Seen my personal blog lately? Probably not, if you were searching via Google. Major sections of my site have been disappearing from the search index over the past three weeks. My homepage, my blog and many of the most recent articles on it no longer showed up in result pages. I’m no Matt Cutts, but I get a fair number of people coming to my site when searching for info about Google search, avoiding scams, and how to name their baby. All that traffic has been slipping away.
You can probably imagine how you would feel if this was happening to you. Does Google hate me? Was my site hacked? What do I do, and how much will it cost to get this fixed?
I will answer all of those questions, starting with the first:
My site is falling out of the index, does Google hate me?
Probably not. My situation is actually pretty illustrative – I’m pretty sure Google doesn’t hate me and isn’t unfairly slapping my site down because, well, I work at Google.
That’s right, Google was kicking pages from one of its own employees out of search results. I’m sure I’m not the first. Google doesn’t treat my site any differently than anyone else’s. BTW, standard disclaimers apply to this post.
So I knew there was probably a logical reason for the dropped pages, which brings me to the next question: