Google Spaz

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Google is spazzing.

That’s a technical term. It means that one day, you see your site just fine in the index — ranking in the top 5 or 10 for your target terms, the next day -POOF!- gone completely.

So, of course you panic. You start obsessing over your source code, you start yelling at your IT guys… you spend the remainder of your day poring over SEO forums and blogs – maybe you take up smoking. You don’t find any good answers though, so you go home and check some more forums and blogs, yell at your dog and finally go to bed in a vain attempt to get some sleep.

The next day, you go back to work and find that your site is back. Pfft… it’s right where it’s supposed to be. Everything is cool. ‘Must’ve been some glitch or hiccup in the index’ you tell the IT guys as you apologize for – you know… some of that stuff you said yesterday… Water under the bridge and all that, right right? At least your dog still loves you – probably.

It’s all cool though, cause you’re back in the index, high in the SERPs and high on life.

Except the day after that you’re gone again. Just like before. Vanished, like you had never been.

Sounds like bad Twilight Zone or some spooky campfire story SEOs tell their kids doesn’t it? Let me tell you my friend: it’s all too real. It is happening as we speak. To me and others like me.

Google Spaz.

Submitted for your approval; one German webmaster named Thomas. Thomas has a website plagued by the Spaz as well. I found Thomas posting a cry for help on Google Webmaster Central. Where he had come to discuss and hopefully find some answers to the Spaz. He even provided a graph charting the phenomenon – notice how the interval has increased of late.

At this writing, Thomas had received no official response. However I did reply to his thread, if for no other reason, to let him know he wasn’t alone.

I’ve talked to others as well. All reporting the same symptoms. In then out… then back in again… Not everybody and not every day. Not just old sites or new sites… I have yet to find a pattern.

It’s not a datacenter thing I checked them.

Here’s another interesting tidbit – which may or may not be related. If I do a ‘site:’ query I see my pages just fine – including the index page, which has the latest ‘google date’ listed as June 26, 2007. However, in webmaster central it was telling me Google last successfully crawled my site on May 17, 2007. That is, right up to this morning… now Webmaster central tells me it has no crawl data for my site at all.

I suppose, as is usually the case with Google, we’re just going to have to wait it out. I just hope it passes sooner. I don’t know about Thomas or the other guys going through it, but it’s made for a long and anxious few weeks for me.

Google Spaz
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About Mike McDonald
Mike has been covering ebusiness and the search industry for WebProNews since 2000. Follow me on Twitter! WebProNews Writer
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