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Is This A New Thing With Google?


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14 replies to this topic

#1 Say Yebo

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 11:55 AM

One of my pages has gone from #5 to #1 in Google's SERPS - and the 'listing' has changed.

It used to be a typical listing with: page title, description, URL, Cached, and Similar pages.

Now it is just:

Short title
www.website.com/pagename.html - Similar pages

No description, and the title is not the one specified in the html code.

Has anyone else come across this before?

Thanks,
Caro



#2 Randy

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 12:56 PM

Sounds like a temporary issue to me Yebo, assuming you're allowing caching.

#3 Jill

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 01:57 PM

Could it be your dmoz Title?

#4 Randy

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 11:16 PM

It certainly could have reverted back to the DMOZ title. Especially if the page couldn't be cached for some reason during the last spider run, as the symptoms seem to indicate. If it can't be spidered and cached they'd never see the meta robots noodp instruction.

Of course this would immediately be fixed the next time the spider visited, assuming it could get to and index the page.

Does the logic make sense why I think it may be a temporary crawling glitch that'll fix itself?

#5 qwerty

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 11:32 PM

That all makes sense, but it doesn't seem to fit with a move from 5 to 1 in the results.

#6 Jill

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 07:59 AM

QUOTE(qwerty @ Mar 13 2009, 12:32 AM) View Post
That all makes sense, but it doesn't seem to fit with a move from 5 to 1 in the results.


Perhaps it was a new dmoz link and it provided lots of value? (Kinda half kidding, but it could happen!)

#7 Say Yebo

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 08:39 AM

It does not appear to be their DMOZ title, and they do not have no-cache code on the page.

I have attached a jpeg with clients name blocked out.[attachment=887:screenshot.jpg]

#8 Jill

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 11:36 AM

I think I found the site you're talking about. By any chance is that page now an orphaned page within the site? i.e., it still exists on the server but is not being linked to by other pages on the site? (Or very few?)

If it's not that, it appears that for some reason Google is ignoring its title tag and using what others say about it as the Title. A search for just it's URL pulled up the page with just the URL as the title, which was interesting. As if they couldn't read it. Yet a look at the code doesn't seem to show anything funky.

I remember someone else awhile back on this forum having a similar problem. I couldn't figure it out, but didn't spend too much time on it. Not sure if it ever worked itself out or not.

#9 Say Yebo

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 11:53 AM

QUOTE(Jill @ Mar 13 2009, 12:36 PM) View Post
I think I found the site you're talking about. By any chance is that page now an orphaned page within the site? i.e., it still exists on the server but is not being linked to by other pages on the site? (Or very few?)


Actually, it's not orphaned. There is a link to it from the home page.

I am about to start optimizing this part of their site and fixing bits of funkiness. I'm hoping that the issue might resolve itself once they apply my suggestions.

Thanks for looking at it Jill.


#10 Say Yebo

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 01:41 PM

We discovered that there was a major error in the robots.txt file.

Haven't confirmed if it caused this problem, but we'll wait and see what happens now that it's been taken care of. Watch this space ;-)

#11 Jill

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 04:14 PM

That makes perfect sense. I'm kicking myself for not having looked at your robots.txt!

#12 Say Yebo

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 08:05 PM

QUOTE(Jill @ Mar 16 2009, 05:14 PM) View Post
That makes perfect sense. I'm kicking myself for not having looked at your robots.txt!


So am I, believe me! My client eventually figured it out themselves.

Apparently the robots.txt was inadvertently copied across from their test site when recent changes were made. (And I was so quick to blame Google!)

#13 Randy

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 09:02 PM

What's that old saying about Old Dogs and New Tricks? giggle.gif

The worst part is nobody thought to check the robots.txt. Which should be the first thing one does when there are indexing problems.

#14 oneofthe3lions

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 09:08 AM

so robots text errors can lead to higher rankings? huh.gif

interesting

#15 Michael Martinez

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 05:03 PM

QUOTE
Short title
www.website.com/pagename.html - Similar pages


I'm guessing from your last post that the accidentally copied robots.txt file had a blanket disallow statement to protect the test site.

I've seen these listings many times for pages that I have retired. Google keeps them in the index for some period of time and gradually deprecates the listings before completely removing them (probably as a safety measure to help sites that only temporarily take down pages or lose server connectivity).

I have no explanation for why the listing would have jumped to number 1. Probably just a coincidence.







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