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Google temporarily de-indexes Wix sites

Wix site owners have enjoyed ease of use, but with Google de-indexing them, many are reconsidering their position on virtually renting versus owning their site and their destiny.

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Wix users get hit with the Google stick

If your business website was built with the online website builder tool, Wix, you may be noticing a recent dip in user activity. In fact, it’s likely that you are experiencing a major decline in activity due to a recent issue causing numerous sites powered by Wix to drop off the Google index.

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The appeal of Wix lies in its affordability and ease. Wix’s easy-to-use site building process eliminates the need to hire web development experts, making it an attractive option for start up businesses hoping to save money. Unfortunately, because all Wix sites use one main platform, individual webmasters experience much less flexibility and control than they would with a personalized platform. And, when one Wix site starts having problems, all Wix sites are likely to suffer a similar fate.

Forums have been flooded on this topic

Google Webmaster Help forums have been littered with discussions over the last two weeks about Wix sites that have disappeared from the index. The search engine has issued an apology for the hassle, and told Wix users that they’ve taken another thorough look at the set-up of Wix sites. There may be a delay, but Google is working to resolve the issue on their end by reprocessing all affected sites.

For any Wix users unsure if your site has been affected, now is the time to take a look at your site’s search data for anything fishy. Ask yourself: Is there decline in index counts in your Google Search Console? Is there a sudden decrease in traffic from Google Search? You might also try performing your own Google search to see if your website can be accessed.

Don’t lose valuable business

If your Wix site has indeed fallen off the Google index, you are losing valuable business each day. Even worse—there is nothing to do but wait for Google to start reindexing, which they are in the process of doing.

Building your own platform through web management tools like WordPress is a great alternative to sites like Wix that hinder individualization and give you limited control. Even as new brands, its invaluable to have a strong website that allows you to own your own content, and your own destiny.

#SadWix

Hannah is currently a writer and student in Colorado Springs, pursuing her master's degree in Creative Writing at the University of Denver. Before becoming a Staff Writer for the American Genius, Hannah wrote website content and grant applications for a law office in central Minnesota.

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53 Comments

53 Comments

  1. Pingback: Google désindexe les sites WIX

  2. Jacobus Lavooij

    October 27, 2015 at 6:14 am

    I have no clue why business people use Wix. Yes, easy, but when you are doing business, keep to your core business and have someone else build your website. Anyway, Hannah, thanks for pointing it out. I hadn’t heard of the problem yet. Always good to know and another tool for the ones that sell websites to close the client to use something else (like WP).

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  4. James

    October 27, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Can you post some of the sources to this? I’m not finding much else aside from this article.

  5. Pingback: Google temporarily de-indexes Wix sites - The American Genius - TAO Inbound Marketing

  6. Phil Simon

    October 27, 2015 at 11:50 am

    In a word, wow. That type of thing could puncture Wix’s business model, certainly for new clients.

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  8. Andrew Anderson

    October 27, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    The truth is Free Website builders are never free. They in fact can cost you your whole business. Get yourself a hosted WordPress site and be done with it. Why put your financial future in someone else’s hands like that? If you have a real business then you need a real website.

    Cheers,
    Andrew Anderson
    ContinualCustomer.com

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  11. Andrew

    October 27, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Does anyone know specifically what caused the deindex, whether it was Wix’s actions or a fluke?

    Not arguing for them in any way, but the article does seem a little biased against them.

  12. Kansas City

    October 27, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Proof positive that you need to own your own asset as much as possible. WIX, Weebly, these could go belly up at any time (and Wix has, essentially). Only your own site can prevent these kinds of penalties (unless, of course, you use spammy SEO tactics)

  13. Bryan Rempel

    October 27, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    Great article. I have been talking about this for months after learning WordPress, and still having about a dozen sites on a similar website builder to Wix. I have been with this unnamed company for over a dozen years (starting with Home and ending with Stead), and they have been punishing their customers with an upgrade over the last two weeks, making thousands of sites un-editable. If you are with such a company you cannot migrate your years of work and hundreds of hours of development to a new website service provider. You are a “renter” not an “owner” of your website. I have replaced about half my sites over the past year with WordPress sites that I can pack up and move to a different host whenever I want. I now “own” my work and can control it. These so-called free websites are like Hotel California, “You can check out any time you want, but you can never leave.” I am now working on the rest of my sites to get them out of website purgatory.

  14. ryan

    October 28, 2015 at 12:01 am

    Ive always hated wix. It ruins businesses as people are cheap and always go for whats cheap and easy. But, like most things, you get what you pay for. Maybe our industry will get a bit busier now 😀

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  17. Alexis Kasperavicius

    October 28, 2015 at 7:38 am

    You kind of made the argument for using Wix: Google is paying attention, they will fix it. Do you think Google would fix a bug in their ranking code, much less respond to you if it was only affecting your site?

