If you are a webmaster, own a business website or do SEO, you likely look at Google Search rankings quite a bit. If you are looking at search rankings, you are definitely searching for specific keywords on your smartphone, laptop, tablet or desktop computer. What has become very common over the last several years is the “disappearance” of landing pages. You may notice you are making steady progress from page 4 to the middle or top of page 2 only to find that particular page disappears out of nowhere.
There is no rhyme or reason as to why this specific page disappears. You have not been penalized, there hasn’t been a Google algorithm update and your competitors are not doing anything different than they did a month ago. So, why does this happen?
Let’s say you are trying to rank for “Invisalign, Richmond VA“. You have moved from the bottom part of page 5 all the way up to the top of page 2 and sometimes at the bottom of page one. When you search this phrase one day you randomly notice that you are all the way to page 7 and your “Cosmetic Dentistry” practice area page is ranking but the Invisalign specific page is nowhere to be found.
You are not alone if this has happened to you. We see it all the time. Sometimes it is specific landing pages. It can also be blog posts or home page links that no longer show up for any of the keywords you once ranked for.
The first thing we need to determine is if there was an algorithm update that negatively affected your website. Instead of scouring the entire Internet and looking for reliable sources simply go to your Google Search Console and/or your Google Analytics and see if there has been a drop in traffic. If you see a huge drop in traffic, you know you’ve been hit with any algorithmic penalty. If the traffic remains the same, it is another issue.
Almost 95% of the time, if we notice a page has disappeared, it is not because of what the webmaster or SEO expert has done. It simply gets “lost” in the Google Algorithm. Go into Google Search Console, fetch and render the page or article and give it a day. You will likely find the page shows up in search once again. Many times, the page will show up even higher than it was before it disappeared.
Try not to obsess about Google Search Rankings but it never hurts to check out the more highly competitive keywords just to see where you stand.