Homepage has disappeared from Google

13 replies
  • SEO
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I have a new SEO client that I've been working on for about 6 weeks.

Several months ago, when he moved his site from the web designer's server to Hostgator, he lost all of his rankings. He was on the first page of Google, now he's gone. His inner pages are ranking anywhere from page 5 - 10 in Google, but the homepage has disappeared.

I've gone through and did onpage SEO (it already was pretty good), and added some high PR 3 backlinks. The homepage is still gone.

Does anyone have any recommendations on how to get the homepage ranked, or should we just start over with a new site?

Stacey
#disappeared #google #homepage
  • Profile picture of the author paulgl
    Originally Posted by WebMarketingDiva View Post


    Does anyone have any recommendations on how to get the homepage ranked, or should we just start over with a new site?

    Stacey
    As usual, why on earth are you taking PAYING clients when you are coming here
    to ask questions like that?!?!?!?!

    Can we stop this insanity? Why does everybody and their brother think
    they can just hang out a shingle....?!?!?!

    Paul
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    If you were disappointed in your results today, lower your standards tomorrow.

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  • Profile picture of the author WebMarketingDiva
    Wow Paul - thanks for the help (with a touch of sarcasm).

    I know how to rank sites. I've never seen a homepage disappear... and not get any results from my backlinking efforts.

    His backlinking profile is pretty clean. This site has not been loaded w/ tons of bad backlinks. That's why I'm perplexed as to why it's not responding.

    If you don't have something constructive to offer... then I kindly ask that you refrain from posting. thank you.

    Stacey
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    • Profile picture of the author johnben1444
      Originally Posted by WebMarketingDiva View Post

      Wow Paul - thanks for the help (with a touch of sarcasm).

      I know how to rank sites. I've never seen a homepage disappear... and not get any results from my backlinking efforts.

      His backlinking profile is pretty clean. This site has not been loaded w/ tons of bad backlinks. That's why I'm perplexed as to why it's not responding.

      If you don't have something constructive to offer... then I kindly ask that you refrain from posting. thank you.

      Stacey
      Sorry but Paul is right!

      That is the way every reasonable person is going to see it.

      If you take someone's money to do a job then it's expected that you should be a professional in that field. It doesn't really matter if you have been ranking sites without issue, you should have a team you rub minds with especially when it comes to issues like this that takes you unaware.

      Answering your questions:

      I don't know how long you have moved your hosting but it will take few days to weeks to properly propagate and re-gain your ranking and sometimes you will never retain your position after the change of host except you backlink once more.

      There could be other reasons like on site seo which you claim to have taken care of.

      Is it a WP?

      Also, when you said you added PR3 links, what kind of links could that be?
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  • Profile picture of the author tech84
    Paul's answer was constructive if you think about it.
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    Insert Sig here for ***** Moolahs ,,I,,

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  • Profile picture of the author nik0
    Banned
    I honestly don't think it's caused by moving hosts, it sounds much more like a Penguin penalty. I also had a few clients where their homepage didn't rank for anything anymore, and thus you could say GONE.

    I suspect it's still indexed right? When you do site:domain.com

    I can tell you that these days you don't need a ton of links to get tanked by Penguin, a combination of:
    • link loss
    • site errors/issue's (duplicate content for example often caused by CMS or large amounts of 404 pages)
    • unnatural anchor profile

    Can already lead to devastation, you can PM me the site if you want and I'll take a look.

    Keep in mind that recovery is a long time process of months, most people don't have that time or simply don't want to wait.

    What you can do is this:

    1: Add the following to your robots.txt:

    Code:
    User-agent: Googlebot
    Disallow: /
    2: Deindex the domain using Google's URL removal tool

    3: Add the following to your .htaccess file:

    Code:
    Options +FollowSymLinks
    #block Google
    RewriteEngine On 
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} ^.*Googlebot.*$ [NC,OR]
    RewriteRule ^.*.* http://www.siteyouwantgoogletoredirectto.com/ [L]
    That way Google can never reindex that site again and thus you can re-use your old content and move it to a new domain while leaving the old site intact and able to still rank in other search engines like Yahoo/Bing and old visitors can still find it that way.

    I'm not sure if I spelled GoogleBot directly, maybe it should be all small letters or maybe only the word Google is enough that it automatically detects all bots that have Google in the name, otherwise you just add all the variations and then you're definitely good to go.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    The first question OP needs to answer is, is the home page even indexed?

