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Though Google has indexed half the website and its home page, I cant make the home page appear in the SERPs. When I search by URL, I get one of the website's other pages at position 4.
Google webmaster tools doesnít highlight any issues. It shows back links for certain pages but says the home page doesnít have any back links. Its as though it doesnít want to acknowledge any back links for the home page.
What could be wrong?
About six months ago I added a few new pages to a small site, along with a dozen or more links to each of page from older pages on the site.. Google quickly indexed the new pages, and they are doing pretty well in the rankings for their main keywords. But Webmaster Tools still doesn't show any internal links to them. In fact they aren't even on the list of pages with internal links. I'm beginning to think that some kind of bug or error has affected Webmaster Tools in this case. But apparently it hasn't affected the indexing or the rankings.
Checked again this morning. No crawl errors, home page indexed but not showing any back links. Still cant get the home page to display in the SERPs.
I initially thought it just needed a little time for Google to put its data together, but its been over a month now.
In the past I have had the exact opposite experience as you, which is to say, new sites do very well at first, then after a certain amount of time, they settle back into a more realistic position in the SERPs. We've talked about it a lot here at WW, calling it the "Google Bounce" and the "Google Gift".
I've not put up any new sites since Personalized Search was activated, or for that matter, since Caffeine. I do take note that the current thread here about "80% visitor drop" corresponds to your own time period, so it's at least possible that you are not the problem -- something is going on with Google and maybe the thing to do is to give it more patience than was required in the past. It sounds like you've checked over all the obvious stuff, so this may be a case where doing nothing additional is the right thing to do, at least in the short term.
Google has all the historical data for the niche you're targeting regarding inbound link acquisition....
[edited by: tedster at 6:36 pm (utc) on Dec. 31, 2009]
[edit reason] switch to example.com - it cannot be owned [/edit]
One internal links says it was 'last found' Dec 13, 2009
and have several external links dated Dec 10, 2009
My conclusion on this is that I believe links were deliberately held back until manually approved.