One of my best articles disappeared from search engines

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  1. theraggededge profile image97
    theraggededgeposted 2 months ago

    Something strange is going on. I have a hub that's been doing really well for years. It was hub-pro edited a couple of months ago and traffic increased by a couple hundred a day. Over the last week or so it's hovered around 750 per day. Overall it has almost half a million views.

    Today, views are already down by two thirds and it's not appearing in the search results of any search engine. Usually when I type the keywords or the title it's the top result.

    I've perfunctorily checked for copies, but can't find anything.

    Why would it suddenly not appear in search results? Not Google, not Start Page, not DDG, not Bing.

    1. charlesnuamah profile image97
      charlesnuamahposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      Thanks for bringing this up. The same thing happened to one of my articles. It was receiving close to 300 views per day consistently on HowTheyPlay and suddenly dropped to 13.

      I tried copying and pasting the URL into google and like yours, it seems to have disappeared. I don't know what the problem is but it doesn't look good. I hope Hubpages staff look into this.

    2. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image96
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 2 months agoin reply to this

      After reading all of the posts here I have a terrible feeling that Google has had another update.  In 2014, overnight, I lost my entire site...page views dropped from many thousands of views down to almost nothing.  Took me almost a year to get things going again AND I never found out what happened.!  There were no warnings from Google, etc. I hope to God HP has not been penalized for some reason.  Will be anxious to hear what the team has to say about this.

      1. lobobrandon profile image89
        lobobrandonposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        No penalty for sure, and no update from what I am seeing. I just checked some facebook groups and stats on a few client sites to see if anything is out of the ordinary. Things are stable and quiet on this front. Searchengineland has no post about anything of this kind either.

        If it were a penalty of any kind (even if it were a manual penalty), the entire domain would be hit not just one or two pages.

  2. EricDockett profile image98
    EricDockettposted 2 months ago

    It sounds like it has a noindex tag on it all of a sudden. You can check by right clicking the page (in Chrome) and choosing View Page Source. Then, control+F search for noindex.

    You can also check to make sure it is really gone from Google by copy/pasting the full url into the browser search field (not address field).

    I apologize if you already know this stuff. These are the first things I'd do.

    As far as I know, the only Hubs that should be excluded from indexing are the unfeatured, or those that failed QAP,  which obviously isn't yours.

    Maybe there is a problem with the site map for the niche site or something. Hopefully HP staff will notice this and figure it out. Pages suddenly falling out of the SERPs for no reason is not a good thing.

    Back when we had subdomains it was easy to check to make sure all of our Hubs were indexed, but I have no idea how to do that with our Hubs spread all over a bunch of sites.

    1. theraggededge profile image97
      theraggededgeposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      Thanks so much, Eric, going to check those things right now.

      Okay, no, putting the URL in the search field only brings up the network site and subsection of it. No actual article. That's not good.

      There's no 'noindex' in the source code. So that's good, yes?

      How could it just disappear like that? I can see it on the front page of its subsection on the niche site.

      1. EricDockett profile image98
        EricDockettposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        Definitely good that there's no noindex. There absolutely shouldn't be. But definitely bad that it fell out of the SERPs somehow.

        I don't know how that would happen, unless maybe there are crawl issues with the niche site or a messed up sitemap or something.

        Whatever is going on, this is something I'd think HP would be greatly concerned about. If a Hub that gets 750 views per day can vanish from the SERPs for no reason, who knows what else is gone.

        1. theraggededge profile image97
          theraggededgeposted 2 months agoin reply to this

          Okay will send a link to this thread to the team. Thanks for your help. x

          1. EricDockett profile image98
            EricDockettposted 2 months agoin reply to this

            You're welcome. Hope it gets sorted out. Maybe if Brandon or someone comes along they'll have some other ideas of what could be happening. Good luck.

  3. Beth Eaglescliffe profile image95
    Beth Eaglescliffeposted 2 months ago

    Thanks Bev for raising this issue. I've just checked one of mine where the views have fallen off suddenly ... and it also has disappeared from the search results.

    UPDATE
    At the bottom of the search results it said
    "In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 10 already displayed. If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included."

    So I repeated the search to include omitted results and my article appeared in position number 5. Above it and below it are articles from the same niche site, so maybe Google is limiting the number of articles appearing in search results from the same site.

    1. theraggededge profile image97
      theraggededgeposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      Tried that, still not there sad Have emailed the team.

    2. theraggededge profile image97
      theraggededgeposted 2 months ago

      Okay, here's another weird thing... I typed in my title preceded by Turbofuture. One of my questions appeared second in the results. When I clicked on it, there was the whole article.

      1. EricDockett profile image98
        EricDockettposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        The urls for questions that have moved back to the articles redirect to the full article. So it's possible the question url was still indexed even though it has been moved and clicking the result sent you to the article.

        1. theraggededge profile image97
          theraggededgeposted 2 months agoin reply to this

          Right, that make sense. Frustrating though. I shall have to be patient.

