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The page rank for my index page is still at 2 from it's long time 5 - however my site map page is now a 5 from it's previous 2. Anybody else noticing these strange things......
Did a 301 to www.mysite.com from mysite.com several weeks ago
How did you do the redirect?
It all sounds like some canonical problem that G is choking on. Maybe it will sort it out with time. Are your highest PR inbound links to the www or non-www version? If your server was supplying the pages in both forms until the redirect, G will have cheerfully seen a page as example.org/page.htm, if there were an external link to it that's higher than any of your internal links with www, and then list it highest in that non-www version (with the www page also listed but not showing in the serps). It can propagate through your whole site if you have relative internal links.
My apologies if this is a stupid question, but what do you get if you search the URL www.example.org/any_page_listed_in_the_serps.ext?
Interesting enough I can, today, call it up on the DC
220.127.116.11 in both the mysite.com and the www.mysite.com - but nowhere else. But that DC also has only 20% of my pages listed in that index.
I get the any page searched as found - interesting, eh?
Yeah, very much so.
It's just a problem with the /index.htm or /default. Probably, that's where most of your inbound links come to, eh? Are your internal links relative or absolute? (Maybe if they're absolute, it didn't spread.)
I did the redirect [mysite.com...] to [mysite.com...] (as per my host's instructions when I contacted them)
Is it MS or Apache? If it's Apache, you might want to take care of the redirect yourself with the htaccess. If not, there's this thread [webmasterworld.com...]
Excuse the questions, but many people seem to have problems with disappearing index pages (had it happen myself in 2003, because of an incoming link with no www from a high PR page), it always seems to be canonical, but the exact process of what happens is vague. I'm on a mission ;-)
It might be a plan to check all your incoming links for the wrong canonical form, and ask them to change them if you find any. If your internal links aren't absolute (with the http:// on the front), change them if possible. Consider using the base tag. First though, check your inbound links - the site doesn't have to have a www on the front - if everyone else likes it without one (including G), consider dumping the www.
In 2003 Feb my site disappeared entirely for 10 days then came back with a vengance until April 2003 and since then it's been a real roller coaster until Sept 2004 when the bottom fell right out from under me, limped along and then came back really strong for 2 weeks in Oct 2005 - and then poof - my traffic got slammed again. Now I am lucky to rank 20 to 30 some days, 30 to 40 other days and sometimes 40 to 50 - nothing is consistent.
Amongst all those links are some that are messing you up.
>>In 2003 Feb my site disappeared entirely for 10 days then came back with a vengance until April 2003 and since then it's been a real roller coaster until Sept 2004 when the bottom fell right out from under me, limped along and then came back really strong for 2 weeks in Oct 2005 - and then poof - my traffic got slammed again. Now I am lucky to rank 20 to 30 some days, 30 to 40 other days and sometimes 40 to 50 - nothing is consistent.
That pretty much tracks the history of major Google canonical problems. It hit me in May 2003. I lost my index page, which had been number one in the expected searches before then. The others were fine. There were posts by others on WW and I realized it was a non-www problem (from one inbound link). I corrected it by getting the link changed (friends), changing all internal links to absolute, and a little later a mod_rewrite in htaccess to pound it home. Since then, no problems. Also since then, I've seen your same story posted here many times.
Work out the canonical problem (it sounds like you're on it, but do searches here on WW, and really dig into it), and eventually it will all be sorted out. Granted, one would think that the almighty G would be able to figure out that www.example.com/page.htm and example.com/page.htm are the same pages, but they don't seem to be able to manage it (unlike other SE's).
I've got the redirect in place - I will start sifting through my internal pages adding the base url to my internal links and keep my fingers crossed. You would think the "all powerful Google" wouldn't have a problem with "the yellow brick road" pathway on the way to OZ!
Thanks so much for the insight - it has taken a lot of the confusion out of all the comments I have read.