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Pages still in with PR but no Description or Title!
4000+ pages all retaining their PR but no Desc nor Title

 7:34 am on Oct 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

I dont know whats happened, but sometime around the 21st of Oct. the titles and descriptions for 4000+ (all) of my pages just disappeared along with of course my positions! The PR for the time being is holding strong but what the hell could be going on here. Spiders havent been by for more than 2 weeks now.

Help please



 1:39 pm on Jan 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Ref: Slow Death

Yep - this is happening to one of our sites. Crawled pretty well every day, PR 7 on index page, PR 6 on sub-pages (except for a PR Update(!) to 7 on one page the other day)


Nothing but the index page indexed by Google. Most pages were previously indexed as not-www - on the basis of a single link the Googlesnipped decided to follow one day.


301 re-direct, a simple one to solve a not-www to www issue.

2nd reason: snipped

Consequences: Severe

Sympathy: No thanks: 'Worse things happen at sea' etc. And why should anyone give a snipped if I have to sell my house, put my wife on the streets etc. etc.

Mental state: Poor, but due to my New Year's resolution I now swear less.

p.s. The page that received the PR update from 6 to 7 isn't in the index. snipped Now figure that one out.

[edited by: DaveAtIFG at 4:48 am (utc) on Jan. 5, 2004]
[edit reason] Removed inappropriate language [/edit]


 2:52 pm on Jan 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

dasboot, did you actually do a 301 redirect? Just posted this in another thread.


 2:59 pm on Jan 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yep - a simple redirect on the server. At some point in the past Googlearse must have found a single no-www link to this site, deep crawled it, and everything but the index page was then listed as not-www.

We searched and destroyed all the not-www links, and at the same time made the 301 redirect to www.

Result has been that the not-www pages have been dropping like flies from Google (except the index page which has always been listed as www). Crawls every day or so; PR still shows on sub-pages (they're even updated!), logs show the 301 is in operation.

It's a slow death due to a 301.

I have a simple thesis - snipped - but I defer to those who have developed more sophisticated arguments.

[edited by: DaveAtIFG at 4:49 am (utc) on Jan. 5, 2004]
[edit reason] Removed inappropriate language [/edit]


 4:09 pm on Jan 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am among the people who 1st reported this Slow Death Syndrome. My site started suffering on 10th October, and I raised this issue in several threads.... still no solution.

I never used 301 on my Domain.
However, few of my pages which are using java applet are returning 301 anyhow.

I removed them too

2 of other sites, never used any 301 anytime on any page!
They also suffered the same slow death.

Still wondering when I'll hear from Horse's mouth.

any change in situation?


 4:22 pm on Jan 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

> I have a simple thesis - Google is f*cked

Yeah, I've heard this from you for some time now.

Fact is, that Google needs at least a couple of weeks to sort a 301 out.

In the meantime, chances are that you will see both sites die. But not for long. After Googlebot has sorted it out, everything will be okay.


 4:28 pm on Jan 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hmmm... no change except that I saw googlebot in my logs but that in no way ensures that pages will indexed fine. I had googlebot visit almost regularly in November. No trace in December, but something is wrong? Did not happen pre-Florida. Now the question.

Does google know about it?

With so many people writing about it. I am sure they know.

Are they doing anything to correct it?

Anybody's guess is as good as mine.

But what do we all do? I guess share as much information as we can and wait.


 6:30 pm on Jan 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

We really cant do except waiting
zzzzzzzz ~


 9:35 pm on Jan 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well just to add more mixture to the broth

What webdev highlights
I have done a test and managed to get the missing title and description by doing the following.
Set up a permanent redirect to another one of our sites, after 2 weeks I now have the symptoms you are all describing...

I can say that in my case there was a redirect in place...using a javascript to redirect users to differing pages built around 2 sets of frame resolutions.

So if the redirects has a bearing to the missing titles/descriptions then I'm not surprised.


 10:56 pm on Jan 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

dasboot, how fast exactly are you expecting these changes to happen in Google?

Do I have this right? You got hammered because of a backlink with no www, you've corrected things, even done a 301, and you haven't seen the www.site.com pages in the serps yet except for the /index.htm, (that was always there)?

The 301 isn't even necessary as long as the bad backlinks are gone and there are lots of good backlinks. Google should get it sorted out, but it might take a couple of months. (Be glad we're in the era of rolling updates... it will happen faster than it would have a year ago). How long ago did you got rid of the site.com backlinks and do the 301?

How often do you check your logs? You have to watch for how people are linking to you... it's not just a <a href="http://site.com"></a> that will do it... there are others.

Good luck, patience.


 12:32 am on Jan 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi Stefan & Dirkz,

Thanks for the encouraging words. The perm. redirect (and not-www link destruction) was done over a month ago. We figured it would cause some hiccups - but to have a slow death at this time of year is financially a genuine slow death.

The 301 had to be done - because a single not-www link out there could cause a similar problem in future.

Why Google chose to list our site as not-www, when the ratio of www to not-www incomings links is 100-1, and our DMOZ and Yahoo listings are also www is anyone's guess. So we had to bite the bullet at some point and set up the 301.

And yes Dirkz - I have stated it before - perhaps too often and in too florid language. I think Google is bust.


 12:45 am on Jan 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Why Google chose to list our site as not-www, when the ratio of www to not-www incomings links is 100-1

If that offending link, from an offending webmaster who should have known better, had the highest PR, that might have been enough.

Our site went through the same thing last May. All it took was one bad incoming link to remove our index page. Fortunately, we got it changed before Google had a chance to crawl all the inner pages as site.org/everything_else.htm.

It will sort out eventually, man. Blo*dy poor timing though...

I have to say... it is stated by Google that incoming links can do you no harm. This is not true, they certainly can.


 12:53 am on Jan 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thanks Stefan


 6:57 pm on Jan 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Just figured out someting messy
1) One of my site had slow death, when searched using site:domain.com ,
shows my 1 page listed there like domain.com/xyz.htm and a Tag of Supplemental Results.

2) Another site undergoing slow death when searched site:domain.com ,
shows my index page listing with a Title "my Hosting provider's name". AND when I see the cache version, it opens my original index.

Its surely a glitch with redirect.


 7:36 pm on Jan 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

> I have to say... it is stated by Google that incoming links can do you no harm. This is not true, they certainly can.

They changed their guidelines:

> There is *almost* nothing a competitor can do to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index.


 8:29 pm on Jan 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

So let me get this right, this is all about re-directs?

I can see this is going to get much worse. You can now wipe out rival sites by setting up re-directs to their sites. Anyone know of any sites they would personally like to see vanish from Google's Index? Maybe your main competitors.

This is Crazy. Has Googleguy not made any references to this?


 8:45 pm on Jan 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

GoogleGuy talks in riddles - why would anyone want GG to comment?

His comments simply provide cause for more speculation.

There's no substance and no content in what he says beyond what is already in the public domain.

It's merely a fantastic PR exercise by a company that has already sold out.


 9:42 pm on Jan 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

You have to watch for how people are linking to you... it's not just a <a href="http://site.com"></a> that will do it... there are others.


Are you saying that if I link to a site using [site.com...] rather than [site.com...] I can condem that site to a slow death?

Has anyone done this experimentally to see if it works.

Best wishes



 9:54 pm on Jan 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

> Are you saying that if I link to a site using [site.com...] rather than [site.com...] I can condem that site to a slow death?

Avoidable by a 301. But there are some other issues left ...


 11:02 pm on Jan 4, 2004 (gmt 0)


Avoidable by a 301. But there are some other issues left ...

Care to expand?


 12:38 am on Jan 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

that sucx if there is ppl out there causing your site to have a "slow death"


 1:32 am on Jan 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

Are you saying that if I link to a site using [site.com...] rather than [site.com...] I can condem that site to a slow death?

