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Contact us page showing up for the domain search
shaunm



 
Msg#: 4519609 posted 7:09 am on Nov 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi all,

I am seeing some serious problem with SERPs, could you please help me out in finding the possible reason that cause this problem?

My organization name is unique, and the domain is based on that. When I do a search in Google for my organization name, the first result appears is my contact page and that too with sitelinks below is. It's weird. It only appears so in US where the main business it. But in other regions, it shows the home page with sitelinks.

Since the change happened CTR has terrifically reduced. What could be the reason behind showing up a contact page for the search term of an organization name?

Would you suggest doing the following?
1. Removing the contact page from Sitemap
2. Blocking it in Robots.txt

Any help would be highly appreciated!

Thanks a lot!

 

Robert Charlton

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



 
Msg#: 4519609 posted 7:55 am on Nov 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm going to guess that the reason the contact page is outranking your default page is because the organization name is mentioned on the contact page, but not on the home page... at least not in the form that's searched.

So, I'd try adding the relevant text to the home page before trying the other (extreme) measures.

You might also have canonical problems with your home page (like having a dupe version on index.html) which could also weaken the home page ranking.

phranque

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



 
Msg#: 4519609 posted 8:31 am on Nov 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

have you checked GWT for messages and errors?

do you have external mentions and links with your organization name?

if you turn off images can you see your organization name on the home page?

in the title?

how is your internal linking to the home page vs the contact page?
do you link internally to the index page or the root directory slash?

shaunm



 
Msg#: 4519609 posted 9:57 am on Nov 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

@Robert,

Thanks for answering!

1. The organization name is mentioned on both the home page and the contact page.
at least not in the form that's searched.

Could you please tell me what you meant by that?
2. There is no duplicate for the home page as far as I know. The home page has a PR of 6 while the contact page has 4, though.


@phranque

Thanks again.
1. There is no specific message pertaining to this problem in GWT
2. Yes we do have external mentions and links with my organization name. It's a well established, well known Org operating from US
3. Yes, I can see my organization name in so many places like in the title, desc, keywords and the page content in h1 tags.
4. Yes
5. Home page is well linked than the contact page, I suppose.
6. We link internally to the root directory slash.


What do I need to make sure that the home page is shown for the search query, not the contact page? And why should it happen only with Google.com (US) ?

Thanks a lot!

shaunm



 
Msg#: 4519609 posted 11:56 am on Nov 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

Any solution guys? Awaiting for your positive reply on finding the solution.

Thanks a ton!

Awarn



 
Msg#: 4519609 posted 12:10 pm on Nov 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

Try looking at the site through a very basic text browser and see if potentially an error page is coming up. Or is there a mobile script that is maybe forcing the bot to a mobile page that is basic.

Sgt_Kickaxe

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time



 
Msg#: 4519609 posted 6:59 pm on Nov 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

Do NOT block it in robots.txt or it will remain indexed but without description. Instead add a noindex meta tag to the contact page and be done with the stress.

Robert Charlton

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



 
Msg#: 4519609 posted 9:11 pm on Nov 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

While noindex would work to derank the contact page, bigger concern (and more interesting) IMO is why the home page doesn't rank for the company name.

but not on the home page... at least not in the form that's searched.

Could you please tell me what you meant by that?

If you're searching for [SampleOrg], eg, and on the home page you had the html text only in the form "Sample Org" with a space, Google's anti-Google Bomb filter might cause the home page not to rank.

If the name on the homepage were only in a graphic or in Flash, that might also cause the home page not to rank. In other words, Google is generally requiring html text to be on the page in the form searched for the page to rank. It can get into a complicated discussion.

If you had both "SampleOrg" and "Sample Org" on the contact page, depending on other factors, the contact page at least would not be filtered, and therefore might rank, for either version.

...I can see my organization name in so many places like in the title, desc, keywords and the page content in h1 tags.

I'm thinking about plain vanilla html text on the page. "h1 tags" is hard to interpret... you could be describing an oddball use of h1, perhaps an over-optimized situation.

Also... just thinking out loud... is there perhaps a reason why the contact page might be more useful to visitors and therefore favored by Google? Particularly if you have a local presence, or you're the kind of organization where people are frequently contacting you, it may be that Google has seen that the overwhelming number of searchers end up going to your contact page, so why not rank it first. I've not seen this happen, but I can imagine that at some point Google might do such a thing.

