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Using Wordpress To Host Api Powered Pages


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#1 japanen

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Posted 13 August 2015 - 04:50 AM

This one might be unique - certainly I can not find anything about it here or anywhere else.

 

I have inherited a site, in which content is powered by an API (eg browser communicates with API server via JavaScript) and displayed on wordpress powered holding pages. It is essentially a listings site and the API is recalling product listings into a single wordpress page called "listings".

 

This was done so that a low-level admin could write blog articles while also allowing for the listings to be handled by another custom CMS.

 

The result of this was that Google would only crawl the blog articles, not the actual listing holding pages, as the content was only being pulled over the API. To get around this I created a series of wordpress-powered pages where wordpress would pull the content from the API, and serve the complete page back to the client, which should work for Googlebot.

 

However, after 6 weeks it has crawled but still not indexed these pages. 

 

Any suggestions? Is Wordpress doing something weird I have missed?

 

Has anyone encountered a similar situation and how did you deal with it?

 

Yorushiku, as we say in Japan (please).



#2 chrishirst

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Posted 13 August 2015 - 06:43 PM

Search engines cannot crawl documents that are created by javascript.



#3 japanen

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Posted 13 August 2015 - 07:34 PM

Thanks for the reply.

 

I know JS does not get crawled - thats the problem with the original "listings" pages. That`s why I created the solution, a series of wordpress generated holding page pages.

 

However, the wordpress holding pages are not getting crawled. Thats why I posted to see if anybody else has encountered the problem.

 

What I suspect might be happening is that Google is reading the site as a wordpress site and only following the "page" or "post" on the content. But because these new holding pages are on a different URL structure to the regular wordpress category / post / page content then it is ignoring them simply because it thinks of the site as nothing more than a regular wordpress blog.

Would anybody have thoughts / experience on this?



#4 chrishirst

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Posted 14 August 2015 - 05:19 AM

 

 

However, the wordpress holding pages are not getting crawled

 

Are there any real links pointing to them?

 

"real" meaning ones that you did not create.



#5 Michael Martinez

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Posted 14 August 2015 - 09:34 AM

Um, [some, not all] search engines DO crawl documents created by at least some Javascript.  Google even promotes and contributes to a framework called Angular.JS that is used by some large, popular sites.

 

But if you're pulling product listings from an API you may be waiting a long time for Google to decide they are useful.

 

You can use the Fetch As Googlebot tool in Google's Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) to see if they are able to render the pages.  If they can render them, then they are able to crawl them.

 

Check the site to make sure there are no SEO plugins adding "noindex" or "nofollow" directives in meta tags or navigational links.


Edited by Michael Martinez, 14 August 2015 - 09:37 AM.


#6 japanen

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Posted 14 August 2015 - 07:44 PM

Thanks for the reply again guys.

 

To follow up -

 

I know the JS setup will prevent the listings pages being crawled. The wordpress holding pages mimic a listings set up, and although they have some JS - they also have text, image content etc.

 

These also have unique URLs, schema markup and are linked from multiple places on the site. There are no external sites linking to them right now, but it is an old (15 year) domain with reasonable juice on the top page. 

 

Other new pages that I have created - for example about page, service details page etc have been indexed quickly. 

 

Does Google read wordpress purely as a blog? Will it refuse to index pages which do not fit in with wordpress` traditional page / post / category structure?



#7 chrishirst

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Posted 15 August 2015 - 04:58 AM

 

Does Google read wordpress purely as a blog? Will it refuse to index pages which do not fit in with wordpress` traditional page / post / category structure?

 

 

No, No & No. Google does not even 'care' about ANY of those things. 


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#8 japanen

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Posted 16 August 2015 - 07:38 PM

 

No, No & No. Google does not even 'care' about ANY of those things. 

 

 

Actually it does - They can obviously read the wordpress references in the header of the site and can make an informed guess as to the type of site you have. 

 

I have seen this have an effect elsewhere, when edited the code bases of sites which have entirely custom CMSs. However, I am not sure if wordpress is always consigned to a blog basis.



#9 chrishirst

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 04:34 AM

 

 

They can obviously read the wordpress references in the header of the site and can make an informed guess as to the type of site you have. 

 

Just because they can, does not mean they do.

 

Google do not even index or list 'sites', their 'bot crawls individual URLs and their results pages list individual URLs. Unless of course you use the site: operator in your search query

 

 

 

 However, I am not sure if wordpress is always consigned to a blog basis.

No it isn't, the basic criteria for being a 'blog' URL is that a date is displayed in the start of content, thus marking the content as potentially time sensitive, or chronologically significant.