    3. paradigmsearch profile image87
      paradigmsearchposted 2 months ago

      We really are just candles in the wind.

      1. theraggededge profile image97
        theraggededgeposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        big_smile big_smile big_smile

        So, so true.

        1. paradigmsearch profile image87
          paradigmsearchposted 2 months agoin reply to this

          Seems like we spend more time dealing with problems than we do actual writing these days.

          1. eugbug profile image98
            eugbugposted 2 months agoin reply to this

            Yes so true, the same too in "real life". I spend most of my time fixing things.

    4. eugbug profile image98
      eugbugposted 2 months ago

      Just noticed one of mine is doing something similar. It was getting about 500 views daily all year and now just 150. Views started to fall on Tuesday. It was near the top of the list on the the first page of SERPs, but now nowhere to be found.

    5. theraggededge profile image97
      theraggededgeposted 2 months ago

      No response, as yet, to my email to the team.

    6. kannanwrites profile image95
      kannanwritesposted 2 months ago

      Some of my articles have fallen through. I haven't checked Google serps but the daily view count indicates it.

      Is there another Google update?

    7. theraggededge profile image97
      theraggededgeposted 2 months ago

      Had an email from the team saying it's visible in SE now. And it is. Traffic down to 171 now though. Let's hope it improves tomorrow.

      1. charlesnuamah profile image97
        charlesnuamahposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        Great. Hope your traffic gets back to what it used to be. Also received a similar email from HP team but the strange thing is my article is still invisible in Google's search engine at my end. Hope maybe it appears tomorrow.

        1. theraggededge profile image97
          theraggededgeposted 2 months agoin reply to this

          Keeping my fingers crossed that everyone's hubs come back to normal. I expect there are far more affected than just us who have posted here.

          Strange it was just one, wasn't it?

          1. charlesnuamah profile image97
            charlesnuamahposted 2 months agoin reply to this

            Yeah, only one of my articles was affected which strangely happen to be one of my top articles.

            Good you started this thread. I saw it drop drastically in views yesterday but didn't bother to check if it was still visible in search engine results.

          2. chef-de-jour profile image96
            chef-de-jourposted 2 months agoin reply to this

            This might help explain the causes for the drop, which includes bad links and updates:

            https://cognitiveseo.com/blog/4644/6-go … with-them/

            Hope everything smooths out and your views are restored. Meanwhile, keep us all up to date please.

            1. theraggededge profile image97
              theraggededgeposted 2 months agoin reply to this

              Yes, but the site's (Turbofuture) not affected, just one article on it. That's why it's a bit odd. If it were sitewide then those things might apply.

              Traffic still decreasing slowly.

    8. lobobrandon profile image89
      lobobrandonposted 2 months ago

      Just got back from a weeks conference, 1:30 AM, but saw this thread and had to reply. I did a quick check and I don't see many changes on the SERPs. So it's not a new major update that rolled out, I only checked this for now and nothing more: https://www.rankranger.com/rank-risk-index

      Did the team tell you what was wrong? Over the past 24 hours I got PLENTY of emails from loads of my client sites they Google has now switched to Mobile first indexing. This began a few months ago and was slowly released (can't think of a better word right now) across all websites. The past 24 hours was the final shot in my opinion, 90% of my client sites that were not on mobile first indexing are now (over the past 24 hours) on that bandwagon.

      That's the only reason I could think of that caused this fluctuation is this. But this should technically not be a problem.

      Also, in response to Eric, having a broken sitemap does not affect a website. Sitemaps just allow you to help Google manage the bandwidth they spend on a site. Once the page was indexed and readily available (a regular dofollow link) from other pages that are indexed, it should not get deindexed.

      I wonder whether the others who commented here had the same issue. I didn't notice anyone say that they entered the URL into Google. On entering the title, Google would tell you that certain results are hidden ...

      DId the team give you an explanation of any kind?

      1. theraggededge profile image97
        theraggededgeposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        I pasted the url into the search box. The hub didn't come up in the results of any search engine I tried. I pasted in portions of text, subtitles, search terms: nothing.

        No the team didn't give an explanation they just said it's there now. Which it is, although the snippet is from way down text.

        Traffic is up by a few tens, but nothing like it was before. 233/750.

        1. lobobrandon profile image89
          lobobrandonposted 2 months agoin reply to this

          Probably have to wait the 24 hours for it to recover. Yeah I know you tested it the right way, was asking the others who commented on this thread.

    9. Susana S profile image96
      Susana Sposted 2 months ago

      I wonder if it's due to keyword cannibalisation.

      When you have several pages with similar keywords on the same site google will choose one to display (and it's not always the one you want!).

      From what you've said it sounds like G is favouring the Q and A page rather than the actual article?

      Brandon can check this out if he has time - does HP use canonical urls to avoid this canibalisation?

