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301 redirects ok... but pages disappeared from Google?

 1:52 pm on Jul 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hi All

Some help please.

I've a mature site that has just been rebuilt. Content/tags/seo etc are unchanged. The file structure of the site has been made more consistent and there have been some cosmetic improvements.

We were painfully careful with 301 redirects. However the site went live a couple of days ago and 50% of my most popular pages have completely disappeared from the Google index. Just vanished . . . .

Should I wait and see? Does it take a little time for them to bounce back?

Many thanks.



 2:43 pm on Jul 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yes by all means give it some time and post back with any update.


 4:50 pm on Jul 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

Just because I've pulled a 'no-brainer' or two myself...

Have you checked to make sure there is not an accidental 'noindex' robots meta tag left on the pages from the development process or anything else at all, besides the 301s, on your end possibly keeping the new pages out of the index?

In my experience there is a 'ranking wobble', but I haven't had issues with the indexing piece... So, usually it's expected rankings will dip for anywhere from a couple of days to months, but the pages can also usually still be found using the site: operator, meaning there is not an indexing issue, but rather a ranking issue.

To clarify, when you say 'disappeared from the index' do you mean the pages do not show anywhere for any reason, including when you use the site: operator, or do you mean they don't show in the rankings? It's a bit important on this, because to the best of my knowledge, the pages disappearing from the index usually indicates something on your end you need to find and fix, but if it's just a ranking issue and not an indexing issue, that's to be expected...


 8:27 pm on Jul 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks MadScientist.

I do mean that PR has dropped rather than pages have vanished. They are all there in their glory and indexed 'site:'.

The disappointing thing is that my income earning niche keyword pages have gone from PR1/PR4 to nowhere and my Adsense income is suffering badly.

If it takes a couple of days/months to bounce back then I'll sit it out. Core pages have strong inbound links. The 301s are all working.

'noindex' doesn't seem to be an issue.

I'll keep you posted.

Many thanks.


 10:48 pm on Jul 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

The file structure of the site has been made more consistent...

Could you elaborate on that a bit? How exactly has the structure been changed?

I don't think that it matters how deep a page is in terms of directories, but does it still take the same number of clicks to get from the home page (or highest ranking most relevant page) to the new pages?


 11:44 pm on Jul 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

I do mean that PR has dropped rather than pages have vanished.

URL Change... It's still there internally, but you can't see it in the toolbar until the next update.
I'd look elsewhere for the ranking issues.

The post above is a good question, and the type of thing I would start looking for, along with link text and surrounding text, etc. that may have changed.

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