#1
  1. No Profile Picture
    Registered User
    SEO Chat Explorer (0 - 99 posts)

    Join Date
    May 2019
    Posts
    19
    Rep Power
    0

    Post Did 403 forbidden harm my ability to rank?


    Hello seochat. I just joined and this is my first post, and I am mostly a newbie, so bear with my questions.

    My first question is about the fact that I hid my site with a 403 forbidden in .htaccess from 2/2017 to 3/2019.
    I did this to hide it while working on it before making it live - but maybe this was a mistake?
    Now it is live and I have taken a few first stabs to start marketing it / available to search engines.
    Would google penalize me - thinking it was not a good site to rank?
    In webmaster tools I only show 6 links, and they are all from 301 redirect from the .biz version of my domain.
    Yet I have listings in about 70 directories from Yahoo Small Business. Ahrefs, Moz and Semrush show between 5 and 15 links,
    but webmaster tools shows none of them, and I know they are there. Yet, I do show up in certain searches, so it must know about the backlinks?
    I do have 52 pages in google's index. I have read that only google webmaster tools can show all your backlinks and that
    the tools like Ahrefs can only find a small portion of them, yet for me it is the opposite. thank you.
  2. #2
  3. Dinosaur
    SEO Chat Mastermind (5000+ posts)

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    5,349
    Rep Power
    7411
    The 403 wont matter providing its now removed.
    The fact that in google search console its showing indexed pages is a good thing and shows google is now crawling your site.

    Your linking building though worries me. Directories are pretty much pointless except a few niche type directories. All directories should contain in the link rel="nofollow" so google will basically ignore it for helping you rank.
    However if it's possible I would remove the links from these directories if the links dont have the nofollow tag as they could harm you longer term if not already.

    The reason google are not showing the links, I would imagine they just don't trust the sites and hopefully ignoring them.
    IMHO
  4. #3
  5. No Profile Picture
    Moderator
    SEO Chat Scholar (3000 - 3499 posts)

    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,188
    Rep Power
    3708
    As soon as you remove 403 status code and let Google and the other SE's see the pages you will start to be indexed. You need to understand that being indexed and ranking for your keywords are two different things. Being indexed does not imply you will rank on page 1.

    Google Search Console will only show you a portion of your links, it is not 100% accurate. It never has been 100% accurate, nor never will be even by Google's own admission.

    Ahref is the industry standard tool for finding backlinks, probably the best on the market, but that is just my opinion. Understand that no one tools will ever show all of your links.

    Of those 70 directories you're listed in, not all are equal. Directories are not what they used to be 10 years ago.

    9 out of 10 of all websites get 0, "Zero", Zip, Nada, No traffic, but they are indexed.
    If you have never failed in your life, you have never achieved anything Noteworthy !
  6. #4
  7. No Profile Picture
    Registered User
    SEO Chat Explorer (0 - 99 posts)

    Join Date
    May 2019
    Posts
    19
    Rep Power
    0
    Originally Posted by KnowOneSpecial
    As soon as you remove 403 status code and let Google and the other SE's see the pages you will start to be indexed. You need to understand that being indexed and ranking for your keywords are two different things. Being indexed does not imply you will rank on page 1.

    Google Search Console will only show you a portion of your links, it is not 100% accurate. It never has been 100% accurate, nor never will be even by Google's own admission.

    Ahref is the industry standard tool for finding backlinks, probably the best on the market, but that is just my opinion. Understand that no one tools will ever show all of your links.

    Of those 70 directories you're listed in, not all are equal. Directories are not what they used to be 10 years ago.

    9 out of 10 of all websites get 0, "Zero", Zip, Nada, No traffic, but they are indexed.
    Thank you for the advice. I want to clarify that I removed the "hiding" in .htaccess / 403 in March 2019. I wanted to know
    though if hiding it for so long (2 years) somehow made google "suspicious", but according to another poster, no.

    Regarding the directories, there is a standard list provided by yahoo small business. (I think this is done by Yext, I think I read this).
    This includes Yelp, snapchat, foursquare, yahoo itself, yp.com and other similar yellow pages. At least for the larger ones, especially
    yelp and foursquare I would think I would want to keep them? Even though they are not "niche"? I have read that directories with low
    domain authority should be avoided? What other criteria should I use to determine if I should keep them?

    BTW, I am fine for now with getting practically no traffic.. I would say that the site is not fully ready, and it would be premature for me
    to start getting traffic now - I wouldn't be able to handle the business yet - it's a work in progress.

    I have used Ahrefs and it knows about more of the links than any of the other tools.
  8. #5
  9. No Profile Picture
    Registered User
    SEO Chat Explorer (0 - 99 posts)

    Join Date
    May 2019
    Posts
    19
    Rep Power
    0
    Thanks for your reply. It's good to know that the prior 403 doesn't matter. Regarding the link building - see the other reply by KnowOneSpecial - but I would think that they would not not trust sites like Yelp, or foursquare, or yp.com and similar?
  10. #6
  11. Dinosaur
    SEO Chat Mastermind (5000+ posts)

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    5,349
    Rep Power
    7411
    Your correct sites like Yelp are respected sites however all their links are nofollow so therefore wont help or harm your SEO efforts. They may bring you some traffic but most people now tend to search google and not use a directory service so the traffic you might get has dropped drastically over the recent years which is why they are struggling. Some offer reviews which can help but that of course is if you pay them.

    Comments on this post

    • KnowOneSpecial agrees : They drive traffic
    IMHO

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 3
    Last Post: Aug 21st, 2012, 10:24 AM
  2. 403 Forbidden
    By floraqueen in forum Google Optimization
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: Oct 17th, 2006, 11:20 AM
  3. Keyword forbidden?
    By Eric.Cho in forum Keyword Research
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: May 19th, 2006, 04:42 AM
  4. Google has forbidden my IP
    By Bruno in forum Google Optimization
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: Sep 1st, 2005, 12:33 PM
  5. Sharing C blocks harm our rank?
    By upiko in forum Google Optimization
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: May 20th, 2005, 02:00 AM

IMN logo majestic logo threadwatch logo seochat tools logo