      1. lobobrandon profile image89
        lobobrandonposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        On questions, they don't use canonicals but redirects instead. The questions that are not redirected, stand on their own.

        But when it comes to keyword cannibalization Google indexes both pages, just that the ranking of both is not the best. The only time Google does not index a page is if there is a near duplicate page out there.

        1. Susana S profile image96
          Susana Sposted 2 months agoin reply to this

          Thanks for the info Brandon.

          So the question pages that have a lot of info are a standalone page....but a lot of the time it's going to have very similar info to the hub because they're tightly related topic wise.

          Personally I think that could be the issue.

          But you're correct in that the page should still be indexed.

          It's a puzzle.

          Maybe it was some kind of glitch.

          1. lobobrandon profile image89
            lobobrandonposted 2 months agoin reply to this

            Yeah, most likely some sort of glitch. Yes, they do have similar info a lot of the time, that's why I do not use the feature much. I also pointed this out on the forums to the HP staff and included it in my SEO guide.

            HP did a good thing by redirecting questions that do not receive a lot of search engine traffic back to the parent hub. That is one of the good ways to deal with the issue while still offering the possibility of separate question pages.

    10. Susana S profile image96
      Susana Sposted 2 months ago

      Another thing that can cause this is Google testing various queries against each other to see which ones searchers like best.

      Did you make any major changes to the article - especially to the title?

      1. theraggededge profile image97
        theraggededgeposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        No, not in the last couple of weeks. However, the article was substantially changed, including the title, about three months ago when it was HubPro'd. Traffic increased from around 500 to over 700 since then.

        It's been plagiarized a lot in the past, but I can't find any copies at the moment.

        1. Susana S profile image96
          Susana Sposted 2 months agoin reply to this

          Changes that long ago shouldn't affect it now so it's probably not that.

          The other reason I've seen cause temporary de-indexing is when you get a really great, super authoritative link.

          It's like Google is testing you to see if it's a natural link or a self made one.

          When it's self made and traffic tanks the author often goes and removes it. That tells google straight away!

          When it's a real link your page comes back stronger than ever.

    11. EricDockett profile image98
      EricDockettposted 2 months ago

      Bev, in your original post you indicated it was gone from all search engines you checked, not just Google.

      I would think that would suggest an issue with the niche site, not necessarily Google confusion. I believe Startpage pulls from the Google results, but I'd think it would be strange for Bing and the other sites to lose your article as well.

      ????

      1. theraggededge profile image97
        theraggededgeposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        Yes, that's correct. I checked them again today and it is there. It was as if it had vanished.

        @Susanna, no links or edits made in the last three months. Although I went into edit mode to republish it yesterday without making any changes just to see if that would bring it back.

        Traffic is slowly climbing back up. It's around half normal at the moment.

        I wonder if the others who mentioned theirs had gone the same way have seen them return yet?

        Edit: And the top traffic source is now google.com yay!

        Edit2: And... and... I just got a spam comment on it. Double yay!

        1. lobobrandon profile image89
          lobobrandonposted 2 months agoin reply to this

          Haha, love the 2nd edit.

        2. Susana S profile image96
          Susana Sposted 2 months agoin reply to this

          I meant a link coming in from elsewhere.

          But I also forgot you said your page was gone from all search engines. I think it must have been some glitch for that to happen. Maybe with Hubpages sitemap

        3. charlesnuamah profile image97
          charlesnuamahposted 2 months agoin reply to this

          My article is back in Google search results and the views are gradually recovering.

          I think what Susan S said earlier might be right. Google might be testing if a super authoritative link to our articles is natural or self made.

          1. theraggededge profile image97
            theraggededgeposted 2 months agoin reply to this

            But, Charles, it was all the search engines, not just Google.

            Mine's creeping back to almost normal numbers now.

      2. lobobrandon profile image89
        lobobrandonposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        Oh yeah. Good point.

    12. mireland19 profile image94
      mireland19posted 2 months ago

      I don't really know much about this, but I did read something he other day that might be useful in this situation. As I understood it, when you have a ton of similar content coming from one website, it probably won't allow all of them to be in the top positions. Otherwise, people would just dominate the top spots by blasting their site with re-written posts about the same content. I wonder if that is how google see's the niche sites? Maybe you're compeating with other people on the niche site?

      1. theraggededge profile image97
        theraggededgeposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        No, that wasn't the problem. When you paste the whole url into the search box the specific article should show up, whatever its ranking in the SERPS.

    13. Chriswillman90 profile image97
      Chriswillman90posted 2 months ago

      I had the same issues with a few articles over the past week and am starting to see some recovery.

      It was quite jarring though, went from 125+ views daily to under 20. Perhaps Hubpages is implementing the AMP pages across the sites and it's temporarily screwing with the search results.

    14. melbel profile image95
      melbelposted 2 months ago

      How is it today? I had a big drop in search engines the other day, but everything seems back to normal now.

      1. lobobrandon profile image89
        lobobrandonposted 2 months agoin reply to this
     
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