  18. arun

    October 28, 2015 at 9:49 am

    sometimes im fear because iahve one site in wix

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  22. Tyler

    October 28, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    I’ve transferred a few client sites from Wix to WordPress so I got a chance to see the backend of Wix. It is actually a decent platform for simple sites, but falls short when it comes to complex CMS, advanced services, and complete customization. One problem, as seen today, is all these sites are squeezed onto the same servers. I’d imagine it has to be quite a task to keep that server clean from spammy sites.

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  28. Larry Launstein Jr.

    November 6, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Not a fan of Wix at all. Too limited in design options and a SEO nightmare. Prefer WordPress and HTML-CSS better. Even with so many templates in each format, you can take them and call them your own, especially the premium templates.

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  34. David C. Brandon

    December 18, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    Wow, thats a huge hit right there. Why would G specifically target these?
    Generally speaking and regardless to this ‘update’, Wix users are not thrilled with their online presence on search engines.

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  43. John

    February 22, 2016 at 11:25 am

    Although it’s odd that Google would penalize Wix user sites as a whole, I can tell you from dealing with users of free website builder services like Wix, there has been a decline in user satisfaction as a whole.

  44. Pingback: Sites feitos com Wix são desindexados pelo Google | #LCBRblog

  45. Pingback: Build a website with WIX?No way!5 Reasons to not build a wix site

  46. Pingback: » Google de-indexes Wix sites!

  47. Michael

    June 1, 2016 at 8:11 am

    Where is the truth in this I have 20 wix sites and none have suffered any penalty.

    • Lani Rosales

      June 1, 2016 at 12:22 pm

      You’re right – it was a temporary de-indexing, and many felt no impact whatsoever.

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Social Media

Twitter branches out into voice chat – what could go wrong?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) We’re learning more about Twitter’s forthcoming audio chat rooms, but what is Twitter learning about moderation?

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Twitter open on a smartphone on table next to a cup of warm brown tea.

Twitter wants you to talk more with more people. Like, actually form words. With your mouth.

In November 2020, the micro-blogging giant announced it’s testing its new Audio Spaces feature, which allows users to create audio-only chat rooms – making it what Wired calls a copycat of the new and buzzy Clubhouse app.

Twitter itself hasn’t released many details, but tech blogger/app-feature detective Jane Manchun Wong has been tweeting some of the deets.

How it works

Here’s what we know about the private beta version, according to Wong: Users create a chat room and can control who is admitted to the group, whether it’s the public, followers, or followees. Group size is currently limited to 10. Members can react with a set set of emojis: “100,” raised hand, fist, peace sign, and waving hand. Spaces conversations are not recorded, but they are transcribed for accessibility. It uses Periscope on the back end.

One thing that’s not clear: The actual name. Twitter’s announcements have been calling it Audio Spaces, but the product’s handle is @TwitterSpaces.

It’s Twitter! What could go wrong?

The big gorilla in the chat room is moderation – as in, how do you keep humans from being terrible on Twitter?

We can all be forgiven for skepticism when it comes to Twitter’s aim to keep Audio Spaces safe(ish). Twitter can be a toxic stew of personal insults and even threats. Interestingly, Twitter is starting its test by inviting users who are often targets: Women and people from marginalized groups. Great idea! Who better to help craft community guidelines?

Requiring platforms to shut down hate speech and violent threats is having a moment, and Clubhouse is already in the controversy mix. Even as invite-only, the app has had some high-profile failures to moderate with threats toward a New York Times reporter and a problem anti-semitic conversation. It seems likely Twitter is paying attention.

Also on the safe(ish) side: The space creator is all powerful and can mute or kick out bad actors. Spaces can also be reported. Then there’s the transcription, which sets Audio Spaces apart from similar apps. Chat transcription was aimed at accessibility but, TechCrunch suggests that might help keep things civil and appropriate if people know their words are being written down. Hmm. Maybe?

Also… Why?

It doesn’t appear that there was a groundswell of demand from users, but Audio Spaces at least is something different from the feature pile-on making the social media big dogs start to look the same, as in Twitter’s also-new Fleets, Instagram’s and Facebook’s Stories, Snapchat’s… Snapchat. (See also Instagram’s Reels, Snapchat’s Spotlight, TikTok’s… TikTok.)

Clubhouse does appear to be hugely popular in Silicon Valley – and it has the investment capital to show it – so maybe there’s something to this audio-only chat thing. But we’ve already seen pandemic-fueled Zoom-happy-hour-fatigue, as users have gotten frustrated with too many people talking at the same time. Video chat can give users at least a few more clues about who is talking and who might be about to talk. Audio-only chat seems like it could quickly devolve into a chaotic cacophony.

But, Twitter says, conversation will flow naturally, and it advises users to “be present.”

“Just like in real life, the magic is in the moment,” it says.

It’s beta testers will surely have a lot to say about “magic” and “moderation.”

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New Pinterest code of conduct pushes for mindful posting

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Social media sites have struggled with harmful content, but Pinterest is using their new code of conduct to encourage better, not just reprimands.

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Pinterest icon on phone with 2 notifications, indicating new code of conduct.

