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Jan 15th, 2013, 09:56 AM
Newbie here looking for some advice on Indexed Pages
So, I run a northeast skiing forum, AlpineZone.com.
The site has been up for 13 years (!). This past summer, I undertook a massive site redesign, which went live I believe in July. Essentially, there are two "parts" to the site; what i call the "Forum" side (via vBulletin, at forums.alpinezone.com) and the "Content" side, which used to just be HTML / Includes but is now on a CMS with a custom theme to match the look across the site.
The "Content" side used to be split into various subdomains ... so there was skiing.alpinzone.com, hiking.alpinezone.com, etc. When the site was redone, all of these just went into subdirectories instead - so alpinezone.com/skiing/ alpinezone.com/hiking/ etc.
I wrote most of the redirects myself, but had difficulty with some of them.
Also, I made the front end of the content site dynamic by using RSS feeds from various areas of the site to aggregate what's new on the home page. This worsk well but I noticed that each RSS entry was creating a duplicate entry on the CMS, instead of just linking to the original content. So; I set all these to NOFOLLOW.
The above chart is from Webmaster Tools. You can see that change I made around 12/15, where the "Not Selected" drops like a brick.
I'm wondering why my indexed pages seems to be suffering so bad. I have noticed traffic on my forums is way up since the redesign, but "content" traffic is down, by about 20%, and I'm trying to recoup and understand if this is a result of the changes I made. I had some SEO help from oDesk but it wasn't really that great, I still had to go back and readjust all of my redirects , title tags, and meta snippets.
I''m definitely not an SEO pro so any advice or where I should look next would be appreciated. Thanks!
Jan 15th, 2013, 10:21 AM
Did I read this correctly? If you nofollowed pages then wouldnt they as a result, be removed from the index? Sorry if I misread this...
Jan 15th, 2013, 10:33 AM
Sort of. That explains (at least partially) the drop in "not selected" pages. But "Not Selected" dropped way below the level that it was before I ever even did this site upgrade in the July. Additionally; my indexed pages are steadily declining.
Originally Posted by joshz
I'm also trying to find out if there is an easy way for me to correlate the reduction in search related visits on the "content side" with the drop or reduction in indexed pages. Something is awry and I'm not sure what :/ that's my struggle. It's tough to figure out because the structure of the site changed (going from subdomain to subdirectory) so it's hard to tie out one for one where I'm losing the visits, even in Google Analytics.
The forum is 80% of my site traffic anyway and that is as strong as ever but I'm really working hard to grow out the rest of the site and provide more breadth to the content we offer.
Jan 15th, 2013, 10:41 AM
Interesting. I wish I had more insight to share but I'm slightly clueless now. I'll step aside for others to share their opinion. Sorry I couldn't help more, bud.
Jan 15th, 2013, 11:18 AM
Your simply using your RSS to display the latest news on the home page correct? I wouldn't see this as a duplicate content problem as a lot of sites do that kind of thing.
Not sure what you have added nofollow to as I don't see any nofollow links on your home page!?
Would you mind posting your htaccess code so I can have a check of it to make sure redirects are working correctly?
Jan 15th, 2013, 12:53 PM
When I had the developer build the site, the way the feeds show up on the home page is actually by creating a post, even though the link goes directly to the forum. So for example; on the home page there is a Trip Report called: Wisp 1/12/13. That link goes directly to the forum thread.
Originally Posted by NathanielB
However, on the backend, a new post is actually being created , which can be accessed here: Wisp Resort 1/12/13 , - Skiing and Snowboarding Trip Reports | AlpineZone.com - The Northeast Guide to Mountain Adventure
It was those pages (everything under /trip_reports/) that I set as "noindex" (sorry; not nofollow... my mistake earlier).
The 301 redirects are a mess because I had to put them in each subdirectory's HTACCESS file. i had 3,000 news articles to redirect, as well as various sking pages, etc.
Pages that I would expect to show up higher on Google Search (example search with AlpineZone to help with SERP for demo purposes): "Sugarbush Ski Resort Profile AlpineZone") - I WANT this page to show up first, Sugarbush Resort Ski Resort Profile, Snow Conditions, Statistics | AlpineZone.com but instead I get some interview that was done before. It's odd.
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