15 Replies Latest reply on Nov 29, 2008 5:54 PM by garynng

    Google Indexing problem

    garynng Level 1
      I really need some help - I created this site in DW: www.napatouristguide.com.

      I submitted it to google, verified it, added a sitemap, and waited a week so far. It shows that it found 15 urls in the sitemap, and indexed 4. However, the only way you can find the site in google is if you google the actual url. If you do any keywords, including the title of the site, it comes back with nothing. (If you do this you might see my original test pages which I posted under another site I do, www.localwally.com).

      Today, I accessed google webmaster tools and it show 31 404 errors. Many of the links are old links with old urls (I changed them a few days ago based on the recommendation of a google faq to not use "_" to separate words). However, some of the rejected pages are actual live pages, such as my index page. When you click on the "linked from" data, it shows it came from the sitemap. I originally thought it did this because I changed the sitemap, but the index.html file did not change names, nor a number of others which also showed as 404.

      Additionally, someone else on the google forum is telling me that when he types in www.napatouristguide.com he gets a blank page! When I do it, I get the actual page.

      Could someone please help me figure out what I need to do? I realize this is a DW forum, but I am hoping someone out there takes pity on me since it took me 15 months to learn DW and write this site and now it feels like I am totally lost.

      Gary
        • 1. Re: Google Indexing problem
          Level 7
          "garynng" <webforumsuser@macromedia.com> wrote in message
          news:ggq1re$pob$1@forums.macromedia.com...
          > Additionally, someone else on the google forum is telling me that when he
          > types in www.napatouristguide.com he gets a blank page! When I do it, I
          > get
          > the actual page.
          >
          > Could someone please help me figure out what I need to do? I realize this
          > is
          > a DW forum, but I am hoping someone out there takes pity on me since it
          > took me
          > 15 months to learn DW and write this site and now it feels like I am
          > totally
          > lost.


          Webmaster tools or no, I suggest it is going to take time for Google to
          index all your pages properly. You probably just need to be patient.

          No idea why someone on the Google forum can't see your page. I've not yet
          had any difficulty reaching it.
          --
          Tim G.
          http://www.pactumweb.com
          http://www.shortordersite.com

          Be smart: http://www.pactumweb.com/client/tips.php


          • 2. Re: Google Indexing problem
            Level 7
            Hello,

            I had no trouble seeing the page or the links.

            Take a look at:
            http://whois.domaintools.com/napatouristguide.com
            If you expand the "SEO Text Browser" window, you'll see how Google sees your
            page.
            The content looks good.

            I do see 1 H1 tag that matches keywords in the Title and page content, which
            is good, but there are no other H2, H3, etc.
            "The Best Hotels, etc" text could be in an H2 tag, the keyword there being
            Napa.
            The words within these tags should be relevant" and don't "Overdo it". For
            example, using Napa in every single one.

            In the often secret world of what helps rank, it also doesn't hurt to add
            ALT tags with a description to your images and titles to your menu links.

            IMHO, one of the keys to SEO is the number of relevant sites that link to
            yours.
            This is believed to be a very large factor in ranking.
            Stay away from sites devoted to simply linking to sites.
            These aren't relevant and you might even get penalized for this.

            You can look in Google's webmaster tools to see sites that link to yours.
            Also, on the Google home page, you can search for link:napatouristguide.com.
            I did that and it showed no sites with links to yours.
            If that's the case, or Google just hasn't spidered sites linked to yours
            yet, that's likely the reason you aren't showing up in the first "x" amount
            of search results.

            Also, you need to consider how many sites out there use Napa as a keyword.
            The more "unique" your keywords, the smaller the competition in the search
            results.
            Napa Guide and Napa have millions of competing sites, and it's not just Napa
            Valley..it's Napa Auto Parts and so on.
            You might consider using Napa Valley and even California in the title
            instead of just Napa.
            Use Napa Valley in your page content and not just Napa.

            You can use Google's adword program to generate a list of keywords that are
            indexed for other sites using Napa, and get a better idea of what works and
            what sites there are that are unrelated to Napa Valley using keywords
            similar to yours. You don't need to buy ads, you can just set it up.

            As far as the Sitemap.xml, yours looks OK.
            You should definitely resubmit it, once you've tested all the links in it.
            Sometimes it's a few hours, other times it's days or longer to show it's
            been crawled.
            I have a a few sites with good positioning that only have half the links in
            the sitemap indexed, 600 of 1000 links in one example.
            I don't think that's uncommon, and it even states in Webtools that it's not
            an error if links in the sitemap are not indexed.
            You only have a few links though, so I would think the majority would be
            linked.

            I would say the biggest thing to focus on right now is to get you site
            linked to from other relevant sites.
            Relevant meaning tourism sites, wine tasting, Napa Valley local sites, etc.

            The way the link to your site is defined on the other site is important.
            -"Click Here"- as a link to your site isn't worth much to the search engine.
            -Click here for a great "Napa Tourism Guide"-, where Napa Tourism Guide is
            the link, is worth something.
            You want to use your keywords in the link.
            Image links are definitely not worth much.


