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Hundreds Of Inappropriate Files In Serps


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10 replies to this topic

#1 ttw

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 04:46 PM

My new client has literally hundreds and hundreds of inappropriate pages appearing in SERPs (uncovered using ScreamingFrog) such as:

  • every blog post also appears with associated /feed/ file
  • all their video lightbox files .js files appear
  • there are separate URLs for every category in the blog
  • Multiple css files are indexed
  • js files that I can't even understand
  • Many of the web pages have up to 5 URLs for each page which can be resolved with canonical tags.
  • AND, every page also has an "https" version for no good reason.

 

The client uses Drupal as their CMS and I believe all these files are being generated by the CMS and that there must be an preferences or settings that can alter what files are generated.  Is it possible with Drupal to set up a Robots.txt file to prevent these files from being generated?

 

Their blog categories are year/mo/date.  I would like them to change these to a more search friendly structure.  Is this possible in Drupal or is this going to create more work than the impact we might expect.

 

Any Drupal folks out there who could comment?


Edited by ttw, 31 May 2013 - 04:53 PM.


#2 chrishirst

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 06:50 AM

Do any search engines list them? Which is all that REALLY matters.

 

 

Just because some 'tool' read links that only browsers use does NOT mean it needs 'fixing'.

 

In actual fact it is the 'tool' that needs fixing so it does NOT show irrelevant information.



#3 chrishirst

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 07:05 AM

Afterthought:

 

 

Or maybe these 'tools' should NOT be used by people who do not actually understand the mechanics of webservers. (clients for example) and the protocols used.

 

HTTP requests for other EXTERNAL PARTS of the document made when a document URL is requested by a user agent are NOT 'links', these are what 'hits' refer to. The user agent HAS to make those requests to load the relevant items, images, .css files. .js files and so on.

 

IF your server has ANY kind of control panel, cPanel, Plesk, Webmin etc. there WILL be a HTTPS: port open on the server which ALL hostnames on that server will respond to, if your site never makes a request for an HTTPS URL, nobody will ever find them, AND if they  do happen across one, there will be a security warning raised by the browser because the certificate is "self-signed" and not from a 'trusted provider'.


Edited by chrishirst, 01 June 2013 - 07:07 AM.
spellnig and grammar


#4 Jill

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 08:59 AM

She said they were appearing in the SERPs. 



#5 qwerty

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 09:14 AM

In Google? I've seen CSS and JS files returned once in a while on a site: search on Yahoo and Bing, but I don't think I've ever seen that in Google, unless I'm specifically looking for it. I just searched [site:domain.tld filetype:js] on G for one of the sites I run. I got one result: a WordPress comment script for a subdomain that contains no content, and the snippet for the result indicates that it's disallowed via robots.txt.



#6 bobmeetin

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 12:13 PM

I'm familiar with Joomla, Zen-cart, even Magento, but not Wordpress. That being said, you mentioned feeds. Within Joomla you have at least 3 preferences for feeds.  There are some general category prefs, specific category prefs, article or item prefs and menu item prefs. I think there are also some general site prefs for dabblers.  This is a blog - then some blog preferences as well.  Unless they have done specific page or menu changes you start at the top and work down. Indexing blog categories does not surprise me.

 

Indexing js and css files makes it sound like there is possibly some broken code, maybe a hack (by the designer/developer), I don't know. You'll commonly see that stuff in server logs which is normal but getting indexed as pages is not.

 

Running the site through one of the html/css validators may help, more likely output a lot of time-consuming purist fixes as well. I'm not anti-purist code, just recognize its plausible impact and place.

 

Some may object, but running it through an online XML sitemap generator and viewing the output may be insightful. If it is also showing the css and js files then that seems to confirm that there is a problem.


Edited by bobmeetin, 01 June 2013 - 12:18 PM.


#7 ttw

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 11:53 AM

Thanks everyone - was away for the weekend and will provide answers to your comments:

 

1)  .js pages - when I do a site: for .js I see 100 results and the majority of them look like this:  www.companyname.com/misc/drupal.js?u

 

2)  Getting Feeds/lightbox/ pages out of SERPs:  Even if we have them use robots.txt to stop these pages from being indexed unless Google gets a 404 they aren't coming out of the index.  Is the only way to remove these manually in GWMTs?

 

3) https pages:  Chris, I can search in Google and find https pages but when I run a site:, I can't see whether pages are http or https - but when I search for the exact https URL, Google returns that https page, so yes, I have to believe both http and https pages in in the index.

 

4)  XML site map versus site:   The client GWMTs shows 334 submitted URLs with 268 indexed but a site: includes 2,250 URLs.  



#8 chrishirst

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 07:10 PM

1) Only running a very specific search is ever going to display them in results.

 

2) If they deliver a 404 response, the URLs will hang about for a long while, but will ONLY appear in 'special' searches, inurl: site: etc.

 

3) if they are https://  Google shows the address as a URL, if the adress is http:// it displays it as a URI. (in green below the title)

 

4) Why does it matter?



#9 ttw

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 10:39 PM

I believe it matters because Google says it matters when we have lots of pages in their index that shouldn't be there such as duplicate urls (http and https).  

 

It's harder to manage cleaning up titles, descriptions,etc when the URL report is thousands of URLs instead of 500.

 

Are you saying if you had this issue that you would do nothing about it?



#10 bobmeetin

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 11:00 PM

I'd like to see this fixed before other things break. You could have the designer check the drupal forums for similar problems with the revision of drupal and the particular theme. Depending on the number of pages, I might make a clean backup and rebuild it from scratch, fresh drupal, add the theme, add the slideshows, content, etc. while periodically checking the xml sitemap for surprises. Another option would be to swap out the theme temporarily. There are lots of troubleshooting options. Chris is right, but ...



#11 Say Yebo

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 10:30 AM

Drupal definitely does allow a custom robots.txt file - I have a client who has one :)






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