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Calling anyone with SEO knowledge

Moderators: C:Amie

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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2019-04-29 4:09 PM
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I just logged into Google search console for the first time, well, likely ever.

I observed something interesting, yet troubling. See the screenshot!

... I thought it had been w-a-y too quiet around here.

We're obviously getting creamed for the site using the 2006, non Android tablet and smartphone friendly UI. There isn't anything much I'm willing to do about that. Overhauling Archimedes would be a substantial effort, but overhauling the forum's UI code would be like counting sand grains in the Sahara on a windy day

I've have put SSL in, which is required these days... yet here is an odd correlation. I put SSL in on 9th April 2018... and search traffic from Google stopped dead within a couple of days. That seems too coincidental!

Does anyone else have any thoughts on this?


Before any passer-by scrambles to find my email address and email me their hard sell sales pitch. Stop. Take a deep breath. I'm not paying a penny for SEO consultancy. Please don't waste your or my time.

(there's always one )



(hpcf-seo.png)



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Dave Wurm Page Icon Posted 2019-04-29 8:54 PM
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I don't have the SEO knowledge you are looking for. However, I do have a website (www.thebookwurm.com) which does not satisfy Google's requirements... partly because I did not want to exclude computers and browsers that can't handle current SSL standards... and partly because it is based on deprecated HTML Frames.

In any case, several months ago, the servers were setup to handle both http and https URLs. I have no plans to switch to https only. I haven't paid much attention to traffic statistics, so there is nothing to report about traffic before and after.

This change probably is not much related to smartphone access. But it's the extent of my experience.
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2019-04-29 10:25 PM
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Dave,

I've checked some completely non-https sites that I control and they have seen no loss in referrals. https is just a hunch, but it's too big a coincidence!

You can look at your own site stats btw via https://search.google.com/search-console/about

It is different to Google Analytics, it doesn't need anything installing on the web site, no JavaScript etc. Search Console is purely outbound info from Google, where as Analytics are inbound to the site. I use Analog and ReportMagic to do all that, without Google spying for advertising purposes https://www.c-amie.co.uk/software/analog/
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2019-04-30 5:38 PM
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I've discovered what the problem is.



The entry on Google Search is only showing http:// connections because a squillion years ago when I created the Google Webmaster Tools record, that was all we had - no https:// connections until 2108. Google didn't add automatically combined http*:// feeds until the middle of last year - and Google did not retrospectively update their old http:// entries with the new data.

I have completely re-added us and it has applied the https:// data to the (non-existent) http:// data. Which is of course completely explanatory as I mandated the use of HTTPS at the end of the year.

Oh Google.


Secondly all of the sitemaps and canonical links were pointing to http:// not https:// so *think* we have been have being getting penalised for that as a fairly major drubbing because it confused GoogleBot.

I won't know for certain for a couple of weeks as Google Search Console data runs in a lag of a few days.

Edit: I'm amused.

Apparently 100% of people who search Google for "casio Cassiopeia A-11A" click into us. As do 100% of people searching for "mobiadapter" (and others). Yet, only 85.7% of people who search for "hpcfactor", click into us... so where are the 14.3% going?!
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stingraze Page Icon Posted 2019-05-01 10:41 AM
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Glad you got that sorted out!

As for the rest of the traffic going elsewhere, I'll send a PM to you.

Edited by stingraze 2019-05-01 10:41 AM
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2019-05-17 11:42 AM
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It appears at this point that the traffic rate is back to around 80% of what it was before. Not quite there, but nearly.

I stuck us onto Bing *shudders* Webmaster as well as Google Search Console - it is surprising how different they are. Bing is making up its own crawler errors. The entire error report is a list of URL's it has invented O.o

Looking at the long-term data. I think that one of the things that has hurt us is the lack of the "other" community now. No one else is linking in - certainly not new links - and this pushes us down and down, and down further in the crawler thinking us worth displaying in the search results. Case in point: Google has crawled the new SCL site map. It has decided that it will allow only 116 pages to be indexed. 933 software applications have been refused indexing, PiCalc ( https://www.hpcfactor.com/scl/98/Fong_Chee_Keat/PiCalc/version_1.01 ) has been explicitly barred!

The new search engine friendly URL's that I've implemented appear to be starting to trickle through too e.g.
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=DejaVu+Samegame&t=ffcm&ia=news

None yet for the HCL though

Baby steps. If anyone else has any bright ideas, please post here.
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2019-07-02 10:43 AM
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OK, we've started to see some positive movement in the negative marking for "not mobile friendly". It's dropped 84 points in the last week and there are some pages showing mobility friendly now.

Unfortunately, page de-listing has gone up and general traffic has started to go down again quite noticeably

Ho hum!
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joval Page Icon Posted 2019-07-02 3:37 PM
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Geez, what a battle...not that I understand all you are saying here. Most of us have no idea these things are going on in the background...and if we did would certainly show much gratitude for all your efforts
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2019-07-05 9:06 AM
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We now have a 1/3 improvement in mobile device compatibility, it improved some 10% over night (graph below). Search console is weird. I have told it several times that fixes have been implemented, it does a quick validation to confirm it, confirms it and then goes off and does its thing. Then as soon as it finds one page with issues, it fails the entire job and doesn't update the fixed pages at all - i.e. despite having scanned fixes, it doesn't "credit" you with having fixed them. Instead you have to wait literally for weeks for Google Bot to re-crawl the page.

Ugh!

GSC also decided to inform me on Tuesday that the date for our switching from Google Bot Desktop to Google Bot Mobile was sometime in late November last year - "click here to acknowledge this change"

Tuesday... Tuesday, 2nd July...

As you can see from the other graph below, that certainly didn't help matter either.



(gsc.png)



(2gsc.png)



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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2019-07-08 8:59 AM
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Significant progress in page validations over the weekend! Although on the other side the indexed page count has dropped from 12,800 to 10,300 in the last month.

I'm not sure it's possible to win at this game

A slight side benefit on keeping an eye on all this is that it does seem to tell me that there is a problem with something somewhere before any of you lot do



(weekend.png)



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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2019-07-22 10:02 AM
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We have finally broken through the barriers on this and have some good news on the "illegal" pages.

Unfortunately, as always seems to be the case with this damn thing, you win somewhere and get penalised somewhere else. The coverage figures are plummeting again - despite nearly having a completely green dashboard.

Page content counts nearly hit 13,000 at their peak in June, but have now tumbled to nearly 8,500. Traffic (clicks in) from Google has reduced by 50% since April too.

It isn't just random forgotten pages in the forum that are being de-indexed either. Having added schema.org metadata to the entire reviews section, the structured data counts all went up accordingly, but now have fallen to 27 pages, 0 errors. In other words: most of the reviews back catalogue is missing now too.

I think this game is like gambling. You aren't supposed to win at all. You just prove yourself more and more willing to comply and they see how far they can push. If the outcome of going to all the effort necessary to heed their threats and warnings is to wind up back where you started, why bother?




Edit: I've just looked at Bing Webmaster tools, which has informed me of a code error impacting 400 HCL pages (caused by the changes on the 9th). Nadda on Google Search Console. It's not even looking!



(mobile-finally.png)



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