My toy train website train99.com dropped off Google years ago. I thought Google had banned the site because it was over optimized. I was writing articles about specific toy train models like the Lionel Mickey Mouse Circus Train, Lionel’s 402 locomotive, and American Flyer’s K335 Northerner Loco One of the plugins loaded links to eBay auctions below the content. The allowed readers to see what the trains were selling for on eBay.
Initially I did OK with the site. eBay paid me a few hundred a month for the traffic and the articles were based on trains in my collection, or on items I’d sold on eBay so I didn’t have to spend much time adding new articles.
Just before train99 fell out of Google, eBay changed their affiliate program and my earnings dropped so the site was only making about $25 a month.
I assumed Google had blocked train99.com and the money wasn’t worth the time to try and fix it.
Recently I’ve been playing with Google’s Webmaster tools for my ebay advice website. I added train99 to the list of my websites in Google expecting to see the site had been blocked.
It turned out there was a robots.txt file on train99 telling search engines to ignore the site. I wouldn’t have added this to my site, but it’s been years so I can’t say that for sure. I don’t even know when it was added since my site has been moved to different servers. I changed the robots.txt file and now I’m waiting to see what happens.
Two weeks after I changed the robots.txt file Google crawled train99, but has yet to index any pages.