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Week old page ranks no 1 - then disappeared from Google index completely

 11:50 pm on Dec 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

i got a blog with decent traffic and ranks good for its keywords.

i wrote a new blog article last week, and as always was indexed immediately by google (in couple of hrs) it ranked on page 1 for its keyword. I checked the page for 3 days and it was still on page one.

...then on day 4, i typed the keyword in google, gone from page 1, i than did a site search for that page, the page has disapeared from google index completely, checked all the other pages, they are all fine and ranking well as usual.

i wrote a new page on a different topic, it got indexed already,

any clues as to what could have happened to that page? its 2 days now and still no sign of that page in google. i spend quite some time writing the content and it was all orignal.

completely clueless



 12:17 am on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

One possibility is that your blog post was included in the "minty fresh index" for a short time (and subsequently expired), but hasn't yet made it into the main index. I've been seeing this for quite some time now on blogs and other sites that update frequently.


 2:35 am on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

It's not at all unusual for a new page to get a 'false high' for a short while, then disappear ... only to reappear a little later at a more appropriate level which is more likely to 'stick'.

there's no 'official' explanation that I'm aware of, but the way I look at it, Google gives you the 'benefit of the doubt', then spiders a few more pages of related content, and realizes they were too generous, then finally, after a complete 'cycle' or two of soidering yours and related sites, a true picture starts to emerge.

My theory (and I'm not entirely alone wth it!), may be utterly wrong ... but it fits the facts :)


 3:32 am on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

My guess about those "honeymoon" good rankings -- they are Google's way of not missing out on a new site that gets hot right away. But it does need to get REALLY hot for those rankings to stick around.


 4:31 am on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

I agree w/ Tedster and Quadrille, only have a slightly different take on it. I think Google bumps you up to page one for several reasons. I think they bump new content to page 1 and blend it in as a bit of a trial to determine things like:

1) If this new web page were on page 1 of the SERPs, what kind of CTR would it have.
2) What kind of bounceback rate would they have (do users find this page useful and relevent for that particular keyword phrase for which they might naturally rank after some time and inbound links. They may even be calculating some type of initial relevance score - possibly one of their hundreds of ranking factors - that they can use in their algorithm until such time that the page can actually rank on it's on).
3) It gets fresh content to page 1 that might be breaking news or a fad or hot topic.
4) It keeps the SERPs diverse, mostly showing old proven results with a sprinkling of fresh, untested content. The SERPs would be pretty boring if I could search for the same keyword every day for several weeks in a row only to see the same 10 results day after day because we all know changing your rankings can sometimes be like watching grass grow.

Like Tedster said, if that page gets LOTS of clicks and starts accumulating lots links it might stay there and outrank other old, stale content. But if not, it will likely quickly fade.

There are probably 50 reasons they do this and different things Google is testing and monitoring while the new content appears on page 1. It probably gives them an initial idea as to the quality of the content on the page. yada yada yada

[edited by: ZydoSEO at 4:34 am (utc) on Dec. 30, 2008]


 6:28 am on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

thanks guys for the feed back,

i am aware of the fact that fresh content usually rank higher and than it corrects itself, however i never see them completely disapear from the google index, this would be the first time i am observing it.

rainborick, Quadrille can you confirm if the blog articles you guys are talking about, do they disapear from the google completely or are just shoved at the back during the correction


 9:18 am on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

It is not ususual for a complete disappearance; ut check it by searching for [a unique string of text from the page].

If it does not reappear, somewhere, after a few days, then there may be another problem.

There is at least one link to the page from another indexed page, I'm assuming.


 3:39 pm on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yes, they can disappear. It seems that the "Minty Fresh" index is separate from the main index. Much like the Supplemental Index, Minty Fresh pages are intermixed with pages from the main index to produce results. So that it's not uncommon for a page in Minty Fresh to appear for a few days, lose freshness and expire, and no longer be in any Google index. Matt Cutts discussed the Minty Fresh Index in 2007, and I started seeing this disappearing page phenomenon soon thereafter.

At a guess, I'd say it's most common for blog pages because many blogs are updated frequently - which qualifies them for Minty Fresh, and yet they also often simultaneously lack the PageRank etc. necessary for re-crawls (either in terms of depth or frequency) by the standard Googlebot. So there can be a period of time when a page seems to "disappear" until the standard Googlebot revisits the site.


 6:54 pm on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Google seems to have kind of a temporary "be nice to the new site" thing. Quite often I have seen a temporary high ranking, usually just for a few days, on new or updated sites.

I have often wondered if this is an intentional +900 boost or something by Google to give new sites visibility for a short time.


 7:02 pm on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi there,

Please check in Google info about 'sandbox effect' in new web sites and Google Supplemental Index (SPI. You can find several articles and comments about both problems.


 7:56 pm on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

The Minty Fresh Index is a separate issue from the temporary boost that Google gives to new sites. This really only applies to established sites that Google has noted for frequent updates where their most recent posts will appear in the top results for a short period while the information is still "fresh". It's Google's way of integrating up-to-the-minute information within a universe dominated by older, more established documents on the same topic.

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