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Site Completely Gone From Google - Thoughts? Advice?

     
1:22 pm on Feb 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



One of our 12k-page website that is aged and has a PR4 had all 12k indexed fine on Feb. 13th (of course there was a decent amount in Supp.), then we got a great Valentine's gift on Feb. 14th and were completely dropped from the Google index. When I do cache:www.example.com, it says 'did not match any documents'. This site was getting around 1000 visits from Google a day.

I submitted a new sitemap via Webmaster Tools yesterday.

Obviously all Google referrals have dried up completely. I have read on this forum this happening to others, and then the sites came back.

Any idea what could be happening? The toolbar still says this site has a PR4. Could this site have been dropped by Google erroneously?

Anyone else have this happen recently or ever? If so, did your site get re-indexed?

[edited by: tedster at 4:24 pm (utc) on Feb. 15, 2008]
[edit reason] switch toexample.com - it can never be owned [/edit]

4:25 pm on Feb 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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



When I do cache:www.example.com, it says 'did not match any documents'.

How about when you do "site:example.com" search? And yes, there have been reports here of sites disappearing and reappearing mysteriously.

4:49 pm on Feb 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Hi aok88.

I think there is some kind of update going on at the moment. I noticed a decrease in traffic yesterday on 1 site, while today I'm noticing an increase from Google country specific sites.

Example

google.ca
google.th
google.ie

All I can say is don't be tempted to change anything on your site, wait until after the weekend and see how things are then.

6:14 pm on Feb 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Tedster,

When I do "site:example.com" search, nothing shows up as well. I am in full panic mode. It's gone and I don't know what to do. And I haven't made any changes, new links (that I know of), I haven't made any host or dns changes, nor have I even added pages to it recently.

6:23 pm on Feb 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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



Is there any input about spidering trouble in your Webmaster Tools account? How about feedback on your new Sitemap (might be too soon for that, I know.)

Also do a search for your domain name without any special operators - just enter example.com or www.example.com into the search box and study those results. Look for scraper sites, proxy server urls, "links" to you that use a 302 redirect instead of an anchor tag, etc.

Finally, do your server logs show any spidering activity from googlebot? And do you see any search traffic from Google at all?

If the situation goes on much longer, you have either been banned (that would be unusually harsh these days, unless you know you've been into the mischief) or it's a long lasting bug. In either case, after fixing anything you know is out of line, send a Reconsideration request from your Webmaster Tools dashboard - the link is on the bottom right side.

4:26 am on Feb 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Search for unique text. I did this recently on a new domain and found there were issues with another website who somehow appeared to trying to take my content.

What is interesting is that they had the exact same ip as mine. A search for my index page yielded nothing.

After I searched by unique text, I found the website, changed my ip, and blocked the previous ip in my website, and my index is now back with a new cache date

7:32 am on Feb 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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



Good idea, CainIV. And don't just copy/paste a phrase that includes punctuation and place it between quote marks - there's a apparently some bugginess in that area. So avoid punctuation inside your quoted searches:

To Comma, or not to comma - it can affect the SERPs [webmasterworld.com]

[edited by: tedster at 5:37 pm (utc) on Feb. 17, 2008]

10:59 am on Feb 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



If there is no site: results at all, you can't find anything by doing unique phrase either.
It is about penalty almost for sure. Check site for spam pages.
2:52 pm on Feb 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



A number of pages from my site fell completely out of Google the other week. Since your whole site is gone, I don't think this is your problem, but I'll state it here in case it helps anyone else.

A day or so previous my site had been down for a short while. But my hosts' servers weren't just unresponsive; rather, they were returning 404s from all my pages :O I had made zero changes to my site.

So I reasoned that what had happened is that Googlebot came rampaging in to spider when the site was responding with 404s - just my luck - and therefore decided to deindex those pages. This was confirmed a day or so later when a report of the 404s appeared in Webmaster Tools.

