It sounds to me like you have a duplicate content issue. Certain pages are crawled first, that content appears on that page first, but also on the real page where the content is supposed to exist (the main content page).
This happens a lot with blogs, where the full text of the article appears on the home page or category/tag page and also elsewhere on the actual blog post url.
To fix this, you need to make sure that only "snippets" of the content appear on pages other than the main article page.
You also need to get links to your articles, as well. Not just to the home page of the site.
There are no snippets being used on the site and all pages link to all pages, it has a flat internal link structure (ie, every page linked in sidebar which is on every page).
I'm pretty sure it's not a duplicate content issue as no content from one page is on any other page, save the links.
Is this sandbox behavior a la 2011 perhaps? Is it automated or did someone come and slap the site? I suppose I could change article titles but honestly the site is like I want it right now and I have no interest in figuring Google out, the site is solid so far even if not quite yet a year old.
It's Dmoz listed as well. Not ranking for exact match of the page title seems odd since other pages do rank for it. The same pages that rank for other pages titles don't rank for their own.
When you say "exact match of the page title" are you searching for the page title tag in quotes? If in quotes then there may be an issue.
If you're searching for the title tag without quotes then most likely you just need some more trust and authority.
Yes, in quotes. The page i'm looking for doesn't return first, another internal page will show up first. When I then look for that pages title it also doesn't turn up first, another page on the site will.
It seems that the only thing my pages can't rank well for is their own page titles, they do fine for other pages titles though. Puzzling.
Are you sure you have exhausted all technical problems? Sometimes it is a good idea to get someone else you know to take a good look under the hood at the code and make sure there isn't anything technically related.
I only say this because I recently became aware of a total Noob mistake with my html coding that basically dropped some pages out of the index.
Yes its recoverable. I would suggest you stop relying on ROS links and focus more on embedding links within the content. Make sure the links are varied but still focused. In other words don't use 100% identical anchor text. Also get more links from external sources.
I think its another glitch in the algo. I've had similar issues. It is entirely fixable and only takes long enough to get your site crawled/cached, crawled/cached a few times.
A reset is what's needed in my opinion.
I sent you a pm with the specifics.
|I would suggest you stop relying on ROS links... |
Warning: Noob question: What are "ROS Links"?
ROS - Run of Site
Examples of ROS links are the navigation or footer links that appear on every page of a website. Google devalues ROS links. Links that are embedded within relevant content receive better value.
My first point of call would be to double check the basic technical exclusion protocols to ensure the pages in question have not been accidentally excluded.
1. Check the robots.txt file to make sure the pages are not being blocked.
2. Check the source code of each page for a noindex tag
3. Check the source code of each page for a canonical tag pointing to an alternate location - unlikely but worth ruling out!
Check these and let us know.
PS: is it a flat html site or are you using wordpress or something similar?
|Examples of ROS links are the navigation or footer links that appear on every page of a website. |
Let's also include blogrolls and other "sidebar" areas as one of the most common kinds of ROS links.
|I think its another glitch in the algo. I've had similar issues. It is entirely fixable and only takes long enough to get your site crawled/cached, crawled/cached a few times. |
A reset is what's needed in my opinion.
So, all we need to do is wait for google to crawl/cache the site again?
I have the same problem, my site almost completely disappeared from google on the 13th of April, which came to me as a suprise because this site is 1 year old already and I thought only new sites did this. Also, just 2 days before my traffic increased by like 60%, and now it's gone.
Google has crawled the site many times, daily, and hasn't changed rankings in months. Yes, I'm sure there are no other technical glitches, it's a simple site still.
I'm in it for the long haul but it's disheartening to see some kind of glass ceiling effect right off the bat. I have some good incoming links already too.
I've begun adding more articles, these will be displayed from traditional categories. I've left everything else alone, all previous pages are ROS links in the sidebar and are the most important pages on the subject.
I should find out in a few weeks if the added content, which will interlink articles from within articles, shakes things up any. I hope I see some serps with exact match titles ON the right pages soon :-)
If the post doesn't lock I'll update in 3 weeks, 20 or so articles from now.
Update - I posted 6 articles on April 13th. The articles are ONLY linked to from the index page. 4 days later not a single one is indexed. I posted 2 articles earlier this morning, linked to from one internal page ONLY, and they are indexed instantly.
It seems that Google is assigning a zero value penalty of some sort to the index page. It doesn't rank and things linked from that page only don't rank either. Funny it's not sitewide...
Log files show me that googlebot has visited the index page 4 times since I linked the articles 4 days ago so it's not a "hasn't been crawled" issue.
What is the cache date for your index page?
What happens when you run queries for sentence fragments from your pages, in quotes, in google?
Do you see duplicates from your own pages in the returned results?
Are you being heavily scraped?