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Home page has vanished from searches

     
12:45 pm on Oct 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Firstly let me apologise if this is in the wrong place or a basic question but I'm in a panic. When I search for the keyword in google, my index page used to be first in the list, no its noweher to be found, but there are sub pages that are showing up, inclucing my xml sitemap.

Any ideas hwtas happened, have I messed something up.

Thanks in advance guys, Im worrying

1:18 pm on Oct 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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just noticed that when i do allinurl: mysite, the only page listing is my xml sitemap.

Am I missing something here?

2:08 pm on Oct 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I have exactly the same problem with 2 client sites the home page is dropped and the site map is now being shown for search for their name.

The first sites home page went missing last week and the second site I noticed today.

2:22 pm on Oct 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Same issue here - this is a disaster!
2:32 pm on Oct 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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what is this? Is it while google is updating the serps? Should the sitemap appear anyway? Im guessing you dont dissallow the sitemap with the robots file as its job is to get crawled.

Any pros out there that knows?

2:32 pm on Oct 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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seeing it on 3 sites - wondering if maybe something has gone a miss here
2:39 pm on Oct 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I hope the roll it back quickly, seeing it accross about 1/4 of websites I watch.

Some real big sites been taken out too!

2:40 pm on Oct 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Okay being doing some more looking and noticing it on more client sites, did a check of other sites and can see the same thing across the web.

I have checked the xml site maps and all page priorities are fine.

In all cases we see either an html site map appearing or a location page instead of the home page.

3:21 pm on Oct 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Dubhglais, are you saying everything is fine? Quick Q, what is the priority setting for your xml sitemap itself? 100%?
3:58 pm on Oct 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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No everything is far from fine. :(

We are seeing the home being dropped from a number of sites and in the the html site map returned.

In reply to your question I not sure what you mean, the xml priorities for the html pages 1.0 for home and normally 0.8 for the html site map, we don't set anything for the xml because it's not included.

4:05 pm on Oct 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Sorry Dubhglais, having a blonde moment there, I saw sitmap with a priority in my xml, it was the html sitemap page, not the xml itself.

I've done some searching and things are moving around, my concern is that I am dropping further and further down the Serps. The xml sitemap link isnt showing up as much as before.

5:19 pm on Oct 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Tons of sites hit hard in Google.se, mine and friends.

Seems totally random and with zero logic.

Searching for the site name will bring up two products from the store, not the startpage.

5:33 pm on Oct 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I have noticed that my sites that have been effected had links from my blog pages. Do yours sites have this or maybe its just a coincidence
5:36 pm on Oct 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I can see this on one site too - a bit of a mystery, frankly, as there's nothing untoward about the site at all.
6:18 pm on Oct 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I've seen this on two sites today as well, homepages have dropped about 20-30 places but other pages maintain good rankings.

Hoping it will shake itself out

6:21 pm on Oct 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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just ran test an a geocities site was ranking above many older sites - think we need to sit back and wait for G to realise they have made ANOTHER balls up of an update
5:43 pm on Oct 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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< moved from another location >

Hi,

My 1 year old webite is running good, but suddenly my homepage url is not longer listed in google; My other domains are still there and I'm receiving still plenty of organic traffic.

What's going on?
Why is my homepage domain gone?

Even when I search on the name of my website, it doesn't show my homepage url...

[edited by: tedster at 6:37 pm (utc) on Oct. 31, 2008]

9:35 pm on Oct 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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this just has to be a friggin bug or mistake on google's end
10:13 pm on Oct 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Lots more talk about this vanishing Home Page problem in our October SERP Changes [webmasterworld.com] thread. No official word from Google about it, but I agree, they've got a bug.

We've got to wait it out, I guess - what else is there to do? Definitely don't start making a lot of changes trying to "fix" it right now, unless you see a technical issue for your site that needs fixing anyway.

10:24 pm on Oct 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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For the examples I've seen, the homepage remains indexed and is retrievable, but is substantially downgraded. The result is that quite a few (less competitive) "brand" searches now fail to return the most relevant site. Seems to me like an existing filter that has been re-applied much too harshly.
10:39 pm on Oct 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Glad to see that I'm not the only one seeing odd results.
11:15 pm on Oct 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Andy, I agree we have been watching this all afternoon and evening (UK time). It appears that the home page is being downgraded & being replaced by a site map or some other page such as location, about us, 404, etc. Major brand clients not affected but around 50% of our SME clients affected in some way. Nothing to worry about me suggests.
2:50 am on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I had same problem today with two of my sites and now everything seems to be back. I wonder was someone playing with knobs at plex. I just hope it stays this way :)
3:37 am on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Really interesting, watching a competitor that has been pinned to #1 for 5 kw combinations that I am after drop to #45 for one of those, #5 for 3 others. That site, red-widgets.com kept his #1 position for red widgets only. Our 9 month-old site has now replaced his 1+2 positions for red widget (singular).

On the other hand, our newly awarded sitelinks are not being displayed anymore, but still appear in WMT. And now top of page two for "prefix widget" where we only use "pref. widget" - dropping from #5

Time to join the Halloween party and take a fresh look in the morning.

3:39 am on Nov 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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This thread is now a kind of parallel discussion to the Google SERP changes thread [webmasterworld.com]. So I'm locking this one - let's take the rest of the discussion over there.
 

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