Google’s Mueller answered a quest from someone whose site was deindexed and lost their rankings. John Mueller offered a list of technical issues that can cause Google to remove a website from the search results.
What’s good about this question and answer is that Mueller discusses two kinds of deindexing, a slow deindexing and a faster deindexing.
SEO Office-hours hangouts are not the place to ask for a diagnosis for a specific website. So it’s reasonable that Mueller did not give the person asking the question a direct answer specific to their website.
Upgraded Yoast SEO from Free to Premium and Lost Rankings
This is the question that was asked:
“I own a site and it was ranking good before 23rd of March. I upgraded from Yoast SEO… free to premium. After that the site go deindexed from Google and we lost all our keywords.”
The person asking the question noted that for the past few days the keywords returned to the search results for a few hours and then would disappear.
They said they checked Robots.txt, and checked the sitemaps and verified there were no manual penalties.
One thing he didn’t mention checking was whether the web pages contained a Robots Noindex meta tag.
Mueller Asserts Yoast Plugin Not the Reason Site Was Deindexed
Google’s Mueller begins his answer by speculating that the deindexing isn’t connected to updating the Yoast plugin from the free version to the premium version.
I think it is reasonable to start with the Yoast plugin and look at the settings. I have had it happen to me where I installed the Yoast SEO Plugin and subsequently discovered that pages had somehow acquired a “noindex, follow” meta description.
I have no idea what caused that to happen, I just noticed that it happened.
In my experience it’s a good practice to not dismiss anything as a reason without first checking it.
So I have to disagree with dismissing the Yoast SEO plugin upgrade as a cause without checking it before ruling it out.
“I don’t know… it sounds kind of tricky… I would say offhand it probably doesn’t have to do with the updating of your plugin.”
John Mueller from Google Answering Question About Deindexing
John Mueller discussing different ways that Google removes websites from their index
Why Google Deindexes Websites
Mueller next offers insights into the deindexing process including a long deindexing scenario where parts of a site are slowly deindexed because Google doesn’t consider them relevant.
Mueller Discusses Slow Partial Deindexing
Mueller next discusses a slow deindexing of parts of the site but not the entire site. What he describes next is a partial deindexing.
“But it could very well be a technical issue somewhere.
Because usually… when we reduce the indexing of a site, when we say we don’t need to have as many URLs indexed from a website, we tend to keep the… URLs that are more relevant for that site and that tends to be something that happens over… I don’t know… this longer period of time where it like slowly changes the indexing.”
What the person asking the question was not a slow or partial deindexing. His problem is a total site deindexing.
John Mueller Discusses Full Site Deindexing
Next Mueller described the possible reason why a site might experience a complete deindexing.
“So if you’re seeing something where like the whole site disappears from indexing, it almost sounds like something that might be related to a technical issue… something along those lines.”
Mueller next goes on to recommend going to the Webmaster Help Forums to ask for help in diagnosing the specific issue, something that is inappropriate for the Google SEO Office-hours hangout but appropriate to ask in the Google forums.
Mueller suggests it could be a technical issue, a site quality issue, a spam issue, possibly a hacking event,
Many Types and Reasons for of Deindexing Events
If a site is being deindexed it’s good to check not only the Robots.txt file but also to check the source code of the individual pages themselves to make sure there isn’t a rogue noindex meta description file that is blocking Google from indexing the web page.
There are many reasons why a site could be deindexed beyond the accidental robots.txt and robots meta tag, as Mueller noted. Reasons such as a hacking event or other technical issue that could be blocking Google should be investigated and nothing ruled out until it’s been checked.
Aside from that, the information about the slow partial deindexing and the total site deindexing was good information related to how Google deindexes websites.
Watch John Mueller answer why websites get deindexed.
He answers the question about the seven minute mark.
Once upon a time, Microsoft Office ruled the business world. By the late ‘90s and early 2000s, Microsoft’s office suite had brushed aside rivals such as WordPerfect Office and Lotus SmartSuite, and there was no competition on the horizon.
Then in 2006 Google came along with Google Docs & Spreadsheets, a collaborative online word processing and spreadsheet duo that was combined with other business services to form the Google Apps suite, later rebranded as G Suite, and now as Google Workspace. Although Google’s productivity suite didn’t immediately take the business world by storm, over time it has gained both in features and in popularity, boasting 6 million paying customers, according to Google’s most recent public stats in March 2020.
Microsoft, meanwhile, has shifted its emphasis away from its traditional licensed Office software to Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365), a subscription-based version that’s treated more like a service, with frequent updates and new features. Microsoft 365 is what we’ve focused on in this story.
Nowadays, choosing an office suite isn’t as simple as it once was. We’re here to help.
Google Workspace vs. Microsoft 365
Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 have much in common. Both are subscription-based, charging businesses per-person fees every month, in varying tiers, depending on the capabilities their customers are looking for. Although Google Workspace is web-based, it has the capability to work offline as well. And while Microsoft 365 is based on installed desktop software, it also provides (less powerful) web-based versions of its applications.
Both suites work well with a range of devices. Because it’s web-based, Google Workspace works in most browsers on any operating system, and Google also offers mobile apps for Android and iOS. Microsoft provides Office client apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, and its web-based apps work across browsers.