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Is there a proper/reliable test to find out whether a third party site has been banned by Google?

An old SO question mentions using:

site:PLACE_URL_HERE

Is this a reliable option?

Someone has mentioned the Safe Browsing API, but it does not seem to cover for banned sites.

Ideally, I would like to implement some Javascript code taking in a url and returning true/false if the site has been banned or not.

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  • Short of what you have already mentioned and what is given in Google Webmaster Tools, Google does not give any clues for a site penalty. This is intentional. Doing a site: search for a site that has performed well for a solid period of time and finding nothing is a good clue. – closetnoc Oct 30 '14 at 19:33
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Using site:domain.com will see if its been completely de-indexed, but that's pretty harsh on the scale of penalties Google can dish out. Others you may want to try are:

  • Seeing if they rank for their brand term. If its uncompetitive and they are not #1, this can be a sign they have had a penalty
  • Check the PageRank to see if its 0, although unreliable these days as its updated not very often. But if they have lots of backlinks, and 0 PageRank thats a pretty good signal to see they have been penalised for selling links.
  • SearchMetrics has general website traffic monitoring, which has shown in the past decreases for websites in rankings

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