I experienced this firsthand. I posted four entries yesterday, none of which made it to the SERPs. And I wasn't even vying for the first page. I was just waiting for my entries to be indexed, but it didn't. I tried searching for my titles, then the URL itself. No new posts of mine appeared. At that time I thought I was penalized/sandboxed/graybarred from Google. I immediately checked all my Google accounts and my e-mail but there were no Google messages to be had. My Adsense and Webmaster Tools accounts were also A-Ok. So I thought, something smells fishy. I quickly googled and found out that quite an amount of people involved in SEO suffered crazy dips in traffic and that there are lots of spam sites appearing in the first pages of the SERPs. Here's a site talking about it:
Google Updates and SERP Changes
From the flow of conversation from the link above, I can infer that Googlebots visit your website every now and then but it fails to index them. What caused that I don't know. Many people were talking about algorithm changes and penalties.
Anyway, I also checked out the Google Webmaster Central forums and found that John Mu, a Google employee, issued this statement:
I just wanted to provide a short update. This issue should be resolved soon, but it will take a several days for everything to catch up and for these changes to be visible. I'll provide another update after the weekend.
In the meantime, there's no need to make any changes on your side. Content from your sites will continue to be indexed during this time (though perhaps at the moment not as quickly as before in some cases).
Thank you for your patience and for all the feedback!Cheers,
I've been in contact with the indexing and diagnostics teams since your initial reports -- we are taking your reports seriously and doing what is necessary to resolve this problem as soon as possible. We love sending users to your sites quickly after you have published something too :-).
Just to be clear, the issues from this thread, which I have reviewed in detail, are not due to changes in our policies or changes in our algorithms; they is due to a technical issue on our side that will be visibly resolved as soon as possible (it may take up to a few days to be visible for all sites though). You do not need to change anything on your side and we will continue to crawl and index your content (perhaps not as quickly at the moment, but we hope that will be resolved for all sites soon). I would not recommend changing anything significantly at this moment (unless you spot obvious problems on your side), as these may result in other issues once this problem is resolved on our side.
Thanks again for your patience!
So that's it. That's the smoking gun. There's no algorithm change or a change in Google policy. All rumors were put to an end. You know, people make pretty assertions when they don't know what's going on. I'm one of those people. And I'm happy to say that all of my posts yesterday got indexed today. Maybe it was really just a glitch in the Google system.
Unfortunately for my fellow bloggers, some of them are yet to see the restoration of their SERP ranks, YET. I'm fully confident that Google would restore everything to 100%. If it's Google, it's good (my very first Google catchphrase, yay!)
If you still are suffering from this Google indexing glitch, I suggest you head to the Google Webmaster Central forums and state your position there. Here's the address for it:
Google Webmaster Central
Like I said, if it's Google, it's good.
'Till my next installment.