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Intermittent page de-indexing by Google, then re-indexing... etc

     
6:11 am on Jul 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Hi Guys,

I am facing a strange issue. I have a page in my website which gets Deindexed by Google few times and after 1 or 2 days it indexded automatically by Google. I never blocked access of this page to search engines and never run any AB testing for this page.

Any reason why it is happening.

Note- It always remains in Google's cache.
7:23 am on July 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Hi Sett,

How are you determining and defining "indexed"? Do you mean that the page isn't always appearing when you run the site: command, as in...

site:example.com . . . where example.com is your domain?

Or do you mean it's periodically not ranking? (...and if it's not ranking, not ranking for what kinds of searches?)

Also, how would you describe the page? Is it the default home page, or is it less prominent in the site's architecture? And how long has this been happening?

Without revealing any specifics about the domain or your queries, please give us some background about the site and the page.

9:10 am on July 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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There's a lot of reindexing going on for many sites right now. One by one, sites are being reindexed to the Mobile-first Index.

In GSC I've seen my total number of indexed pages jump around, then finally settle back to the actual number of indexed pages.
9:59 am on July 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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It is one my product page. e.g. when I search site:mysite.com/myproduct.html on Google then sometimes it doesn't appear and when I resubmit Gooogle Webmasters Tools for indexing then after sometime (same day or maybe next day) it starts appearing on Google.

When It gets deindexed then it disappears from Google search results and comes back to search results when it reindexed. It has happened 2-3 times in past 30 days.
10:23 am on July 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Sometimes the Google index will drop a page that is similar to another page it likes better. Techinically the page is still indexed, but it can't be found with site:example.com. However, it may show up if you click the link at the very end of the SERP that says "some results have been omitted."

It sounds like this *may* be happening. The page comes back after you resubmit it, but after Google's algo has had a chance to process, it gets dropped.

You could try making some changes to the affected page, maybe adding content.
11:38 am on July 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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When It gets deindexed then it disappears from Google search results and comes back to search results when it reindexed. It has happened 2-3 times in past 30 days.

When it disappears from the Google search results, as keyplyr suggests, it is still in the "index". The site: operator search is not always a consistent gauge, and is subject to Google's own internal ranking cycles, and I wouldn't depend on it to provide any kind of granular indication of how the page is doing.

I would suggest that you check to see if it responds to a search for a unique text string that you know appears on the page, searched in quotes. If the text string is unique and you're not penalized, it will probably appear. Note also that by varying the your quoted text string queries to include different keywords, you can get a sense... af least corresponding to the old keyword in anchor text model... of what phrases it's best optimized for.

If the text is not unique, but belongs say to a manufacturer's description that is used by 300 other pages, even clicking on the link in Google that repeats the search to include the omitted pages may not bring your page to the surface.

Very possibly the page is an edge case, in that shadowy area between visible and what we used to call "supplemental" results. I can think of a million reasons why it might come and go, all related pretty much to linking, both external and internal, and to uniqueness of content.

If you depend on news or blog backlinks, eg, that's another variable, as they will diminish in value as they are absorbed deeper into the linking site's structure.

It's unlikely that someone's hijacking your page, but that is another possibility. If so, more than one page is likely to be affected. In the case of hijacking, when you search text strings in quotes, you might be able to spot your quoted content on another domain.

Please report back when you've given these things a try, and good luck.


Edit: Fixed typo.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 3:07 am (utc) on Jul 13, 2018]

1:16 pm on July 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I had a similar issue recently with a site that has the Yoast plugin. My media page was being indexed instead of the actual pages with a lot of written content. I had to keep fetching the page in search. It remained a problem for a few weeks even after I had redirected media pages to post URL in Yoast.

Also, are you indexing category/archive pages?