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Page disappeared from Google, then returned. Why?

     
9:28 am on Mar 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User from GB 

joined:Feb 21, 2019
posts: 3
votes: 0


Yesterday we got an alert from our SEO tool to flag that we had dropped out of serps for one of our focus terms. I looked into this further and saw that the page wasn't appearing in Google at all - even when you do a site:url search for the page. I confirmed there was nothing blocking Google from indexing the page, checked to make sure we didn't suddenly have any toxic incoming links, and tested the live url via GCS to see what that threw up (no issues). I looked at the post and saw it was last edited three weeks ago, and it was last indexed by google two days before the drop. I even double checked to make sure we didn't have any manual actions because it made no sense!
After head scratching for two hours, the page suddenly re-appeared! I don't understand what caused this, which makes me really uncomfortable. Have you seen this before and do you have any ideas what may have happened? Are there any other checks you would do when investigating this?
For context, the site it affected is a high quality, content-centred website that has been performing really well with search traffic and rankings since January and it's of a much higher quality than all of its competitors, so I'm not overly concerned about quality (except potential over-optimisation or content cannibalisation).
Any wisdom you can share is greatly appreciated!
L
12:49 pm on Mar 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Oct 8, 2018
posts: 15
votes: 1


I have had a number of top level pages disappear, only to reappear some hours later - indeed some still continue to do this. No idea why.
12:51 pm on Mar 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User from GB 

joined:Feb 21, 2019
posts: 3
votes: 0


It's just so confusing! A day later, we're back in p1 for the term, which is a big relief. But I don't take anything for granted...