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Now, ranking for all but a couple of phrases for the 'pages from the UK' option have either dropped to around the 5th or 6th page, or disappeared completely. The homepage has also gone from the 'pages from the UK' SERPS.
A site:domainname search lists the pages in the site ok when performed in the default search, but lists all pages APART from the homepage when done with the 'pages from the UK' option. Also, a search for the domain name shows the homepage in the #1 slot in a default search, but a search for the domain name using the 'pages from the UK' option shows the same list, but no homepage anywhere.
When the homepage goes, of course, it's probably a penalty of some sort.
The site is hosted in the UK on a shared IP, physically located in the UK. I have located other .coms on the same IP and their homepages show up fine when the domain name is searched for using the 'pages from the UK' option.
Has anybody experienced homepages going missing or penalties which are only triggered with a GEO option?
Any ideas greatly appreciated - this is really confusing me.
Have you done anything that may have triggered a penalty?
Do you have any suspect links that may have 'gone bad' - the link exchange shakedown is still going on, I think, like a slowly falling house of dominoes.
But as you say, it sounds very much like a penalty, so you need to start by checking the site very carefully.
Get stuck into this thread for more info: [webmasterworld.com...]
I've been waiting since June 2005, and Google haven't come good yet.
My advice would be to always have projects in reserve for when Google results have gone astray. That way you're always developing something, rather than datacentre watching (Which IMHO is a total waste of life). ;-)
All the Best for a quick recovery
If I use UK datacentre IPs, the homepage and rankings are there just fine.
Therefore the problem only happens when using the actual 'google.co.uk' URL, with the 'pages from the UK' option. As a poster in the thread that foolsgold linked to remarked:
>>>"From my experience when using the actual .co.uk address additional filters are used so that if you compare results with those at the IP address plus the UK bit of the data-string (from a .co.uk search) you get different results. You simply cannot replicate .co.uk results using an actual IP address. Much testing has proved this."
So the mystery for me now is: if this IS a penalty, why does the penalty only occur when a GEO option is used (it's the same index isn't after all), and if it ISN'T a penalty but is simply a lowering of relevance (as Google sees it) due to a stronger filter brought about by the use of the .co.uk URL, why does it drop the homepage when using the 'pages from the UK' option?
The only changes we've made to the site have been to remove some outgoing links we thought were possibly spammy - but again, if it's a penalty surely the penalty should occur in the default results too!