SEO Question: Why does my site keep appearing and disappearing on Google?

Google SearchSo a question which has come in this week is “Why does my site keep appearing and disappearing from Google?”

This is a great question with a few different answers and things that can be done:

1. The first thing that springs to mind is, if it’s a new website (less than a year old), fluctuation in search results can happen – my advice would be to make sure your SEO activities look natural – gain a few links a day and upload content as recommended in my previous post.

As mentioned, the key is to make your activities look natural , plus everything you do should be user focused.

2. Look for any potential issues with the site:

  • Are there any crawl errors identified in Google Webmaster Tools?
  • Is your server running at full up-time?
  • Have you setup non www vs. www in your .htaccess file?
  • Are there any issues with 301 redirects?

3. Are the current SEO techniques used ethical / recommended?

  • Avoid blackhat techniques such as hiding content, same colour text and background etc
  • Is the content copied from another source?
  • Are there any cloaking issues?

4. Has the site potential been affected by the Panda update or penalties?

5. Are you gaining backlinks to your site with good anchor text to help with placement in Google?

6. How is your internal linking structure? Are you confusing Google by link to different pages with the same anchor text?

7. Do you have sitemaps on your website?

8. Are there any canonical issues? Check out this post by SEOmoz by clicking here and this post on Google Webmaster Central by clicking here.

9. Is there any internal duplication of content on the website? Minus sidebars, headers etc and just focusing on the main content areas.

10. Is your robots.txt file setup correctly?

As you can see there could be any number of issues with this question, it may just be a case of the website has slipped down the rankings by quite a few pages, but the important thing to note with anything SEO related, time and patience is required.

Note: It’s important to mention without looking at the site it’s difficult to make assumptions on what could be happening here but from the above points, you should be able to determine which area(s) could be causing the issue.

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