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Understanding Dns


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10 replies to this topic

#1 tomsk

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 03:38 PM

I spoke to a well known old Welshman today wink1.gif about an issue I having with rankings and he pointed me in the direction of a dns issue.

So for me the learning journey begins.

I have a number of sites hosted in one hosting package so they all resolve to the same ip address and name servers etc so how does google see them as different other than the domain name?

Also if I understand correctly google is indexing 2 versions of my site www.domainname.com and domainname.com so it effectively google things I have 2 sites is my understanding correct?

Also I have 2 very similar domain names on this server (different business) and google has cached one website (the wrong one) but when I click from the listings it goes to the correct website.

Any help on understanding these issues would be great.

It was suggested I use the following

CODE
Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^example\.com
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.example.com/$1

But want to understand where to use it correctly etc.

#2 1dmf

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 08:32 AM

You can use a few methods however I don't fully agree with this statement
QUOTE
Also if I understand correctly google is indexing 2 versions of my site www.domainname.com and domainname.com so it effectively google things I have 2 sites is my understanding correct?


The reason for as I see it is,

1. in GWMT you can set preferred domain to be either www. or non-www.
2. Google have clearly stated that sub domains are not seen as separate domains, and as www. is a sub domain, ergo it isn't seeing it as two sites!

You can set up mod rewrites to redirect if on apache, IIS is more of a pain but is still possible. you may find your domain registrar allows reditrects, but be careful as many registrar systems only does a 302 redirect (temporary).

Personally I like to use a"belt and braces" approach to the entire process...

1stly my www. record is set in the DNS to be a CNAME record pointing to my FQDN , therefore already stating at top level DNS that www. is merely an ALIAS to the FQDN (non-www)

Then I go into GWMT and set my prefered domain ( I like non-www) as that is really the correct thing to call domain name (as mentioned before www. is a SUB domain).

Then I do a mod rewrite or other form of 301 redirect depending on platform / technology available...

Finally - yup there's a 4th process ;-)

remember G! has released the 'canonical' meta attribute, where you can state what the real URI is for a page.

That also eliminates 'domain name/' , 'domain name', 'domain name/index.html', 'domain name/page-name.extention?query string' etc. as being seen as seperate pages also.

By using this 4 way approach it ensure you lose no visitors with 404 pages as all methods correctly redirect to the desired page, G! knows exactly what the real URI is of a page so no duplicate content issues and ALL PR is passed to the one page.

#3 Randy

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 09:43 AM

The code is to be placed in an .htaccess file at the site root level on a Linux/Unix based system that is running Apache with mod_rewrite enabled. Whew! That's a mouthful trying to cover all of the bases. lol.gif

More simply put, it would go in a file named .htaccess (yes, with the leading dot) and placed in the same folder as your index page file. As long as you're on on a *nix server it'll work 99.9% of the time because Apache by default will have mod_rewrite enabled.

What is does it look for requests made --for any page of the site-- where the address contains example.com, as opposed to www.example.com. When it sees such a hit it automatically redirects that user to the same page with the www appended into the beginning of the url address. The code is sort of okay, but it needs one other little thing. Specifically it needs to send a 301 Moved Permanently status code.

So the corrected code would look like:

CODE
Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^example\.com
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.example.com/$1 [R=301,L]


QUOTE
Also I have 2 very similar domain names on this server (different business) and google has cached one website (the wrong one) but when I click from the listings it goes to the correct website.


I'm not sure what you're saying/asking in this part.

Are you saying there are two wholly independent sites that happen to have similar addresses? And further that one site is indexed in Google but when you click on it you end up at the other site?

If that's the case you'll need to work with whoever hosts your site to figure out why that's happening. It almost sounds like there is some sort of redirect in the picture that shouldn't be there. Or the local DNS on your server is seriously messed up.

Start with figuring out what happens if you surf to the missing site directly. Do you end up in the right place or somewhere else?

That one is going to be impossible for us to troubleshoot without having all of the details to look at the actual sites and what status codes are being sent.

