Google Results – All Or Nothing

Google has a remarkable aspect to its algo these days. That’s the phenomena where a website either ranks for terms or it doesn’t. And we’re not talking about hardcore competitive terms, either. For lack of a better term, it looks like “Trustrank” comes into play when a website loses it’s rankings. First you need to check a few things.

1) Do you still have pages indexed in Google? If not, you’re likely banned. If the site command shows nothing, you have probably been dropped from their index.

2) Do you rank for your own unique domain name? If you don’t, you likely have incurred a penalty. It’s not severe enough to keep you completely out of the index, and can probably be fixed on its own. But if you still rank for your own domain name and you have plenty of indexed pages and incoming links, the problems gets a bit murkier.

Add in the fact you may even have “sitelinks” to your website and the situation is downright cloudy. “Domain trust”, “authority,” and “TrustRank” are all concepts that explain away the symptoms, but with no official word from Google, it’s all speculation. In any event, I witnessed this phenomena again on 4/8/2009. Something “removed the filter” from one of my websites and a massive amount of long tail traffic returned to the logs.

By the 12th it was gone again. To me that looked like Google did some testing of user data signals and shit-canned the results for further study. Of course it could be something unrelated. Since I’m not privy to Google’s internal thinking, I can simply guess. I have to admit that “All or nothing” form or ranking certainly does appear Draconian.

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Google Results – All Or Nothing