|Strange Phenomenon - site disappears and reappears from SERP every few hours|
So, I rank #12-#13, depending on the day, for my main term...
I see a constant amount of traffic every day from this placement, it is a well written, great content site with no ads and some terrific inbound links from trusted sources like government sites and .edu's..
SO, I noticed this strange phenomenon today. I was looking through the SERPS for potential link partners and noticed OMG my ranking is gone. Completely gone. No site to be found.
So, I go to G's webmaster tools, everything's cool, no bans or anything, still in the index, and as a matter of fact, still showing at #4 for my #2 term...
I obviously freak out. Pull hair out for a few hours... Then, I search again. Whew! My site is right back at #12 where it's supposed to be. I go on about my business... About an hour later, I search again. Gone.
Can anyone shed any light on what the heck might be going on here? It seems eerie and strange that it would keep getting removed and then put back into and out of the SERPS like that on an hourly basis...
Welcome to the club! You should take read on the April serps changes thread as there is a ton of this going on.
The number one misunderstanding of Google and search engines in general is to view them as "one big super-computer." In fact, they are tens of thousands of machines, located in different datacenters all over the world.
And they do not get updated all at the same. Instead, changes are rolled out slowly, a few datacenters at a time, and a few machines per datacenter at a time.
As a result of DNS-based load-sharing, the "Google" you connect to right now is not the same "Google" you connected to five minutes ago -- It is a different machine at a different IP address.
So, you are simply seeing results on different Google machines, depending on when you connect.
If you see your brand-new site appearing and disappearing, but ranking well with increasing frequency, that is good news.
On the other hand, if you see your well-ranked site dropped with increasing frequency, then that is bad news. It is however possible that you're connecting to only partially-updated servers, and your data isn't loaded yet. It doesn't make sense to panic until your site disappears completely, because it might drop, or it might pop back -- You just can't tell.