One SEO professional asked John Mueller during a hangout about their new website. They are experiencing issues with ranking because their site dropped.
So they have a new website. They have been running the site for around 3 years. And everything was great with higher rankings and traffic.
On the first of March, their homepage was gone from the search results – it was entirely gone.
They ran everything. Every type of crawl they could think of, Google Search Console (GSC) for every keyword, and GSC even said they are still ranking even though the page had dropped from the results.
For an entire week, they did everything- nothing would work for them.
So then they bought a new domain and transferred their site to a new domain. Everything was indexed in a few hours. However, after three days, the ranking problem returned and affected the brand-new domain.
The major issue is that Google Search Console still shows that they are ranking in the first position, but their site is gone from the organic results completely.
They have tried many different devices and IP addresses, yet they can’t find their site on their keywords. Google Search Console is still saying they rank in the first position.
So every day they are still checking everything regarding this issue. Now they are out of options, hence their question to John Mueller.
John answered that first, what he would do is figure out if this is a technical issue or not by using the URL inspection tool in GSC.
The SEO pro explained that yes, he did use the URL inspection tool with the old website. He tried different crawlers, and all of them reported that everything is good. There are no errors with crawling or indexing. Also, Wore Web Vitals is 100 percent for both the old and new website.
He doesn’t believe it’s a quality thing because GSC says they are still ranking on the first page, but they can’t find it. And traffic is also gone – there has been a 90 percent drop.
John explained that the checks with the URL inspection tool are mostly to determine if a page is indexed or not.
And from what he can understand the SEO pro is saying that it’s indexed, it’s just not ranking, at least when they search.
John explained as well that he believes the performance report in GSC, especially with the position, is based on what people actually saw at any period of time.
And it can be the case that a small number of people saw your website, and when they did see it, it was ranking really well.
In these cases, Google would say “Well, that ranking is what they saw.”
It doesn’t mean that it will always be ranking that high when people search. It could be that for a short period of time, it’s ranking number one, and then for another period of time it is ranking at position 200, for example.
However, if nobody clicks over to position 200, then the only thing Google sees is that number one ranking.
And this is what Google would show in Google Search Console – reporting on what people actually saw, but not accounting for the positions that were never seen, which can lead to a misinterpretation of your ranking score on GSC.
This happens at approximately the 29:38 mark in the video.