    For all we know there might be a noindex tag on the home page HTML. I've seen it happen plenty of times here on WF, people trying to rank pages with a noindex tag, lol.
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    • Profile picture of the author nik0
      Banned
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      The first question OP needs to answer is, is the home page even indexed?

      For all we know there might be a noindex tag on the home page HTML. I've seen it happen plenty of times here on WF, people trying to rank pages with a noindex tag, lol.
      I just took a look and is indexed but clearly penalty.
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  • Profile picture of the author WebMarketingDiva
    Thanks to all who tried to be helpful (instead of slamming me for asking a question!).

    nik0 gave me some great suggestions in a PM.... He really knows his stuff!

    It seems like I need to start all over with a new site (I did not design his current one). I was hoping to overcome the penalty, but I think it'll take too long.

    When I'm done with that, I'll definitely hire nik0 to do the SEO... his link is in his signature.

    - Stacey
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  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    Yep, same thing happened to me. Except I didn't lose every keyword. I still have a few keywords on page 1 but all of them are from my google local listing. All my website rankings have dropped to page 6 and beyond, when most were in the top 3 of page 1. And my google local rankings are beginning to slip as well, so soon that site will be generating no traffic at all.

    I waited for a week then started remaking a site. I have no idea what is causing the penalty and don't really GAF. I'm not 301 redirecting because that will just pass the penalty to the new site (there are tons of examples of this on BHW). So I'm just gonna churn and burn from now on. Google can kiss my ass. Everytime they try to improve the SERPs, they wind up converting more and more whitehat and grayhat marketers to pure blackhat.

    I noticed you can rank a site quick these days with just a few high pr links, as thats what my SEO guy seems to be doing. So as long as he can keep ranking my keywords fast, I'll just keep copying my content to new domains and churning out new sites.

    If Google thinks I'm gonna disavow links, or play by their rules, they're out of their minds. They can kiss my ass.
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  • Profile picture of the author derekjansen
    Hi Stacey

    Have you checked the "Manual Actions" section in Google Webmaster Tools (assuming you have it) to confirm that it is indeed a penalty? This will give you something to make an informed decision on.

    If there is a penalty, its still not the end of the world. We lift these all the time. It just takes a little effort. Moz has a great post covering this:

    Ultimate Guide to Google Penalty Removal - Moz

    Get in touch if you need help.
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  • Profile picture of the author SEODollz
    Hi Stacey,

    I'm working on 30 penalized sites right now, the penalties were all algorithmic from Penguin 2.0 (These were't my clients prior to the penalty, I'm cleaning up someone else's mess) I would urge you to not discard the site just yet. If the penalty is algorithmic then it's a matter of fixing the cause, if you replicate the site on new domain like nik0 is suggesting you will have to start backlinking from scratch, you won't have the advantage of an aged domain, you will have to update all your social profiles to reflect the new URL and you will still have to correct whatever it is that case you to get "penguinized" or that new site will be hit when the next update rolls through.

    If instead you put in the work to correct the underlying issue you have a chance at ranking the existing site for the long term. If it is an algorithmic penalty you can ask Google to recrawl the site once you have done the work to avoid having to wait until the next Penguin refresh. If it's manual and you haven't been de-indexed there is hope because Google has said (Matt Cutts has said) that manual penalties are time sensitive. They can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. If you haven't done anything heinous (ie cloaking or other majorly blackhat tactics) then I'd say you have a lot of hope for a quick recovery. I'll try to find that video for you.

    The other thing we all should consider is diversifying our traffic sources for our clients, nobody should have all of their eggs in Google's basket! Diversifying your traffic sources while you are overcoming the penalty will mean that when you are done you will have built a sturdier ship for your client, one that won't be as vulnerable to changes in the Google algorithm.

    It's the difference between building something that is destined to break in six months and building something that won't ever break again.

    One last thought: sometimes if linking sites were devalued by an algorithm update it can seem like a penalty because your site suddenly drops, this could be the cause if you can't find anything else that is obviously triggering Penguin.
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    • Profile picture of the author nik0
      Banned
      Originally Posted by SEODollz View Post

      If instead you put in the work to correct the underlying issue you have a chance at ranking the existing site for the long term. If it is an algorithmic penalty you can ask Google to recrawl the site once you have done the work to avoid having to wait until the next Penguin refresh.
      How/where do you ask Google to recrawl the site when there's no message in webmasters?
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