I immediately uploaded a sitemap and was respidered and the affected pages were back up in Google in a few days, but not before my hosts had cost me several hundred pounds in revenue. So I understand your frustration. Keep your eyes peeled on Webmaster Tools as that is your best source of information I reckon.

3:21 pm on Feb 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



but not before my hosts had cost me several hundred pounds in revenue.

Packpack,
For such an important site one should always setup failover server(s).

6:57 pm on Feb 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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



Search for unique text. I did this recently on a new domain and found there were issues with another website who somehow appeared to trying to take my content.

What is interesting is that they had the exact same ip as mine. A search for my index page yielded nothing.

After I searched by unique text, I found the website, changed my ip, and blocked the previous ip in my website, and my index is now back with a new cache date


New site and same IP are giveaways here. Google sometimes gets confused initially, though it usually sorts things out in a somewhat short time. I've even seen it get confused with a new site and a dedicated IP. An example from a couple of years ago was a new site launch, very strong out of the chute. For a couple of weeks a site: operator search returned results under the domain that was last based on that IP.
12:15 pm on Feb 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Someone in another forum wrote this to me regarding my problem:

It's happened to a lot of sites recently, and completely white hat sites. It appears to be a glitch of sorts, and chances are nothing you have done wrong.

Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a solution except wait and hope things come good.

Has anyone else noticed this? Has this happened to others recently as well?

12:27 pm on Feb 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Now another one if my main money sites has disappeared from the Google index as well! This couldn't be a coincidence. What the heck is going on?
2:31 pm on Feb 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I had the same thing happen to my PR5 site with over 15,000 indexed pages last friday. Completely gone from google? Webmaster Tools show not problems or penalties. I read in another forum the this may be a google data center problem and that I should be patient and it would probably return. However, it's been over a week now and I'm not sure what to do?
4:04 pm on Feb 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



This is very unusual. If this were a Google datacenter problem we would have thousands of webmasters shouting here on the top of their voices but it seems we only have two right now. Are you guys absolutely sure that your websites have not been hacked, your robots.txt file not rewritten?
8:36 pm on Feb 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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



Could this site have been dropped by Google erroneously?

That did happen to me once. If you have a clean site and don't know why it would be banned you can write to them very politely, and if it was due to an error on their part, they may be able to correct it. But it might be a good idea to have someone unbiased review your site and you marketing methods first. Many sites that people complain about here and on other webmaster forums as being nice white hat sites often in reality did something spammy to get themselves banned.

Another reason for a site getting dropped can be technical problems with your site or your host.

[edited by: Jane_Doe at 8:41 pm (utc) on Feb. 17, 2008]

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 7:35 am (utc) on Feb. 18, 2008]
[edit reason] edited typo [/edit]

10:44 pm on Feb 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I think I have found something interesting:

I am friends with a competitor of mine, and one of his sites just got de-listed by Google on the same day as us. So we started looking at commonalities, and the one thing we found was that we both purchased links from one particular computer website.

So we looked at the other 13 links in the footer where our links were on this site (and it was obvious that all the links were text link ads), and 10 of the 15 websites ALSO were de-indexed from Google.

Now, could that be a coincidence? No way. In fact, doing a search for our two websites, the only site that came up in the Google SERPs was this damn site we had the links on.

Also, the company that does the advertising for this computer website is an SEO company, and they have had problems with Google before which I discovered by doing a search.

If it is true that this site that had 10 outbound links to sites that are all out of the Google index (which is highly unusual), then 1 bad site that points to you can indeed knock you out. Of course, this may be a special case where they targeted this SEO company and sites that were associated with it.

So, were we knocked out of the index programatically/algorithmically or manually?

11:47 pm on Feb 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



whoa, if this really happened someone pressed the wrong button at Google...

I mean... would you believe they'd delist buyers before sellers... out of any other reason than a huge miscalculation?

 

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