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It just doesn't make any sense for Google to enact a penalty like that. I really think that idea was thought up by someone who's a member of the 'save face for google at all costs' club that loves to hang out here.
If they were going to make a change like that, why do it as the same time as converting to a rolling update? If this 'semi penalty' is real, then why does it coincide with the 'freshening' of pages, but go back to normal when the fresh pages drop?
My index page was MIA for 2 months on my main keywords.
Short appearances then gone.
As of today, they are all back on all datacenters and holding steady. Even moved up on some terms. (knock wood)They started showing up again yesterday.
It is as if the they were being held somewhere and when Google was done doing their switchover, the data was added back in.
Other search terms gaining ground rapidly.
Don't know why this has happened so late after Esmerelda, and I don't know if it'll stay like this, but it's thrown all my theories out of the window again...
Either google has started fixing stuff, or the whole DomEsme update was built on very old data and newer (less than 6 month old) sites rankings are starting to filter back through.
If anyone has any (I mean any) ideas as to what the hell is going on with the index pages yet, I'd love to hear them!
Are all of your backlinks showing? I posted a topic about this this morning, but I guess it got filtered out. I am beginning to think that all this "missing index page" stuff has ALOT to do with incorrect or missing backlinks.
I'm in the same boat as you. Index gone. BUT, I am missing a TON of backlinks. Only 20 show, and 16 of those are internal. Google is picking up my DMOZ profile as a backlink, but NOT my directory listing. What the heck? That right there tells me that something has GOT to be wrong. No wonder my index page doesn't show up, they are not calculating my good backlinks, including a handful PR8's.
Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be ANYONE who can explain this, and Google sure isn't having the decency to let us know. I emailed them, but got no response, as expected.
Added... Site isn't new either. Been holding steady at page 1 since early November.
Any way, after a period of both sites showing up, now, neither index page shows.
Personally, I think my situation is more to do with Google trying to aggregate the two domains rather than any penalty.
But I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has experienced index page dropouts...do you also have more than one domain pointing at that index page?
Personally I think something went awry with Domesme and things are gradually being tweaked back into shape. I think a lot of sites got thrown out with the bathwater, as it were.
If index pages can disappear for 2 months only to reappear at exactly the same position they were in before, with no server downtime explanation, then what cause can there be but that the new algo tweaks just went slightly wrong for some sites?
1. 7, gone, still gone
2. 4, gone, 9
3, 1, 7, 3
Interestingly our number of backlinks is up to 121 from 94,
but our PR dropped to 1 from 3. We were paying someone to
redirect a PR7 domain to ours for a couple of months, but
we quit that deal because the traffic coming from their
other sites wasn't worth what we were paying.
One more thing. For most of our links (all but 2 of 35 I
looked at), the toolbar PR is greyed out. Many of these,
the home pages have PR of 6 and over.
For what it's worth, my index is STILL gone. I have even made minor changes to density etc, in case I was too strong, but it has made no difference. There's no bounxing in and out here, just flat out gone.
Can anyone update if they are still missing, and/or/if/what you are doing to help the situation?
I've tried waiting it out, but man, it's been what seems like forever now.
My guesses are:
Site was returned to index by a freshcrawl, and was demoted again by whatever filter has killed the site since Dominic.
Google is broke.
Either way, nuffink I can do really as the site breaks no google laws, has no spam, no hidden anything, has no dodgy links, and backlinks anchor is the site name, which is the company name.
I wish Google would either: Update the webmaster guidelines with whatever rules are killing my site, or tell us that things are a bit screwed and that we should take a few weeks off.