– A Mysterious Disappearing Act Play Hide and Seek

Magicians Hat and Magic Wand

[Since I first published this post, I received a reply from Stuart Pollington at explaining how he believes this anomaly arose. Since my post allowed for the possibility of inferring that a penalty may have been applied by Google, I feel it would be unfair to do anything other than to publish Stuart’s reply in full so I have reproduced it further down this page.]

I noticed today that, who have long claimed to be the UK’s number 1 SEO company and number 1 SEO specialist, are not appearing in their usual place in Google’s results pages for many of the most important search queries in the SEO sector.

For as long as I can remember, have appeared on page 1 for the following terms:
SEO specialists
SEO companies
SEO services

Today they are nowhere to be seen (see screenshots below).

A Google site search (type “” into Google) shows that Google has excluded Smart-Traffic’s home page from its page one results (see first screenshot below). The home page usually appears at the top when performing a Google site search and its absence usually indicates that something is wrong.

Is this an anomaly of some kind or could this be a penalty from Google?

If you know, please drop me a line using my contact form.

Here is the full, unedited reply from Stuart Pollington at, received after this post was first published.

“Hi Ewan,

I saw your post on our ‘Mysterious Disappearing Act’ and thought I would try and shed some light on the issue. First of all, congratulations on a well written post on a nice site. Seems to be ranking well and I am seeing you bottom of page 1 for ‘’ so Google agrees.

Our home page vanished on Wednesday 20th July. When we looked into this issue, we found a duplicate index that had been tagged for tracking from This shouldn’t have happened, as that type of referral page is already covered and blocked in our Robots.txt and within our Parameter handling in GWT. The same URL was indexed and caused a similar issue in October 2010. The problem lasted a couple of days and we have now since had our home page re-indexed, but obviously not all of the rankings have returned yet. I can only put it down to an error by Google. It was also around the time they updated their Parameter handling in GWT ( and and I am wondering whether the 2 were linked, perhaps.

Anyway, thanks for spotting and reporting on it. I enjoyed reading the post and will keep an eye out for any future ones you do. Is there any chance of getting my response added to the post?


Stuart Pollington
Head of SEO &
Technical Operations”

Please click on any of the images below to get a full size picture.

smart-traffic site search results exclude home page

Smart-Traffic Site Search Results

seo specialists - google search results

SEO specialists - google search results

seo services - google search results

SEO services - google search results

seo companies - google search results

SEO companies - google search results

Contact us to find out more about how our white hat SEO services can bring lasting benefits to your business.

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