TLDR; Don’t remove a site from Google’s index if you want it in seach results :)
The mystery of not being in Google, solved? I’ve been busy working on the second game for Dr Lingua – which is now feature complete – I just have a couple of bugs I found during testing to fix. Since the game is almost ready to launch, but I’m reluctant to launch it until the site shows up in Google, today I had more of a dig into my missing Google results.
The short story is that when I moved from the site from using the hash router (with URLs like foo.com/#/bar) to statically generating the site (with URLs like foo.com/bar), I wanted the old redundant pages cleared from Google – since it was pretty much just one page, and so new, I didn’t think it was worth a redirect. I assumed requesting to remove URLs in Google’s Search Console would kill the old (broken) URLs and allow the new valid ones to appear as they god scraped. Today I came across a post with suggested removing a site from the index keeps removing any new pages submitted for months afterwards… That sounds possibly relevant!
I went into Google Search console and cancelled the (old) removal. Half an hour later the pages were back on Google. Now, I know, correlation is not causation, but I’m 99% sure that’s what the problem was, I find the theory and timing compelling. So I’m calling that the problem, and saying everything is fixed now.
Now to get that next game launched!