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This 37 message thread spans 2 pages: 37 ( [1] 2 > >     
Index page does not rank today but is still listed

 9:38 am on May 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

I saw today that my visitors no. was down 25% hmm then I made a search for our main keyword and I was no where to be found, when I did a site: search the frontpage was also not listed at top, but if I do a www.domain.com im there.

Im not sure what this is, I personally think its a glich in there system, but I know others have had this experience also.



 6:29 pm on May 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yes, there have been some similar reports on the forum. Let's be 100% sure we're all talking about the exact same signs:

1. Site vanished from main keyword search
2. Home page not at the top of site: search results
3. Search on www.example.com still shows the site at #1

Have I got that right?

If so, can you confirm that on the main keyword search you are completely gone from the entire result set, and not just at the "end of results" - also known as -950?


 8:59 pm on May 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

tedster you are on the spot as always and yes im not in the "950"

I got another site where this happens every time Google updates, then its back a week later, but never on this site which is my big one, so I can feel the 25% less visitors.


 10:57 pm on May 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

Are you referring to just one keyword or multiple? Only one keyword(s) tends to be a 950. If you do a phrase search from the page is the site listed? If the phrases aren't coming up that could be a long wait.


 11:06 pm on May 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

its all keywords, if I make a phrase I do get 21 pages, but thats not unusual, but still think this will be a matter of days then Im back, but still want to discuss why such thing happen.


 11:12 pm on May 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

hmm found something wierd

http://www.mydomain.com/?ref=somedomain.com no idea what that is

[edited by: tedster at 11:32 pm (utc) on May 12, 2008]
[edit reason] de-link the url [/edit]


 4:18 am on May 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

but still think this will be a matter of days then Im back

Your instinct is what I would trust with your sites. Sounds more like a case of "popping in and out" than totally vanishing.

if I make a phrase I do get 21 pages, but thats not unusual

I don't exactly know what that means. Are you saying that 21 pages from your site or other sites are returned but not your index page?

If you do a search like below, without the com, do you get a box that says view more results from mydomain.com. Does the missing page appear there?

keyword domain

In your case due to the fact you're getting the pages returned in an acceptable duration of time I would check the server logs first.


 9:10 am on May 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

Outland I mean I 21 pages otherthen mine, but my idex page is also there, the other pages are fake search engines, where they have a part of my text, there is also trusted sites like stumble.

when I type domain with out www or.com yes my site comes first.


 3:27 pm on May 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

www.my-example.com/?ref=other-example.com this is what i find at top of the results, when I copy a part of my text and search for that on google, I have NO idea what /?ref=other-example.com is, but when I click include ommited results my domain is there also.

[edited by: tedster at 4:17 pm (utc) on May 15, 2008]
[edit reason] swithc to example.com [/edit]


 4:19 pm on May 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

tedster I wrote that url be cause I have seen that some places on google also so I thought it was some server stuff or something.


 4:26 pm on May 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

Some one has apparently linked to your site and put another site in the query string as a value for a "ref" (probably meant as referer) parameter.

One fix would be to redirect all "bad" query strings to the same url, but minus the query string. You can discuss the technical details for that kind of redirect in the appropriate forum for your server: Apache [webmasterworld.com] or IIS [webmasterworld.com].


 4:48 pm on May 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have added the string on robots.txt im not sure if that could do it, but thanks


 10:48 am on May 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have now create a little text for the htaccess, not what you have descriped but now all those weird pages ?ref=other-example.com are gone in Google so thats good, still my index page dont rank for the main keyword, also a site:mydomain search is my index page nowhere to be found and yes I do see it when I only write my domain in google.


 5:59 pm on May 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

we are in a similar situation with one of our <snip> websites - all started about the same time as yours.

We used to rank no.3-6 for main KW phrase with our homepage plus have some subpages also listed (around no. 15-20). Now, the homepage is gone and we receive only subpage position no. 15-20 now. Yes, the website is cached and crawled regurarly, no recent wild onsite factor changes, new content added meanwhile as well as for previous time. The website is .com about 2 years old with no black hat seo practices at all. Some 50 links exhanged for traffic (out of several thousands other links to us).

I believe it is a glitch in G system and will end up soon. The reason for my statement is that regardless of SERPs (and taking into an account other information provided above) when we do a "site:www.domain.com KW" search at any google datacenter provided, we still get our homepage listed first, BEFORE the other subpages (that are currently the only ones ranking).

The only bad feeling is that G engineers can fix it up much later than expected. I heard that it is about vacation time already :)

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 1:31 am (utc) on May 26, 2008]
[edit reason] removed specifics [/edit]


 10:31 am on Jun 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

hmm this just takes to long, im still missing my index how hard can it be to see that the page "index" whith the most internal links to it is the king page.

Please fix this google.


 11:28 am on Jun 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

I did notice that the index page ranks on some google. example .in maybe 5 different google loactions.


 3:21 pm on Jun 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hmmm, I just posted something similar and overlooked this thread. Sorry.

My Index page has hovered around the #5 spot for a long time for Blue Widgets, and has been #1 for Red Widgets. Yesterday I checked and for Blue Widgets it is gone altogether out of the serps. I went through the top 900+ results and it's not there, doesn't even look like a -950 penalty. I found 2 of my product pages in the top 100, but the Index page is no more...

For Red Widgets though, it's still at #1.