#10 japanen

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 05:31 AM

Yeah, sorry - Thats not true at all. 

 

You think they would not use a signal as obvious as the CMS identifiers to help them score a site? Really? 

 

You think they would look, blindly ignore and move on? Really? Thats like saying a builder would ignore the foundations of your house when giving it a value before you sell it.

 

I`ve seen enough to know that they do respond to this on custom CMS v other solutions - and that Wordpress and Zend integration can make a difference, but I was hoping to find out if anyone had experience getting around wordpress limitations with these custom pages that I have made.

 

 

 

No it isn't, the basic criteria for being a 'blog' URL is that a date is displayed in the start of content, thus marking the content as potentially time sensitive, or chronologically significant.

 

Thats not true either - there is a number of criteria for being seen as a blog, the date thing only helps if your site has built up enough signals that it is a news based site. Even then it only really helps Google source the original or show in the news snippet on the SERP. It was only a factor on general sites 7/8 years ago. There are more and better signals which indicate the nature of a blog site. What I am not sure about, is if wordpress would suffer from this and if thats the reason my new holding pages are not getting indexed.

 

 

Google do not even index or list 'sites', their 'bot crawls individual URLs and their results pages list individual URLs. Unless of course you use the site: operator in your search query

 

This is only slightly correct. The index is URL based, but scoring, especially in a lot of areas, is site based. SERPs show this. Try comparing a search for a generic term, or in an area where there are a number of big brand leaders against a search where there are no established authorities. You`ll notice the difference.



#11 chrishirst

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 08:32 AM

 

 

  but scoring, especially in a lot of areas, is site based. SERPs show this. Try comparing a search for a generic term, or in an area where there are a number of big brand leaders against a search where there are no established authorities. You`ll notice the difference.

Total nonsense and quite frankly should be posted at a 'certain SEO' site that loves pseudo scientific nonsense like that.


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#12 Michael Martinez

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 10:18 AM

Actually, the signals that you have a blog are more likely to be associated with the RSS/Atom Feed that a Website publishes.  Google has always been able to identify "blogs" as such regardless of platform.



#13 Jill

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 10:57 AM

Sometimes lately @Chrishirst has been making me crazy with his blatant statements. But this time he's right on the money, IMO.

 

The notion of Google treating wordpress sites any differently than any other form of HTML is ludicrous at best. 

And I agree that the drivel being used to support that nonsense would be better off posted on SEOmoz where they believe in strange conspiracy theories such as that!



#14 japanen

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 07:53 PM

Actually, the signals that you have a blog are more likely to be associated with the RSS/Atom Feed that a Website publishes.  Google has always been able to identify "blogs" as such regardless of platform.

 

Thats true, but do you think they consign sites with wordpress header code to blog status only? Thats what I am wondering... If you have an example of a site running a wordpress theme that has something other than page / post site map then please - let me know!



#15 torka

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 09:52 AM

Seriously?!? Do I understand correctly that you actually believe Google will "consign" pages using WP to "blog status" -- and that being a blog is some sort of negative indicator?

 

According to W3Techs, WP is used by over 58% of all the websites whose CMS they know, making it by far the most popular CMS in use today. According to Forbes in 2012, WP powered around 60 million websites. According to the ManageWP blog, today that figure is closer to 75 million, and of every 100 new domains registered in the USA 22 of them will be run on WP. According to Wikipedia, as of January 2015, WP powered more than 23% of all the sites on the web. (Search on "how many sites use wordpress" and you'll almost certainly find the citations to these stats and more.)

 

It has been a long, long time since WP was considered by anyone in the know as "merely" a blogging platform.

 

WPBeginner has an interesting list of 40 selected big brand sites that use WP, including The New Yorker, BBCAmerica, Best Buy, and Time Inc. My own company uses WP to power all our websites, only one of which is an actual blog. WP today is used for ecommerce sites, membership sites, business sites... pretty much any kind of site you can imagine. The idea that Google would treat a site more harshly simply because of their choice of CMS is beyond ludicrous. There are a lot of factors that go into ranking. The specific CMS used is not one of them.

 

The reason most blogs don't do better in the search engines is not because they're blogs. It's because they're crap. It wouldn't matter if their pages were created in WP or if their HTML was lovingly hand-crafted in the Black Forest by skilled craftsmen using Notepad.

 

But we're getting a little far off topic here. IMHO, the main reason you're having trouble getting these pages indexed is right here:

There are no external sites linking to them right now
. If nobody else cares about those pages enough to grant them even one editorial link, why should Google pay attention to them?

 

 

--Torka :oldfogey:


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