Hi Throck23 ~
Sometimes when a customer asks "What happened to my site?" or "Why is
my site no longer in Google", it is easy to pinpoint certain practices
the customer is (or has) engaged in which makes it highly like Google
had "penalized" the site for those practices.
Some of those practices are listed in Google's Quality Guidelines -
"* Make pages for users, not for search engines. Don't
deceive your users, or present different content to
search engines than you display to users.
* Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine
* Don't participate in link schemes designed to
increase your site's ranking or PageRank. In
particular, avoid links to web spammers or "bad
neighborhoods" on the web as your own ranking may
be affected adversely by those links.
* Don't use unauthorized computer programs to submit
pages, check rankings, etc. ...
or specifically prohibited in its Quality Guidelines - Specific Recommendations,
"* Avoid hidden text or hidden links.
* Don't employ cloaking or sneaky redirects.
* Don't send automated queries to Google.
* Don't load pages with irrelevant words.
* Don't create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains
with substantially duplicate content.
* Avoid "doorway" pages created just for search
engines, or other "cookie cutter" approaches such
as affiliate programs with little or no original
A careful investigation didn't reveal any of the above practices. So
if you were engaging in any of those practices, you are doing it well
enough that it isn't easily detectable.
There are other reasons your pages might have been dropped from the
index, which are listed on Google's information page, "My Web Pages
Are Not Currently Listed",
"* Your site may not have been reachable when we tried
to crawl it because of network or hosting problems...
* A technical glitch on our side may have caused us to
'miss' your site. In crawling more than 4 billion
pages, our system experiences hiccups from time to
time. Again, this is a transient problem, and your
site will likely show up in the next index. Please
be patient with us during this period, as we are not
able to modify our index by hand to add sites missed
in this way.
Finally, there are a few other reasons listed in Google's Terms of
Service which could result in your site being removed, such as
automatic querying, or a claim of Digital Millennium Copyright Act
(DMCA) copyright infringement.
In the case of the latter, Google states its procedures, which would
include notice to you under the DMCA,
"It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged
infringement that comply with the Digital Millennium
Copyright Act (the text of which can be found at the
U.S. Copyright Office Web Site, http://lcWeb.loc.gov/
copyright/) and other applicable intellectual property
laws, which may include removing or disabling access
to material claimed to be the subject of infringing
activity. If we remove or disable access to comply
with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we will
make a good-faith attempt to contact the owner or
administrator of each affected site so that they may
make a counter notification pursuant to sections
512(g)(2) and (3) of that Act."
Please understand that Google Answers Researchers are independent
contractors, and we are not privy to any insider information about
Google's algorithms or its practices with regard to individual sites.
Only Google knows, and they will not necessarily tell you,
"... We will not comment on the individual reasons a
page was removed and we do not offer an exhaustive
list of practices that can cause removal ... If you
think your site may fall into this category, you might
try 'cleaning up' the page and sending a re-inclusion
request to email@example.com. We do not make any
guarantees about if or when we will re-include your
I believe one of the reasons this question wasn't immediately answered
is simply because there are no obvious reasons your site was removed
by Google. In fact, I have gotten the same differing refults regarding
your page and links to it at different times, which is explained by
Google as reaching different data centers on each successive search
under its "My web pages used to be listed and now they aren't.",
We update our index about every four weeks. If you
happen to enter the same query repeatedly while we
are in the process of posting the index at our
various data centers around the country, it might
seem like you are seeing inconsistent results from
Google. What is actually happening is that you are
seeing a result from an 'old' version of our index
one time and a result from a 'new' version the next.
Due to the size of our index, we can not simultan-
eously post a new index at all of our data centers,
which may result in this behavior for a short period
You'll notice Oseberg's comments below show different results, which
bear witness to the above explanation; but of more significance is the
fact he couldn't reach your site and got 404 errors to the effect that
your site is down for maintenance.
It might be worth it to check how many times your site has been down,
because it is entirely possible, in fact, highly probable that,
barring any of the other reasons stated above, your site was NOT able
to be indexed, and that it is highly likely that it will come back
soon, as soon as the index can reach across all the data centers.
So, the answer to your question - in this case - is an educated guess.
If you've employed tactics which Google will penalize you for, I
couldn't find them; however, that doesn't mean that Google, with more
sophisticated equipment and capabilities wouldn't.
I think, though, that there is a high probability that your site
wasn't available when the Googlebot visited your site, and if you can
wait a few weeks (hopefully it won't take that long), it will be back,
and you really don't have to do anything.
You can, however, resubmit your site via Google's "Add URL" page again
with no penalty. You can find that here,
If you have employed practices which will get you penalized, this is
an excellent time to clean up your site and then email
firstname.lastname@example.org, explaining what you have done and asking for
Important Google Links For Your Reference
I am including important links from Google's site. This information
will help you understand Google's goals and responsibility to the web
searcher (and not the webmaster or site owner).
It is incumbent upon you, the webmaster or the website owner, to
ensure your site meets these basics if you want your site listed.
Webmasters who do follow the guidelines and avoid Google's "Thou shalt
nots" usually have no problem getting listed and showing up under the
search terms they desire.
* Google Today (absolutely the best information you
can read about the "how and why" of Google's results
* How Do I Get My Site Listed on Google?
* My Web Pages Are Not Currently Listed (a good 'primer'
on how and why Google works so well)
* PageRank Information (covers both Google's PageRank and
* Webmaster Guidelines (contains both the dos and don'ts)
* Google Facts & Fiction (can you buy your way to a
high ranking in Google?)
* Search Engine Optimizers (some good advice on what to look
for if you're going to hire a Search Engine Optimizer)
* Frequently Asked Questions (pretty much what it says, but
definitely worth wading through)
* Remove Content from Google's Index (just in case you feel
a burning need to start all over again)
Search terms used ~
During the normal course of business it is necessary for me to use
resources and reliable information to help discover why a particular
website may have been removed from Google's index. I relied on that
knowledge and information to answer this question.
I hope this helps, and wish you the best of luck.
Google Answers Researcher