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Index page only - gone from Google

 8:49 pm on Sep 29, 2010 (gmt 0)


I have a strange problem and I wonder if anyone else has seen something similar recently...?

My site still ranks number 1 for my main target keyword but it no longer lists the index page, but one of the sub-pages.

I used to rank top with my homepage, along with the sub-page links but it changed on the 22/23 sept.

I now have the top position on the same keyword but for a subpage and consequently my bounce rate has gone up and my revenue has gone down. When I click 'see more results from www....' it still doesn't show the main index page.

The site is 7 years old and has had a steady growth of backlinks (no unusual linking patterns). I haven't made any changes on the page for several years apart from removing the odd dead link, but nothing recently.

I still rank at number 1 so it's not the end of the world but revenue has gone down by 30% so it's not ideal..

if anyone can shed any light on this I'd be very very grateful!





 9:56 pm on Sep 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

This can be a kind of bug that happens just once in a rare while, as Google moves data around on their back end. Before Caffeine, it usually "fixed itself" in a couple days. How long has this been happening for your site?


 6:30 am on Sep 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

I only noticed it yesterday, but my traffic logs indicate that it happened on the 22nd September. I don't ever remember it happening before...


 8:50 am on Sep 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Check for canonical issues.


 10:22 am on Sep 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

If you do a search with site:domain.com *** -view does it show the main page? It sounds like it has been made supplemental for some reason. I had the same problem with one of my sites for a little while, still haven't pinned down exactly why it was though...


 3:18 pm on Sep 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have one important page (not the index page) that has been dropped for about the last two months. It popped back in for about a week a couple weeks ago, and then disappeared again. The page is redirected, but other redirects work fine, so I have no idea. But I wish I knew. It used to be one of my sitelinks, and there are a lot of incoming links to it. The page still shows a TBPR of 4.


 3:18 pm on Sep 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Nope, the index page doesn't show when I do site:domain.com ***

Did yours come back then?


 5:31 pm on Sep 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yes it came back in and is showing in searches now, I can only imagine it had some kind of penalty attached to it but still scratching my head as to why.


 6:04 pm on Sep 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Sometimes we've seen this happen to a very GOOD site - a site that Google has on a kind of "trust whitelist". Those domain roots are (or at least used to be) stored in a separate data center and then imported to a main data center, just before those results got pushed live to google.com.

You could watch this happen if you were intensively watching Google results by IP address. Once in a while that data import of the "high trust domain list" will go buggy and end up with an incomplete polling of the data-set. The result? Some missing home pages (domain roots) from good websites. When this is the case, the missing home page data does re-appear in a relatively short time - a couple of days or so.

(note: whitenight called this the "ghost data-set" if you want some keywords
to do a site search [webmasterworld.com] for past discussions)


 10:30 pm on Sep 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the info tedster. I would consider this site a 'GOOD' site... meaning 6-7 years at the top position with 3500+ natural backlinks. It also had the sub-page links under the top-spot listing (which have now gone).

I'm more hopeful now that things will return to normal and this is just a glitch... fingers crossed!


 4:46 pm on Oct 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Just to let you know, my index page returned today, so it did indeed seem like a temporary glitch.


 5:13 pm on Oct 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Do you link to "/" or to "/index.html" within your site?


 5:51 pm on Oct 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

it did indeed seem like a temporary glitch

But it lasted two weeks? ouch!


 7:19 pm on Oct 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Do you link to "/" or to "/index.html" within your site?

I always link to the domain name only for the index page (http://www.domain.com/)

But it lasted two weeks? ouch!

Just over 3 weeks, but at least it's back.

The sitelinks haven't come back yet and now I have the top 3 positions with the same site (the 2nd and 3rd aren't indented either which is odd) so I expect it to change a bit more before it (hopefully) settles.

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