My Pages Are Dropping Out of Google: What Do I Do?

Nov 17, 2008 • 7:58 am | comments (4) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

Over the course of the past few months, I have hearing buzz from the forums and from people in the SEO industry that Google is dropping pages out of their index. How do these people know? Well, when they do a site:www.domain.com command, i.e. in my case, site:www.seroundtable.com, Google is showing less results then they have a few months ago. Personally, I do not track these things, so I am not sure. In fact, the last time I documented that number seems to be in June, when I had 7,990 results, today this domain has 14,000 results.

But that doesn't stop the fact that many many webmasters and SEOs are noticing a huge decline in the number of pages indexed by Google for their site. Or at least, the site command is returning less and less results over time for a site command. Is it a reporting thing or is it really Google dropping pages out of the index due to quality or other issues?

There is a new but largish WebmasterWorld thread with several webmasters complaining about this happening on their sites. Even moderators are noticing it and trying to reverse the results. What actions are they trying?

  • The most obvious is to get more links to your inner pages
  • The next thing I would do is control what Google removes by 301ing or noindexing pages that are not critical to your success
  • Some are trying using the nofollow to, again, control what Google removes.

Overall, in my humble opinion, Google is getting picker about what content to show and what not to show. I believe it is a hybrid effect of both link popularity and duplicate content filter in play, in these cases.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Previous story: Google Now Showing Sitelinks for Some Sub-Directories
 

Comments:

Igor The Troll

11/17/2008 02:09 pm

Nothing new! Google been doing it again and again. Every major update or so. Your incoming links are being d evaluated. Be careful not to SandBox your pages by getting too many new links to them too fast. You can ask Dave Naylor about this if you think Google SandBox effect is a myth. Matt Cutts patented it. You may want to Link Sculpture a bit with rel="nofollow" stuff that drags you down! The weaker your overall PR the less weight you can carry - sub pages! So maybe your forum? But do not sculpture to fast or Google thinks you manipulating it! Rand Fishkin verified.

Michael Martinez

11/17/2008 10:08 pm

This is business as usual. People need to remind themselves that we're in the middle of November, when Google traditionally turns the Web upside down to see what shakes out. Sculpting with "rel='nofollow'" would be a monumental waste of time, as it's a fool's errand anyway.

Rob Abdul

11/18/2008 11:26 am

Well after Michael's comment Which I agree with, I'd say we can rest on this matter.

Igor The Troll

11/21/2008 04:52 am

Actually I did sculpturing with rel="nofollow" a few years back and it worked great. But I tried it on a few pages recently, and it made these pages weaker not stronger. I have some pages that have many external links, so I nofollowed all the links and the page itself dropped in Google to a lower position. Looks like Google sees this as manipulation and penalizes your page a bit! How I know it dropped a bit in Google? I Google for my blog name and then clicked more results. The relevant page became lower in the search queue! Maybe in the long term it will come up again, but I think Google looking for more external links. Maybe I should buy one from Matt Cutts? ;-) I would love to see Barry do a post on how much does a link from Matt Cutts blog is worth! LMAO

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