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Why is Google Oscillating me from #1 to nonexistant?

Posted on 2006-11-11
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
I have a keyword that for the last 18 months has been ranked #1 in Google steadily.  4 days ago, I noticed a drop in my webtraffic.  I went to Google and found that my site for the keyword was nonexistant in the returns.  Not even ranked in the top 1000 results.  It simply vanished.  4 hours later, I tried again and I was #1 again.
The next morning I woke up and checked.  Again, my site was non-existant.  Then hours later, I was back at #1.  Back and forth it has been doing this for 4 days now.  Also, its not that my site is "shifting" for the keyword in the returns, it is completely vanishing.  Then it comes back to #1.  In my Google Webmaster tools, it lists my keyword as #1, so at least in the tools area, Google thinks I should be #1.  But right now (as I post this), I am nonexistant.  Also, this keyword is not new for me, I have been #1 in Google for it for almost 2 years for the same page on my site.

Can anyone offer me an idea why Google is now oscillating me from #1 to nonexistant back and forth?  The site that is #2 for that keyword is constant.  That is, when I am ranked #1, it is ranked #2.  When I go non-existant, it goes to #1.  So all other sites for that keyword are constant.  I am the only site that keeps getting wiped.
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Question by:arthurh88
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humeniuk earned 2000 total points
ID: 17923577
It sounds like this may be a case of different data centers returning different results.  You certainly haven't been dropped from the index.  Most likely, the problem will be resolved shortly when the data centers are back in sync.  For more info, see www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=34443.

Have you made any changes to the site lately?
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by:pigmentarts
ID: 17938669
my sites pagerank has been going up and down over the last few days, Google Dance maybe?

when this happend to me before i.e. we were on pr5 for a years or so, then when to 6 for a few days, then back down to 5, this went on for a week then we stoped on 6. could this be a sign to come?
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by:humeniuk
ID: 18302229
Two possible causes and no way to be sure what the actual cause is.  This is worth saving, so I'd say either PAQ-no refund or split.  Either way.
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by:pigmentarts
ID: 18302439
i only stated what was happending to me (at the time) not really any construve advice for good, old, arthurh88*, if its not deleted then points to humeniuk is ok with me.

* disclaimer, I nether know if arthurh88 is good or old but I am a pessimist, hang on... I mean, optimist!)

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by:humeniuk
ID: 18302523
You speculated - "Google Dance maybe" - based on immediate evidence.  This expands usefully on what I said (data centers, blah blah), so a split seems reasonable.
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by:pigmentarts
ID: 18302587
o yes i did, missed that, sometimes i just share my experiences and ramble on a bit much.
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