Why Does My Blog Post Appear, Disappear, and Reappear In Google?

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Have you ever wondered why your blog posts immediately show up in Google then go away  the very next day or shortly afterward, and then reappears on some random day? I did too, until I figured out what was going on.

Each time I posted to my blog, the new blog post would show up in Google right away, disappear shortly afterward, then later appear again. After watching this closely for several months I noticed it always seemed to reappear shortly after I made a newer blog post. Unable to explain the phenomena with any certainty, I decided to try a few tests.

One thing that immediately popped into my mind was the fact that the WordPress template I was using had enclosed all of the blog post titles in <H1> tags on my home page. Since I have my blog set to show a summary of the ten most recent blog posts, that meant there were ten H1 tags on my blog’s home page. Well any SEO will surely tell you that’s bad optimizing, and that you should use only one H1 tag per page. That’s SEO 101! Yes, yes, it was already on my to-do list so don’t ask. :)

Anyway, in my case the most recent blog post is at the top, and that is also my very first H1 tag. So, I had identically phrased and prominent H1 tags on two separate pages along with most of the page text before and some of the text immediately afterward. I thought maybe once Google identified the matching H1 tags on multiple pages, perhaps Google was marking them as identical, dropping the newer page and keeping the more popular, established one, i.e., the one with more PageRank.

Sure enough, after I enclosed all of the post titles on my home page with an H2 tag rather than H1 tags, but still leaving the H1 tags on the single blog post pages, my blog post disappearing trick quickly went away.

Now my blog posts show up in Google’s index and they never go away. At least not like this anyway…

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  • September 5th, 2010 at 6:19 pm Carl-Johan said:

    It didn’t seem to work. Checked your last posted and they have disappeared from google again. I have the same problem with my blog.

  • September 7th, 2010 at 9:16 am Wesley LeFebvre said:

    Hi Carl,
    I tried to go to your website, but my WOT add-on for firefox blocked the site alerting me that it was a site involved in malware so I don’t feel comfortable taking a look.

    In any case, I have found that the issue has come back for me as well. It appears that when it happens it is only the latest blog post, and it doesn’t happen every time. It seems to happen most often when it is a blog post that is also added to other pages such as a dated or category archive, where there is little other text. I’m thinking it is getting marked as duplicate content, since those other pages show up in the serps when searching for the title of a missing post. After Google “figures it out”, the missing post always reappears.

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