My Site Disappeared From Google: Why? & What Am I Gonna Do About It?
So my site disappeared from google over the last few days. It’s still kicking around in the lower reaches of Google, but all of the terms it was ranking for, it is now almost impossible to find, I’ve gone from position number 3 or 4 on some search terms to over 100! The website in question is my second highest in terms of organic traffic from google (well it was, at least).
Lets look at why this might have happened:
Google may have changed their algorithm. There have been no significant changes over the last few weeks in Google, but you never know exactly what is going on behind the scenes, and perhaps some slight change behind the scenes at Google HQ could have had an impact. If you’re reading this because your site has dropped into insignificance on google, then perhaps a big change has been made on Google, and your site has suffered as a result. I’m pretty sure this isn’t what has happened to my website, but could be relevant if you’re in the same boat. Don’t panic, though, it can be fixed.
Google may have penalised you for something. Bought any backlinks? Guest blogged on any new blogs? Google might smell a rat and drop your rankings. This could also happen if you have linked out to any new sites you’re not familiar with. Google knows where a lot of the spam is on the internet, and it’s not afraid to penalise anyone associated with it. In my case, I am aware that google can penalise you if you link to your sites from domains hosted on the same server. I have linked to the site in question on here, and I believe that may have made an impact, Google perceives this as me trying to artificially build links back to my other sites in order to manipulate their search engine, so I’m going to go through the site and stamp out my links of this nature to try and combat this.
Loss of link popularity. So maybe you had a few amazing sites linking to yours, which was pushing your ranking right up and giving you clout in the world of SEO. If one or two are taken away, it can have a surprisingly big effect on your rank.
Your on-page SEO. Have you changed your site? Put more on it which makes your pages load slower? Altered your tags? Google might not like what you’ve done.
The honeymoon effect. So I’ve used mainly white hat SEO methods on all of my sites, even though I did experiment with buying backlinks on fiverr on another website, but the site in question has been purely white hat, so I’m hoping that I’m not being penalised for anything. They say that new sites (as this one is), get a boost for the first few months after they launch, google kind of gives you a helping hand, but when it goes away you can drop straight off the first page. I think (and hope) this has relevance to my website, and that the rankings will grow back over time.
What is the plan now?
The truth is, we will never be able to 100% second guess google and their methods. I will do everything I can to make sure my site adheres to all of the positive SEO practices out there, but I will probably never be able to pinpoint exactly why this has happened. My advice to myself and to anyone else in my position, is to persevere. Sure, go back and change anything that might have had a negative effect, but it might be out of your control, just keep doing what you know works, and providing google with everything they like to see, and your site will be back. Maybe tomorrow, maybe next month, maybe 6 months down the line, but perseverance is often the name of the game in the world of webmastery, just look at it as a setback on your journey to success and carry on.