Ok, I made a site for my new business and in the beginning it was automatically ranked #2 in google but now it has completely dissapeared and I simply can’t get it back… what happened?@#!?? Yikes!
This is a common occurrence, the never-ending shuffle of search results, and it’s something that even the most expert search engine optimization experts can find frustrating as all heck. Just the other night I was sitting with a top SEO guy and smiled when he popped over to MSN Search to show me how well he ranks for a particular keyword when he discovered that he was no longer on the first page at all. His comment was “Oh. I guess I’m not on the first page any more” but I could hear the “WTF?” underneath it too.
The fact is, Google and all the other search engines are constantly, ceaselessly, tweaking and tuning their search algorithms, but even more than that, new sites are also constantly being found and matching specific keywords, so even if your site is a perfect match for a specific industry keyword, it doesn’t mean that another site with more “authority” or page rank that can’t suddenly prove to be even more relevant for that specific search.
I tend to have extraordinarily good search rankings on this site, for example, but to retain my sanity I have to admit that it’s quite rare for me to check my search rankings on Google, Yahoo or any of the other search engines. It’s perhaps a philosophical thing: if there’s fundamentally nothing I can do to influence that particular ranking, what’s the point in knowing if I’m #4 or #1 on any given day?
Also, note that since the results constantly change, I have commonly seen that sites will rank very well for a keyword, then rank poorly, then do okay, all in the space of a week or two.
The key, and this is what Google would tell you too, is to gain “authority” for your site. Produce good quality content — with regularity — and get as many good inbound links as you can from legit, credible sites. (link farms, link exchanges and the like tend to be pretty valueless inbound links in the modern algorithms).
I really do hear your frustration and I know that at times Google has started new sites out with very, very good search ranking, just to have it “settle” at some other point, perhaps dozens or hundreds of slots from the starting point. You just have to work your way back up!
Oh, you might also want to check and ensure that Google didn’t literally drop you and kick you out of the search engine for some sort of violation. You can do that with a simple search for site: followed by your domain name. I’d use site:askdavetaylor.com, for example, and the key value in the result is the number of pages it’s indexed, which you can see on the top right corner. For my site:
Finally, you might also find my articles and commentary on how search engines work in my popular book Growing Your Business with Google to be valuable too. Check it out!