Disappeared From Google? Don’t Panic Just Yet

One of the most common worries I have seen with website owners over the last 5 years is when their website vanishes from Google for some of the terms they were ranking for. This especially happens to websites that are newer.

Why does this happen? Have I been penalized? Will my site ever come back? These are the questions I get all the time.

Why does this happen?
I have no idea why Google will remove a website from their rankings without warning. All I can tell you is that it is something they do and you just need to accept it. It is their search engine and they can do what they want to. The good news is it happens to almost everyone at some point.

Has my website been penalized?
I love it when people ask me this. I always respond, have you done something to get yourself penalized? Contrary to public opinion, Google is not out to get anyone. They simply have one goal in mind for their search engine; To provide the most relevant search results to their users. This involves constant updates and changes to their algorithm which in turn means some websites at some time or another will disappear from the search results.

Will my site ever come back?
The good news about disappearing from Google is that 99.9% of the time your website will be back in the search results (many times much higher) within a week or two. I know it sucks when your site vanishes but when you were #24 and then the site is gone and 2 weeks shows up at #7 there really is no problem. No one would have found your site at #24 anyway. BE PATIENT with Google, it is out of your control.

Keep in mind that Google uses multiple data centers and many of those datacenters show different results. So that means you can do a search for a term you want to rank for and see you are on page 1 and then 5 minutes later do the same search and get a different datacenter and see your site on page 2 or 3. There was no penalty, your rankings didn’t drop, you just happened upon a datacenter that ranks your website differently. That is just how Google does it.

Adam White is a 20+ year entrepreneur having built and sold 18 internet businesses. He currently runs JustReachOut and SquidVision, a new type of landing page optimization software for SaaS companies, and does SaaS and SEO consulting at Prosperly.com. He lives in Tennessee with his wife and kids and in between SaaS businesses he writes and directs feature films.

2 comments On Disappeared From Google? Don’t Panic Just Yet

  • That is so funny. Last week I got super frustrated when it seems that my newest web venture (#3, yes I know, I need to start focusing and stop starting up) was suddenly gone from Google. What was even more interesting is that the site name is the search phrase and I got into this niche because I could tell that no one was doing it well.

    With my first posted article and a few days I was ranking #6 for the phrase. I was shocked and pleased. Then it dissappeared last week. Then while messing around in Google Webmaster Tools I noticed it said it was #6 again. I tested it and it came up #5.

    Anyway, your article made me laugh because it described my cycle perfectly. Now, I better start doing something to earn that #5 spot.

    Thanks for the comfort and reality check!

  • I wish I could say it made sense and that I felt better about disappearing but I just can’t bring myself to accept it. I Google a certain term over and over just praying it will appear on that first page. I just hope that I’m not part of that .1%. I remember this happening to my first site and when it appeared #1 two weeks later I swore I wouldn’t let it bother me next time. Well, I reneged on that one. Great Article though! Thanks Adam!

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