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Google acting like site is a forum when it isnt

11:51 pm on Apr 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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10+ Year Member

joined:July 28, 2003
votes: 0

I was just checking our search results and I noticed under a lot of the results for a "category" page, which lists up to 10 items per page, under the link google has Posts: ## Authors: ##

Its as if google thinks this page is a forum, and each item row is a post, I'm not exactly sure how its getting authors, since there is nothing on the page that could even be mistaken for an "author".

This site is real old, I made it like 11 years go. We're in the process of designing a new layout thats modern and not using table layouts. I'm not sure if this will fix it self when we do the switch over or what...

Anyone else here have an issue like this? Is there any way to tell google this isnt a forum?

I would post a link to an example, but I'm not sure on the rules with that so if anyone needs to see an example just let me know.

12:05 am on Apr 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:May 26, 2000
votes: 0

Sorry, we don't do direct inspection or specific site reviews in the public forum here - so you were right not to post a link. The situation is different in our paid Supporters Area, where we do have a Site Review forum [webmasterworld.com]. It's not crawled by the search engines and that somewhat protected environment is safer for both the site owner and the entire community.

There have been other reports recently of Google getting this wrong - and I've seen a few cases in the SERPs myself. In a few instances, Google just repaired the problem on their own. Other than watching and waiting, or posting about it in Google's Webmaster Help forums, I'm at a loss on what steps you could take.
7:33 am on Apr 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from DE 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 20, 2003
votes: 4

Anyone else here have an issue like this?

Yes, I'm having the same problem. The site isn't a forum, wasn't a forum, don't use any forum software and even the word 'forum' isn't mentioned on it.

We also use tables for the layout, but I guess that's not important. In my opinion the reason is that the data looks like structured entries containing title, description, date...

Is there any way to tell google this isnt a forum?

So far I haven't found a way.
1:53 pm on Apr 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:May 7, 2003
votes: 0

I have a page with a list of jobs that people can apply to on it that has the same problem. Each job has a date and the text "posted by". Something along the lines of:

Summer software developer internship (Java)
Posted by Initech on Jan 3 2011
Work for Initech this summer, blah blah blah...

It appears that the word "posted" along with the date is enough to make Google think that the page is a blog page. The page ranks in Google's "Discussions" search as well as in normal web search.