Another thought in the same conjectural vein... do you have any particularly large and slow loading graphics on your home page?

shaunm



 
Msg#: 4519609 posted 8:23 am on Nov 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

@Awarn
Thanks! But seriously, is that an answer to my question? Could you please elaborate a little bit further?

@Sgt_Kickaxe
Thank you so much! That's awesome and I don't know how I forgot that. I also need to make that the contact page is not in the Sitemap right? Because, I got to know that even if the page is blocked in robots, or no index has been used it will still get indexed if the page is in Sitemap.

@Robert Charlton
Thank you very much for answering on my post.
While noindex would work to derank the contact page, bigger concern (and more interesting) IMO is why the home page doesn't rank for the company name.
I am clueless as to what is happening with these two pages. The change happened just recently. What is more shocking is, the CONTACT page appears with SITELINKS which I have only seen with HOME PAGES so far.

If you're searching for [SampleOrg], eg, and on the home page you had the html text only in the form "Sample Org" with a space, Google's anti-Google Bomb filter might cause the home page not to rank.


Both the pages has SampleOrg mentioned in many places but not Sample Org in a single place. And being the HOME PAGE is has many mentioning than the CONTACT PAGE.

Some of the comparison between these two pages.

SEOmoz
HOME PAGE CONTACT PAGE
Page Authority - 83/100 68/100
Linking Root Domains - 2,193 15
Total Links - 105k 15,582
MOZrank - 6.94 6.07
Internal Followed Links - 14,649 8,809
External Followed Links - 89,041 6,123
Followed Linking Root Domains - 1,958 15
Total Linking Root Domains - 2,193 15
Linking Root Domains Containing Anchor Text 'SampleOrg' - 534 2
Links Containing This Anchor Text - 6,774 2

GOOGLE
Page Speed - 91/100 89/100

While all the above metrics favors the HOME PAGE, why does the CONTACT PAGE shows up in the Search?


I need some serious attention guys, please help me to find the reason behind this.

Thanks a TON!

shaunm



 
Msg#: 4519609 posted 6:15 am on Nov 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

@tedster, @phranque, @Robert Charlton, @Sgt_Kickaxe, @ Lucy24, @goodroi, @aakk9999, @g1smd, @aristotle, @deadsea, @kheadley, @Others

Any help in this guys? Why does Google favors the 'Contact Us' page is still a myth to me. Could you please show me some light?

Also, I just 'noindexed' the contact page. How long it will take to get the 'contact page' vanished from index and have the 'home page' in that place?

Thanks for all your helps!

phranque

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



 
Msg#: 4519609 posted 7:14 am on Nov 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

do you specifically want to prevent searchers from finding your contact page?
instead of noindexing the contact page i would work on finding and fixing the home page problem.

what is the form of the page titles for the home page and the contact page?
for example:
Org of Exemplification
Contact ExampleOrg

shaunm



 
Msg#: 4519609 posted 7:53 am on Nov 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

@phranque
Thanks! We are into finding and fixing the problem, but there is an urgency to get the 'contact page' removed and have the 'home page' in that place. So that, I have no other possibilites right now than to have it removed by 'noindex' tag, also making URL removal in GWT.

what is the form of the page titles for the home page and the contact page?
for example:
Org of Exemplification
Contact ExampleOrg


Home page: ExampleOrg: Main Keyword1 & Main Keyword2 | Word1 & Word2
Contact page: ExampleOrg Contact Page - A long tail keyword - Place, Country

This is how the title looks.

Thanks again.

Robert Charlton

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



 
Msg#: 4519609 posted 8:47 am on Nov 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

Whatever else you do, do not use the URL removal tool for your contact page. You'll be likely doing some difficult-to-fix damage.

OK... here's some wild guessing on the rest....

Both the pages has SampleOrg mentioned in many places but not Sample Org in a single place.

Not knowing exactly how this translates into queries, I'd try to get "Sample Org" on the home page in a single place in addition to the mentions of SampleOrg. Proximity is an algo factor.

Getting back to a possible canonical problem with the home page, have you canonicalized on your server with 301 redirects... or, if not, have you used the rel canonical link tag on the home page?

I'd be inclined to look very carefully at the nav link setup. Would you describe how the basic nav is structured... ie, is it a hierarchical structure, and are you linking back up the levels from lower level pages?

Also, what's the position on your pages of your Contact Page links vs your links to Home.

My emphasis added...
Contact page: ExampleOrg Contact Page - A long tail keyword - Place, Country

This may relate to what I was asking about local presence. Is your business localized in some way? If so, do you include Place and Country in your home page text. If not, try adding it... not in the title right now, but at least in the html text on the page.

