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Dissappeared for only certain queries

     
9:04 pm on Oct 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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We have a website that has ranked well for competitive term "widget widgets". We have also ranked well for less competitive related terms "widget widgets uk" and "buy widget widgets".

We have also ranked on the first page for the term "widgets".

In an update today I have discovered that while we still rank for the less competitive terms such as "buy widget widgets" and "widget widgets uk" we have completely disappeared for the term "widget widgets".

We still appear on the first page for the term "widgets" but it is only the URL showing (ie no description or page title).

I'm hoping maybe this is a Google crawl issue, but our headers are fine as are any sim spiders I run across the site. In fact we have changed nothing in recent times.

I've never seen this before - anybody have any comments?

10:34 pm on Oct 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member annej is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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I've had a incidents where a page disappeared for certain phrases while it still ranked well for simular pharses. Sometimes these things come and go and are not worth spending a lot of time on.

If it's an important phrase see if you can get some inbound links with the missing phrase in the anchor text. Don't overdo it.

You can also change some of your internal links to reflect the missing phrase.

Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I think it is sometimes caused by glitch of some sort rather than a penalty.

12:59 am on Oct 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member steveb is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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Also mentioned here [webmasterworld.com...]

This "disappearing for some searches but not others" phenomenon happened in a widespread fashion a few months ago.

The URL only part for your page though is not something I've seen with other pages though. That URL phenomenon happens briefly sometimes though when they are updating like today, so perhaps it won't continue for you.

1:59 am on Oct 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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Interesting to note that this behavior echoes part of what websites experience that we call the sandbox effect. And way back when it ws first being noticed, GoogleGuy did say that the effect was a combined result of several different filters. So perhaps just one of those filters has been dialed up a bit?

[edited by: tedster at 5:53 pm (utc) on Oct. 21, 2006]

5:43 pm on Oct 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Checking back today all seems to be back to normal. Very strange, but will keep an eye on it.
1:59 pm on Oct 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've noticed this happening with my websites too. Occasionally it will disappear or move to the second page on some searches but remain #1 or top 5 on others, also the results will change drastically so instead of returning 50,000,000 with the search it is only bringing in 28,000,000 results so I figured it is Google tweaking the filters.

I don't worry about it as it usually works itself out again.