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Horrible Mistakes Lead To Almost Total De-indexing


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#1 makos

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 07:45 AM

Dear SEO gurus and professionals,

Sorry for my bad English – I’m from small country from EU Baltic states.

Also I am totally new to SEO but there is an interesting project for me, at the same time I understand it could be difficult to start with, but anyway...

Short background:
This is an online bookstore in EU.
First site was launched on Joomla + Virtuemart in 2006 with 5-8K active products. Let’s assume the domain was “www.bookstore<storename_here>.lt”
Nothing any close to SEO was made (even meta tags were default “Joomla – the free blah, blah” etc, etc., no analytics as well).
The site was on 5-10 page in SERP (with local standard “bookstore” keywords).

In 2010 former marketing staff initiated project - the site was redesigned (also updated to newer versions of Joomla+Virtuemart) and new domain was used “www.e<storename_here>.lt”
And here several horrible mistakes were made (new domain was launched in November 2010):
1) No 301 redirects were made – simply added new domain “www.e<storename_here>.lt” and changed content on server.
2) Old domain “www.bookstore<storename here>.lt” is active and uses the same content. Also I cannot check if a link from the old search engine index (before CMS version change) will lead to the same content.
Both domains are using the same IP now and active.
3) Other technical problems (could be corrected fast enough) such as no SEF URLs, HTML validation errors, no ALT text for some clickable images, etc. etc…

Current statistics:
65% - direct traffic,
18% - redirects from old domain www.bookstore<storename here>.lt (I assume 60%+ here is also direct traffic to old domain)
17% - organic search (90%+ of traffic is from keywords that contains our name)
Comparing to 2009 – traffic is reduced by half, organic results from 30-60% (I don’t know how accurate is this statistics as it was collected from server logs)

So now I have a heavily penalized online bookstore with fresh design and 15-20K active products that is almost not indexed (new domain) and almost removed from the index (old domain), and I need to do my best to rank it high within 4 month.

Of course it will be impossible to me without your help.

So before posting my ideas regarding the SEO strategy to your judgment, I would like to know your opinion – is it possible at all to get out from that penalty trap and try to rank high in 4-5 month without millions in budget?

Thanks in advance,
Maxim.


#2 Jill

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 02:01 PM

It's hard to understand your post completely, but I'm not sure what makes you think you have a penalty.

It sounds more like the case of having 2 sites with the same content, so Google has only indexed one. Is that correct?

If you want the other domain indexed instead, then 301-redirect it to your new one and you'll be all set.

Forgive me if I've misunderstood your question.

#3 makos

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 04:38 AM

Hi, Jill.
Thanks you for reply.

QUOTE
It's hard to understand your post completely, but I'm not sure what makes you think you have a penalty.

It sounds more like the case of having 2 sites with the same content, so Google has only indexed one. Is that correct?

Sorry, I have not been precise enough - both domains are partially in index (new one has about 700 pages out of 15K, and old one about 168 pages) but both of them showing nowhere in SERP, thus I think this is a penalty due of (mainly) having duplicate content for a long time as old domain is used to rank much higher. Am I wrong?
Theoretically there are 4 sites with duplicate content as both domains have no redirects from www and non-www versions as well.

QUOTE
If you want the other domain indexed instead, then 301-redirect it to your new one and you'll be all set.

Forgive me if I've misunderstood your question.

If I understand correctly it is highly not recommended to use multiple domains for the same content even with 301 redirects enabled, so I must decide which one to use.

Honestly, now I'm thinking that for SEO purposes old domain (www.bookstore<storename_here>.lt) was much better than the new one (www.e<storename_here>.lt) as I would like to try rank high for "bookstore" keyword. Will it be better to revert then?

First of all wanted to find out is it possible to get higher rating in 4-5 month (ex. 1-2 page for "bookstore" keyword in local language) for the site with such a background?

Thanks in advance.
Maxim.




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