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Index Page not in Search Results anymore PR6 to PR3
deezin

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3542394 posted 5:54 pm on Jan 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Okay, First of all I don't sell links and I have a site that follows the rules. I have a 9 year old site that suddenly dropped from a PR6 to PR3 a week or two ago. Now today, our index page is nowhere to be found for our major keyword. Does anyone know what penalty I am dealing with here?

Thank you.
Rachel

 

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3542394 posted 6:42 pm on Jan 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Does your index page still show #1 in a site: search - how about for a search on your domain name (an example.com search)?

deezin

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3542394 posted 6:49 pm on Jan 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi Tedster. Yes, it still shows up if I do that. And all my inside pages still show up in search under their respective keywords.

Thanks for your help.
Rachel

randle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3542394 posted 7:11 pm on Jan 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Now today, our index page is nowhere to be found for our major keyword.

Just for good clarity so we can try and help; when you say no where to be found, do you mean positively not in the first 1,000 results? We have had experiences of the 950 "relocation" effect, and all kinds of other positions throughout 1,000 from time to time. Landing in the 900ís stings the same, but is a bit different, than outside the 1,000.

deezin

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3542394 posted 7:24 pm on Jan 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi Randle. Thank you for your comments. I just went through 1-1000 and we aren't listed anywhere. Although a few of our inner pages showed up. Thanks.
Rachel

g1smd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3542394 posted 11:11 pm on Jan 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

What is the URL for your index page?

domain.com/
www.domain.com/
domain.com/index.html *
www.domain.com/index.html *

(* Substitute index.htm, or index.php, or index.asp, or default.asp, or whatever, as appropriate).

deezin

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3542394 posted 11:34 pm on Jan 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

I can tell you that when I do a site: search it comes up with www.domain.com/ ... is this what you meant?
Thanks.
Rachel

[edited by: tedster at 11:41 pm (utc) on Jan. 7, 2008]

deezin

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3542394 posted 5:33 pm on Jan 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

I was hoping that someone could help. Anyone have any ideas?

plasma

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3542394 posted 5:35 pm on Jan 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

Everytime one of my sites lost the index page, it was a duplicate content problem.
So make sure you have no dupes.

deezin

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3542394 posted 5:39 pm on Jan 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

Oh, really. Okay. How long did it take to get your page back after that.

Thank you for your help. Do you know of any software that I can check my site with to find duplicate content? I have a large site.

Thank you.
Rachel

g1smd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3542394 posted 11:16 pm on Jan 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

What URL does your "home" link point to from all of your internal pages?

martinibuster

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3542394 posted 11:37 pm on Jan 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

>>>Do you know of any software that I can check my site with to find duplicate content?

Just go to CopyScape. They're an authoritative site in their space, been around for a few years now. In fact, I think the guy who founded it invented the niche. ;)

deezin

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3542394 posted 1:04 am on Jan 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi there. Thank you everyone for your help. All the pages link to the index page (index.html). Today I just edited my htaccess file to point all non-www pages to www pages as well as redirecting the index.html page to example.com/ - Hopeully this will help. Thank you everyone for your kindness. :)

Rachel

plasma

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3542394 posted 3:35 pm on Jan 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

Oh, really. Okay. How long did it take to get your page back after that.

Depends on how often googlebot visits the dupe pages.
In my case after several days it was fixed.

deezin

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3542394 posted 4:00 pm on Jan 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

Great News! After Plasma mentioned duplicate content, I searched Webmaster World about it and saw the non-www to www redirect instructions, and I implemented it yesterday afternoon. This morning I reappeared in the search results and now I am even higher up on the front page. Thank you VERY VERY much, Plasma and thank you everyone else who was so helpful. :)

Thanks.
Rachel

g1smd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3542394 posted 8:45 pm on Jan 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

Good that you also picked up on my question and fixed it yourself... namely Google lists www.domain.com/ as the root page, and you link to www.domain.com/index.html as the root page.

deezin

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3542394 posted 9:46 pm on Jan 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yes, good point...I think it was your post after reading his post that pushed me in the right direction. :) I'm so happy I could sing. :)

g1smd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3542394 posted 11:18 pm on Jan 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

Is the canononical domain the www or the non-www now?

Just do three more checks:

1. If you ask for either domain.com/index.html or www.domain.com/index.html that each of those does a single redirect to the canonical domain, not a chain of redirects.

2. Check that index filename URLs in folders also redirect correctly, omitting the filename, but retaining the folder name in the target URL.

3. That all your internally pointing links no longer include the index file filename anywhere in the link URL (that is, your users don't pass through any redirects while normally navigating the site).

deezin

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3542394 posted 11:41 pm on Jan 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks for your help.This is the redirect I did - basically:

example.com now goes to www.example.com
example.com/index.html now goes to www.example.com
www.example.com/index.html now goes to www.example.com
example.com/directory/ now goes to www.example.com/directory/
example.com/anyfile.html now goes to www.example.com/anyfile.html

I used the following to do this:

Options +Indexes
Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^example\.com
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.example.com/$1 [R=permanent,L]

RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME}!-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI}!(.*)/$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.example.com/$1/ [L,R=301]

RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^.*\/index\.html?
RewriteRule ^(.*)index\.html?$ http://www.example.com/$1 [R=301,L]

oddsod

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3542394 posted 7:23 pm on Jan 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

You can set your preferred domain to www or non-www in Google Webmaster Tools. Academic question: Is there any reason why that won't clear this problem (instead of the .htaccess) with Google indexing and ranking your site?

Disclaimer: Personally, I go for the .htaccess.

g1smd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3542394 posted 7:52 pm on Jan 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yes, you have a chain.

If you ask for example.com/index.html it is redirected to www.example.com/index.html using your first rule, and that is then redirected to www.example.com/ using your final rule.

You need to change the order of the rules to avoid that happening.

.

While you can use GWT to signal which one you prefer to be used, that only works for Google. It does not stop visitors seeing incorrect URLs in their browser address bar which they then cut and paste and use as incoming links to your site. Only a proper redirect stops that, and that is always the preferred method.

[edited by: g1smd at 7:55 pm (utc) on Jan. 10, 2008]

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3542394 posted 7:55 pm on Jan 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

Is there any reason why that won't clear this problem (instead of the .htaccess)

Yes - first of all Google does not guarantee that setting your preference in GWT will do anything ("While Google doesn't guarantee that we'll show your URLs in the form that you prefer, we will use your choice as a suggestion to improve our indexing.")

Second, setting a GWT preference may keep your non-preferred form out of the SERP, but what about the flow of link juice and PR through your entire site? From my viewpoint, the 301 redirect fixes the core problem, but the GWT preference does not.

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