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We run a main portal with about a dozen sub sites all linked off the main domain, ie:
The sub portals are all specific to agencies at my organization, such as the Mayor's web site, the Water Bureau, etc..
Now in the search results, several of the subportals are no longer showing up for direct searches, even if I use the site:www.example.com syntax. Instead other subportals are showing, but the URLs are and Titles are mixed.
Ie: if I search for "subportal1" in the search results I get:
Title of subportal2
So the title and URL are actually from two different pages, and neither matches the page I am searching specifically for. The sites are each individually 100's of pages a piece and have always received good search traffic. They are not so similar to make Google think they are dups, even though navigation schemes are the same.
Any ideas? Is anyone else experiencing this problem after the last google update?
[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 10:45 pm (utc) on April 8, 2008]
[edit reason] Used example.com - it can never be owned. [/edit]
...you get results from /subportal2/ and the titles are mashed up with results from /subportal3/
I must say that's an odd bug. If you've verified that your server is returning the right information to a browser, then you could load up Firefox with the UserAgentSwitcher add-on. Plug in the googlebot user agent and see if someone's been tinkering with your server, trying to return different results to googlebot and making a hash of it.
Similarly, if you do any IP based delivery, give that a health check-up
Other than that, it certainly could be buggy data at Google right now -there's more than usual it seems during this Dewey thing, whatever it is.
If I do site:www.example.com/subportal1 I don't get the home page of that portal, which is very weird because its a major page and the rest of the site comes up.
I have 80,000 pages indexed in google so why would some of the home pages of the subsites not be coming up? Or in their place other subsites coming up? Does google think the homepages are duplicates?
To re-iterate, I am searching for one thing, getting a response that's a combination of two different web pages (a title from one and URL from another.) Neither of which match the search I was doing!
If I do "show all results from" I see lots of pages from the mayor's website in the results, but not the homepage, and the first result is always the homepage from a different sub site.
It seems to be pretty consistent in always picking the neighborhood subsite. I am going to put a block for that in our robots.txt and see if by excluding it everything will go back to normal. Then I can add it back in. Not sure if that will work but I am desperate.
Google is still insisting on forwarding all SERPs to one of my subsites, even when that page contains none of the keywords in my search.
Really mystified here, before this problem things have not changed for 3-4 years.
both redirect to:
which is the same page
I know its not best practice for SEO but its just how it happens to work.
So I had the 301s setup to reduce duplication of URLs, and to try to ensure the URL kept was the simple clean one.
I got rid of those 301s, so maybe Google will stop punishing us for them (if that's what's happening.)
Users and bots should not hit a redirect if they follow a link from within your own site.
In an ideal world, yes. The reality is that most significant websites have internal redirects. Their presence alone is not enough to cause a problem.