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index page not showing - earlier sitemap priorities mistake?

     
12:56 pm on Oct 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Hi, a while back we had launched a new website to market our products. Everything was fine, link building was going great but I had created a sitemap using a free tool and I stupidly didn't check that everything was correct. It had automatically selected that our terms of use page, not the index to have priority 1 and the other pages had .30.

About a month or two after the problem was fixed, there are still no real changes and it remains to be very strange. Searching for the website name, doesnt display the index. It shows only inner pages, and it receives no traffic to the index which SHOULD have the most weight due to the links? I'm continuing to build links for this, but it's just not happening?

Anyone have suggestions or seen something similar in the past?

Thanks alot

5:38 pm on Oct 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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There are a lot of scenarios that can keep your index page from showing in Google. You said "Searching for the website name, doesnt display the index." Does the site: operator search show the page?

If it doesn't, is your index page available at the simple domain root, www.example.com, with no redirects involved?

6:00 pm on Oct 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Sorry, I wrote that wrong;

site:www.domain.com - shows the TOS primarily before the others (including the index)
To search for 'domain.com' shows the index first, not an inner page
To search for 'X Y' shows an inner page

I think it's that site map problem which occurred, what do you think tedster?

6:04 pm on Oct 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Sitemaps affects spidering frequency, but not ranking. Yes, I'd definitely fix the Sitemap, but I think there's another factor at work.
6:25 pm on Oct 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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The sitemap was fixed a while back..
6:50 pm on Oct 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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As I asked above - is your index page available at the simple domain root, www.example.com, with no redirects involved?

Also, is it available at more than one URL (note that example.com/index.html is a different url)

4:19 am on Oct 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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We have also found that site-maps can be VERY touchy. We had two site-maps on our site, one was for the whole site, the other for a section of frequently updated pages. We found that once both of these site-maps went live our domain index dropped from the SERPS.

The problem ended up being we referenced the root of our site as www.example.com/ in one and www.example.com/index.html in the other after fixing the second site-map the URL returned to the SERPS overnight.