning of the first day of my blog’s life – and can’t find my phone. In lieu of an actual cell phone to call my phone, I type “phone my phone” in the Google Toolbar to bring up the familiar PhoneMyPhone.com interface in order to retrieve it out of the deep confines of the comforter or to rescue it from piles of floor-clothes.

But today it didn’t appear in the search results – not for “phone my phone” or any other variant of the site’s name, and not for “site:phonemyphone.com” either. I witnessed, ladies and gentlemen, one of my favorite sites be placed in Google’s supplemental results (commonly referred to as Google Hell).

Picture 7

It works fine on Yahoo, which returns PhoneMyPhone.com as the #1 result just as Google did last week:

Picture 8

What’s the deal with Google Hell? [ (c) Jerry Seinfeld]

Why is this site – which offers a relatively unique service and has a good amount of “buzz in terms of blog inlinks – not showing up on Google and assigned 0 PageRank? I have three initial guesses:

  1. The site sells user information or is otherwise a scam (although this would likely incur Google’s dangerous content warning)
  2. The site has been penalized for its malevolent application as a prank caller by some users
  3. The site is being seen as spam by Google, either because of the keyword stuffing in the Meta tags, or because of the outbound links to reversephonedetective.com and freecellphonelookups.com

If it’s the first option, I have seen no evidence after using the service of any scammy behavior. The second option seems too far-fetched, as if Google employees penalize rankings of people who call them late at night. The third option is the most likely but I find it hard to believe that such minor infractions could bring about the quite serious repercussions of being removed from Google’s SERPs.

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