#4 tomsk

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 02:04 PM

I own and run the following domains

www. london-plastering-company .co.uk

www. london-carpentry-company.co.uk

If you do a site search for the 1st domain and check the cached version it shows information for the second domain website and has the title tag from the second domain also, however if you click the actual result it goes to the correct url of the first domain.

Hope that above makes sense.

Also Thanks for the correct code Randy - I had not copied the correct one to my post embarrassed.gif

#5 Randy

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 11:26 AM

hmm... Something is definitely going on with those sites tomsk. And it sure does look like a DNS problem of some sort. But it could be something else too.

I don't have all of my normal tools on this version of my computer at the moment (in the middle of deciding if I want to migrate from XP Pro 64 bit to Win 7 Pro 64 bit) so I've made a note to check it later when I switch back to XP or after I get some of my sniffers and such installed here.

You don't have any Googlebot specific redirects in place by chance do you? The reason I ask is I did just perform the same site: type search at Yahoo and Bing and both of those report the correct page. Typically if it were a DNS issue it would affect all three, so I'm thinking it's something more Google specific.

You don't have an xml sitemap set up for Google that's pointing to the wrong site do you? Or something in Google's Webmaster Tool that's pointing to the wrong site?

You may also want to ask for help in one of the Google Groups discussion areas to see if you can attract the attention of someone within Googleplex to take a look. Or see if you can get a message through to Matt Cutts. They'll be the ones who will have a better view of where Google might be getting the bad data from.

#6 tomsk

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 02:42 PM

QUOTE
You don't have an xml sitemap set up for Google that's pointing to the wrong site do you? Or something in Google's Webmaster Tool that's pointing to the wrong site?


Checked everything there and nothing that I can see - Also took your advice and asked on the google group discussion.

I put the mod rewrite in place this morning maybe that will help also.

Edited by tomsk, 18 March 2010 - 02:47 PM.


#7 tomsk

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 05:52 AM

So far no luck with asking google via the google help forum (did get called a spammer which is always nice)

So looking a little bit deeper I have also discovered that I have a number of copies on my index page on different domain names that I own.

My hosting list all the domains that I own and those that I have just bought to do something with in the future I had not set up a destination folder for, so by default it is showing my index page on these not used urls.

So back to the drawing board me thinks.

#8 tomsk

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 06:01 AM

Ok so just changed the error in the folder set up I mention above - so as I stand google has indexed the same home page a number of times on different urls, what's the best way now to effectively remove these pages from google.

#9 chrishirst

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 06:10 AM

301 redirect all the unused or parked hostnames to the "main" hostname.


QUOTE
google has indexed the same home page a number of times on different urls,
That's probably because your "main" site is the first VirtualHost (Apache) or the Default site (IIS) set up on the server, so it is this one that gets served out for requests should no other site match.


#10 tomsk

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 07:32 AM

Ok this is turning out to be a long Sunday morning 15 mins to tide stuff up:


QUOTE
Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^example\.com
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.example.com/$1 [R=301,L]


I have now put the htaccess above on both domains, and on the carpentry website delete pages that left where placed wronly when I was cut and pasting the original folder of the 1st site to create the 2nd site

However when I search www.london-carpentry-company.co.uk/plasterer-london-se8.html (a page that I have today deleted) the page clicks to a page that no longer exists on the site, it should go to the 404 page I have created as the page has been deleted, however it goes to a page which I cannot see still exists.

I am assuming that the hosting is all over the place - any ideas?

Also a site:www.domain search shows the wrong title tag ect as mentioned in the original post - however doing a "www.domainname" shows the correct cached version and title tag etc.

Edited by tomsk, 21 March 2010 - 07:45 AM.


#11 tomsk

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 04:39 AM

Ok a quick update and a further question.

So I simply could not get the dns issue sorted out with the hosting company so purchased separate hosting for the domain in question.

Google has since stopped by the site and indexed the index page that was put live on the new domain on the 31/03/2010 and the latest cached version is still showing the title tag of the other site.

Also typing the keywords London plastering company also show the carpentry web site.

Any help would be gratefully received.




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