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Q: the google dance ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: the google dance
Category: Computers > Internet
Asked by: lonni-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 07 Jun 2003 16:30 PDT
Expires: 07 Jul 2003 16:30 PDT
Question ID: 214499
Hi there we were up on google again after a 2 week absence.  We were
up for one day, June 5 and then gone again.  Could you enlighten?
brighten?  We are a small band site mostly of graphics but we have all
the alt tags in place., we love google.
Subject: Re: the google dance
Answered By: mcfly-ga on 08 Jun 2003 12:29 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi again Lonni, it's great to see a return questioner.  

The 'Google Dance', or the process of Google renewing it's index of
the Internet, can sometimes result in accidental omission of some
websites.  With 3 billion pages to catch-up on, it is inevitable that
some will temporarily go missing for one reason or another.

The software which Google uses to record Internet content, commonly
known as a 'spider', browses sites by jumping between hyperlinks just
like a human reader would do.  Each time the spider visits a new page,
the content will be indexed and it will become visible in subsequent
search results.  As quick and efficient as this method may be, it does
mean that sites will occasionally be missed out accidentally, purely
because the spider cannot necessarily visit every single link it comes

Your site is currently included in the 'All the Web' search engine
index, and I used this to determine how many incoming links your site
has.  At the moment, there is just one, from  I'm sure that as time goes on and
your site becomes more established, the number of links to the Red
Shag Carpet will increase, but at the moment it only takes a bit of
bad luck on your part to be overlooked by the spider.

It is also possible that your server had some temporary down-time when
the Google spider visited.  Google's official status on this is as

Google Information for Webmasters

"Your site may not have been reachable when we tried to crawl it
because of network or hosting problems. When this happens, we retry
multiple times, but if the site cannot be crawled, it will not be
listed in our current index. If it was a transient problem, your site
will likely show up in the next index, which will be completed in a
few weeks."

In the mean time, it may be beneficial to submit
to a couple of online directories.  These will provide useful links to
your site, and in the case of the Open Directory Project, will
actually lead to your inclusion in the Google Directory.

Yahoo Directory: Suggest a URL  
Open Directory Project: Add a site 

Another possible explanation for your disappearance from the index is
that the spider decided there was not enough content on your site. 
From the human browsers point of view, is very
aesthetically pleasing, and this probably reinforces some positive
branding upon the band.  However, to a search engine spider who cannot
interpret images, although you have included alternative text tags,
there is still not much content to analyse.

Using the 'Spider Simulator' at

Search Engine World: Spider Simulator

it is possible to see your site from the spider's perspective.  The
content gleaned from is as follows:

" This Edmonton band will bring the rock and meet you on the dance
floor Sidetrack Cafe Red Shag Carpet Quotes contact the band Red Shag
Carpet News Edmonton Music scene Edmonton Fringe Festival Western
Canadian Tour this summer! "

As you can see, a spider will just extract any text from the page and
assess its content accordingly.  If you compare the volume content
returned from with another page, for example, you will notice there relatively little for
a spider to work with.

This problem is easily solved by including extra descriptive text on
the page.  We have already discussed the use of 'invisible' keyword
inclusion in your earlier question, and this is not a good idea. 
However, just a couple of paragraphs (of visible text) giving a
general description of the band located below the images would not
hurt the 'look' of the site substantially, but could be very useful to
search engine spiders.

A fourth potential reason Google may avoid the site, is the inclusion
of large volumes of javascript at the start of the HTML.  If it is
possible to remove or minimise any of this, the spider will notice the
useful content being nearer the top of the HTML, and will assign
greater importance to it.

As a side note, I also notice the inclusion of the meta tag 
"<meta NAME="revisit-after" CONTENT="31 Days">"
within the HTML head of the index.html.  This indicates to the search
spider how frequently it should re-index the page.  Google have not
expressed an official opinion on the use of this tag, but I tend to
think that the spider will not pay much heed to it.  However, there is
no point in limiting the frequency of updates to every 31 days, so I
suggest removing the tag.

A final possible explanation for Google to not index would be that if you did briefly use the
technique of 'invisible keyword inclusion' then Google may have
removed you from the index.  If you think this might be the case, and
you are still not indexed in a month's time, it may be worthwhile
emailing and asking them to re-include the site.

In conclusion, I think it most likely that you have simply been caught
up in the monthly Google Dance and that things will soon revert to
normal.  However, I hope the other points I raised will be useful to

Some extra sites which may be of interest include:

Google Information for Webmasters

Search Guild: Google

During my research I also noticed a related question answered by
Webadept-ga which gives a similar explanation from a different
person's perspective.  Reading this may also be useful:

Google Answers: My web page disappeared from the searches

I hope that this answer reassures you that it is most likely that Red
Shag Carpet are only temporarily excluded from the search results, and
that with a few minor alterations you can be confident of remaining in
the index when the Google spider next returns.  As per usual, if you
would like clarification of an area, please do not hesitate to ask
before rating my answer.

Good luck with your webmastership!

mcfly :)

**Search strategy**

google dance
google search optimization OR optimisation 
webmasters google
google spider
lonni-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00

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