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On further investigation there is no Google cache for my home page and a site:domain.com query brings back many pages but not the index.
I checked with my Google webmasters tools and it appears the home page has not been accessed by google bot since 24 May.
No major changes (minor either for that matter)have been made to the page, I have not been seeking backlinks recently and it is not a problem with robots.txt.
Any ideas what happened? and more importantly how to get back to where I was.
I've been doing a lot of reading here since my post above and I am hopeful it is a temporary situation.
Looking deeper into webmaster tools reports I see that my sitemap has "network unrecahable" errors against a ton of pages including the home page over several different dates. However, I am sure my uptime has been 100% for the last couple of months, so that seems strange in itself.
For now I've resubmitted my sitemap and will see if that makes a difference. Fingers crossed.
A poorly configured server may (for example) not respond to a non-www domain name, but be just fine when you use the www...(just an example, not saying that this is your particular issue)
I would probably look into "unreachable" meaning exactly that...The server is unreachable by G for "some reason"...(Networking Issue, server configuration issue, etc)
I doubt that a resubmission of your sitemap will change the situation.
If there is truly an issue with certain connections to your server, then the possibility of lost traffic rears it's ugly head. If G can't get there, then probably some "real" users may not be able to access the site either...
[edited by: Terabytes at 4:55 am (utc) on Aug. 9, 2008]
Terabytes: I have contacted the host to see if they can look into the network unreachable errors. Host tracker does indeed show one result showing the domain as unreachable.
After further investigation it looks like Google has been trying repeatedly to access the site but hasn't been able to succesfully since May 24th. The crawl graph in webmaster tools suggests it has given up trying now, with little to no crawl activity since mid July. I'm guessing it thinks my site has gone and is removing me as a consequence.
Tedster: thanks for that, I had a read through and hopefully mine will resolve itself too.
I'll update if anything new becomes apparent.