Afaik, in theory, (with no 301), if the PR of the link is high enough, Google will list site.com as the URL in the serps rather than www.site.com and it doesn't make much difference, you're still there, but in practice this isn't necessarily the case. I don't know if some dupe content penalty kicks in or what, but when it happened to us, it knocked our index.htm out completely until we got it taken care of and their site had been re-crawled with the right link.

I don't want to start a big deal on this, but it's best to watch out for how people link to you and make sure it's with a consistent URL form. I never bothered with a 301, so I don't know if that can be a source of problems, (it's not supposed to be), but since our little adventure, I look at the logs very, very closely. I don't want anything slipping through and repeating that mess.


 1:40 am on Jan 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have a site, total of 135 pages. Google maintains indexes for both the www.mysite.com and mysite.com. They update both sets almost daily. I have never put a 301 on either set of the pages.

When the results are displayed for any given search term only the www.mysite.com pages appear. The others are there but do not come up. It took at least 3 months for this to work itself out.

Did all I could to insure that links I control only go to www.mysite.com.

One would think that this would cause a duplicate issue with a penalty, but as of now it's not happening. I believe they are afraid to issue a site wide penalty for this, simply because it's their screw-up in the first place.

They have a big problem with this issue AND THEY DAMN WELL KNOW IT. GG guy has never to my understanding, taken a definative position on this issue in any sort of manner.

Put a 301 on one set of pages? Well, you can, but buyer beware, slow death is around the corner. It has happened to lots of people out there.

Frankly, there are so many sites with this issue that if they removed one of the situations but left the other, their database would probably shrink by a third. Then the big question would be, which set to keep? Talk about a hot potato!

I believe part of what caused this "massive screw-up" is when they began their experiments using the whois, and whois services, and the indexing parked domains. To me they all seem tied together.

The notion that www.mysite.com and mysite.com are two different entities in a way is a complete misnomer.

My belief is that less than 5% of the sites out there truly are different. Therefore:

If it walk like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it is a duck.

If page size A=B and Title is a match, it for sure is a duck.

In reality, that's seems to be the what is occurring in my case.

No penalty, just 270 pages for my site, 135 being duplicate content.


 1:47 am on Jan 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

Nice post Trawler - my recent solution (in some desperation) has been to destroy not-www altogether.

So no redirect at all - 302 or 301.

not-www simply doesn't exist anymore.



 1:57 am on Jan 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've used no redirects whatsoever at all. Had no downtime and no changes in content and also no duplicate content.
But yet i am too suffering the "Slow Death". Therefore it seems unlikely to me that this is a "redirect-error".

Also urls from whom all inbound links were removed by me more than 6 months ago are showing now. Could this be an indication, that they are trying to compare old content and new content and use it the ranking process

<added>aka stripping the old content from the new content and rank the site higher for only the "added" content? (and screwed up)</added>

[edited by: ikbenhet1 at 2:14 am (utc) on Jan. 5, 2004]


 8:56 am on Jan 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

Just moved a large forum to its own subdomain to see if the crawling patterns are changed. (Google had stopped crawling a forum which was at PR5). The rest of the pages were fine... just this one directory in particular was dying a slow death.

We went from 25,000 odd pages to 1300 pages in 3 months, with a decrease every week.

Result: Google is crawling the top level pages as we speak. Lets see if it goes deep and indexes the pages. I for one cannot figure out what caused the slow death on this directory.


 1:58 pm on Jan 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

Just noticed that when I do the search site:www.domain.com domain Google returns 20 pages no description or titles but the 2nd result is https://www.domain.com. This is also the case if I search site:http://www.domain.com domain.

I am so confused about this "slow death syndrome" the reasons for it happening seem to be changing by the day.

