Solved: The site now ranks in Google. Don’t know why it behaved so weirdly, but I’m told it happens.
I found that Google sometimes doesn’t return text search results beyond the first few words on the page. Here’s my method and results:
I’m currently testing for the (removed) domain.
It’s a new domain registered in the beginning of October.
The first few days it was in the top of the Google results for the two keywords in the domain - found by freshbot following a link.
Then it disappeared. The only way to even get it to come up was to search for the entire domain.
After I put the actual design in place with some more pages (including pages with basically nothing on them), Google indexed most of the pages. The only page to have a cache was the index page, but all pages had a blurb.
Now I started to do text searches for phrases on the pages. Nothing came up.
I started doing the same thing, only with site:nameofsite.com in the search. And I found something curious. If I searched for phrases near the top of the page, I couldn’t get very far before it returned no results. The title of the page is 47 characters, and then there are the keywords. The Meta description was shown, and I could search phrases as long as the last word wasn’t further into the page than character 43 of the Meta description.
But I could search for single words further down the page, or even several words - it returned results easily.
But if I use those exact same search words without specifying site:nameofsite.com, the page is not in the results.
However, a blog I’ve had for a few years got a different treatment. I wrote a blog post yesterday, and it’s not only in Google today, I can search for phrases at the bottom of the post, and it comes up, no problem.
Update: Guess what, THIS post got indexed by Google within an hour of me writing it, and I can search for phrases far down the page, no problem. However, both the blog index and the blog post are returned by Google without a cache.
Update November 4:
I still sometimes see the old content in Google’s index, meaning there are datacenters that still have the old index. But even so, it appears the additional pages on the site are dropped from the index. On other other hand, I can now find the site by searching for the domain name, without specifying site: first. And if I search for site:www.domain.com and phrases, I can find them even far down the page, while site:domain.com still has the same behavior. I still don’t get any results from the site, though, even if I search for namerofsite. It’s pretty normal to get the domains first in the results if you search like that.
Update November 7:
The site is now searchable and ranking well in Google!