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info: operator brings up the wrong site

 8:27 pm on Feb 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have a very strange problem. My site has been up for some a few weeks in it's current form and for a few months prior to that in it's old form. It has a Google sitemap submitted, and the sitemap file looks fine. But my pages are not indexed in Google (they are in other SE's).

But here's what might be causing the problem: Try this, do a info: search and it brings up a completely different site. I never had that name.

Can anyone tell me what they think is going on?


[edited by: tedster at 2:46 am (utc) on Feb. 29, 2008]
[edit reason] No personal domain names please [/edit]



 8:41 pm on Feb 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

I just went to archive.org and sure enough my domain name used to point to the other site that Google thinks my site is. Google still thinks that my domain is being forwarded to that other site. Strange, since it has not be doing this since 12/2005!

How do I get Google to fix this? Is there an automated way? Do they eve have a support email address for this?


 9:18 pm on Feb 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Do the info: operator search on your domain and then scroll down to the bottom of the page. There is a link there with the text "Dissatisfied? Help us improve." You can submit your report there.

It has a Google sitemap submitted, and the sitemap file looks fine.

Submitted with what method? Do you have a Webmaster Tools account for this domain? If not, setting one up might correct the entire problem.


 9:30 pm on Feb 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks. I went ahead and filled out that form. Do you have any idea if they look at that pretty quickly, or does it go into a big black hole?

Yes, I have a Webmaster Tools account for the domain, and sitemap.


 9:31 pm on Feb 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Sorry, didn't answer "Submitted with what method?" I have a plugin for the Expression Engine site that generates a sitemap. I checked it and it looks good. Then I manually submitted it to the Webmaster Tools account and it is verified and "OK".


 9:50 pm on Feb 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Do you have any idea if they look at that pretty quickly, or does it go into a big black hole?

Google says they read them all - but no promise of actions, of course. Do your server logs show googlebot is currently spidering and getting 200 status responses?


 1:15 am on Feb 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I looked at my server log and I'm not very good at reading them. It's just a big dump to me. But here is a snippet that contains the word Googlebot with a 200 somewhere after it.

[28/Feb/2008:12:15:53 -0500] "GET /sitemap.php HTTP/1.1" 200 3838 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)"
**.**.**.*** - - [28/Feb/2008:12:16:02 -0500] "GET /templates/blog/single-entry.php HTTP/1.0" 200 3564 "-" "-"
**.***.**.** - -

I see others like this. What does the 200 mean?

I brought the same question up on the Google Webmaster Help forum > Crawling, indexing, and ranking, and here is what someone replied:

"Well, some of your pages are indexed, but not the homepage. That's
usually a bad sign as its often the most up to date on the site.

The cache of your site also shows the [other site] page.

This has been brought up dozens of times here with no resolution to
date, they generally blame the DNS but since you are on different IPs,
different servers, I don't know if that applies here."

NOTE: Edit to add, I just read up on code 200 and it means OK.

[edited by: tedster at 2:26 am (utc) on Feb. 29, 2008]
[edit reason] obscure the IP addresses [/edit]


 2:49 am on Feb 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

OK - then we're getting into confusing territory for you, but at least you know that Google got your sitemap.php page.

If the sitemap is accurate, I would be patient for a few more days at this point. Watch your Webmaster Tools account closely and study up on the important areas.


 12:07 am on Mar 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

We had a similar issue happen to a site that we monitor.

Our issue had to do with the site operator. If we did site:our-domain.com, we would get listings for site:different-domain.com

We setup the Google sitemap, but that did not resolve the issue.

Upon some brief investigating, the different-domain.com website was hosted by the same hosting provider as our own. We were using a properly configured VPS, so how this could happen, I have no idea.

We contacted Google and they said it was the hosting company's fault. We contacted the hosting company and they said it was Google's fault.

After trying to fix the issue for two months, the problem was resolved by moving to a different host. Haven't had any more troubles since the move.

BTW, it may be worth noting that the hosting company we had issues with was one of the bigger (supposedly more reliable) ones.

[edited by: tedster at 12:57 am (utc) on Mar. 1, 2008]
[edit reason] turn off smile graphics [/edit]


 1:05 am on Mar 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

Now there's something that parallels a current head scratcher I'm working with. But in the case in front of me, the client does all their own hosting. They've made a huge tangled mess of subdomains, IP addresses, and all kinds of fancy "virtualization", just as a third party hosting company might. At this, moment both operators info: and site: are returning chaotic responses over a major group of very busy and prominent domains.

The opening post from slobizman might get sorted out in a bit sine the site is rather new. But if the possibility of a new host is there, that just might fix the whole mess if it doesn't get sorted out naturally very soon.


 2:42 am on Mar 1, 2008 (gmt 0)


Is your site on shared hosting? I've seen this cause the problem you are experiencing. if so ask your host for a dedicated IP address and that might fix the problem (not dedicated server). This should only cost $1.00 more per month on a good host. If your host doesn't offer a dedicated IP address I'd find another host. I always sign my clients up on one.

This may be why Google says it's the host's fault.


 2:44 pm on Mar 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

Lorel, no, it's a VPS.


 4:44 pm on Mar 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

Still trying to find clues on what to do.

In going to the Google webmaster tools pages today, it started out by telling me:

"Pages from your site are included in Google's index.
Googlebot last successfully accessed your home page on Feb 19, 2008.
Potential indexing problems:
We do not know about all the pages of your site. You can submit a Sitemap to tell us more about your site."

Hmmm. I have a Google Sitemap. In fact, the stiemap page says the sitemap is verifeid and OK and has indexed 21 pages.

The last crawl date was Feb 19, and it did index 21 of my pages, but not my home page.

I have a Page Rank of 4, but my webmaster tools statistics tells meL

"Your page with the highest PageRank
February Data is not available at this time.
January Data is not available at this time.
December http://www.(removed).com/(some page not on my site).html"

Not sure what the above means.

Then I checked the Diagnostics/Web Crawl. It shows:

"Home page crawl:
Googlebot last successfully accessed your home page on Feb 19, 2008.

Index status:
Pages from your site are included in Google's index. See Index stats.

No pages from your Sitemaps are currently in Google's index. Indexing can take time. You may find it helpful to review our information for webmasters and webmaster guidelines. More information"

That doesn't make sense. It says "pages from your site are included in Google's index" but then it says "No pages from your sitemaps are currently in Google's Index.

Then, under "Web crawl errors" it shows the orange caution triangle icon next to "Not found" with a number of 60 pages not found. Every one of these pages are pages I do not recognize and must be from the previous two year old site. Could it be grabbing these pages from an old sitemap and for some reason Google has simply not indexed my sitemap yet (even though it's been accessed already for at least the last 10 days?

Do these bits of information help anyone get any clues as to what's going on?

[edited by: tedster at 6:12 pm (utc) on Mar. 2, 2008]
[edit reason] de-link the url [/edit]


 5:17 pm on Mar 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

I wonder if this helps at all: the crawl rate for the last 90 days. It was doing it every day until near the ned of January, which was when I changed my nameservers from a Zlio shop to my new web site. At that point it appears the crawling stopped.

Interestingly, the chart shows no crawling in February, but the Webmaster Tools pages say Googlebot last visited on Feb 19.

Any ideas?

[edited by: tedster at 5:31 pm (utc) on Mar. 3, 2008]

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