This is a timely post because we had a web page disappear from Google's search results after months of working to move it from Page 10 to Page 2. We have been driving one of our web pages for a very specific keyword for almost three months with pretty good results. Two nights ago as we searched the internet the page we had been driving disappeared. All of our other pages were fine as were the search results we had worked on for them, so began our search for the missing page.
The best articles we could find gave a few solutions that were helpful troubleshooting hints:
- Wait: sometimes search results can just change for no explained reason. Wait a few hours and try again.
- Determine What is Missing: Try to figure out if the site has been lost from the results or a single page. Do this by searching first for the website as a whole then run a search for the page based upon specific unique keywords. If the entire site is missing or an entire page is missing then it is most likely a crawl error or issue. See number 4. If the site or page is still in the results then the issue is that the search engine has temporarily misplaced the page or has penalized the page or site.
- Check the Browser: make sure your browser is not causing issues. Close the browser, then reopen the browser. If you are in Internet Explorer open an In Private Browsing session or if in Chrome select Incognito Window. Then go to the search engine and try the search again.
- Webmaster Tools: Login to your webmaster tools and see if the search engines have flagged the site for some reason or if malware was detected by a bot.
- Rewrite Content: If the problem persists rewrite content in case somehow your content was copied and mirrored on another site.
- Check for Algorithm Updates: the search engines are constantly changing and adjusting their algorithms so you should check the internet for news about any possible updates and determine if your site was possibly lost because of the updates
These were the trouble shooting tips we found the most helpful. Remember that bots sometimes skip a page, and errors do occur so patience is key although it is difficult. Try to remember to go slowly, not panic, and work through troubleshooting tips here and ones found on other sites.
Hopefully we will return to the results soon.