            Hope this helps.

            Take care,
            Tim













            "garynng" <webforumsuser@macromedia.com> wrote in message
            news:ggq1re$pob$1@forums.macromedia.com...
            >I really need some help - I created this site in DW:
            >www.napatouristguide.com.
            >
            > I submitted it to google, verified it, added a sitemap, and waited a week
            > so
            > far. It shows that it found 15 urls in the sitemap, and indexed 4.
            > However,
            > the only way you can find the site in google is if you google the actual
            > url.
            > If you do any keywords, including the title of the site, it comes back
            > with
            > nothing. (If you do this you might see my original test pages which I
            > posted
            > under another site I do, www.localwally.com).
            >
            > Today, I accessed google webmaster tools and it show 31 404 errors. Many
            > of
            > the links are old links with old urls (I changed them a few days ago based
            > on
            > the recommendation of a google faq to not use "_" to separate words).
            > However,
            > some of the rejected pages are actual live pages, such as my index page.
            > When
            > you click on the "linked from" data, it shows it came from the sitemap. I
            > originally thought it did this because I changed the sitemap, but the
            > index.html file did not change names, nor a number of others which also
            > showed
            > as 404.
            >
            > Additionally, someone else on the google forum is telling me that when he
            > types in www.napatouristguide.com he gets a blank page! When I do it, I
            > get
            > the actual page.
            >
            > Could someone please help me figure out what I need to do? I realize this
            > is
            > a DW forum, but I am hoping someone out there takes pity on me since it
            > took me
            > 15 months to learn DW and write this site and now it feels like I am
            > totally
            > lost.
            >
            > Gary
            >


            • 3. Re: Google Indexing problem
              garynng Level 1
              The guy on google forum said to put this code above the header - do you know that this is?

              <?xml version="1.0" encoding="iso-8859-1"?>
              <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
              " http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
              <html xmlns=" http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
              • 4. Re: Google Indexing problem
                bregent Most Valuable Participant
                I'd start by fixing some of the more serious validation errors. You've got a lot.
                • 5. Re: Google Indexing problem
                  garynng Level 1
                  I know this sounds like I am a total idiot, but every time I go into a validator program to fix stuff, things go haywire with formatting, etc. I realize the code is not very clean - I'm actually OK with that as long as google picks me up and people can find me. Is that the wrong attitude? I'm going to try to find a DW class, but until then I am afraid to mess with the code too much.

                  BTW, my original site is www.LocalWally.com, handcoded by me 10 years ago. There are so many errors that even I can't believe it, but it is ranked at the very top of google when you search "san diego tourist". Go figure that one out!

                  So perhaps I don't have a problem? I just need to wait?
                  • 6. Re: Google Indexing problem
                    Level 7
                    "garynng" <webforumsuser@macromedia.com> wrote in message
                    news:ggq87r$3hf$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                    >I know this sounds like I am a total idiot, but every time I go into a
                    > validator program to fix stuff, things go haywire with formatting, etc. I
                    > realize the code is not very clean - I'm actually OK with that as long as
                    > google picks me up and people can find me. Is that the wrong attitude?
                    > I'm
                    > going to try to find a DW class, but until then I am afraid to mess with
                    > the
                    > code too much.


                    A DW class? No, focus on CSS and HTML. Then you'll know what you're doing
                    with the code. Take DW classes later, to deal with workflow issues if you
                    want.

                    > BTW, my original site is www.LocalWally.com, handcoded by me 10 years ago.
                    > There are so many errors that even I can't believe it, but it is ranked at
                    > the
                    > very top of google when you search "san diego tourist". Go figure that
                    > one out!
                    >
                    > So perhaps I don't have a problem? I just need to wait?

                    I'd say Google is not the primary reason to write clean accessible code
                    (although there are unsemantic approaches that will hurt you, such as
                    ineffective use [non-use] of h-tags). The search engines have been finding
                    awful sites for years. A well-coded web site, however, is more likely to be
                    forwards-compatible, and is much easier to troubleshoot now and in the
                    future. It's much less likely to break in an obscure browser that you didn't
                    test in. And beyond that, knowing your way around HTML and CSS will empower
                    you to create better sites that are more appealing to the visitor. (Of
                    course, it won't give you an eye for design!)

                    Etc etc.
                    --
                    Tim G.
                    http://www.pactumweb.com
                    http://www.shortordersite.com

                    Be smart: http://www.pactumweb.com/client/tips.php


                    • 7. Re: Google Indexing problem
                      Level 7
                      You only need this -

                      <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
                      " http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
                      <html xmlns=" http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">

                      and only then if your page is coded as an XHTML 1.0 page.

                      Adding the XML declaration at the top could actually cause problems for you.