It appears that at least one social media site has made a decision on how to move forward with the basis of their platform. Pinterest has created a brand-new code of conduct for their users. Giving them a set of rules to follow which to some may be a little restricting, but I’m not mad about it. In a public statement, they told the world their message:

“We’re on a journey to build a globally inclusive platform where Pinners around the world can discover ideas that feel personalized, relevant, and reflective of who they are.”

The revamp of their system includes 3 separate changes revolving around the rules of the platform. All of them are complete with examples and full sets of rules. The list is summed up as:

  • Pinterest Creator Code
  • Pinterest Comment Moderation Tools
  • Pinterest Creator Fund

For the Creator Code, Pinterest had this to say: “The Creator Code is a mandatory set of guidelines that lives within our product intended to educate and build community around making inclusive and compassionate content”. The rules are as follows:

  • Be Kind
  • Check my Facts
  • Be aware of triggers
  • Practice Inclusion
  • Do no harm

The list of rules provides some details on the pop-up as well, with notes like “make sure content doesn’t insult,” “make sure information is accurate,” etc. The main goal of this ‘agreement’, according to Pinterest, is not to reprimand offending people but to practice a proactive and empowering social environment. Other social websites have been shoe-horned into reprimanding instead of being proactive against abuse, and it has been met with mixed results. Facebook itself is getting a great deal of flack about their new algorithm that picks out individual words and bans people for progressively longer periods without any form of context.

Comment Moderation is a new set of tools that Pinterest is hoping will encourage a more positive experience between users and content creators. It’s just like putting the carrot before the donkey to get him to move the cart.

  • Positivity Reminders
  • Moderation Tools
  • Featured Comments
  • New Spam Prevention Signals

Sticking to the positivity considerations here seems to be the goal. They seem to be focusing on reminding people to be good and encouraging them to stay that way. Again, proactive, not reactive.

The social platform’s last change is to create a Pinterest Creator Fund. Their aim is to provide training, create strategy consulting, and financial support. Pinterest has also stated that they are going to be aiming these funds specifically at underrepresented communities. They even claim to be committing themselves to a quota of 50% of their Creators. While I find this commendable, it also comes off a little heavy handed. I would personally wait to see how they go about this. If they are ignoring good and decent Creators based purely on them being in a represented group, then I would find this a bad use of their time. However, if they are actively going out and looking for underrepresented Creators while still bringing in good Creators that are in represented groups, then I’m all for this.

Being the change you want to see in the world is something I personally feel we should all strive towards. Whether or not you produced positive change depends on your own goals… so on and so forth. In my own opinion, Pinterest and their new code of conduct is creating a better positive experience here and striving to remind people to be better than they were with each post. It’s a bold move and ultimately could be a spectacular outcome. Only time will tell how their creators and users will respond. Best of luck to them.

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Facebook releases Hotline as yet another Clubhouse competitor

(SOCIAL MEDIA) As yet another app emerges to try and take some of Clubhouse’s success, Facebook Hotline adds a slightly more formal video chat component to the game.

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Woman forming hands into heart shape at laptop hosting live video chat, similar to Facebook's new app Hotline

Facebook is at it again and launching its own version of another app. This time, the company has launched Hotline, which looks like a cross between Instagram Live and Clubhouse.

Facebook’s Hotline is the company’s attempt at competing with Clubhouse, the audio-based social media app, which was released on iOS in March 2020. Earlier this year, The New York Times reported Facebook had already begun working on building its own version of the app. Erik Hazzard, who joined Facebook in 2017 after the company acquired his tbh app, is leading the project.

The app was created by the New Product Experimentation (NPE) Team, Facebook’s experimental development division, and it’s already in beta testing online. To access it, you can use the web-based application through the platform’s website to join the waitlist and “Host a Show”. However, you will need to sign in using your Twitter account to do so.

Unlike Clubhouse, Hotline lets users also chat through video and not just audio alone. The product is more like a formal Q&A and recording platform. Its features allow people to live stream and hold Q&A sessions with their audiences similar to Instagram Live. And, audience members can ask questions by using text or audio.

Also, what makes Hotline a little more formal than Clubhouse is that it automatically records conversations. According to TechCrunch, hosts receive both a video and audio recording of the event. With a guaranteed recording feature, the Q&A sessions will stray away from the casual vibes of Clubhouse.

The first person to host a Q&A live stream on Hotline is real-estate investor Nick Huber, who is the type of “expert” Facebook is hoping to attract to its platform.

“With Hotline, we’re hoping to understand how interactive, live multimedia Q&As can help people learn from experts in areas like professional skills, just as it helps those experts build their businesses,” a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch. “New Product Experimentation has been testing multimedia products like CatchUp, Venue, Collab, and BARS, and we’re encouraged to see the formats continue to help people connect and build community,” the spokesperson added.

According to a Reuters article, the app doesn’t have any audience size limits, hosts can remove questions they don’t want to answer, and Facebook is moderating inappropriate content during its early days.

An app for mobile devices isn’t available yet, but if you want to check it out, you can visit Hotline’s website.

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