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First time posting here. When uploading a new home page last week, using PHP to load meta tags for all pages, we made a huge error. We accidentally left the following in the home page:
<meta name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow">
<meta name="googlebot" content="noindex,nofollow">
We had used it when we uploaded a test page for review onto our main site, which was a revamped copy of the home page. Upon converting it to the home page, the code was not modified and a few days later, we noticed our home page had dropped completely out of Google and MSN's index. Our page is a PR 5 and we are regarded as an expert in our industry and our page ranks fairly high (1,2,3, or 4 in most cases) for our major keywords.
While our secondary landing pages were only slightly affected, it is hurting us not having the home page there. The page was not removed from all datacenters of Google, but most of them (just a matter of time right?)
I had corrected the problem immediately upon finding it and uploaded a new sitemap.xml file using the command "daily" for the home page in hopes of getting it re-indexed quickly. I then went to Google Webmaster Tools and resubmitted my sitemap.
My first question is: how long can we expect to wait until our home page shows up in the SERPS again? And if it is to be a while, is there any way to speed up the process?
2nd: Should we expect to immediately retain our previous rankings, or should we expect a drop? We have twice as many inbound links as our nearest competitor and good SEO techniques are being used.
3rd: Is there a way to have it re-indexed by MSN? Yahoo and Ask.com seem to be unaffected.
Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
how long can we expect to wait until our home page shows up in the SERPS again?
That depends on your link profile, and more specifically, how often links to you are spidered, in addition to how often googlebot looks for updated content on your site. On a homepage, it shouldn't be too long.
Should we expect to immediately retain our previous rankings, or should we expect a drop?
I'd say you have a fair chance of popping straight back in again, but of course YMMV.
Is there a way to have it re-indexed by MSN?
I assume this means other than a submitted sitemap? I'm not really the person to ask about sitemaps (I think they're usually - not always - unnecessary and a waste of webmasters' time) so, again, it's about the links you have to your site, and MSN's perception of how frequently your content is worth retrieving.
And welcome to WebmasterWorld, jeffe :)
[edited by: Receptional_Andy at 8:21 pm (utc) on May 20, 2008]