I tend to check our company's google results for desired keywords on a daily basis. Its always good to keep an eye out for core algorithmn updates and variances. Perhaps I take it a little too far but I was glad I did in this case.
Checked for one of our primary targets- 'Denver web design' and found it no longer on page 1, nor page 2,3,4 etc. It was gone. The natural reaction is to panic a little. We work hard on our SEO. Had we somehow gotten a manual penalty? I couldn't imagine why but my first move was to log in to google webmaster tools and check for such a penalty. On doing so I was relieved to see there were no manual actions found.
So what was happening? It was roughly 6AM and had just woken. I was starting to wonder if I had in effect gaslighted myself with an actual non issue. I logged out of webmaster tools and googled 'big orange planet'. The only possible #1 result is our home page. The home page was gone- the header image of this post shows the results- while primary page like about were still showing, the home page was no longer in google's index. Given its been there for 15 years +, this was quite disturbing to me.
I logged back into webmaster tools console to check the home page URL with google's toolset.Wish I had a screenshot to add credence to this tale but quite frankly my primary concern at this time was getting re-indexed. This is what I got on the check
"https://www.bigorangeplanet.com/URL InspectionTested on: Apr 28, 2019, 7:16 AMURL is not on GoogleThis page is not in the index, but not because of an error. See the details below to learn why it wasn't indexed. Learn more"
I then tried multiple times to submit the page to the index, which seemed bizarre in itself- how could google have forgotten the home page exists but retained the rest of the site pages? Unfortunately the submit tool returned errors that were basically telling me the submission was not allowed at that time. I was not happy, this seemed almost conspiritorial to me. I logged out of google and logged back in, fuming away. Hey presto the submission worked- big G was set to crawl the home page and add to its index. 5 minutes later results were back to normal.
Why did this happen? I have no idea, but I assure you it did. If anyone experiences similar and finds this post, I hope it will help.