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I was wondering if anyone had experienced their homepage no longer ranking for a term and a subpage of the site ranking instead, usually lower. Why does this happen to some sites and not others?
and I sometimes suspect a bug in Google
By any chance does your subpage generate more usage signals than your homepage?
almost as if some type of internal usability test is being done to select the better of the two pages.
I've also been noticing that those indented clustered results (of two results for a query) that we used to see are much rarer now than they used to be (or perhaps they've vanished entirely), and I've assumed that Google's simply being tighter about its serp real estate.
often replacing the exact position of the homepage listing with the internal page - almost as if some type of internal usability test is being done to select the better of the two pages.Sounds like a redundant test - it's almost a guarantee that an internal page would be #1 better targeted and #2 better from usability stand point (one-page sites being a special case).
On using the site:mysite.com command in google the home page was not ranked first. Infact it was about three pages down.