On localized or geo-relevant sites, I feel it's important to have basics like address and contact info on home. Also, if a local business, put hours of operation on your home page too. Think Google Place pages, and what they considered basic information.

What about your navigation to the rest of your site...
- from home?
- from your contact page?

Is there any difference? I'm conjecturing (in this case, taking a wild guess) that another possibility is too many nav links on your home page (perhaps so many that they fuzz up your main category structure) might make Google see the contact page as a clearer entry page.

Pause for a moment and consider whether there might be any reasons why your contact page might serve as a better entry page for users.

Also, any chance that you have a strong external inbound link coming into your contact page? Strange, but stranger things have happened.

PS: An afterthought... have you done any sort of PageRank sculpting on the site? If so, this might be distorting things.

PPS: If you're currently using the rel canonical link, double-check what you have on the home page.

I just realized you also posted the question about the CMS with the auto-generated rel canonical links. See my response in that thread... [webmasterworld.com...] I haven't quite connected the dots to relate to the home page issue, but I wouldn't be surprised if this is at least part of the problem.

shaunm



 
Msg#: 4519609 posted 11:59 am on Nov 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

That is very huge Bob,

It's so nice of you taking your time to respond to my post! I very much appreciate you for this.

Whatever else you do, do not use the URL removal tool for your contact page. You'll be likely doing some difficult-to-fix damage.
Oh really? What kind of difficult-to-fix damage it will cause? But I am sure that I am not going to do it after you have said so :)

Not knowing exactly how this translates into queries, I'd try to get "Sample Org" on the home page in a single place in addition to the mentions of SampleOrg


Yes that would do the trick. But for example purpose only I mentioned it as 'SampleOrg' which cannot be separated since its a brand name. Just think of MicroSoft to make it clear. I cannot put Micro in one place and Soft in another place right? I know I wasn't clearly mentioned it before, though :)

Getting back to a possible canonical problem with the home page, have you canonicalized on your server with 301 redirects
This is one place I need to check in. To make myself clear, you are asking whether I have a canonical URL which happen to be a 301 redirect on any page right? I don't think there is a possibility for this. As I mentioned above each page acts as its own canonical. So when a URL moved permanently, the canonical value assigned to it will also get moved to the new redirected page. But still, I need to make sure :)

or, if not, have you used the rel canonical link tag on the home page?

Yes the home page like the other pages has canonical tag pointing to it.

'd be inclined to look very carefully at the nav link setup. Would you describe how the basic nav is structured... ie, is it a hierarchical structure


Even though the nav looks like its a hierarchical structure, each category page is accessed in a single slash from the root directory. ie almost all the urls looks like example.com/page. Only the features, overview pages has URls like example.com/product/features.aspx, overview.aspx

Also, what's the position on your pages of your Contact Page links vs your links to Home.

I don't know what that means or how to find it :(

This may relate to what I was asking about local presence. Is your business localized in some way?

It's a international website in English mainly targeting the US market. But we also have other country level sub-folders for Japan, German, France, Australia and UK.

But we do use <link rel="alternate" hreflang="language code" href="alternate URL in almost all the pages telling Google that which page should be targeted for which audience/region/country.

If so, do you include Place and Country in your home page text. If not, try adding it... not in the title right now, but at least in the html text on the page.

The page is already occupied with enough of content, and adding place and country in the home page itself would solve the problem? Because this is not an easy task for me at this level.

What about your navigation to the rest of your site...
- from home?
- from your contact page?
Yes we do have easy navigation from these two pages to all other pages.

Is there any difference? I'm conjecturing (in this case, taking a wild guess) that another possibility is too many nav links on your home page (perhaps so many that they fuzz up your main category structure) might make Google see the contact page as a clearer entry page.

I don't think so, bob. Also, the home page has more relative content and so many anchor texts with the same term: my organization name pointing to it. But still why should Google find contact page as the clear entry page?

Also, any chance that you have a strong external inbound link coming into your contact page? Strange, but stranger things have happened. PS: An afterthought... have you done any sort of PageRank sculpting on the site? If so, this might be distorting things.
Not at all!

Many thanks for all your help so far, Bob.

janikk



 
Msg#: 4519609 posted 9:05 pm on Nov 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Have you seen any results yet from the implementation of the measures suggested above? I too am having the very same problem with one of my websites. Need to get the homepage showing up instead of the contact us page quickly.

Thanks.

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