My own problems started in November with our host being down on several occasions, then we added a robots.txt in December which worked fine until our host did something and made the robots.txt return a "403 Forbidden", and now I find myself looking a re-directs. We have several domains pointing to the mother site, these use 200's which from what I have read are fine, however, something I did over a year ago was to make one of the other URL's go to a page that did a refresh after 1 second and then go to the index page, this was just for tracking purposes.

So now I find myself trying to figure out why we have lost all but 20 pages (these only showing the URL)is it all of the above or just 1 of the problems that causes this.

I have removed all the redirects to the site now, got the robots.txt working properly, and hopefully our host is now sorted and we will have no further downtime, we have not had any downtime now for 3 weeks.

I am being tempted to just launch the site under a different URL and starting again. I find just waiting for something that may infact take days, weeks or month just a little bit much.


 5:15 pm on Jan 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

More strange
One of my site (NOT the slow death one)has a PR 5 for www.site.com and it still shows PR 5 and same backlinks for [site.com...]

BUT the internal pages for www.site.com are PR 5 too, and in case of [site.com...] ... its 0

my 99% incoming Links are pointing www.site.com , and rest 1% is not at all important...its superfluous.


 5:22 pm on Jan 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am seeing this for a couple of months now for the "slow death" domain, sometimes this text show and somtimes not:

- 32k - Supplemental Result - Cached - Similar pages

What the heck is a supplemental result? Anybody else see this sometimes?


 5:30 pm on Jan 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

More strange
One of my site (NOT the slow death one)has a PR 5 for www.site.com and it still shows PR 5 and same backlinks for [site.com...]
BUT the internal pages for www.site.com are PR 5 too, and in case of [site.com...] ... its 0

my 99% incoming Links are pointing www.site.com , and rest 1% is not at all important...its superfluous.


 5:57 pm on Jan 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

ok well hello everyone,
I'm the guy that started this thread back in October. Well I see finally its not just me and wanna_learn. I guess I at least owe it to the readers and contributors of the thread to give you my experiences so far.
I will try not to go into to much detail as 90% is in this thread already and you just need to read it from start to finish, but it will be hard not to go into too much detail.

- Starting October 4th or so googlebot activity for my site began to almost stop then around the 10th it stopped completely from averaging 600 hits a day to 0

- Around the 21st of October I noticed thousands of pages missing from the index and the pages that were there had no title or description. I spent the next week trying to solve the riddle, at the end of the week i began this thread in desperation that i might find people with similar problems that could band together and make some noise. As I had already sent 100s of emails and took every action i could think of.

- just some of the actions were;
my lawyers threatened legal action

i wrote 100s of emails to google

i stickied google guy

i took out any redirects

i scanned out all bad incoming links

i removed any pages that google might have seen as duplicate

i submitted and wrote letters to dmoz

i changed the IP my site was on

i changed the server i hosted my site on

i republished a new directory structure

I have begged for help to the entire SEO world

i set up site maps all over the place

i added redirects i took them out and then re-added have always used 301s with no problem in the past

i removed shared borders

and another hundred other things on over 30,000 pages of content its been a nightmare

Well the reason why i have posted here is just to let you know there is hope. The reason why i havenít posted recently is because while it appears that im coming back its not a definite and even if i get back I have no factual reason why, I did so many bl**dy things that it could have been anyone of them.

Google began spidering me hard for the first time on dec 31st. 450 visits
1st 400 visits
2nd 541 visits
3rd 100 visits
4th 611 visits
5th 350 visits so far

on the 2 14 pages apppeared on -kr
on the 2nd 3100 pages
on the 3rd 6500 pages
on the 4th 9500 pages

so this seems all good at least the bl**dy spiders are back
the listings though are somewhat reminisent of pre-slow death. Google only shows 400 of the supposed 9,500 in the index, and 10% of these have no descr or title.

So I guess we'll have to see what happens, but without a doubt its a problem that needs to be address and isnt.

Google is it that serious that your afraid to let it out of the plex?


 7:05 pm on Jan 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

super_seo or you had some divine intervention.

Good to hear u've cracked it..we hope fingers x. =]

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