You lost my most popular post this week? No problem, I’ll just take a 70% hit in traffic.
I was checking my WordPress stats at lunch today when I noticed that they were about 15% of what they normally were. I thought this was really weird, but I assumed it was just a glitch and that it would right itself within a few hours.
After completing some of the edits I was busy with, I took a few minutes to investigate the problem. I noticed that my most popular post for the week, Geek Ink goes to Cine Prestige Cavendish, had only one hit for the day. This was very odd, to say the least.
In order to find the source of the problem, I did a quick Google search. The cause became apparent mere moments after I clicked the search button. My post, which had been bouncing around the bottom five entries of the first page of Google, was no longer there. So I checked the second page, thinking that I had been knocked down a page. Not there either. Page three? Nope. It was then that I thought, “Has my post disappeared for some reason?” So I copied the URL for the post, pasted it into Google and hit search again. As I suspected. My post had completely disappeared from Google’s search results.
Thankfully I have a fairly reasonable knowledge of Google’s Webmaster Tools, and popped in to see if there were any errors on my site.
This mystery just keeps on getting… more mysterious. There was not a single error on my site.
So I can only assume that due to the alignment of the sun and the inclination of the tides, Google’s database screwed up somehow (it’s happened before) and that my post had disappeared into the ether of the Internet. Thankfully, there was a way to fix. I poked around the Webmaster tools and found the manual submission tool, and after a short while, my post was back where it belonged.
Unfortunately this was after work, so the majority of my traffic for the day was gone (most people tend to browse my site during work hours). At very least I don’t rely on this site to pay the bills (yet), or this could have been disastrous.