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Sometimes Pages Just Disappear

May 20th, 2008
16 Comments


Ronald Reagan Movies

In my previous post we discussed what happens when the “home page not indexed” warning lights go on.  Today let’s talk about the fact that sometimes your pages just disappear from Google.

This happened last week with a client.  Their rankings just tanked, particularly for a niche term that we had been working on.  This coincided with some of their competitors losing top rankings for terms they had dominated for several months.  The category is a bit spammy so my first reaction was “Google Penalty”, which set off a bit of a minor panic (at least in my head).

Less than a week later all of the rankings are back.  I then remembered that sometimes your pages do just disappear from Google for whatever reason.  Usually we see this with new sites.  Some people call this “The Sandbox Effect”.  In almost all cases these pages find their way back into the index, especially if you are building good inbound links.

So the moral of the story: if you think you are getting smacked around by Google my advice is to relax, breathe, do some yoga, trust the force, watch some Ronald Reagan movies, have a smoke, whatever. Don’t think twice, it’s all right.


Tags: Google

16 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Richard // May 20, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    this is something i learnt a long time ago when first starting out. Things jump around every now and then, this can cause panic especially for clients. Most of the time weathering the storm things can come back to normal.

  • 2 Andrew Shotland // May 20, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    Well put Richard.

  • 3 Scott // May 20, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    That reminds me of a saying that a mentor taught me several years ago, when we were in business together. It really applies to your blog topic, and to life in general:

    “Never get too high about anything, and never get too low about anything.”

  • 4 Andrew Shotland // May 20, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    Want nothing and you shall have all that you want grasshopper…

  • 5 zohai // May 20, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    Hmm.. Really weird to hear this kind of thing =/ I haven’t encountered it myself though. Is it still happening now on and off?

  • 6 Andrew Shotland // May 20, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    I haven’t seen this as much with established sites but definitely with newer sites.

  • 7 designer cufflinks // May 21, 2008 at 12:18 am

    I’m quite agree that this kind of problem will occur to new sites. Its happens once in a while and may freak you out a bit. There is no explanation or clarification from Google about this but this thing actually happens.

  • 8 Blisters // May 21, 2008 at 1:45 am

    Scott,
    I like your quote,doing any business should have a balance lifestyle.

  • 9 Andrew Shotland // May 21, 2008 at 3:06 am

    And as long as you have some great designer cufflinks and are blister-free life should be grand.

  • 10 Southwest Rugs // May 25, 2008 at 9:33 am

    Lol at the Ronald Reagan. But newer sites do seem to have this problem. Thanks for the nice post.

  • 11 home decor // Jun 12, 2008 at 2:20 am

    why did it happen anyway?
    is it still happening?
    so if this happens, u dont have to do anything and it will be back to normal?

  • 12 Andrew Shotland // Jun 12, 2008 at 7:31 am

    HD,

    I believe in this case it was due to the site being rather new. Google seems to play around with new pages/sites before it settles on where they should rank.

  • 13 Jane // Jun 17, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    I just disappeared from Google. three of my top key phrases had me on page ONE. Now my website is off google unless you type in the address itself. It happened yesterday, June 16th. Does anyone know why this happens?

  • 14 Andrew Shotland // Jun 17, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    Sorry to hear that Jane. Send me some info at my email re the url and anything else and I’ll take a look.

  • 15 php scripts // Jun 21, 2008 at 8:05 am

    I love the moral of the story. We should balance our lifestyle daily as there no point to overload yourself with lots of work. It’s because in the end, you will still suffer. So, sometime we sit back and relex is not a bad choice anyway.=)

  • 16 Jason Smith // Sep 21, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    This has been happening to me a lot lately. I had a site that was #1 on Google 3 days, then fell to 5-7 and just tonight isn’t indexed at all. Over these 3-4 days I haven’t done anything to the site so not sure what’s going on?

    I also had 2 more sites that both went from 1 to page 3 and page 14 so it’s kinda frustrating. I have a list of potential reason’s that I would like to run by you in a PM to get your opinion. Thanks

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