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Webmaster Tools - content keywords... do they matter?
Powdork




msg:4629166
 4:34 am on Dec 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've been trying to figure out what has been going on with my site since it has dropped in the serps for the majority of it's keywords. Webmaster tools only lists 25 keywords, and tops among them is htm (this site has nothing to do with htm, html, or anything web related although all the url's are pagename.htm). Then there are several actual keywords that all lie within one section (folder) on the site and represent about 12 out of over 1,000 pages of unique content. If I click on any of the keywords they only show as coming from this small directory despite being present elsewhere.
The other sites i follow in webmaster tools have many keywords and are well represented using the content keyword tool.
first question - when i signed this site up i listed it as example.com and i have recently added an htaccess file which redirects everything to www.example.com. will this mess with webmaster tools? it still shows 4,500 pages indexed.
second question - could this be associated with my recent fall in rankings?
third question - is there a way to fix it?

 

Powdork




msg:4629183
 6:11 am on Dec 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

to answer the first question, it apparently does matter. a closer look shows that the keywords are all the page urls for the pages in the one folder, along with the other stuff that shows up in google's fetch when it receives the 301 redirect (Unix, mod_ssl, etc are listed as keywords)

I'll add www.example.com as one of my sites and see what happens.

adder




msg:4629188
 7:37 am on Dec 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

There is an option in Webmaster Tools to tell Google of your preferred domain. Go to the cogwheel icon in the top-right corner, select Site Settings and click the radio box next to the www.example.com option.

Just out of interest, do a test on Google. Search for
site:example.com
and
site:www.example.com
Note the difference. Can you see anything alarming there?

Although it's nice to keep things in good order, I don't think having the wrong option selected in the GWT can lead to a fall in rankings. However, I often see the htaccess file implemented incorrectly, which can, in fact, lead to problems. Are you sure the htaccess file was implemented correctly? Are you confident you don't have any duplicate content issues?

stuff that shows up in google's fetch when it receives the 301 redirect

What stuff is that? It should only see the headers. If it treats any of the 301 stuff as content, there might be a problem.

Powdork




msg:4629190
 7:55 am on Dec 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

i am pretty confident. i added www.example.com to my sites and everything is fine there (all the proper keywords and links show up) and if i fetch anything as google without the www i get the 301 redirect as a result.
i guess it could be that google is just hiccuping with the change to my site and it will get sorted soon or it could be a coincidence that the drop occurred shortly after the htaccess change. after all my site doesn't seem to be the only non-yelp/amazon/tripadvisor/expedia site that is suffering currently.

Powdork




msg:4629191
 8:00 am on Dec 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

What stuff is that? It should only see the headers. If it treats any of the 301 stuff as content, there might be a problem.

hmmm. that stuff does show up as headers, but also within an address tag in the body.


HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 2013 08:07:29 GMT
Server: Apache/2.2.24 (Unix) mod_ssl/2.2.24 OpenSSL/0.9.7a mod_auth_passthrough/2.1 mod_bwlimited/1.4 FrontPage/5.0.2.2635 mod_fcgid/2.3.6 Sun-ONE-ASP/4.0.3
Location: http://www.example.com/
Content-Length: 448
Keep-Alive: timeout=5, max=100
Connection: Keep-Alive
Content-Type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//IETF//DTD HTML 2.0//EN">
<html><head>
<title>301 Moved Permanently</title>
</head><body>
<h1>Moved Permanently</h1>
<p>The document has moved <a href="http://www.example.com/">here</a>.</p>
<hr>
<address>Apache/2.2.24 (Unix) mod_ssl/2.2.24 OpenSSL/0.9.7a mod_auth_passthrough/2.1 mod_bwlimited/1.4 FrontPage/5.0.2.2635 mod_fcgid/2.3.6 Sun-ONE-ASP/4.0.3 Server at example.com Port 80</address>
</body></html>

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