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Homepage not caching

 9:53 am on Jan 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

Morning all,

Our website was redesigned a few months ago now and completely overhauled, we have added a couple of hundred pages, very good quality stuff. We are pretty sure that there is a)no technical issue b)no penalty on the domain but our homepage is not caching, the last cache was 3 months ago, before the redesign.

Every other page of the site has been cached and is ranking and the legacy cache page is ranking on the second page as it has for around a year now.

The domain is not new, though it has been overhauled.

Anyone else had a similar issue?, would be very greatfull if someone could get in touch and I could pass on the URL for guidance.

Much appreciated for your time



 3:15 pm on Jan 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

There could be numerous reasons why the homepage is not being cached, however 3 months does seem a little excessive for a domain with no issues! Start by checking the basics like robots.txt files, noindex tags to ensure the website is not blocking bots in any way.

If you can provide the URL I can take a closer look.



 3:35 pm on Jan 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

I will send you a PM with the URL, but I have carried out all the checks you would imagine, robots.txt., noindex, htaccess etc etc but cant find anythign technically wrong.

An external SEO agency who are well know in the UK have also been trying to get the homepage cached for a couple of months to no success.


 3:47 pm on Jan 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

I had a similar issue back in october, its was a internal link causing the issue and google interpreted this as a 301 and moved the home page to a random URL within my site

My home page went from a PR4 to 0

Ill have a look to see if you have the same issue as me if you want to pm the URL, and although it took me a while to sort mine the fix and finding it now is really simple, thats assuming we have the same problems.

I bet my bottom dollar that its a slight coding error


 4:16 pm on Jan 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the PM. I will not mention the domain name here.

Right, you are correct in that the root domain has not been indexed since early November, however the index.php page was last indexed on 10th Jan. So it look like Google canonicalisation (great word!) is certainly a problem.

This is probably not helped by the fact that there is only one site-wide footer link within the website back to the homepage, with a 'news' anchor text.

More concerning is that your root domain is not indexed within search! Perform a site search on your domain and you will see that the index page is listed but the root domain is not. This could be a result of the duplication, i.e. Google has favoured the index page over the root domain, however that is unlikely and I am not entirely convinced that this is not a result of penalisation in one form or another against the root domain. You can eventually find the root domain via omitted results but it was a struggle to find!

I would be tempted to begin by configuring a 301 redirect from index.php to the root domain to resolve the canonical issue and see if the root domain is indexed and favoured. However if there is a penalty against the domain then configuring the redirect may not be in your best interests.

Are you familiar with htaccess and configuring redirects? If not feel free to give me a shout.



 4:19 pm on Jan 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

Quick Update: I have just tried site searches on your domain via proxy and I do get the root domain listed within search so there seems to be some difference between data centres. I would configure the index.php to root redirect, monitor the situation closely, and see what happens!


PS: If you are using a 'well known' SEO agency ask them why the index duplication was not picked up previously! :-P Sorry but its pretty basic stuff!

[edited by: chrisains at 4:25 pm (utc) on Jan 20, 2011]


 4:23 pm on Jan 20, 2011 (gmt 0)


Yes I was aware that the index.php page had been cacehd, though slightly confused as the root domain does rank for the main keyword (you can work it out from the keywords in domain) albeit it is page 2/3 but it does rank. This is why i am opting for it not to be a penalty.

I will add in a homepage link in the footer but in the meantime would you then reccomend redirecting the index.php?


 4:30 pm on Jan 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

I would certainly recommend configuring a redirect either from the index page to the root of vice-verse. I would generally favour index to root as the root domain is generally more powerful, but you MAY wish to redirect the root domain to the index page depending on your backlink profile. Personally I generally opt for index to root.

If there is not penalisation, and in hindsight I do no think there is, then the duplication is most probably causing the issue. So remove the duplication and you should solve the problem.

Just please MAKE SURE YOU USE A 301 PERMANENT REDIRECT. Sorry but I've seen it done wrong too many times!



 4:58 pm on Jan 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

Xenu is reporting a few broken and incorrectly coded links

Get those removed, make sure you dispense with your well known Seo agency as this is basics

Not sure like my site with no absolute 301 moving from the home page how this happened, but do make sure that 301's are correct and no other canonicalisation is present

Good Luck


 6:50 pm on Jan 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

We generally aren't fond of site reviews on webmasterworld (outside of the specific site review forum in the Supporters Forum).

These things tend to breed urls and bad neighborhoods and water down the fourm.



 6:52 pm on Jan 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

We generally aren't fond of site reviews on webmasterworld (outside of the specific site review forum in the Supporters Forum). These things tend to breed urls and bad neighborhoods and water down the fourm.

On the other hand - this is a good issue to talk about, so I think an example is appropriate. Please put the url in question in your profile to proceed with this thread.


 7:54 pm on Jan 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

This definitely sounds like a canonicalization issue, as has been noted. You might want to put up a rel="canonical" link on the homepage as well, just for good measure, in case there are other duplicates you don't know about that are confusing the issue. Just make sure it's right.