And, using the site: operator, the Index page still comes up at the top of the results.

This is not a new site.



 4:32 pm on Jun 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Same here.... also, still waiting, getting a bit confused. Spent the time building another websites meanwhile though.


 9:08 pm on Jun 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Just to be clear us all here we DONT have a Penalty, I still think it has to do with Google making a update to there search algo, so we will be back, but it hurts us, be cause we get less Visitors thats the Point.


 9:17 pm on Jun 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

I lean toward the same conclusion, zeus. There are many similar reports at the moment.


 1:09 am on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

I did notice that the index page ranks on some google. example .in maybe 5 different google loactions.

Based upon that it sounds like some geolocation problem.

The vanishing index/home page syndrome that I've seen reported in various forums for the past nine months shows some unique components. The page can be accessed in Google but it won’t appear with any direct phrase or keyword search from the page. This is consistent across all Google country engines and DC’s. The other pages of the site are seldom effected. Another aspect of this syndrome seems to be the index/home page is skipped over in the initial keyword or phrase search but will appear if you click on “more results from www. mydomain .com". I was trying to explain how to do this to Zeus.

If you can access the index/home page through any long-tail search you aren’t suffering from this vanishing index/home page syndrome. In those cases likely you have fallen victim to Google’s newer quality control features or the 950 penalty. I believe the new quality control features have some aspects exported from Adwords and do utilize manual reviewers.

Robert and Tedster though both present a clearer view of the problem and the things you need to look at first on your site that may explain your troubles before you consider this. This penalty seems to effect an aged site which has made some recent changes. From what other people have shown me nothing really black hat.

Bottom line though is many index/home pages are presently highly volatile in Google without any penalty. I believe this particular penalty though came from the de-emphasizing of the index page in all Google searches. Google was trying to elevate the sub-pages of many large sites that dealt in a variety of subjects. Basically you have to kill one to emphasize the other or vice versa. In my mind two different levels of optimization can't really co-exist in many cases. It also may deal with the way Google crawls now.

I call it a penalty because it has a definable exclusionary effect whether intended or not by Google. A thinner wallet is sufficient evidence for me though.


 7:22 am on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

To Outland88:

thank you for your reply. If we accept that this is a homepage penalty (is it permanent, did someone escaped out of it?), what is the way out then?

Lowering homepage onsite factors? Redirect 301 to deeper page? Sit and wait?


 9:33 am on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

outland88 - Still I dont see this as Penalty, it just a google flux that gets ones nervs.


 1:23 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Just to be clear us all here we DONT have a Penalty, I still think it has to do with Google making a update to there search algo, so we will be back, but it hurts us, be cause we get less Visitors thats the Point.

You are so right it hurts. Besides G killing this site the past several months, this is the last straw. And it's just a plain, simple ecomm site, nothing tricky or even close to black hat about it...

Update - as of a minute ago, the missing index page is back at #5 for Blue Widgets...
::shaking head in bewilderment::

edit - to clarify, I was not logged into GWT when I checked, don't know if that matters at this point or not...

[edited by: StaceyJ at 1:25 pm (utc) on June 4, 2008]


 3:02 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

To StaceyJ - Congratulations!

How long the dropout lasted? Did you changed anything?

Need some hope and good news :)))


 4:51 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

How long the dropout lasted? Did you changed anything?

I think it lasted about two days because I first noticed it on Tuesday I think. Since I usually check our main keywords several times a week I keep a pretty good idea of what's what.

I didn't change anything except to add a 4 word link to a coupon today, but that was right before I noticed we were back, so I seriously doubt that had anything to do with it.

It really stinks that we're so paranoid to do anything to our sites for what G might do to us, but I've got to the point that life has to go on and I can't just be afraid to touch the site fearing G, otherwise I'll not have any customers either way, from G dumping me in the serps to customers dumping me because of never adding/changing the website.

It's nice to see (today) that yahoo and msn searches are now sending roughly the combined total that G had been, so things are looking a lot brighter there at least...


 5:59 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Liborson this is one situation I don't give advice on. Some have recovered just by returning to a BU copy of page when they were unaffected. The caveat is don't touch that page for at least a month. Its almost like the 950 and could be dozens of thing. You really can't tell if its the penalty for about two months. Less than that you may have just flux.

With anything you change in Google now have a BU especially if you’re dependent on search generated traffic.


 11:03 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yes Im also back now, I think I was out 3 weeks.


 10:07 am on Jun 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

hmm now im gone again, but i think that is maybe some flux, be cause if i use a proxy to see results in USA Im there and other google version, so lets give them 2 -3 days to see what happens


 7:12 am on Jun 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi, this is just a quick update:

I was not able just to sit and wait... so I was very carefully playing with the onsite factors. Did not change titles at all, however rewritten some of meta descriptions (so they are even more appealing), plus erased some major kw links from homepage to internal pages (e.g. variations of blue widgets, blue widget, widget in blue - repeated about 4-5x at the whole homepage, now 2-3x).

After next reindexing (within 2 days) by googlebot the homepage went back to SERP immediatelly (about 20-25 position, used to rank top 5). Now, after a week or so, the homepage ranks no. 10 and hopefully will get back to its top 5 again.

So, from my point of view, it seems google has dialed down some onsite factors (especially KW links to internal pages) for some verticals - and then let some homepages out. Or they fixed the glitch and our onsite tuning is just an coincidence doing no harm either :)

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