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Google Ranking Bug: The Weekend Mystery Unveiled

Google Ranking Bug: The Weekend Mystery Unveiled

Ranking Bug

Have you ever experienced a sudden disappearance of your website from Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) every weekend? If so, you’re not alone. Multiple publishers have reported a strange phenomenon known as the Google Weekend Ranking Bug.

This bug seems to affect select generic top-level domains (gTLDs), causing them to vanish from the SERPs during weekends, only to reappear on Mondays. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of this bug, explore its potential causes, and discuss the impact it may have on your website’s rankings.

The Google Weekend Ranking Bug: An Overview

The Google Weekend Ranking Bug has caught the attention of many website owners and SEO experts. It involves the complete disappearance of certain gTLDs from Google’s SERPs over the weekends, leading to a significant loss of traffic for affected websites. Publishers with gTLDs like .media, .club, and .clinic have reported this issue, with their sites unable to rank for their own names during weekends.

The bug was first brought to light by a tweet from Olesia Korobka (@Giridja), questioning whether all websites with specific gTLDs were experiencing this issue. This sparked a series of discussions in various Google support forums, with many publishers sharing their own experiences of weekend de-indexing.

Is It a Quality Issue?

One might wonder if this bug is related to the quality of the affected websites. However, based on the patterns observed, it doesn’t appear to be a quality issue. A quality issue typically affects rankings consistently throughout the week and month. In contrast, the Google Weekend Ranking Bug specifically targets certain types of domains and occurs exclusively on weekends.

A Cyclical Issue or Something More?

At first glance, one might assume that the drop in rankings and traffic during weekends is simply a result of decreased user activity. However, it goes beyond that. The rankings of affected websites, including their names, completely disappear during weekends, resembling a complete de-indexing. Moreover, this phenomenon seems to be limited to specific kinds of gTLDs, adding to the mystery.

Comparisons to Legacy Domain Penalty

The Google Weekend Ranking Bug may appear similar to a phenomenon known as the Legacy Domain Penalty, which was observed in the early days of Google. The Legacy Domain Penalty involved a domain getting stuck in a ranking loop, resulting in de-indexing for extended periods. However, there are notable differences between the two issues.

The Legacy Domain Penalty typically occurred due to a domain’s history of spam, whereas the Google Weekend Ranking Bug doesn’t seem to be associated with past spam. Additionally, the bug’s behavior suggests that it’s not a response to a quality issue. Therefore, it’s unlikely that the two phenomena are the same.

Possible Causes and Solutions

While the exact cause of the Google Weekend Ranking Bug remains unknown, there are a few theories worth considering. Some speculate that a bug in Google’s algorithm, introduced around the end of November, may be triggering this issue. Others believe that it could be related to a specific change in Google’s systems or algorithms.

Unfortunately, there are no definitive solutions available at the moment. Website owners and SEO professionals affected by this bug must closely monitor their rankings and traffic patterns, documenting any irregularities. By actively participating in relevant support threads and reporting their experiences to Google, they can contribute to the collective understanding of the issue.

See first source: Search Engine Journal

FAQ

1. What is the Google Weekend Ranking Bug?

The Google Weekend Ranking Bug is a phenomenon where certain websites with specific generic top-level domains (gTLDs) disappear from Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) during weekends and reappear on Mondays, leading to a loss of traffic for affected websites.

2. Which gTLDs are known to be affected by this bug?

The bug appears to affect gTLDs like .media, .club, .clinic, and possibly others. Websites with these domains may experience the issue.

3. Who first brought the Google Weekend Ranking Bug to public attention?

The bug was initially highlighted in a tweet by Olesia Korobka (@Giridja), which sparked discussions in various Google support forums.

4. Is the Google Weekend Ranking Bug related to the quality of affected websites?

Based on observations, the bug does not seem to be related to the quality of the affected websites. Quality issues typically affect rankings consistently, whereas this bug specifically targets certain gTLDs and occurs only on weekends.

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5. Does the bug result in a temporary drop in rankings or a complete de-indexing of affected websites during weekends?

The bug causes a complete disappearance of affected websites, including their names, from Google’s SERPs during weekends, resembling a complete de-indexing.

6. How does the Google Weekend Ranking Bug differ from the Legacy Domain Penalty?

While both issues involve rankings and de-indexing, there are notable differences. The Legacy Domain Penalty was often associated with a domain’s history of spam, whereas the Google Weekend Ranking Bug does not appear to be linked to past spam. Additionally, the bug’s behavior suggests it’s not a response to a quality issue.

7. Are there any known causes or solutions for the Google Weekend Ranking Bug?

The exact cause of the bug remains unknown. Some theories suggest it could be related to a bug in Google’s algorithm introduced around the end of November or specific changes in Google’s systems or algorithms. Unfortunately, there are no definitive solutions available at the moment.

8. What can website owners and SEO professionals affected by this bug do to address the issue?

Affected individuals should closely monitor their website’s rankings and traffic patterns, documenting any irregularities. They can also actively participate in relevant support threads and report their experiences to Google to contribute to the collective understanding of the issue.

9. Is there any timeline or expected resolution for the Google Weekend Ranking Bug?

As of now, there is no specific timeline for when the bug might be resolved. Google may investigate the issue further based on user reports and feedback.

10. How can website owners minimize the impact of the Google Weekend Ranking Bug on their websites?

Minimizing the impact may be challenging without a clear solution. However, website owners can focus on diversifying their traffic sources and not solely relying on organic search traffic from Google during weekends.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Christian Wiediger; Unsplash – Thank you!

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