 3:52 pm on Jan 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Sorry @ Brett_Tabke, just trying to help out! Will bear your comments in mind for future posts.


 1:33 pm on Jan 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Still have no resolution to this issue, would be great to get some more views on what it could be, we have worked through a few suggestions so far but no response from Google


 2:00 pm on Jan 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

the 301 is now going to /index.html not the root

before it was /index.php
now its index.html (which is so new its not even indexed)
which is different to /

you need to address those before youll home page will be cached correctly


 8:50 am on Jan 26, 2011 (gmt 0)


Yes we know about this, the agency are adament they have done this to track what Google does when it see's the index.html. When it has been cached this will be redirected to /


 8:59 am on Jan 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

Are they charging you by the hour?

Tell them to redirect the stinking versions of index.wfinever to the stinking root domain... If they don't want to do it, let me know and I'll do it for you.

IMO They should be solving the issue on your site, not using your site to track for future reference, which is the only reason they would need to track what GoogleBot / Google does after visiting the page... It's a simple problem to fix. Redirect the index.ext pages to the root... If the cache isn't updated, put a noarchive tag on the page until it's removed, then remove the noarchive... I'd wager it'll be cached properly.

If they approach the second redirect (from index.html to /) as it seems they have been doing the rest of the work for you they'll probably redirect index.php to index.html and then index.html to the root (/) which is a chained redirect and will cost you all the inbound link weight to index.php... IMO You should make sure they DO NOT stack the redirects together. They need to redirect index.php to / and index.html to / individually; not run one through the other.

Sorry for the lil rant, but I get tired of reading about these 'seo agencies' who can't solve a stinking problem for a customer... It just plain heats me up. If they were really doing their job IMO you wouldn't be posting here asking questions about how to fix an issue, would you?


 9:26 am on Jan 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

Yes we know about this, the agency are adament they have done this to track what Google does when it see's the index.html. When it has been cached this will be redirected to /

It don't really matter what google does after it indexes that new page, you will not learn anything new or suss any kind of usefull info.

all whilst/index is there your original page wont cache

the simple answer to your question is as themadscientist says

get the redirect right and your problem will be solved,

you have come for advice, you have been given that advice, i would use that advice as its the only advice you need,


 11:47 am on Jan 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hi again LinkJuice,

Sorry but I totally agree with what everyone else has said so far. Get the agency to configure the dam redirect correctly (if you haven't already done so)!

You may also wish to add the canonical tag to the homepage as someone previously mentioned by adding the following code to the homepage of the website:

<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.example.com" />

This may help to speed up the indexing of the homepage (possibly!). Just ensure this tag is only implemented on the homepage!



 4:14 pm on Jan 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks guys, will keep you informed


 2:49 pm on Feb 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Right here is the situation,

we are still yet to be cached, BUT and its a strange one, our main keyword ranking has risen, the result shows our old homepage meta data but has now there is no cache button net to the listing, there is no cache on the site at all now. Before there was a cached version but it was just the old one.

For those who know the domian because of the help you have provided you will that the site is now in a very basic form, all the CMS, Wordpress and even the backing code to the application form has been taking off in an attempt to rule out a code issue.

Has anyone ever seen an oldish site not only lose its cache but go up in raknings?


 2:57 pm on Feb 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

I honestly don't know why you would want the site cached ... I said the tell them to fix it because it's your site and you're the customer, so if you want it cached then playing with redirects is not the thing to do, but why do you want the page cached?

Robots="noarchive" is standard on all of mine, and even here at WebmasterWorld (edited: or was ... re-edited: still is) ... Having the page cached or not should not in anyway impact rankings, but if it's cached it will allow visitors to view the page on Google (or Yahoo! or Bing) without visiting your site, and I'm not sure why you would want that?

Has anyone ever seen an oldish site not only lose its cache but go up in raknings?

To answer this directly, no, but I've seen plenty of sites that are not cached rank just fine.

### # ###

It is really an odd situation imo with the old description, are you certain there is not a technical error?

<!-- z --> Interesting


 10:47 am on Feb 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

We are pretty certain that there is no technical error, we started 3 mohts ago with a very technical domain with our own bespoke CMS and WP etc on the backend, since then it has all been removed so the site is just basic HTML to try and get out of it being the issue, still no cahce.

Appolgies I know there is no "need" to cache a site, I simply refer to it as a target, as this will/should remove the old meta data etc.

All other pages on the site are fine, all cached and rank well its just the index. We are also sure it isnt a penalty or server issue as we have several other top sites on that server and the old index has actually gone up slightly in the SERPS

Happy to pass the URL to yourself if you would like to have a dive in and see if you can identify anything.


 12:49 pm on Feb 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

will/should remove the old meta data etc

Mmmmmm ... not sure about that... check out Google Changing Page Titles & Descriptions [webmasterworld.com] I think you'll find some users are complaining of their titles being no longer existent ... I'm wondering if maybe you're caught up in the title changing algo?

Are you seeing the old meta data in the regular SERPs or when you do a site search or both? I don't remember if you already said or not and I'm in the middle of something, so sorry if it's already been answered.

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