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Google Caching Wrong Site?

     
8:31 am on Sep 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I have recently launched a new site, it is the Australian version of my New Zealand site, it has instant PR3 (same as NZ site), not sure how or why, so I checked my cache for the AU site and it is showing my NZ site, anyone have any ideas why?

Obviously I want G to be caching the correct url, as I don't want to be penalized for dupe.

[edited by: tedster at 2:37 pm (utc) on Sep 6, 2011]

12:40 am on Sept 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The obvious "explanation" would be that the two domains share the same IP address (do they?) and something in the server set-up is technically incorrect. Alternately, there could be a technical bug on Google's end - they used to happen years ago with shared IP addresses.

If the sites are not on the same IP address, then I'm out of ideas except for a total Google bug. If that's what it is, Google usually fixes them pretty quickly. They seem to be related to corrupted areas when they move data around their servers.
5:34 am on Sept 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Yea, you are right IPs are the same, will change them now, cheers.
6:44 am on Sept 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Beyond the caching issue... you should consider changing the server location to help with geo targeting when you change the IP for the AU site. In determining geo area, Google looks at cc TLDs, geo-location declaration in Webmaster Tools, language, onsite content providing localization clues, geo-sources of inbound links, and the geographic location of the server.

Assuming from your first post that you are currently hosting both sites in New Zealand... if you can find satisfactory hosting at a good price for your AU site in Australia, that's likely to help Google with the geo-location, particularly since both sites are in English.

I don't know whether the content of these sites is otherwise differentiated, or where your current inbound links are from, nor do I know how much Google might otherwise tend to lump Australia together with New Zealand, but I think hosting the AU site in Australia could well help you rank in Australia. You should also get inbound links to your AU site from other Australian sites.

In the following video, Matt Cutts isn't emphatic about it, but, as I read the video, it's a recommendation to host in the geo-targeted country if you can....

Can the geographic location of a web server affect SEO?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keIzr3eWK8I [youtube.com]
1:53 pm on Sept 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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1one1, In addition to the above comments, it would help to know whether you are using a .au and .nz domain respectively. That alone will establish the location in Google's algo. If they are gTLDs, then you will need to mark them as AU and NZ respectively via WMT.

I too have seen the "instant PR" phenomenon, but it disappears fairly quickly. It has to be a bug.
5:22 am on Sept 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the feedback guys, the sites are actually both hosted with godaddy in the USA on an unlimited account, as it is a very large site and too expensive to host in NZ or AU, Ideally I would like to host them in the correct countries but its just not viable at this stage, maybe later when it makes more income. The content is pretty much the same on both sites, just different prices displayed. They are on .co.nz and .net.au domains and I have set the geotargeting in WMT. Links to NZ site are majority NZ links, links to AU site are majority AU, they are also cross linking to each other on the footer.
5:33 am on Sept 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Do they share an IP address?
6:33 am on Sept 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Yes, IP appears to be the same, will change this soon.
2:01 pm on Sept 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I had exactly this problem a while back, the cache for one site was taken from a completely different one, both my sites and both on the same server and I think both on the same IP. But as far as I could see there was no server error causing this so I assumed it was a bug in Google at the time.
2:48 pm on Sept 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Couldn't this be a bug in Godaddy?
7:12 pm on Sept 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The only way I see this screwing up is if the hosting service establishes the first site on the account as the default and Google uses the IP address for the actual requests.

So, Google resolves example.net.au to 1.2.3.4 and then makes an HTTP request to 1.2.3.4 instead of example.net.au. Any request to 1.2.3.4 directly would return the default site (example.co.nz) and Google ends up caching the wrong site.

--
Ryan
6:28 am on Sept 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I think Google is trying to still figure out what is going on, as the site has only been online for 3 weeks now PR has now gone from the new site (white PR bar now) and when I look at Google cache it now says: "404. Thatís an error. The requested URL /search?q=cache%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.**********.net.au&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&client=firefox-a was not found on this server. Thatís all we know."

I will still go ahead and change the IP with GDiddy. AU & NZ site is still ranking.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 5:47 pm (utc) on Sep 9, 2011]
[edit reason] disabled graphic smiley [/edit]

2:44 pm on Sept 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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It isn't at all unusual for Google to be confused when it finds a new site on the same IP, have been seeing this for many years. It usually sorts things out in 2 or 3 weeks.
12:22 am on Sept 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Yea, it is caching the right page now, should be sweet from now hopefully.
4:05 pm on Sept 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Its totally confusing. Its a different experience.