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A few of my key pages are no longer in Google SERPs and I don't know why!

     
5:06 am on Nov 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

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A couple of days ago I noticed that my ranking on a couple of key terms fell dramatically. I just figured out it's because the two pages that used to rank highly are no longer in the Google SERPs...at least I think that's going on. When I search site:mydomain.com they do not come up and I can't find them in the organic listings.

Is there any reason that pages would be removed from the SERPs? They are blog posts, nothing fishy going on. I'm perplexed. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
7:04 am on Nov 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Are they recent posts? How recent?
7:13 am on Nov 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Both are from August. They are both also in my sitemap, so I am not sure why they would be dropped from the index.
8:21 am on Nov 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Are you on wmt? Did you get a form letter?
8:35 am on Nov 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I am using WMT and did not get a form letter, nor do I have any manual actions listed in the account. Many of my other pages/keywords are still ranked #1. I resubmitted these URLs and a new sitemap today, but I am not sure what else to do.
9:24 am on Nov 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

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@lina

Have you tried searching for a text string (using quotation marks) from those pages?

That is a fairly reliable way to check whether they are in the index. It is also useful to highlight copied content (if, e.g., your page has been dropped because it is identical to a scraper's copy of it).
10:11 am on Nov 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

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@Wilburforce

I just searched for a text string and the page does not come up. I'm pretty sure it's out of the index. I just have no idea why.
11:47 am on Nov 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

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If you view page source for the affected pages in a browser, does it have a <meta name="robots" ... > anywhere?

Did anybody remove any URL in WMT? In WMT click Google index -> Remove URLs and choose removed in the box at the right.
12:00 pm on Nov 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I just searched for a text string and the page does not come up. I'm pretty sure it's out of the index.


In that case it is likely.

1. Do other pages come up?
2. Check WMT, as previously advised by other posters.
2:31 pm on Nov 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

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@netulf The affected page has <meta name="robots" content="noodp,noydir"/>, but this is from Yoast Wordpress SEO that I just installed today. There was nothing like that when it fell out of the index a few days ago.

Under remove URLs it says "No URL removal requests."

@Wilberforce The only page that comes up is an index page from my site with an except from that page, ie. page/4
I've set it now so those pages aren't submitted in my sitemap.

What specifically should I be checking in WMT?
2:39 pm on Nov 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

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One of the two affected URLs is back in the index, and ranking at #1 for the keyphrase that it used to rank #1.

The other URL is still out of the index. I just don't understand why this would happen. Google works in mysterious ways.
7:45 pm on Nov 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I just don't understand why this would happen.

Google has been updating their algorithm for over the last month. Pages may come and go while ranks may go up or down. This is common during major updates.
 

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