Google Algorithm keeps bug sites in a weird way.

In a Google Office Hangout, John Mرller answered the question of how long it takes Google to re-rank a missing and returned website. Part of the response revealed an insight into Google’s unusual problem that prevents a website from ranking any keywords, not even the domain name.

John Mرller described it as an intermediate state.

Background information about Legacy Domain Penalty

What I have encountered only a few times is so rare that it has no name, so I call it an inherited domain penalty.

Legacy software is old software that cannot be changed because many people use it. For this domain issue, this is a penalty that is associated with the domain but does not appear in the Google Search Console so it cannot be removed.

There is no way to determine if a domain has been affected by this type of penalty and the site cannot classify anything, not even its own domain name.


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But since the Search Console does not register a penalty, there is no way to submit a review request because the Search Console reports that there is no penalty.

John Mرller was fined an inherited domain in a hangout during office hours two years ago. He asked the person managing the site to go through the URL.

I monitored the URL for a few months and after about a month and a half the domain started ranking normally.

I wrote about this issue here: Site cannot rank on Google: Is this inherited domain a penalty?

This type of penalty appeared around 2004 on a marketer’s domain that was new to SEO. He did not know why his new site could not be ranked.

On the surface, the site looked good because the Google Toolbar showed a page rank, indicated by a green bar on the toolbar.

The domain did not display the mark of the convicted domain, which is not a PageRank, but appears as a gray bar instead of the usual green bar on the Google Toolbar.


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So I and others looked at it and decided that someone else had used it as a spam site before.

The marketers contacted Matt Kitts, a Google engineer, and Matt removed the fine.

But Matt never explained that he had done the weird fine that was attached to the domain but did not appear as a fine.

Over the years no googler has ever explained what the penalty was and it was so rare that many SEOs didn’t even know it.

So the mysterious domain level penalty was hidden in the mystery; until a few days ago.

John Mرller recently discussed a rare domain level penalty that looks exactly like what was seen in the past.

The site gets stuck in the convicted state.

John Mرller was answering the question of how long it takes to restore domains that are not available. They discussed the temporary shutdown due to technical issues and also updated a complete site where a website undergoes extensive changes.

Then he started talking about the length of this “weird” penalty, which seems to be an old bug in Google’s algorithm.

This is in response to spammy activity on the Big Domain and according to John it can last for many years.

This mysterious inherited domain matches the details of the fine.

John Mرller describes it this way:

“The other thing I rarely see is that a site gets stuck in our systems in a weird way in which;

At some point our algorithm reviewed the website and found it absolutely awesome and for some reason it took a long time to re-update these parts of the algorithm.

And sometimes it can be many years.

These are things I have seen all the time but they are extremely rare.

So the chances of any kind of random website getting into it are very low but this is something where if you struggle and you really see that you are fixing a lot of things and it seems like nothing If it doesn’t work, get in touch to use it and see if we have something that can get stuck.

But, I would say, at least technically, they get resolved very quickly.

Strange things stuck in the algorithm side, I would say it’s very rare these days, especially if something happened; five, ten years ago and your site got stuck in a weird elongated state. Is as far as reaching and seeing. If there’s anything weird about it, it’s always worth it. “


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Symptoms of ranking limbo penalty

The site M مولller spoke to two years ago was unable to rank on any of the keywords, not even its own domain name. The weird thing about this is that once a month for a few days the domain will be able to rank for its domain name at the bottom of the first page or at the top of page two for a few days. But after a few days, it will disappear again.

A clear indication of this type of hidden penalty is that it does not appear on the Google Search Console, the site cannot rank for anything, including its domain name, and the site was previously used for spam purposes.

Verification of previous use of the domain is possible through the free service provided on saves snapshots of websites taken in the past months and years.

With any luck the previous state of the domain will be shown.


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Many domain names have already been used. So it’s a good idea to check if the domain was used before registering and using it.


Rare Google puts big sites in the ranking limbo.

Watch M مولller discuss the rare ranking limbo penalty at the 24:48 minute mark:

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