Why did my page disappear from Google?
So, you’ve spent a fair bit of time on your latest blog post, doing some research on what’s interesting folks at the moment. You’ve managed to get the content just about right, spent way too much time trying to source the perfect image and now you’ve hit the publish button. You’ve also shared your awesome blog post in all the right places. You watch the traffic roll in over the next few days and notice that you’re actually ranking quite highly for your target keyword.
Then something weird happens. Traffic grinds to a halt and now you can’t find your post anywhere in the search results! WT actual F?! Why did my page disappear from Google?
Follow the first rule of SEO (don’t panic!), then don the old Sherlock Holmes deerstalker and start investigating!
1. Did someone press delete?
The first thing you need to check is that someone hasn’t accidentally deleted the page from your site (it happens!). Just go into your CMS and see if your page is still there and still published.
2. Can Google still see the page?
Has your Robots.txt file changed or has something else technical happened to prevent Google from seeing your page? To check this go to your Webmaster Tools account and find Fetch as Googlebot. Plug in the URL for the missing page and click Fetch. If all is well then the Fetch Status will come back as Success. If not then you’ll need to investigate further.
3. Have you (or someone else) duplicated the content somewhere else?
Have you published the content on any other sites? Google (and the other search engines) really don’t care too much for duplicate content. They’re constantly tweaking their algorithms to get the best search results and are looking for unique content rather than posts that are just copied and pasted to multiple sites. To check if your content has been swiped by anyone else you can use tools like this one, which checks to see if your content is unique and original. If you’re planning to post the same content on multiple sites then be prepared to meet Google’s Panda.
If the three points above don’t seem to provide a solution then it’s best to re-share your post on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and, of course, over on Google+. You can also submit the URL back to Google through your Webmaster Tools account.