                      --
                      Murray --- ICQ 71997575
                      Adobe Community Expert
                      (If you *MUST* email me, don't LAUGH when you do so!)
                      ==================
                      http://www.projectseven.com/go - DW FAQs, Tutorials & Resources
                      http://www.dwfaq.com - DW FAQs, Tutorials & Resources
                      ==================


                      "garynng" <webforumsuser@macromedia.com> wrote in message
                      news:ggq6vi$28i$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                      > The guy on google forum said to put this code above the header - do you
                      > know
                      > that this is?
                      >
                      > <?xml version="1.0" encoding="iso-8859-1"?>
                      > <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
                      > " http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
                      > <html xmlns=" http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
                      >

                      • 8. Re: Google Indexing problem
                        garynng Level 1
                        Murray, thanks -

                        Tim, not to put words in your mouth but just want to make sure you are saying that my sloppy code won't mess up the search engines. I'll sign up for a html and css class for sure as this is way over my head.

                        TC, thank you very much. I will work on links (you can see I am making progress if you google napatouristguide.com - you'll see me show up in a few places now.

                        So in summary, you guys are saying that the site could be cleaned up but there are no fatal errors that would keep google from adding me, right? Just to keep everyone up to date, here is where I am -

                        1. google says site is indexed with of my pages
                        2. google says sitemap is OK
                        3. google says robot.txt is fine
                        4. On recent webcrawl, it shows 31 404 errors - however, it appears that the source of the errors is from when I published the sitemap code on forums such as this one (when I was troubleshooting the sitemap) or are from deleted urls when I changed their names (ironically based on google's recommendation in their faqs). My guess is that if I had just left it alone I would be up and running by now.
                        5. google finds me if you type in "napatouristguide.com", but not with any keywords (ie: "local wally's guide to napa" brings up nothing).

                        Is your recommendation that I should just chill? Others are suggesting that my code is completely hacked and that I need to go back and do a major code cleanup before google will recognize me. And someone else in the UK claims he cannot even see my site - that it returns a blank page and this is why google has not added me. (however, remember, google does find me if you search for the actual url, so does that make his comment incorrect?)

                        Thanks everyone - any additional comments are always welcome. I don't think I could have gotten even this far without your help.

                        Gary
                        • 9. Re: Google Indexing problem
                          Level 7
                          "garynng" <webforumsuser@macromedia.com> wrote in message
                          news:ggro5s$snj$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                          > Murray, thanks -
                          >
                          > Tim, not to put words in your mouth but just want to make sure you are
                          > saying
                          > that my sloppy code won't mess up the search engines. I'll sign up for a
                          > html
                          > and css class for sure as this is way over my head.


                          What I'm saying it that there are certain sorts of sloppy code that can
                          affect your search engine effectiveness, but there are all sorts of sloppy
                          code that are scarcely likely to (which again is why your old site can rank
                          so highly). Sloppy/careless coding that obscures links, as well as
                          unsemantic content coding that fails to use heading tags properly can and
                          almost certainly will affect SEO. There may be other kinds of sloppy coding
                          that could, but I can't think of any off the top of my head.

                          As I noted, there are plenty of other reasons to learn to code properly, and
                          they will contribute to user experience. And of course the better the user
                          experience, the more likely it is they will stay at your site more than five
                          seconds, and return.
                          --
                          Tim G.
                          http://www.pactumweb.com
                          http://www.shortordersite.com

                          Be smart: http://www.pactumweb.com/client/tips.php


                          • 10. Re: Google Indexing problem
                            Level 7
                            > So in summary, you guys are saying that the site could be cleaned up but
                            > there
                            > are no fatal errors that would keep google from adding me, right? Just to
                            > keep
                            > everyone up to date, here is where I am -
                            >

                            On a quick look there is one problem - Google has indexed this page
                            http://www.localwally.com/napatest3

                            Your new site's home page is copy of this - google doesn't have much use for
                            2 copies of the same page. First step would be to 301 this page to your new
                            site and any other test pages with the same text as your finished site -
                            this should start getting the new site indexed.

                            Cheers,
                            Jon


                            • 11. Re: Google Indexing problem
                              garynng Level 1
                              How do you 301 a page? I already deleted it from my server.
                              • 12. Re: Google Indexing problem
                                Level 7
                                "garynng" <webforumsuser@macromedia.com> wrote in message
                                news:ggsi48$ski$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                                > How do you 301 a page? I already deleted it from my server.

                                Kinda a funny question to ask, given the thread title referencing Google. :)

                                Search on 301 redirect.

                                --
                                Tim G.
                                http://www.pactumweb.com
                                http://www.shortordersite.com

                                Be smart: http://www.pactumweb.com/client/tips.php


                                • 14. Re: Google Indexing problem
                                  MarbleHost
                                  If you create a new website and then submit to the google you cannot expect nothing more then that googlebot will spider your web so it will be indexed.

                                  To rank for some keywords you need at least a few links from other websites pointing to your website. The more competitive keyword you want to rank the more backlinks you need.

                                  The most usual methods how to get some links pointing to your website are directory submissions, writing articles (put link to your website to the "about the author" box) or link exchange with similar websites.
                                  • 15. Re: Google Indexing problem
                                    garynng Level 1
                                    Thanks Tim!