homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: Robert Charlton & aakk9999 & brotherhood of lan & goodroi

Google SEO News and Discussion Forum

URL only listings- The Cause
and the cure

 12:44 am on May 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have been looking at my url only listings to see what is causing them, as well as what effect this my be having on the rest of my site. Here are some results.
The vast majority (99%)of the pages with URL only listings are my photo gallery pages. I'm guessing it is due to duplicate content issues. In a few galleries most pages are properly indexed but these are few. Usually one page per gallery is properly indexed and the rest are url only. Here is the format.
At the top there is a 3 cell table with a 120X60 button, a 468X60 banner, and then another button. The ads in these are typically the same throughout the gallery, or there may be two alternating tables. When there are usually one with each table is indexed. Below the adbar is navigation in the form of breadcrumbs. Then there is another table with the previous, index, and next buttons. Then a sentence-paragraph of unique text followed by the image. The filenames are also the same with a different number following. Here is what it looks like. Blue is for unique content, red is for duplicate.

Ad bar:
Ad - Ad - Ad
Site Name : Directory : Topic : Gallery Text and links duplicate.
Gallery Nav:
Previous - Index - Next Links are not duplicate.
Image (but with similar name and anchor to the rest.
So it appears the problem (in my case) is clear as are the soltuions. Incorporate the ads into my rotating banner network (javascript) so they are not used in the duplicate content determination. Use more Adsense in the galleries for the same reason. Add some more text to each page. Add unique alt text at least to the index of each gallery so the thumbnails link to the pages with unique anchor. Add meta tags for the galleries as well. In short, raise the ratio of unique to duplicate content on each page. What is unique on the page is the image, I just have to convey that better to Google.
But I also have to worry about the effect it has had on my site, and will continue to have until the pages are indexed correctly. The breadcrumbs are great for navigation, but they should also help to reinforce the theme of the pages above them. It can't happen until the pages are indexed. So now I have to do all this and throw a party for GoogleBot. Oh well, it's only fifteen hundred pages.



 9:20 am on May 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

A URL-only listing occurs when Google is aware of a URL, but has not (recently) fetched it. Now that Google have supplemental listings that last for a year or more, we can read "not recently" as "not for a rather long time".

So, it it possible to get a URL-only listing (usually after the URL had a supplemental listing) because the links to it have been removed. It is also possible to get a URL-only listing because the URL is excluded by /robots.txt

For large sites, the usual reason is that Googlebot has crawled deep enough to find the URL from a linking page, but not deep enough to fetch the URL.


 12:23 pm on May 20, 2005 (gmt 0)


How long might it take for a url to come back from url-only or from going url-only and then a day or two later vanish completely and after fixing whatever was wrong?

In my case I've had pages fully listed for years and within 15 days 60% of pages went url only and now are vanishing completely. No pages were ever supplemental and the pages that still exist still rank ok.

The only pattern for pages going url-only for my are:
1) too much boiler plate on pages with only a few paragraphs of content
2) too much unnecessary internal linking to high-profit pages


 2:13 pm on May 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

sailorjwd, basically if a URL is unfetched then you can encourage Google to fetch it if you link to it from another URL that Google fetches often.

Usually when a lot of URLs from a domain disappear from Google, it's because of a temporary hosting issue and they come back quite quickly.

If Google have decided not to list pages on your domain for quality reasons, then I don't think I could give you any kind of timescale.


 4:05 pm on May 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks ciml,

My hosting company/website was down for about 18 hours on the 5th of May. But it seems way more pages are being affected than would have been spidered during that time period. Hopefully that is the cause and since this event has given me the nudge to cleanup inefficient html and remove some unneeded links maybe pages will come back getter than ever.


 9:15 pm on May 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

They're back!

All of the pages on one of subcats which showed their URL only are now back to normal (tittle, description and URL) with the caches dated May 18 on some of datacenters.


 1:16 am on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well, it looks like we'll have to wait and see if some of the URL listings revert to normal listings as a result of Bourbon. Some strange points I found going through the logs. Almost all of my url only listings have been crawled since 4/1. Interestingly, those spidered on 4/1 have normal listings while those spidered since then fall into three categories.
1. Normal listing - these are rare, typically one per sub-category.
2. URL only listings.
3. No listing in Google at all.?

Anywho, my fix is something that should help my situation regardlessof what bourbon does.


 1:57 am on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

I can only speak for myself, I have a site with 600+ pages indexed. last week 30% went url only after the whole site was indexed and showing properly...I specifically kep track of each and every page, I then set up a filter to send me an email when each one of those pages were visited by G. sure enough each url only was visited by G and within 2 days I had fresh tags and full proper listing. This is the first time I have seen this, it almost appears that the url only listing with out supplimental is a Q for G to visit the page.

any thoughts on this?


 10:04 am on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

I had five well established sites fall out of Google’s index and into the supplemental results back in January; these sites are now listed by URL only.

My sites were all affected at the same time. I attribute my situation to a domain name server problem with my host that prevented Google spidering my sites for over 2 weeks.

However what I don’t understand is that my sites have been in supplemental results for over 5 months. They get spidered only about one or two times each month now. Why is it taking Google so long to get them back into the index? Each site has over 1000 incoming links.


 3:47 pm on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

40 pages just came back from url-only or totally missing + new page created thursday all with May 20 cache dates..

maybe G was just toying with my mind :)

At least site is now totally blanc hat.


 11:58 am on May 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I specifically disallowed Googlebot from crawling dynamic pages, yet they show 20,000 of them as "URL only" listings. Makes for a very ugly site: command, but I don't think it affects much.


 12:36 pm on May 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

URL-only listing occurs when Google is aware of a URL, but has not (recently) fetched it

The endless repetition of this statement fools the unwary into thinking that it is true. Current reality is different.

17 of the first 20 SERPs for a site:mysite.com are url-only. Only 2 of the 17 have not been recently parsed by G, and the evidence from my logs is that a URL has to be parsed **3 TIMES** before it will get a title + snippet.

See [webmasterworld.com...] (msg60) for more detail.


 12:46 pm on May 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Do any of your URL-only pages have only one word or phrase changing (for example a city name), with the remainder of the on-page text the same as on other URL-only pages?


 8:55 pm on May 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Do any of your URL-only pages have only one word or phrase changing

Currently, 89% of the first 100 SERPS are URL-only. I can therefore confidently tell you that each page differs radically from each other. There are, of course, common elements on each page.


 1:17 pm on May 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

searchin site: will show all my pages without title&descrption but if I search allinurl: they are there!



 5:36 pm on May 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

I had a load of URL-only listings when the server went down and Googlebot obviously got blocked. They came back to normal as soon as G returned a few weeks later and crawled the whole site again.

Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved