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No-Following & Removing Pages


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5 replies to this topic

#1 copywriter

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 03:38 PM

I have a client who had a ton of duplicate tags showing in WMT and another basketful of duplicate pages.  As they have been removing them (the ones they no longer will use) and/or adding no-index/no-follow to the others (as appropriate) their are actually more showing in WMT now than before.

 

Also, traffic to the site tanked over the weekend.

 

As they are fixing these, Google doesn't seem to be removing the pages from the list.  Seem they are a little slow at spidering the new changes.  Any way to speed that process up?

 



#2 qwerty

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 03:50 PM

You could 301 them instead. That way, if the pages you're removing have any link equity, it will get transferred to the pages you're keeping up.

 

If that's not possible, you could remove the pages via Webmaster Tools in addition to adding noindex or blocking them via robots.txt. That directive is only good for a few months, but if the bot finds noindex on the pages (or they're excluded from crawling them) afterward, they should stay out of the index. But of course, that will only work for Google.



#3 copywriter

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 05:28 AM

For pages that are dupes that they ARE still using, do you think a 301 or canonical tag would be better?  These are pages where (for example) five products use the same filter so they currently have 5 filter pages.  They only really need 1.

 

Also, why would Google be showing more duplicate tags in WMT than they did before my client fixed them?  They started with 125 and fixed 125.  Now WMT is showing 153.  They seem to be legit, too.  Just curious as to why they didn't all show up at the same time.

 

Will Google usually remove the no-index/no-follow pages themselves eventually or are you saying they need to be removed manually via WMT? 



#4 qwerty

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 05:46 AM

I was told a couple of years ago by two very knowledgeable people that rel-canonical was a stronger signal than a 301, but that just doesn't make sense to me. A 301 is a clear signal that a search engine pretty much has to follow: the page is gone and has been permanently replaced. Rel-canonical is a suggestion, albeit a "strong" suggestion. The non-canonical page remains accessible, and for user-agents other than search engine spiders, there's really no  indication at all that you're not looking at the official version of the page. But you may need to use rel-canonical because you want those filter pages to still be available to users.

 

I expect they'd eventually remove noindex pages (but not pages blocked via robots.txt if they're already indexed), but I figure it can't hurt to push it through.

 

Regarding the increase in the number of duplicates, are these the same URLs with more added, or a whole new group? It may be that by removing some dupes, they've been able to crawl a little deeper, giving them the opportunity to find more problems.


Edited by qwerty, 24 September 2013 - 05:47 AM.


#5 copywriter

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 06:12 AM

Thanks for the insights.

 

I believe they told me the original 125 were included in the group. So that would be around 25+ more that were found.  No big deal.  They need to be fixed.  It was just weird that they popped up.



#6 Jill

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:45 AM

It's important to understand that WMT is not a real time reporting tool such as Google Analytics. The data is often not up to date. 






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