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Need Opinions - Did I Do Anything Wrong?


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5 replies to this topic

#1 Ansky0007

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 08:37 PM

Ok my site is not new and its been in google since 2004, My main keywords have been hovering at the bottom of the first page to the top of the second page for years. I took someones advice to remove duplicate content by enabling Canonical links and also modified my robots.txt file to remove the following:

User-agent:*
Disallow: /cgi-bin/
Disallow: /ProductDetails.asp
Disallow: /EmailaFriend.asp
Disallow: /ShoppingCart.asp
Disallow: /login.asp
Disallow: /login_sendpass.asp
Disallow: /GiftCert_default.asp
Disallow: /ShoppingCart.asp
Disallow: /PhotoDetails.asp

Doing this removed around 1000 pages from googles index on my site. I thought this was a good thing until my daily keyword reports starting coming in daily with negative positions steadily for the past 2-3 weeks. My main keywords that were hovering at the bottom of the first page have now moved to the third page and my traffic has taken a big hit.

Do I undo all these changes or will my listings come back naturally? I know I am stupid for doing this in late November and I should have waited till after the holiday's since I probably lost half of the income that I usually make in December and now being on the 3rd page my traffic has dropped over 50% and so has my sales during the busiest month of the year.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

#2 Jill

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 09:11 AM

I don't see how we could know if it's good or bad based on what you've said. If you're blocking pages that don't need to be indexed, then it shouldn't cause you problems for the pages that should be indexed. But I don't know if the pages you're blocking should be or shouldn't be based on the info you've provided.

Also, you say you've "enabled canonical links." What does that mean?

#3 Ansky0007

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 12:40 PM

QUOTE(Jill @ Dec 10 2010, 09:11 AM) View Post
I don't see how we could know if it's good or bad based on what you've said. If you're blocking pages that don't need to be indexed, then it shouldn't cause you problems for the pages that should be indexed. But I don't know if the pages you're blocking should be or shouldn't be based on the info you've provided.

Also, you say you've "enabled canonical links." What does that mean?


It means I enabled canonical links to remove duplicate content. If your unfamiliar with canonical links check out:
http://www.google.co...p;answer=139394

All pages I removed are mostly duplicate pages. But my site went from having 700+ pages to 200 or so actual pages and this is when the drop in rankings occurred.

#4 Jill

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 02:16 PM

Still not clear.

Are you saying you've added the canonical link element (rel=canonical) to the pages of the site? (That's what the link you've pointed to is all about.)

If so, it's highly possible that you did that wrong as that could cause the symptoms you're talking about.

#5 Ansky0007

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 03:35 PM

QUOTE(Jill @ Dec 10 2010, 02:16 PM) View Post
Still not clear.

Are you saying you've added the canonical link element (rel=canonical) to the pages of the site? (That's what the link you've pointed to is all about.)

If so, it's highly possible that you did that wrong as that could cause the symptoms you're talking about.


Correct, But I did it correct and I now only have one page for each of my pages instead of 3 or 4 or the same pages. So essentially I removed all duplicated pages and as a result we dropped in our rankings when our total indexed pages dropped.

#6 Michael Martinez

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 09:23 PM

It could be you're just seeing a normal dip due to the lag time between making a major change and having the search engine update its index thoroughly. There is no way to magically transform everything the search engines knew about your site yesterday into what it's like today. The process (depending on the size of your site) could take days, weeks, or months to complete.

It could also be that your duplicate content was working better for you than you originally believed. Just because you have duplicate content doesn't mean it's a bad thing. It's a bad thing if it's confusing your visitors (and the search engines). A conservative SEO might advise people to steer away from duplicate content simply because it's a better long-term strategy -- but once you're in those rocky waters, you need an experienced SEO to help you navigate them. It's not as simple as just canonicalizing everything.

Anyway, like Jill said earlier, you really haven't provided enough information for anyone to give you a high probability read on what is happening. I don't think undoing your changes will help much, unless you've inflicted some sort of navigational or structural harm on the site. There's no way to know for sure except to wait it out.

But in the meantime you still have the option of publishing new content and just keep following that course until you're sure of where the ship is heading.




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