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1000-page site disappears from Google
but pages retain their PR

 9:55 pm on Feb 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

I spent 7-months enlarging a site which first appeared in Google in May. Then on December 28 the entire site (1000+ pages) disappeared from the Google index.

I'm trying to figure out why, and what to do.

I thought if it was banned, the PR would go to 0 and spidering by Googlebot would cease. But all the pages have retained their PR (including the newly added pages) and the site was VERY heavily spidered by Googlebot in January, and then lightly in this first week of Feb.

Having been spidered in January, I thought surely the site would reappear at the end of the month, but here we are Feb 8th and it's still not in the index.

My traffic (=ad revenue) has dried up so I've gotta do something, but I can't figure out what.



 11:56 am on Feb 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

it happened to a my friend too.
in his case i think there was a problem of duplicat content eith excessive optimization; pr=5, but no results in google


 12:06 pm on Feb 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

You are not alone

Part I

Part II


 5:03 pm on Feb 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

My traffic (=ad revenue) has dried up so I've gotta do something, but I can't figure out what.

Seems like the first thing you should have done in December was to dropped an email to Google -- which is also what you should do now.


 5:10 pm on Feb 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

You're not alone. Many people, including myself, have seen their sites vanish with the last 2 updates. Doubtful Google will respond with any real solution to this issue if you e-mail them (but worth doing anyway) so use the time to splash out on $$$ for some Adwords and keep building more sites/content. There is talk that this is all a "process" for a bigger, better Google - so perhaps things will clear up in a few months....


 5:14 pm on Feb 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

I had the same thing happen to me. I tried multiple emails to Google over a period of 6 months and received no response. The site was the best educational site for its area with no reason it was dropped. Strangely its pr when up to a pr 5 until this last when the pr was greyed out. There is not much to do when Google decides to randomly drop a site. Before the site was dropped it was #1 for a major keyword phrase for about a year. The only changes made to the site were the addition of more education unique content.


 5:26 pm on Feb 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

There is talk that this is all a "process" for a bigger, better Google

There will be always 'talk' about a bigger and better Google or another search engine for that matter :) which happened from the beginning when the internet becomes popular and will continue as long as there is such thing as internet.

But, if we are talking about bigger and better process. Why release a half bake process when it's not ready yet?

The disappearing site act was never a major problem before with the 'old process' and most often those that have their site disappeared from the index have something to do with not following guidelines.

Why change a stable process in favor of a unstable process? That doesn't sound logical to me.

I'm in favor of change for the bigger and better Google but the transition have to be smooth and tested well before releasing any changes to the public until then talk of a better process is just fantasizing.



 5:32 pm on Feb 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

I agree totally with what you are saying Net_Wizard. Perhaps my "Process" wasn't sarcastic enough ;)


 5:37 pm on Feb 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

Just making it clear in case it might be misinterpreted :D


 9:05 pm on Feb 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

You don't always get a "canned" response from
Google. Sometimes your email goes to a person who will try to help.
I've had both types of responses.
Just write a warm, professional email. And keep your fingers crossed.


 10:15 pm on Feb 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

So my conclusion is that its a "duplicate content" issue between an early incarnation (site A) and a more advanced version (site B) of the same material.

The pages are NOT duplicated, but do share some major elements.

So, best differentiate the sites some more before sending Google "the friendly email".


 1:52 am on Feb 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

[quote]So my conclusion is that its a "duplicate content" issue[\quote]

There is no way for you to draw a conclusion based upon our speculation :-). Only Google can tell you why.


 4:24 am on Feb 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

So my conclusion is that its a "duplicate content" issue between an early incarnation (site A) and a more advanced version (site B) of the same material.

Did you change the URLs when you upgraded the site? Are the old (duplicate) pages still in Google's index? If so, you want them out. Put noindex in robot.txt files on all of the old pages, or 301 redirects to the equivalent new content.

Finally, do you really mean "disappears from Google", or just not ranking well in the SERPs? If they have PR they are probaly still in the index. Enter the exact URL of a missing page into Google to find out, or do the

site:yourdomain.com.au -dsadsadsa

to see all of your pages that are in the index.


 6:32 am on Feb 9, 2004 (gmt 0)


We're talking of two sites with different URLs, an origianl and an upgraded/expanded version of the same material where the pages are not duplicates of the original, but do repeat some material.

On the site that went down, the PR is still there, and Google is spidering like crazy, but absolutely zero traffic from Google. Nada.

It seems it's not a matter of not ranking well, but of not in the index. Substituting "my-domain" for the actual URL which I used in the Google searchbox:

I tried [my-domain.com...] in the Google searchbox and got
"Sorry, no information is available for the URL www.my-domain.com"

Also, following your suggestion, I tried
site:http://www.my-domain.com -dsadsadsa
site:www.my-domain.com -dsadsadsa
site:my-domain.com.com -dsadsadsa
in the Google searchbox and got in each case
"Your search - ................ -dsadsadsa - did not match any documents"

Since the site dissappeared Dec 29 and didn't resurface Jan 29, I'm assuming I've got a problem.


 6:50 am on Feb 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

Isf that's the case you may need to get a new domain name and trash the old one.


 10:34 pm on Feb 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

hmm doesn't look good. I'd say you'd been banned if it wasn't for the PR - strange. Seems you should definitely be in the index. Sticky me the URL if you like.

From what you've said I don't think you've done enough to earn a duplicate content penalty, and that shouldn't get your site removed completely anyway.

It might be temporary. I'd say wait a bit if you can afford to and, as you say, work on differentiating the old and new sites some more (if you must keep the old).

If you do decide to ditch the domain name and start with a fresh one, make sure all your current site's content is out for good; noindex, nofollow. I wouldn't recommend it though - if you can't identify the problem it might happen again.

- BTW have you done searches for big chunks of your content to see if anyone else is stealing your content?


 10:48 pm on Feb 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am concerned about this.. I had 2 sites, but then merged them into 1 site of about 400 pages total. All pages are unique except they share global navigation elements. My concern though is that the old site has every page listed in Google, and I through a custom 404 page relating to anything that hits the domain. The 404 page has links to the combined larger site, but how will Google view:

1. All old links indexed as a custom 404 page (there is only 1 page in the whole directory
2. All content now moved and part of the new and improved larger site I am working on?



 2:09 am on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't know dude - but I have a PR8 site with 500 pages that is showing EXACTLY the same symptoms as you describe.

You are not alone - for whatever that's worth.


 4:14 am on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

It would appear the site has been dropped from the index because too similar to an earlier version. I'm told the PR remains on the pages because of the backlinks.

And I presume Google is still spidering the site because they expect me to remove dup content from the site.

So where do I send the "please reinstate me" email to Google?

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